The look of a solid stone wall inside or outside your home creates an instant and distinctive focal point, one that will define the style of the entire space. Building a stone wall from whole stones, however, usually isn’t always a practical or cost-effective option. Stone cladding, also called veneer, offers you an affordable alternative. They’re available in both natural stone and cleverly designed look-alikes. When it comes to choosing the right material for your application, however, appearance is only one of the factors that you need to consider.
Artificial Cladding Materials
Faux veneer is typically made by blending cement with aggregate materials like pumice and colour pigments. The mixture is then cast into moulds and vibrated to ensure that the colour is evenly distributed. Concrete cladding has become more real-looking over the last few years, but the material can easily chip, requiring expensive repairs. When used as exterior cladding, faux veneer tends to absorb crystalline deposits, creating a film that can be tough to remove.
Other faux materials include plastic-backed glass and high-density resin. These ultra-lightweight exterior cladding materials are usually applied using adhesives that haven’t been proven reliable at withstanding strong winds and hot weather. They also rely on silicone sealant that can allow moisture infiltration.
Natural stone cladding is real stone that has been carved into thin slices, creating cladding that is light enough to use in virtually any application. The stone is split so that the surface in the back is flat and smooth, which makes it easy to apply the cladding to any wall. Stone veneer has all of the durability, water-resistance and easy maintenance of a solid-stone wall. Whilst the material is more expensive than its artificial counterparts, real stone has a far longer service life.
Interior and exterior cladding is available in a broad selection of colours, textures, shapes and sizes, ensuring that you’ll find the ideal style for every application. Natural stone cladding will look great for as long as you own your home. However, factors like upkeep, moisture resistance and longevity need to be considered in addition to the product’s initial cost and stylish appearance.
At S&N Granite we offer a wide range of cladding materials including products suitable for exterior cladding and interior cladding. Contact us for more information on any of our products or drop in and see our new paving display area in Camolin, Co. Wexford, only an hour from Dublin.