As the natural and textured home trends continue to rise, many building pros and homeowners alike are gravitating more toward exterior stone veneer siding. Not only is stone veneer more durable and water impermeable than wood siding, it also adds character and texture to a home.
For a range of applications, exterior stone veneer provides a multitude of options that will complement virtually any home style and boost curb appeal. While adding stone siding to the exterior of a home use to cost a small fortune due to the labor-intensive work that came with masonry and heavy natural stone transportation, there are now more options on the market than ever that are budget-friendly.
Stone veneer siding is growing rapidly in popularity since its lightweight nature and easy-to-install systems are cutting installation time down immensely. Plus, there isn’t a need for specialized labor skills when installing mortarless stone veneer.
With a wide range of color, shape and pattern options, stone veneer is becoming more and more commonly found on the exterior of the home for siding, columns, accent walls, fire pits and fireplaces. The texture and color blending capabilities of stone veneer products on the market now allow them to seamlessly elevate the natural elements of a home and outdoor living space.
Primarily cementitious, traditional stone veneer siding is most comparable to the installation of natural stone siding. Similar to the natural stone, traditional stone veneer relies on a chemical bond and requires WRB, an added weather layer, lath, scratch coat, mortar and sometimes grade beams or lentil to carry the weight of the heavy stone.
Although, traditional stone veneer does slightly vary from natural stone siding in that it is more modular, and it doesn’t have to be worked as much to fit the right size. This style will require more skilled labor and due to its need for mortar, the installation time will take considerably longer than some other stone veneer alternatives.
Offered in two overarching categories, mortarless easy-to-install stone veneer comes in both panelized systems and individualized systems. With a panelized system, there are two types, including cementitious-based and thermo-formed or polyurethane-based. Panelized systems typically connect through the use of an attachment flange and can have a spacer or built-in rainscreen.
Advantages of Stone Veneer Siding
It is common that you are required to hit structural studs during install, which can prove challenging. While stone veneer panels for exterior purposes are great for covering large amounts of square footage at a time, they are not as workable and have proven to be more difficult when it comes to hiding exposed cuts and cutting the product around obstructions or construction details.
Natural Stacked Stone Ledger Panels
Another thing to take into consideration with panelized systems, is that once someone can see the pattern of the panels, this style may appear more fake or repetitious compared to traditional stone veneer or individualized systems. With individualized systems, there are two primary types: composites and concrete.
These systems install with either finish nails or screws and normally don’t require hitting studs. Composite individualized systems have amazing workability and are easy to cheat if something gets out of level. Concrete individual stone can prove to be tricky, as it requires a connection bracket for screws and has limitations in workability because it’s concrete.
Plus, if you have a solid, color-throughout stone veneer in individualized systems, you’ll be able to hide high visibility cuts and reuse scrap pieces that would ordinarily just be wasted material in other alternatives. While panelized systems cover more square footage, the workability of individualized systems end up evening out time spent while installing.
Exterior Stone Veneer Styles
Not to mention, most do not require specialty training like a masonry crew, which is normally required for traditional stone veneer installation. While there is a myriad of exterior stone veneer styles out there, which vary greatly with color, style and texture, the two overarching styles that you’ll want to be sure to choose from revolves around whether you’d like to have mortar joints (exposed grout) or a dry-stack look (tightly fitted).
Frequently Asked Questions
Dry-stacking is a technique where stones are stacked on top of each other for a more seamless look and feel instead of being separated with mortar. As implied by the name, dry-stacked stones are installed without the use of mortar in-between the stones or panels. This laying technique can be more labor intensive with heavy or natural stone, but with material like Evolve Stone, it can install up to 10X faster with a finish nailer and finish nails.
Exterior Stone Veneer Siding Options
To fit stones together, this technique relies on mortar joints between the stones. This has a big impact on a home’s aesthetics and can be done in a couple of different ways. Depending on the desired look, mortar joints can be dry-laid, feature standard grout joints or face over joints (which gives a wider joint).
Generally, Type N or Type S mortars are the most common for installing stone veneer. It’s important to note that grout can be incredibly difficult to work with and extends the overall time and complexity of installation. No matter the style chosen, exterior faux stone siding offers a wide range of options and benefits in comparison to natural stone siding.
Less Labor, More Love.
As a mortarless, color-throughout stone veneer in an individualized system, Evolve Stone offers even more advantages than other alternatives on the market—nailing it on all fronts. For detailed information on faux stone siding installation, visit our installation guide blog.
Painting exterior stone veneer depends on the manufacturer and their recommendation. In most cases, especially if the stone veneer you’re using is cementitious, it is ill-advised to do so. In the case of painting Evolve Stone product, we recommend that you have a professional recommend the proper primer and paint for the application.
Built To Look Great In Record Time
Yes, just about any exterior stone veneer can be installed on house columns. Although, it would be extremely difficult to try to do so with a panelized system on smaller columns, as they do not offer the best workability. Evolve Stone can be installed on any column, but we recommend not doing so if your column is less than 18” wide.
Lightweight Panels Make Quick Work Of Installation
If you do not have a choice and the column must remain small, we recommend our style with the smallest stones, District View. For most stone veneers, the best way to clean is with regular soap and water. Power-washing is not recommended with most systems, as it could hurt the substrate, not necessarily the stone itself.
If you have natural stone or grout joints, power-washing could cause something to come loose. With Evolve Stone, you can power-wash the product itself but don’t recommend because of potential damage to the WRB and rainscreen behind the stones. Utilize natural stone for a sustainable and hard-to-beat look for your home by checking out the different types of stone siding for home exteriors that you can choose from.
Stone Siding That Looks Like The Real Thing
Utilize natural stone for a sustainable and hard-to-beat look for your home by checking out the different types of stone siding for home exteriors that you can choose from. Stone siding for the home exterior is a popular option among homeowners who want a distinct look for their homes. The beauty of stone is incomparable and more durable than wood siding which is porous and can rot over time.
Natural stone is built to stand the test of time and can last indefinitely. The most obvious drawback for cladding the exterior of your home with authentic stone is its cost. You can easily spend $4,000 on materials alone for just 500 square feet. Installation should be done by a professional to avoid gaps or mistakes and this can take days or weeks to complete.
Expect to spend an additional $2,000 on labor and tools. The material you choose for your home’s exterior can have a profound impact on your home’s curb appeal – as well as its resale value! Stone siding is a popular option because of its quality and aesthetic appeal. However, due to the fact that solid stone as a siding material can be so expensive, you may want to take a look at some cheaper options.
An alternative to natural stone would be the synthetic stone veneer siding. As expected, they have inferior qualities but are much cheaper and installation comes faster and easier. Related:Installing Vinyl Siding on Your Home | Types of Stucco Siding | Types of Wood Siding | House with Natural Wood Exterior.
If you want to have the most legitimate stone siding possible for your home, then you will likely want to consider buying solid stone siding. There are some issues with this type of siding that keep it from being a truly practical choice for everyone (most notably the cost).
Even still, those who do make use of solid stone siding wind up really enjoying it. It has the potential to create a really interesting look for your home and has an undeniable beauty. This type of siding is made out of real natural stone. This means that the stone has not been processed or manufactured in any way.
The advantage of this is that you get something with a lot of natural beauty and fantastic durability. The negative aspect is that this type of siding weighs an absolute ton. The weight of this type of siding can actually make it significantly more expensive.
Engineered For Outside. Right At Home Inside.
Transporting this siding costs more money than transporting other types of siding. You will likely have to make a significant investment in order to install solid stone siding on your home. It is just a lot more difficult to deal with than other methods, making your costs run high if you truly want to have solid stone siding.
The labor that is necessary to install this type of siding is significant, as well. The people who are doing the work will need special equipment to be able to properly install the stone. This heavy stone needs to be handled with care, and not all modern professionals are used to working with this type of material.
Solid stone siding isn’t the most common siding solution that people turn to in the modern era. Most people see solid stone siding as a bit of a throwback to a bygone era. In the days before the technological revolution, the solid stone was what kept people’s homes safe.
University Square – Princeton, NJ
The durable nature of these stones and their beauty was always something to be admired. They are still in use in the modern era, but they are just far less common. You will also likely need to turn to some type of specialty dealer in order to get the stone material that you are looking for.
Jenna Welch Women’s Center – Midland, TX
The other options that are represented on this list will be available at major retailers. These retailers do not carry large and heavy solid stone siding, though. This is an option that will really only appeal to those who have the means to make it happen, so you may wish to move on to the other options, like a natural thin stone veneer (if faux stone veneer simply won’t cut it).
International Business Center – Moscow, Russia
Manufactured stone siding is much more common than the solid stone siding mentioned above. This type of siding can still be somewhat costly but it is far more affordable when compared to solid stone siding. When you look at the modern manufactured stone siding, you will be able to see that it is superior to the natural stone siding in several ways.
Ohio Public Employee Retirement Services Building – Columbus, OH
Many of the problems that hold solid stone siding back from being a practical option have been completely taken care of during the manufacturing process.