How to Tell The Difference Between Natural Stone and Stone Veneer

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Natural stone siding and stone veneers both seek to increase the overall aesthetic appeal of a home, as well as protect the materials that make up the outside of a home. They are becoming increasingly popular, and people are starting to ask more questions about what how to tell the difference between the two options.

What is Natural Stone Siding?
Natural stone siding is when real stones are harvested and collected from a quarry. These stones are then processed so that they will be able to be used as siding. Their edges are smoothed and their sides are designed so that they will easily be able to fit together. Diamond saws and using water to cut the stones is a very common choice for stone processing companies because it allows them to be extremely smooth and increases the chances that they will be able to fit together perfectly. The stones, after they have been processed, will then be set in mortar. The goal is to form a single stone surface on the side of the building that will protect the building and increase its visual appeal. The stones will be buffed so that their connection is as seamless as possible.

What is Stone Veneer Siding?
Stone veneer siding is when concrete is poured into molds and then allowed to set so that it appears that stones are created, rather than using real stones. This method tends to be cheaper and produces an outside of a home that resembles natural stone siding. As soon as the concrete have set so that the manufactured stones are structurally stable, they can be installed to the side of a building using mortar in a similar process that is used to install natural stone siding.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between the Two?
There are a few different subtle ways that the difference between natural stone siding and manufactured stone veneer siding can be differentiated. The most obvious is that the edges of the stones that make up natural stone siding will all differ slightly in color because no stones are completely the same color all the way through and it is very difficult to find stones that are exactly the same color. Stone veneers that have been manufactured will not have any color differences on their edges because they are made out of concrete, which is always a uniform color.

Another way to tell the difference is to look at the variation in the stones. Each of the stones that are used to make a natural stone veneer will be different from the rest of them because no stone looks exactly like another. However, there are only so many molds that will be used to create a manufactured stone veneer. As a result, it will seem as though some of the stones are repeats of others, which is the case, of course. Looking for very similar stones is one of the easiest way to tell the difference between these two stone siding options.

The last way to tell the difference between natural stone siding and manufactured stone siding is that the durability of the natural stone will be better. If you ask the owner of the home how long the stone has been installed, if it seems in extraordinarily good shape for its age, then it is usually because it is made out of natural stone. Manufactured stones tend to degrade more quickly and show the signs of weathering with less provocation. If the stones seem disproportionately weathered for the climate, then there is a strong chance that manufactured stones will used to create the siding.