If you are looking to replace aging wood, vinyl or brick as part of your home renovation, stone veneer is an attractive and practical choice. Veneer is an increasingly popular covering material for both interior and exterior applications. However, most people people are not familiar with this material even though they see it every day and may even have it installed in their own homes. When properly installed, veneer is almost impossible to differentiate from traditional masonry stone.
What Does Stone Veneer Cost?
Instead of cutting and fitting large stones together using supports, veneer is sold in one-inch thick sheets composed of either natural stones or man-made concrete stones. This process is incredibly cost-effective compared to masonry stone because the sheets of veneer are much lighter, requiring no support other than the surface they are applied to. Their light weight and simple installation means much lower transportation and labor costs.
The cost of the material itself varies based on the type of veneer. High-quality natural stone veneer can approach the cost of masonry stone, while basic manufactured veneer costs very little. If budget is a concern, the best approach is to stick with options in the middle of the price range. Choose natural stone if possible; its durability will make up for the higher initial cost compared to manufactured stone.
Where Can Veneer Be Installed?
Veneer can be used in any application where masonry stone or brick can be used, such as stone siding for the exterior of a home or interior stone applications like fireplace surrounds and walls. Veneer is also a good alternative to landscape stone for patios and sidewalks. However, it may not be the best choice for other landscape stone applications, such as flower beds, where larger pieces of stone are more desirable.
How Long Does Veneer Last?
Durability depends on the type of material the veneer is composed of. Natural stone is very durable, with longevity that is comparable to masonry stone. Manufactured stone, on the other hand, is much more fragile and susceptible to erosion from wind and rain. If tough, rugged material is needed, natural stone is worth the extra cost because it will save money in the long run. However, manufactured stone is fine for indoor installations and mild climates.
What Are the Advantages of Veneer?
The main advantage of veneer over masonry stone is its relatively low cost. Stone veneer also has some advantages compared to other materials. Stone is considered a more attractive and high-end material than brick, wood or vinyl, so a stone siding exterior can add more value to your home for the same cost. It is also sturdier and more durable than wood or vinyl.
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