You may have seen beautiful displays of stone veneer or natural stone on the walls of your home or office. If you have difficulty distinguishing stone veneer and natural stone, this is due to the design made by the factory.
The stone veneer industry is trying its best to produce products that can replace natural stone. Just like natural stone, stone veneer acts as a brick cover on the exterior of the house, fireplace area, or various interior touches.
Then how to distinguish natural stone walls from those made of stone veneer? Which stone products should you buy and install for lining homes, fireplaces, wainscots, and other architectural details?
What are Stone Veneers?
Stone veneer, architectural stone, artificial stone, and cultured stone are different names used for essentially the same product. These products are both engineered stones that are manufactured to look like natural stone.
This product is a “porridge” of Portland cement, aggregate, and iron oxide that is baked in a textured mold to make it look like stone. Cement can provide stability to the product, while iron oxide provides pigment. Stone veneer should not be confused with imitation stone veneer. Bar fridges is because imitation stone veneer is a high density polymer product that feels closer to stereofoam than stone.
Advantages of Stone Veneer
Lightweight, easy to cut and easy to get
Disadvantages of Stone Veneer
Appearance is uniform, color may fade, and brittle
What is Natural Stone?
Based on the type that is widely used in homes, natural stone is stone that is 100 percent quarried directly from the ground. It does not undergo a process of addition or removal, and does not have additional coloring.
Natural stone can be fully present in its original shape, such as round river stones. Even so, natural stone can be measured into the desired shape. Examples are beams for buildings, slabs for walls, or tiles for floors.
Advantages of Natural Stone
Has a popular look, is durable, and resists fading
Lack of Natural Stone
Heavy and dense, difficult to cut, and difficult to obtain
Engineered stone veneer is actually too weak to be used structurally for building purposes. This engineered stone can hold its own weight, but it cannot carry any additional weight. In addition, stone veneer is never used for flooring. Stone veneer is never found on the original stacked stone. However, stone veneer manages to mimic the appearance of stacked stone.
Unlike stone veneer, natural stone can actually be used structurally, although this is quite rare in modern buildings. If you want real stacked stone for your walls, you should use natural stone.
However, there are also natural stones that are too brittle for structural use, such as slate. Then natural stones such as travertine are usually used as walkways, floors, and even walls.
Size, Weight and Thickness of Stone Veneer and Natural Stone
Stone veneer with full dimensions has a thickness of about 5 cm to 15-20 cm. There is also a subcategory of stone veneer, namely thin stone veneer with a thickness of about 2.5 cm to 5 cm. The surface diameter of stone veneer can reach 35.5 cm. In addition, stone veneer weighs half times less than natural stone of the same size.
As for natural stone, this stone has two different sizes in its wide consumer market. Full size blocks are about the size of one or two retaining wall blocks. It can provide the full dimensional coverage and stacked look that many homeowners desire.
For veneer style coverings, natural stone is excavated and then cut to industrial sizes similar to a wet tile saw. Despite the veneer style, this stone is still 100 percent natural stone. It is about 2 to 4 cm thick. The size of the face of natural stone depends on the type of stone, but usually has a diameter of about 45 cm.
Natural stone also tends to be much heavier than stone veneer. For example, natural stone weighs about 6 kg per 929 square cm. This means that natural stone is twice as heavy as engineered stone veneer.
Appearance and Resistance to Color Fading
Stone veneer color may fade over time. This cheap but low-quality engineered stone can indeed be a quite tempting offer. However, the appearance is often rated “less”.
This stone can have a very repeating pattern with a monochromatic color and a thickness of about 2.5 cm. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s specifications first before buying and ordering stone samples. In addition, stone veneer has a quality that tends to be consistent.
Unlike stone veneer, natural stone does not have a repeating pattern and generally has a pleasing appearance. Even so, the quality varies greatly. Natural stone color may fade in the sun, but this happens very slowly and usually won’t be seen in a person’s lifetime.
Engineered stone veneer is installed with lath, precoat, mortar, and grout or without grout for a dry pile look. In terms of installation, the main difference between artificial and natural stone veneers is their weight and density. Engineered stone is much easier to handle and cut than natural stone, due to its porous nature and light weight. Engineered venner stone is more suitable for self-installation than natural stone.
Natural stone can be installed directly on porous concrete, stone, or blocks. If the surface of the stone is smooth, you can install metal battens and a slate layer. This is done to provide a thin surface of the stone sheet, so that it can be gripped. Grout can be added between the stones. But if you want, you can have the look of a dry pile of stones without the grout. Natural stone cannot be installed on drywall or other thin materials. Its density makes natural stone difficult to cut.
Those are some things you need to know about stone veneer and natural stone which is widely used as a wall. Each of these stone types has advantages and disadvantages. You just have to adjust which stone is the most suitable for your needs.