Understanding the Different Types of Stone Veneer
Stone veneer refers to the method of installing stone over a pre-made structure, as opposed to building the structure out of the stone itself. Landscape walls are often made fully from stone, but these days most any stone wall having to do with a building or structure is made from stone veneer. The two main types of stone veneer are Full Bed Stone Veneer and Thin Stone Veneer.
Full Bed Stone Veneer:
Full bed stone veneer means using full, natural stones to veneer a vertical surface. A full bed stone veneer is usually 6-8″ thick and can be done in countless different styles and with many different types of stone. It all depends on the mason doing the work and the local stone that is available.
The stones are still stacked with structure in mind so that the stones below support the weight of those above. The stones are mortared to the wall and then also secured with steel ties that are dispersed throughout. These ties are screwed to the backing wall, and then embedded in the joints/mortar of the veneer stone.
Full bed stone veneer gives a very authentic look but takes a lot of skill, time, and requires lifting and shaping of heavy stones. When dealing with heights, using full bed stone veneer can be especially challenging. The stone itself however is a lot cheaper than sawn veneer.
Thin Stone Veneer (Sawn Veneer):
Thin Stone Veneer or Sawn Veneer is a fabricated stone. Natural stones are taken and sawn down to a certain thickness (usually about 1″), making them very easy to shape and handle. The thin veneer stones are then stuck directly to the structural wall with a highly adhesive mortar in a similar way to tiling.
Thin stone is easy to handle (light), easy to cut and shape, and can be used in more instances where there isn’t enough room for a full bed veneer.
Thin stone veneer is becoming increasingly popular with its ease of use, availability, and labor cost savings. There are a variety of different styles to choose from which we will go over next. The names will vary somewhat supplier to supplier but we will use the most common terminology in this New England area.
Fieldstone or Round:
Fieldstone or Round Veneer is cut from medium sized, roundish fieldstones. The idea here is to mimic the natural fieldstone walls of New England. The stones are round in shape, but also in depth. That’s to say the face is not totally flat, it is rounded. The natural outside face of the stone has been preserved to make these veneer stones.
Mosiac stone veneer is more angular in shape and flatter on the surface. These stones have been split in half to make flat but rough stone surface, and then sawn to the desired thickness. This results in a more consistently flat wall, less depth, and often tighter joints than the round veneer.
Ledgestone veneers are generally long and thin. The ledgstone mimics the style of stacking flat stones. Ledgestone is easier to fit tightly with no mortar showing in the joints.
Ashlar veneer is similar to the Ledgstone in shape but is larger in size. Often we will use a mix of Ledgestone and Ashlar to achieve a more authentic looking mix of sizes.
Square + Rectangle:
Square + Rectangle veneer is similar to the Ashlar but has been selected to be even more squared in shape. This type of veneer also mixes well with Ashlar and Ledgestone.
Dimensional stone veneer has been sawn thin, and then cut into rectangular pieces on all sides. This means it still has a stone face but the edges of the stones are cut straight giving a more modern, manufactured look. These can be fit very tightly like tiles with minimal effort and no cutting or shaping.
Natural stone veneer is a great way to enhance exterior and interior walls, foundations, fireplaces, chimneys, columns and various other applications. If you’re thinking about a stone veneer installation for your home please CONTACT US for a consultation.