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Natural Stone Veneer 101

Filed under: Natural Stone Veneer — procoat @ 6:11 pm January 3, 2016

Drawn to stone veneer, but relatively clueless as to the details? We understand the attraction – and the confusion – so we’re here to ensure whether you’re a professional contractor or new do-it-yourselfer, your first experience with stone veneer is a positive one.

A Long History

Stonework has changed substantially since its Ancient Egyptian beginnings, morphing into quite a diverse line of building materials. Fortunately, the years have been kind to stone products, producing options that are easy to use, lightweight, cost effective, and available in a much wider variety of colors and textures than the rocks of yore.

Manufactured vs Natural Stone Veneer:What’s the Difference?

  • Manufactured Stone Veneer Jan 3Natural Stone Veneer
    Natural stone veneer is a gorgeous, long-lasting product, though at a slightly higher cost than manufactured stone veneer. It was once heavier than its artificial counterpart, but advancements in cutting technology have allowed manufacturers to cut the natural stone face to just over two inches thick, or thinner that alleviates the issue of excessive weight, while still looking substantial in appearance.
  • Natural Stone Veneer Manufactured Stone Veneer
    Manufactured stone veneer has many aliases, including cultured stone and faux stone. It once held a look reminiscent of its name, however times have changed. Manufactured stone veneer is now strikingly similar to its natural counterpart. (Go ahead, take a look.)

Both manufactured and natural stone veneer are installed in a similar manner. They require a clean surface (no paint, dust, or dirt), sheathed with metal lath. For outdoor installations, a vapor barrier should be included beneath the lath. On brick/concrete surfaces, stone veneer can be directly applied with the proper thinset mortar base. A scratch coat is applied first, using mortar. After it cures, additional mortar is used to adhere stone veneer to their mounting surface, much in the same way you would apply tile. A sealer should be applied to protect the surface after the installation and drying process is complete.


All manufactured or natural stone veneer require for maintenance is periodic cleaning with a hose or a stiff brush and soapy water – if you choose to.

Great Uses for Manufactured or Natural Stone Veneer Include:

  • House siding
  • Fireplace mantels
  • Feature walls
  • Kitchen islands
  • Backsplashes
  • Showers and baths
  • Landscaping

Looking for a little more education on picking the right manufactured or natural stone veneer for your project? Contact ProCoat Systems or visit our showrooms today.