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Manufactured Stone vs Natural Stone: What You Need To Know

Field Stone Black Forest

With the recent launch of our new Fond Du Lac Natural Stone line, I wanted to discuss the difference between manufactured stone veneer and natural stone veneer, as well as the pros and cons to both styles.

Let’s start with our bread and butter over the years - manufactured stone veneer. Manufactured stone products have held a huge purpose in the masonry world for a long time. The product overall is more cost-effective, and with advancements in the process of creating it, the profile and feel can be strikingly similar. A manufactured product is made through a molding process. Here, we take natural stones, create a mold from them, and then pour our ingredients into that mold, and that is why we are able to get such a natural look to the products.

Another positive to owning manufactured stone is that you're able to choose what colours you would like, as they are coloured through a pigmentation process. You have free rein to choose any combination of colours, which allows people to get quite creative. There isn’t a ton of negatives to utilizing manufactured stone, but the main one can be found when cutting the stone piece. When a piece is cut, there can be lightweight aggregates that show due to the colouring process primarily being on the face of the stone. The key to hiding this is to always have the cut pieces face inward when installing; it can also be hidden by placing this piece next to a thicker piece or with the mortar joint.

Nickel Ledgestone

The new natural stone line we have brought on has been a very hot commodity due to the beautiful elegance of the products. While I mentioned that manufactured stone can be very close looking to natural stone, it will never be perfect. It is impossible to exactly replicate the look of natural stone with the striping through the product; whenever manufactured stone tries to get really close to that striping, it always ends up looking unrealistic. Mother nature will always be the best artist when it comes to stone and that is why the product is going to be more costly. The other big benefit to owning natural stone is that it can be chipped and rocked to gain different profiles.

While both products allow people to get a masonry look for their next project, it just depends on which route you want to go. It comes down to personal preference. The great thing about masonry overall is the low maintenance and lifespan of the products, as these products have a 50-year warranty on them, unlike most other exterior claddings. So, whether it be manufactured or natural stone, once installed, you will be able to appreciate its beauty for an extremely long time.


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