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Stone and Faux Stone Siding

2011/05/20 hits:

What is the difference between natural stone and faux stone siding? What is faux stone siding made from? How do natural stone and faux stone compare? Is there a difference between architectural stone, faux stone, and manufactured stone veneer? What is the best natural stone siding to get? How do I install stone and faux stone siding? How long will my stone or faux stone siding last? How do I take care of stone and faux stone siding?

Stone and Faux Stone Siding
Q. What is the difference between natural stone and faux stone siding?

A. Natural stone siding comes from a harvest of actual stones gathered and processed from quarries.  Some varieties of natural stone siding are processed in the factories and formed from large slabs.  They are shaped in a similar way to how stone tiles are shaped; by means of water cutting and cutting with a diamond saw.   The individual stones are set into mortar to form an exterior siding application.
           
Faux stone siding
uses no actual stones, but is poured into molds where the liquid mixture sets into a stone-like shape.  Once formed, each of the “stones” can be set into mortar in much the same way natural stone is.  There are also varieties of faux stone siding you can buy which are formed in panels rather than as individual “stones”. These panels can then be set into mortar as a unit.

Q. What is faux stone siding made from?
A. Faux stone is made from Portland cement and iron oxide pigments for coloration.    It is mass produced, which accounts for it generally more reasonable pricing.  This is also why it weighs less than natural stone siding.
Q. How do natural stone and faux stone compare?
A.  For looks, the two are very close.  The makers of faux stone siding do a very good job of making these products look just like real stone.  Also, both varieties of siding add resale value to your property, just because of how long they tend to last as a means of protecting a structure and making it look great.  Otherwise, here’s a selected list of comparative traits for stone and faux stone siding:
Faux stone is notably lighter and easier to work with Real stone adds an extra aesthetic dimension - every installation is subtly different, thanks to natural color variation. Faux stone is typically more reasonable, which accounts for the increasing popularity of a stone veneer look in residential projects. Real stone siding adds structural benefits to a property in the way that faux stone does not. Q. Is there a difference between architectural stone, faux stone, and manufactured stone veneer?
A. No.  You’ll find that siding which is derived from a mold and is made to look like real stone goes by all of these names and more.
Q. What is the best natural stone siding to get?
A. It depends what you’re after.  With granite wall cladding, you’re getting a very hard, very decorative surface that is unmistakable; a speckled, crystalline pattern which is unique from stone to stone.  There are a variety of other choices in exterior natural stone which add their own unique look to exteriors.  To make sure you’re getting the best type of stone for what you have in mind, it’s always a good idea to order a sample.
Q. How do I install stone and faux stone siding?
A. You can explore some of the ways to install stone siding by reading some basic installation instructions.  But generally, there are three approaches when you’re looking to apply stone siding to your exterior: 
Grouted installation – with a relatively even grout line between each stone Overgrouted installation – where an excess of grout is used to create an uneven grout line, which replicates the look of aged,old-world stone masonry Dry stack – when all of the stones are set flush without any grout lines Most of these decisions will be based on the look you’re trying to get for the whole project.  It will also depend on the type of stone siding you get.  Talk to us about some of these issues directly to make sure what you want to do matches the type of stone siding you’re most interested in.
Q. How long will my stone or faux stone siding last?
A. Stone has been a trusted material for thousands of years – since civilization began. AS a lot of people know, some of the castles from the 1200s built in Europe are still standing today.  This is a huge benefit to your property, of course.  But, if you want to make sure that your natural stone siding retains its original look for as long as possible, you should make sure to seal it. 
Faux stone siding is also a reliable material, designed to endure as long as the structure it’s built upon lasts.  But like natural stone, the length of time it keeps its original look is partially down to you.
Q. How do I take care of stone and faux stone siding?
A. All natural stone needs to be sealed to ensure that it doesn’t degrade due to moisture and other elements.  So, if you’ve chosen natural stone wall cladding, you’ll need to seek out the latest in stone sealers.  Check with your retailer about the right ones to use with your choice in natural stone.  Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to keep any acidic cleaners away from natural stone surfaces.  So, choose your cleaners wisely; talk to retailers, read the labels, and follow all of the instructions on the packaging.
If you’ve decided to go with faux stone siding, the best way to keep it clear of unwanted materials is to hose it down about twice a year.   That is pretty much it. Faux stone is designed to be low maintenance and hard wearing as an exterior surface.  These are some of the many reasons it’s become as popular as it has in the past few years.

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