What is Manufactured Stone Veneer?

A wall of manufactured stone

Simulated stone. Manufactured stone. Faux stone.

Three names all describing the same product, a low-cost, lightweight, environmentally friendly and attractive alternative to natural stone veneer.

It wasn’t always that way. There was a time – not that long ago – when manufactured stone seemed, well, manufactured. It was obviously fake compared to the real thing.

However, advances in manufacturing technology have led to some truly amazing products with a range of colors and textures.

If you’re thinking about adding a stone veneer to your property, here are a few reasons why you might want to go with manufactured stone.

1. Manufactured stone is easy to install

Veneer installation – natural or simulated – is labor intensive, requires special tools and – ideally – should be handled by professionals. Because veneer is mortared in place, if the correct foundation is not in place, the mortar joints can crack; in the worst case scenario, some of the veneer will fall off the surface.

Consequently, veneered projects must sit on a concrete foundation.  The depth of that foundation depends on the frost line.  In Pennsylvania, the base must be 3 feet deep.

Once this preparation is complete and the block wall is built, adding the veneer is easier with simulated vs. natural stone.  Because natural stone is heavier, it must be installed from the bottom up. Each piece rests on the pieces below it as the mortar dries.  This requires careful planning on finishing the project at the top.  Since manufactured stone veneers are considerably less heavy, installation of the veneer can start anywhere making the selection of the veneer pieces and design of the veneered look less complex.

2. Manufactured stone is a low-cost alternative to natural stone

Maybe you’ve been dreaming of adding a natural stone veneer to your property, but just can’t seem to justify the price. That’s where manufactured stone has the edge.

The cost to manufacture simulated stone veneer is significantly lower than quarrying, excavating, cutting and shaping natural stone.  Prices vary, but you can expect simulated stone veneer to run $2.50 to $6.00 less per square foot than natural stone.

3. Simulated stone comes in many styles and colors

When you’re dealing with natural stone, your choices for styles and colors are limited to what the earth has made available to us. The range of natural stone options widens with sourcing from different geographies but that increased freight which further drives up product cost. Further, even within a specific color family, natural stone will be visibly different.  That is the beauty and also the limitation of natural stone.  With a simulated stone veneer, there’s a much wider range of style and colors available. And the color is predictable based on the product design.

We should note, however, that the color of natural stone will remain the same throughout. If you break a piece off or need to chisel a piece to change its shape,  you’ll see the same color on the new edge. But with manufactured stone, any cut or chip will reveal a white concrete interior.   This means simulated stone should not be reshaped to fit and must be used as manufactured.

Are you interested in installing veneer? Woodward Landscape Supply can help. We offer two lines of simulated stone veneer: Environmental Stoneworks, a longtime fixture in the industry, offering a wide selection of colors and styles; and EP Henry’s Cast Stone Veneer. EP Henry is a relatively recent addition to the veneer market but has nonetheless built an impressive portfolio. We also carry Quarry Cut natural stone veneer.  Our showroom features samples and literature from all of these suppliers.

Contact us today to learn more about our veneer offerings. We’re confident we have something that will transform your property.

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