Stone is one of the oldest and most basic building materials. It can create a look of dignity, formality and stateliness, but it can also invoke feelings of warmth, comfort and coziness. Undoubtedly, stone makes a strong visual statement.
Due to its ability to resist daily weather conditions, stone is considered maintenance-free. Normal effects of the sun, wind and rain can affect other building materials, but do very little to change the appearance or durability of stone. Stone holds its own even in extreme weather conditions; the oldest structures still standing are made from stone masonry. This makes it an excellent choice for patio areas and landscaping, as well.
Energy efficiency is another reason that stone remains a popular choice of cladding. Stone walls heat slowly, so they keep a structure cool during the day and release warmth at night when outside temperatures fall.
Finally, stone is versatile. It works well with other construction materials, both on the exterior and interior of a structure. Using stone for an interior project brings a slice of nature indoors. Furthermore, since stone is available in a wide range of styles, colors and textures, it adds a unique appearance to any project.
We install Keene Driwall Rainscreen behind all stone and brick. This product allows for moisture drainage and air movement behind the masonry. Metal lathe is installed and scratch-coated. Stone is then mortared in place.
Stone may be installed in one of two ways. Grout is applied between stones for stability and visual interest. Dry-stack stone is stacked directly one on top of the other. It is made to be laid without mortar joints.
Cultured Stone vs. Natural Stone
Cultured stone is man-made. It is molded from concrete and aggregate materials and then colored to look like natural stone. Natural stone is real stone that is quarried from the earth.
Here are some aspects to consider when choosing between cultured stone or natural stone.
Cultured stone comes in a vast array of textures, shapes and colors. It can be designed for a distinctly man-made appearance or can imitate the look of natural stone. Even when mimicking natural stone, however, there will likely be repeating pieces in a design.
With natural stone, each individual piece has its own distinct color and texture variations. Your natural stone wall will be completely unique!
As a general rule, cultured stone costs less than natural stone. Cultured stone can be significantly lighter, which reduces transport costs. Cultured stone can be pre-designed to fit together, which means less waste at the end of a project.
Due to its weight, natural stone may require more supporting infrastructure which can add to the cost. Certain pieces may need to be chiseled to fit together, which may require more specialty labor and time to install.
Cultured stone can last a lifetime, but its original color may fade after many years of weathering the elements. You can expect natural stone to last for hundreds of years.
We are happy to discuss the pros and cons of the many available stone options for your specific project.