Is Stone Veneer the Best Choice for Your Project?
What exactly is the “faux” in faux stone veneer? You may know that manufactured stone veneer panels are a cost-effective, environmentally friendly and easy-to-install alternative to natural or cast stone, but still wonder what exactly they are made from and how durable that material is in the elements. More importantly, you may be wondering if GenStone is the right choice for your project and whether or not you can install it yourself.
Whether you are a do-it-yourself homeowner, aspiring to be one or even a professional contractor, following our 5 point guide will help you determine if GenStone is the right choice for your project.
Top 5 questions our customers ask us about GenStone:
You can click the questions above to skip to any section in our guide or even contact our support team if you have a question about GenStone we didn’t answer. Let’s get started exploring the top five questions and qualities of faux stone veneer panels!
What is Faux Stone Made of?
Strong, waterproof and virtually weightless.
GenStone faux stone veneer panels are made from 99.9% waterproof high-density polyurethane. More importantly, the material used to make GenStone is a closed-cell polyurethane. “Closed-cell” means the material is very dense. This density provides greater insulation and also prevents moisture penetration, without adding bulk or extra weight. A square foot of our stone veneer only weighs one pound, which means adding it to your home or business provides insulation and moisture protection but does not add significant weight to the structure like natural stone.
How is it Made?
Cast from real stone rock and brick to ensure authenticity.
Each uniquely colored panel is made by compressing a combination of polyurethane and color oxides into one of several stone, rock or brick molds. The molds are proprietary to GenStone which is why no other faux stone on the market looks as authentic in texture and color as GenStone faux stone veneer.
Extreme pressure is applied to the raw material and the mold, which results in a highly dense, realistic-looking finished faux stone panel. Every panel is checked for quality and strength and individually finished by hand in a factory-controlled environment. Our attention to detail is second to none, resulting in not only a realistic faux stone product but also a durable and easy to install system of panels.
How Are the Molds Created?
Crafted from the unique textures of regionally sourced natural materials.
Each of the stone and rock products are cast from molds that were created using the unique patterns of individual stones and rocks as they’re found in nature. Here’s a few examples of where we sourced the shapes and textures of some of our most popular faux stone panels.
Kenai simulates the colors and shapes of stones found in Alaska’s beautiful Kenai Peninsula.
This collection is composed of varying sizes of geometric stones that accurately depict quarried stone used in masonry construction.
We are able to achieve a vintage appearance from our molding process which uses a recessed grout lined combined with tumbled brick
Our Glacier blend offers the natural look of stones found in the streams of Alaska or Northern Canada.
Which Choice is the Most Durable?
GenStone is life tested and lab approved!
It may sound odd to say that a manufactured product can stand up to the elements better than natural stone, but the reality is variations in the consistency, density and absorbency of natural rock, stone and even clay brick can make it more vulnerable to chipping and cracking. The consistency in our manufacturing process results in an extremely durable product.
Our team has been filming a series of durability experiments to see how GenStone holds up to “real life” testing. We’ve run over our stone panels with a 5,700 pound Jeep, attempted to smash them with a sledgehammer equal to a Mike Tyson punch and even squared off against gravity. The results have been impressive for GenStone and equally disappointing when it comes to alternative products like cast stone.
We also sent a variety of samples to Exova, a global leader in product testing to make sure our faux stone panels could stand up to the elements. Since Exova has tested Formula 1 cars, Petronas Towers in Malaysia and major airliners we trusted that they would really push our product to its limits. GenStone panels passed with flying colors when it came to tests for acid rain, wind load and impact resistance along with fastener strength.
Don’t Forget to Ask About the Warranty!
If they won’t back up their product there’s probably a reason.
GenStone offers a 25 year warranty on all of its stone veneer panels. That’s because we are confident our panels and can withstand whatever nature (or your kids) can throw at them. You want your improvement project to last for decades, GenStone will make sure it does from the moment your panels are manufactured. Will the other products you may be considering do the same?
How Easy is it to Install?
We engineered the labor out of the install.
Whether you are known for your DIY home projects or you are a professional contractor, GenStone veneer has numerous advantages over natural and cast stone alternatives. We’ve already established that GenStone is more durable than the alternatives and just as authentic looking, but one important advantage we haven’t explored is the time you save with our stone veneer. For the do-it-yourself homeowner and contractor alike, time is money and you can either install one stone at a time with messy mortar or attach up to 7 square feet at once with GenStone.
How Much is One Day Worth to You?
From the box to the wall in minutes.
Faux stone panels are ready to be installed out of the box, while natural stone requires intensive preparation and the tools and skills of a mason. Because you can get to work right away, many faux stone projects can be completed in a day’s work. Natural stone installation is a more tedious process, requiring several days of paid labor and becoming more vulnerable to human error.
This Project Was Completed in Just 45 Minutes!
How to Install GenStone
Check out our Product Knowledge video.
From the Box to the Wall in Minutes!
When we set out to design the most do-it-yourself friendly faux stone system, our goal was to provide DIY homeowners and contractors with a solution for every possible installation scenario. Our initial faux stone system included just seven pieces, followed by more pieces we created based on feedback from our customers. The result, a 10 piece system designed for any project and installation obstacle imaginable.
Meet the GenStone System
Designed by engineers, cast from real stone, perfected by the DIY community.
We offer faux stone panels designed by engineers, cast from real stone and an install system perfected by true do-it-yourselfers. Below we will discuss how each of these pieces were designed to work together and how each piece in the system plays a unique role in your improvement project.
Our full panel is by far the most popular piece in the GenStone system. Just one panel covers 7 square feet, making any install extremely quick.
The half panel is designed to compliment the full panel. Rather than cutting a full panel in half for areas too short in height for the full panel, you can utilize the half panel.
GenStone corner pieces are designed to cover a 90-degree corner. These panels measure 24 inches in height, 12 inches in length and 12 inches in width. Both the z-shaped full panel or half panel will fit easily into the corner piece.
Our corner panels are the same size as our half panel except the right or left side has a one-inch return. It is useful if you are terminating your faux stone at a corner and would like a wrapped look, giving the appearance of depth.
Our faux stone column wraps can be created with our corner pieces. These larger columns are a great option for a mailbox or creating a dramatic entrance to a driveway. Column caps are available to finish the top or you can choose to terminate the column into another surface.
Are an attractive finishing touch to a large-scale faux stone project. The panels are easy to install on existing pillars or columns. Pillar caps are available as well for a final piece for stand-alone pillars or columns.
Like the inside corner, using trim simply boils down to preference. Our trim pieces come in handy when your GenStone install runs across a door, window, hose bib or even a light fixture.
Rather than mitering two corner panels together to form a seamless inside transition between two walls, simply use our 4′ inside corner to join two walls together like a pro.
If you are terminating your faux stone panels partway up a wall, our ledger is a great finishing piece. No only does this accessory give your wall a professional looking finish, it is designed to shed water away from your wall and fit into the ship lap of all panels.
The corner ledger provides a 90-degree ledger. This accessory works well with the corner piece and is particularly useful if you are installing a half-wall around a corner.
GenStone Costs Less
About 50% less than traditional masonry work.
It’s cheaper to manufacture stone veneer panels than to cut or collect natural stone. Those savings are then passed on to the consumer through quality, affordable faux stone siding. GenStone can truly help you do-it-yourself. GenStone panels are extremely light, weighing only 1 lb. per square foot.
Cost Per Square Foot
|St. Paul, MN||$21-$31||$11-$13|
Natural stone weighs around 8-12 lbs. per square foot and sometimes requires a machine lift. Because of these characteristics, the cost of labor can be expensive if you opt for natural stone, while on the other hand, GenStone faux stone products are pre-engineered for easy installation. Simply put, that means you don’t have to worry about hiring a mason.
Why you can’t maintain natural stone the same way.
You can’t simply wash natural stone off with a hose because humidity can cause unsightly rust, which can be difficult to remove. If you’re able to get rid of the rust, you might not be as lucky with other minerals or salts that alter the structure of the stone, leaving it permanently with stains or discoloration. As a result you will have to buy numerous chemical solutions to keep your natural stone from losing its look. And if those solutions aren’t up to the challenge, you could find yourself with stains, cracks or loose stone that can only be fixed with expensive structural repairs.
How to Maintain GenStone
Faux stone resists moisture.
Simply Wash It Like Siding
Conversely faux stone panels don’t absorb any moisture, which means the surface of your siding will never expand or contract. They are also more resistant to sunlight than natural stone, allowing the panels to maintain their color over a longer period of time. Therefore, faux stone is as easy to maintain as common siding. Simply wash it off with a garden hose when necessary to preserve the panel’s original shine and color.
How Natural Stone is Quarried
Permanent damage for a temporary look.
Extracting natural stone and clay for bricks has a major impact on the environment. Clay is excavated by digging and trenching while stone and rock are obtained by using explosives to demolish entire landscapes. Quarrying rock and stone causes permanent, irreversible scarring to the earth’s surface, destroying natural features and habitats.
GenStone is Green!
Our faux stone is sustainable.
No Clay, Mortar or Cement
Outside of creating the molds, GenStone doesn’t use any form of stone, clay, mortar or cement. This nearly eliminiates the need to pull any additional raw mineral materials from the earth.
GenStone is an eco-friendly alternative to both cheap plastic products and mining natural materials. The materials used in production are inert and non-toxic. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires manufacturers to maintain Material Data Safety Sheets on many commonly used products, from window cleaning solutions to acid-based, corrosive compounds. GenStone products adhere to these requirements and also comply with Proposition 65 as implemented by the state of California, which was designed to eliminate exposure to toxic substances in consumer products.
Need Help? We’re Listening!
Stone veneer is quickly becoming the obvious choice for home and business owners looking for a modern and affordable solution. By installing GenStone, you can take the cost and worry out of improving your property.
If you need help planning your project, finding your nearest GenStone retailer or simply have product related questions give us a call at 1-800-425-0788, Tweet us @genstoneDIY or send us a message on Facebook to reach our support team.