Below you will find the ‘need to knows’ about thin stone veneer and stone cladding, and the brands that you should focus on when shopping and designing your project!
SELECTING THE VENEER STONE FOR YOUR LANDSCAPE
Interiors & Exteriors that include stone cladding or thin stone veneers always have an attractive finish. The ageless ambiance of a stone wall or accent is priceless and helps to create professional outcomes. With the trend of thin stone veneer taking off during the past decade, it can be overwhelming selecting the right stone, profile, colour, and brand, as many outlets and big box stores have a selection for review!
Canada is home to many natural stone resources, and therefore manufacturers of stone veneer products. Here in Southern Ontario, we are fortunate to have some of those fabricators right here in our backyard. The benefit of our Ontario market, is that we can easily import American made veneers, import from oversees, or reach into our own local market for some of the worlds nicest natural stone products.
Locally, in our Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph market, we see comparable trends and interests between imported veneer brands and local domestic stones. There are benefits to having options, but there is often so much overlap between certain brands and their products lines, that its important to revert back to quality, warranty, and small details within some manufacturers products, to decipher what offers value in your investment, and who is essentially the industry leaders!
At CREATIVE, we’ve always focused on the industries best quality material, regardless of the product category. We simply like being associated to winning landscapes with amazing results. Stone landscapes is our passion, and that includes veneer accent walls or stone wall cladding, so we have drafted a thing stone veneer collection that is comprised of the brand names that we feel are leading the way!
Before we highlight the brands who offer the best quality stone, with leading profiles, lets briefly discuss the difference between natural stone & pre-cast or manufactured veneers.
NATURAL STONE VENEER
Natural stone veneer is made from real stone that is either collected by hand or by machine, or is quarried in a larger capacity. The stone is cut to a consistent thickness and weight for use as a veneer. Generally the thickness of a veneer stone is 1.25”, while the heights and lengths differ greatly, based on the profile design.
In most cases, quarries will cut out large billets, or cubes of natural stone from the earth or quarry wall. These billets are then moved by machine into their manufacturing plants, where large saws will slice them into smaller units that are more manageable by smaller machine or even by hand. Thin units of then cut, and smaller machines are used to product the final dimension required for the profile being made.
With natural stone products, we have many finishing or face options. Each finish offers an opportunity to match the finished results to your personality and independent design style. Texture and dimension play a huge role in the final results, so be sure to understand each option listed below, in the subtitle, ‘Natural Stone Finishes / Face Options,’ discussed below.
Natural stone veneers come in a variety of stone options, including (yet not limited to); granite, marble, travertine, limestone, quartz, & slate.
MANUFACTURED / PRE-CAST VENEER
Manufactured stone veneer is fabricated by pouring a lightweight concrete mix into rubber forms and painted with a colouring process which makes it resemble real stone. Manufactured stone is generally lighter in weight, can be more precise with measurements, yet less mouldable by hand compared to a natural stone product. Manufactured veneers are available with standard installation applications, yet some products offer unique technology for quicker or easier installation, favourable by certain projects or applications, or often home owners (DIY), who have little or no masonry experience.
Manufactured veneer stone often comes in panels, where multiple stones are glued or pieced together, and the panels themselves lock together, making a seamless connection. Depending on the manufacturer or fabricator, other industry terms for these types of panels include: stacked stone ledger panels, ledger stone panels, thin stone panels, stone veneer panels, ledger stone tiles, stone wall tiles, or stacked stone tiles.
FINISHES AND PROFILES
It’s important that you know what design style you want for your landscape or home renovation. A cozy or rustic approach will request a specific veneer profile versus a modern or minimalistic approach. We would like to highlight some of the standard veneer profiles and textures that we inventory and see trending on a continued basis.
A calibrated stone that offers a linear or stacked laying pattern. Ledgestone patterns are the most popular trending that we see taking place in the masonry industry. Modern designs use a 2”, 4”, 6”, or often 8” height stone to create a linear laying style. Either one-height of stone is used for the entire project, or multiple heights to create a layered look or modular mix.
An irregular pattern of rounded rocks that resemble naturally occurring cobbles. River rock is generally very smooth in natural.
A pattern of relatively square and rectangular cut stones that are irregular in size and made to resemble reclaimed or very old masonry.
FLAGSTONE / FIELDSTONE / MOSAIC
Just like the flagstone we are all familiar with for walkways and patios, this irregular shaped stone, often referred to a 5-point product, is used to clad walls. The outcome is rustic, yet each mason can draft a unique finish based on their installation practices and approach to pointing, shaping, and puzzling the stones together. Flagstone patterns offer a simple & rustic beauty, which is reflected in the randomness of each individual stone.
MODULAR / MASONRY BLEND
This series of stone utilizes 3 unique heights that modularly fit together. It is generally available in a blend of 2 ¼”, 5” and 7 ¾” height stones. Modular profiles are typically installed with a ½” grouted joint, in order for the 3-piece pattern to work. Stone edges may be sawn, hand-cleft, guillotined, or left natural. Each edge-finish will create its own unique visual appearance upon the jobs completion.
NATURAL STONE FINISHES OR FACE OPTIONS
Most clients associate natural stone or natural stone veneers with a split face rough finish. Still to date we sell more split face finishes, which are also referred to a guillotine face, or hand-pitched or cleft finish. However, manufacturers are now offering new and unique finishing options, which allow architects and designers to really get creative with their colour and texture pallets. Here is a list of other veneer finishes:
-sawn, sandblasted, power-blasted, leathered, brushed, bush-hammered, honed, polished, split face, cleft face, guillotined face, vein cut, flurry cut, chiseled, antique, tumbled, pillow-edged
DONT FORGET ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MORTOR & POINTING!
Perhaps even more important than pattern or stone selection is whether the stone will be set with mortar joints or a dry stack. The latter produces a veneer with no sign of mortar leaving an all stone surface, which is highly desirable for modern and contemporary styles. This is in part an aesthetic choice, but also a practical one. Over time problems with stonework in general often stem from mortar, which retains dirt, moss, algae and mildew, so be aware of what style of pointing you select. Mortar can be coloured / dyed, and can have small aggregate or other sediments or materials blended within them to create a more rustic or simply unique outcome.
OUR COLLECTION – WHAT WE CARRY AND PROMOTE
We carry only the industries best as we aim to participate in leading outcomes and professional results. Our thin stone veneer product line consists of the following Brands & their products:
ONTARIO STONE VENEERS
Natural Canadian veneer. Every stone is handcrafted by experienced masons using traditional masonry tools. This process replicates the look and feel of stone masonry that has been employed by master masons for decades, making this brand unique in the marketplace. Profiles include:
bruce, escarpement, thornbury, and indiana limestone contemporary series / king, bruce, peninsula premium eramosa, and indiana limestone masonry blend / escarpment farm blend
The largest selection of thinn stone veneer and full bed stones quarried in Canada. The Masonal product line consists of:
scotia harbour, oslo castle, midnight granite, kilkenny castle, glacier spring, rideau valley ottawa valley, windsor castle, ocean ledge, pacific pearl, glacier blue, sapphire blue, frontenac, cobalt ashlar, lochdoon castle, hampton hills, tiger dark, old world blend, olde english blend, summer blend, guelph buff, tiger buff, brown, provincial grey, buckhorn, autumn blend, guelph valley, hampshire spring, montrose valley, aberdeen valley, vermont grey, cobalt valley, hudson valley, jasper lodge, glasgow dark, glasgow valley niagara valley, dover white, northern grey, indiana ashlar, tiger ledgestone, montrose grey, cobalt ultra, oxford ledge, rosemount, modern ledgestone, valhalla, st. jacobs country, elora gold, olde quebec, rubble buff, philadelphia rubble, algonquin blend, river rock, muskoka grey, granite fieldstone
EL DORADO STONE
For over 45 years, Eldorado Stone has demonstrated an undeniable passion for creating authentic products that not only elevate quality and design, but also attainability stone & brick. El dorado manufactures the most recognized thin stone veneers, and is a leader in profile and design. Their large collection includes:
bluffstone, cliffstone, coastal reef, country rouble, cut coarse stone, cypress ridge, european ledge, fieldstone, millstone, ledge cut 33, limestone, longitude 24, marquee 24, mountain ledge, mountain ledge panels, ridgetop 18, river rock, rough cut, rustic ledge, shadow rock, sierra cut 24, stacked stone, vantage 30, vintage ranch, zen 24, tundra brick, roma brick, modena brick
A leader in importing natural stone veneers from around the world. Many Chinese and Indian stones are used to develop their industry leader profiles and colour options. The majority of the luxestone line comes in panels that easily fit together. Their product line consists of the following:
Series include: classy, country, elegant, elegant trio, natural, hybrid, thin, patterned, cemented, luxurious, 3D mosaic, split face, mosaic, matts
Colours include: autumn blend, black galaxy, creamy crystal, extra white, white, egypt copper, wood grain A, wood grain B, silver valley grey, coastal brown, copper shade, sandy grain, snow grey, silver wood, spring forest, mountain grey, ivory, dessert gold, ebony, rainy cloud, silver wave, antique beige, beige quartz, black castle, blue castle, sandy beige, spring, violet
A manufactured veneer stone that has a patented mechanically fastened system. The fusion stone system makes it easy for even those with modest skills to install a veneer stone like a pro. Their product line consists of the following stones and colours:
Great Lakes series in brindle, raven, fawn, & carbon colours / Peninsula Ledgestone series in cyprus & grotto / Drystack series in caramel & charcoal
Our collection of clay brick yield a distinctive variety of colours, and enable us to offer a wealth of options in fine brick. Our colours available are:
leos pub, bell tower, route 66, bourbon street, bootlegger
BENEFITS OF VENEER STONE
- •same outcome as a full-bed brick or stone at the fraction of the weight
- •much lighter then full-bed products, making handling and installation easier for trades, and manageable for DIY clientele
- •better insulation capabilities and lower maintenance requirements
- •same durable strength as full-bed products
- •installation is easier than traditional full-bed stone or brick
- •economically favourable due to its lightweight and thinner structure, meaning less production costs, easier shipping, and quicker application time
- •available in a wider range of profiles, including colours, shapes, and textures
- •available in natural stone or precast concrete
- •many profiles available in panels, making installation much easier and faster
- •corner stones allow for nicer outcome and ease of installation
- •some profiles are installed using a drill and screws vs traditional masonry, for those who are are not comfortable with mortar applications
- •smaller or no footings required due to less weight of product, and less space is required or loss because of the thinner veneer material
- •valuable warranties included by each manufacturer
SOME FINAL NOTES
Thin Stone Veneer Checklist:
Now that we have reviewed the key factors associated to selecting the best veneer stone for you, lets ensure you are ready for the entirety of a project. Like any interior or exterior home or office renovation, there are many additional items and accessories required for a proper, professional installation. Our goal is to ensure that you purchase the correct materials, and the highest qualities materials that exist in the landscape industry. This assures a quality driven project, with long lasting results, and eliminates the opportunity for error. Below, we have highlighted the materials that should accompany your interlocking purchase:
- Delivery – of all of your material to prevent complication
- Veneer Flats & Corners – for flat walls and stones specifically cut for corner applications
- Grout Mortar – for pointing
- Mortar – for attaching to the wall
- Metal Lathing – for scratch coating and assisting in the stones adhesion to the wall
- Adhesive – glues or silicones can often be used for certain stone installation
- Sealer or Stone Enhancer – if a unique sheen or enhanced aspect of the stone veneer is desired
we of course have a fleet of unique trucks and equipment that allow us to delivery product anywhere in southern ontario, and on a regular basis. Our delivery zone focuses on the following markets, yet is not limited to:
•Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge, Elmira, St. Jacobs, Hawksville, Conestogo, Listowel, Elora, Fergus, Arthur, Erin, New Hamburg, Baden, Wellesley, Plattsville, Ayr, Ariss, Maryhill, Rockwood, Aberfoyle, Puslinch, Belwood, Stratford, St. Marys, Mitchel, New Dundee, Mannheim, Morriston, Hespler, Preston, Haysville, St. Agatha, Petersburg, St. Clements, Heidelberg, Linwood, Flordale, Bloomingdale, Roseville, Winterbourne, West Montrose, Edin Mills, Halton Hills, Acton, Georgetown
•For the most part, our delivery system travels all of Wellington, Brant, Woolwich, Waterloo, Wilmot County, Brampton, Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Toronto, and the entire GTA
BEFORE YOU GO
We support DIY installation, and home owners taking the initiative to install their own hardscape area. However, we highly recommend the use of an industry professional to help design and install the product, to protect your investment and offer a warranty for long-term security and pro results. Please visit our CREATIVEpro platform online to view our list of CREATIVEpro’s and those who we recommend for great outcomes!
Please visit our Thin Stone Veneer collection by entering each manufacturers profile. All of our profiles are also available for review in our Veneer Stone gallery, and hand sample boards are available for colour matching and preparing your interior or exterior renovation.
Natural Stone full-bed material is available in many profiles. Please ask our team, or visit us to view all full-bed options and share ideas for your design! Creative also has an in-house veneer stone specialist that can help you select the correct stone and profile, how to install using professional practices, and how to achieve premium-grade results.
For more information, or to share ideas regarding your project, please contact our Creative Landscape Depot team. Our thin stone veneer gallery is elaborate, and showcases our extensive variety of profiles. Let us engage with you, and discuss the accessories that may be required or must be considered before any veneer or cladding investments begins!
All stone landscapes are big jobs, so lets chat first!
1175 King Street North, St. Jacobs, Ontario, Canada
Thank you for reading – we sure hope you found some value within this blog:)
The CREATIVE LANDSCAPE DEPOT team,