From the Great Wall of China to the Grand Canyon, Petra to the Parthenon, the world is filled with both natural and manmade forms of stone. This primal resource surrounds and infuses the unique spaces where we live, work, and entertain. Despite its appeal, however, natural stone can prove challenging to work with. Fortunately, architectural stone veneer offers an elegant, cost-efficient solution for incorporating the nuances of natural colors and textures without the complications of costly transportation, lengthy installation, and environmental degradation.
Architectural stone veneer embodies the authentic character of stone in a unique, handmade format that is mass-produced for use in a variety of exterior and interior spaces. This green alternative surfacing product is custom molded and painted to provide all the durability and visual attraction of stone while remaining lightweight and affordable.
The primary benefit of incorporating architectural stone veneer is that it provides limitless design possibilities. From traditional to contemporary applications, stone is a leading material for creating custom architectural statements and tying together spaces with a variety of raw materials such as wood, glass, and steel. Architectural stone veneer offers more depth, color variation, and textural diversity than natural stone, and it can be manufactured to suit any design aesthetic.
Stone veneer will not rot, rust, or burn. It requires very little maintenance compared to other materials such as wood, stucco, or vinyl, and it proves to be an ideal solution for commercial and institutional environments because it is stain- and bacteria-resistant. It can stand up to years of weathering with little change in color, and it will not succumb to freezing and thawing as long as proper installation techniques are applied.
Architectural stone veneer weighs significantly less than natural stone, which saves on installation time, money, and effort. Stone veneer products typically weigh between 10 to 12 pounds per square foot, which qualifies them to be incorporated without the additional structural reinforcement required for the majority of natural stone applications.
Stone veneer performs well in a variety of sustainable design rating systems. Its concrete base is recyclable and often contains a high percentage of recycled content. A naturally low-emitting product, stone veneer can help earn LEED credits in a variety of categories, including those pertaining to thermal mass, pre- and post-consumer content and contribution to the overall thermal resistance of exterior walls.
Architects and designers looking to maximize the environmental benefits and aesthetic appeal of any space should consider architectural stone veneer for its ability to translate the textural details and color palettes of natural surfaces without the complications that tend to come with the transport and install or natural stone. With regard to value and authenticity, stone veneer is the real deal.