Making the Right Choice: Weighing Stone Veneer vs. Natural Stone

July 5, 2023
Stone Veneer vs Real Stone

Are you thinking about revamping your home with stone features but aren’t sure whether you should go with manufactured stone veneer or natural stone? That can be a difficult decision; the debate between stone veneer and natural stone veneer extends well beyond aesthetics.

Though these two materials share similar appearances, their differences can vary greatly. Knowing which one is right for you requires a deeper examination of their properties. That’s why we’ve taken the time to create this comprehensive guide to the differences between manufactured stone veneer and real stone.

The Differences Between Manufactured Stone Veneer vs. Natural Stone

Although they both carry their own set of advantages, manufactured stone veneer offers a plethora of enticing benefits, especially when designed by the driven team of experienced artisans at Creative Mines. To help you understand their main differences, we share 10 areas where stone veneer and real stone contrast.

1. Weight

When it comes to weight, manufactured stone veneer outclasses real stone by being significantly lighter without sacrificing visual appeal. With a lighter weight, manufactured stone veneer is easier to install, which improves versatility and manageability.

2. Sustainability

The manufacturing process of stone veneer is considerably more environmentally friendly than the extraction, processing and installation processes for real stone. Creative Mines uses up to 70% post-industrial material in batch mixes - reusing waste otherwise bound for a landfill. As a result, when you choose our product, you’re choosing the eco-friendly option.

3. Affordability

Stone veneer is also more affordable, especially when compared to natural stone. With Creative Mines, you get the luxury and authentic look of real stone but at a fraction of the cost. There’s no reason to compromise aesthetics for price when you can comfortably have both.

4. Easy Installation

Compared to the often laborious and time-consuming installation of real stone, our manufactured stone veneer offers a straightforward and time-saving installation process. The ease of installation results in significant labor cost savings to make your project much more cost-effective.

5. Design Versatility

Manufactured stone veneer comes in an extensive range of colors and design options to seamlessly blend with your creative vision which is something that you can’t get with real stone. Creative Mines stone veneer offers endless design possibilities through the mixing and texture process done at the factory which allows you to tailor your project to your unique style.

6. Minimized Waste

Our stone veneer manufacturing process is meticulously designed to minimize waste and ensure that you get the maximum value from your investment. This differs greatly from the natural stone which leads to extensive waste in the extraction process as well as on the jobsite. Manufactured stones have been hand selected for their unique shapes and are intended to fit together easily for a tailored and professional masonry look.

7. Compressive Strength

When it comes to compressive strength, our manufactured stone veneer outperforms both real stone and other manufactured stone veneer alternatives. This robust strength is amplified through Creative Mines’ use of pozzolan -a natural aggregate found in classic Roman architecture still standing today- that promises longevity and durability to help ensure that your project stands the test of time — all without compromising aesthetic appeal.

8. Efflorescence

Efflorescence- the unsightly white buildup seen in masonry structure exteriors- can be a pesky issue requiring regular maintenance. But, with our manufactured stone veneer, it’s one less problem you have to worry about. Unlike other manufactured stone companies, Creative Mines’ proprietary mix minimizes and eliminates efflorescence for a more aesthetic and durable solution compared to other stone alternatives.

9. Color Fading

Fading color can compromise the beauty of a project over time. Thankfully, Creative Mines manufactured stone veneer is resistant to color fading when facing sustained exposure to the elements. Unlike real stone and other manufactured veneer alternatives, our product retains its vibrant color for years to come thanks to precision mix and color batching.

10. Precision Sizing

At Creative Mines, we believe in the power of precision. That’s why our stone veneer is precisely engineered and shaped with a level of detail rarely seen in manufactured stone. Utilizing decades of experience in master mold making, each stone profile has been created to fit together seamlessly in both traditional and contemporary applications. This level of accuracy not only makes installation easier, but also results in a better finish, something that’s challenging to achieve with real stone which requires an expert’s touch for an ideal installation. Creative Mines veneer comes ready to install and neatly packaged for easy jobsite handling.

Where Can You Install Manufactured Stone Veneer?

Did we mention that manufactured stone veneer is also extremely versatile? Whether you want to install stone indoors, outdoors or anywhere in between, our stone veneer can elevate the look of any space.

Here are just a few areas where you can incorporate manufactured stone veneer into your home design.

Exterior Accent Walls

A contemporary home with a mixture of elements including wood, stone veneer and glass.
Creative Mines - Chopped Stone Ledge Panel

Exterior accent walls are a perfect stage to display the elegance of our stone veneer. It’s an ideal way to enhance the curb appeal of your property and transform ordinary exterior walls into eye-catching features that add to the overall charm of your property. The home pictured above features our gorgeous Craft® Chop Ledge in Flint, which creates an incredible texture contrast that really catches the eye.

Grand Entryways

The front door of a tuscan style home. The home has a wooden door, two sconces, and stone flooring.
Creative Mines - Craft Foothill Rubble

Creating a grand entryway with luxurious stone veneer is enough to make a stunning first impression on anyone who enters your home. The home featured above utilizes our Craft Foothill Rubble in Goldmine to create a chic and stylish entryway fit for royalty.

Exterior Siding

A stone home on the top of a hill. The home is a beige colored stone with gray roofing and white fencing around the property.
Creative Mines - Craft Orchard Limestone

Covering the entire exterior siding of a home with stone veneer can elevate the look from plain to outright stunning. This affordable luxury can drastically enhance your home’s aesthetic appeal and adds a touch of grandeur without breaking the bank. For example, the home featured above uses our Craft Orchard Limestone in Whitegold to take this home design to a whole new level.

Interior Fireplaces

A living room with a large, white, exposed stone fireplace. There is a TV mounted above the fireplace and a couch and chair in the room.
Creative Mines - Craft Split Modular

Interior fireplaces are ideal for the warm, inviting look of stone veneer. It can transform a simple fireplace into the focal point of a room by creating a cozy and comfortable atmosphere that makes the space even more welcoming. This is perfectly evidenced by the image above, which features our stunning Craft Split Modular in Powder.

5. Homes, Walls, Pathways and Features

The view of the front of a home. The home has exposed stone and white trim with a large front yard and front walkway.
Creative Mines - Peak Ledge

We’re willing to go out on a limb to say that our stone veneer is versatile enough to be used for many applications, including exterior siding, pathways, perimeter walls and other intricate features. Our beautiful Craft Peak Ledge in Greypearl adds a special element to this home, giving it a rustic yet sophisticated touch.

Get Beautiful Manufactured Stone Veneer from Creative Mines Today!

Now that you understand the benefits of manufactured stone veneer and how it compares to real stone, isn’t it time to experience the luxury and sophistication firsthand? Don’t wait! Get started today by reaching out with details about your project or order samples directly from Creative Mines to get a firsthand look at the beauty our solutions offer.