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.
Stone Veneer is Made of Strong, Waterproof and Virtually Weightless Polyurethane
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.
It’s Cast from Real Stone, Rock and Brick
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.
The Molds Are 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
Manufactured Stone is More Durable
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.
The Labor Has Been Engineered Out of the Install
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 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?
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!
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.
Stone Veneer Costs 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. GenStone panels are extremely light, weighing only 1 lb. per square foot.
|St. Paul, MN||$21-$31||$11-$13|
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.
Stone Veneer is Green
Outside of creating the molds, GenStone doesn’t use any form of stone, clay, mortar or cement. This nearly eliminates 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
Our team is here to help! No matter where you are in the process of planning your project, we are available to answer any questions you have about our faux stone system. Send us a message on your favorite social media platform or give us a call to get in touch with our support team.
You can also visit our help center for answers to our most frequently asked questions or open a support ticket if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for.
Stratford Stacked Stone and Pillars