With Thin Veneer now an option in the market, and manufacturers doing an exceptional job of making products that look identical on the wall to their older full bed cousin, this new technique of using thin stone veneers to create stone facades and exterior stone walls has gained immediate traction.
Not only is it easier and faster to install, it is also significantly less expensive and, so long as you used L-shaped corners (which are the gold standard for thin veneer), then there is no sacrifice to the look, only gains in efficiency. The diagram to the right does a wonderful job showing the difference between full bed building stone and thin stone veneer – As depicted, one can see that a full bed installation requires mechanical tie-backs as well as a brick ledge to hold the weight of the stone.
By contrast, thin veneer is a fraction of the weight and eliminates the need for mechanical fastening and brick ledges. When you combine the savings in time and cost, and consider that there is no benefit to using thicker material with today’s building methods, then you can see why thin veneer has quickly become the go-to choice among stone enthusiasts for facade work.
Natural Stone Veneer as a product for building facades has been around since man has been building dwellings. The weight and durability of locally sourced natural stone material was perfect for building dwellings that could last many years and withstand the harsh elements.
Fast forward to the industrial revolution, and we were no longer using natural stone for the purposes of building, however we were still using it for building stone facades. At this time, we were using something called “Full Bed” depth veneer, which is natural stone cladding at approximately 3″ – 5″ depth. This was an obvious choice, again, because it created terrific thermal properties, fire resistance, and gave an underlying building structure a thick exterior that would last many years.
Now, fast forward again to the late 20th century, and saw blade technology made a major leap forward, finally allowing us to make better use of the underlying raw material by cutting natural stone into thin veneer. Thin Natural Stone Veneer, or Natural Stone Cladding as it’s sometimes called, is natural stone with a sawn cut back that is approximately 1″ – 2″ in thickness and direct adhered to the wall using polymer modified thinset.
Where you’re renovating a new home or building a brand new commercial building, when it comes to implementing stone facades, there are a few considerations you’ll need to make:
1. Always use a licensed professional. Unlike interior accents, exterior walls are exposed to elements, so a licensed veneer installer will ensure your walls are properly prepped to receive the cladding to ensure there are no issues down the road.
2. Practice good moisture management. This means flashing around doors and windows, and also ensuring that all gutters and drainage plains are designed to steer water away from your masonry installations. Not matter how robust your veneer, water intrusion eventually catches up with any wall and can create problems.
Contact a Surface Shop Pro for more installation details.
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