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When homeowners and renovators go out in search for a stone veneer product that they can use to upgrade an interior fireplace or feature wall, they typically have the following criteria in mind:
When comparing natural stone veneers to man-made products, it is very easy to fall into the trap of simply considering the cost of the material without considering the installation cost related to that stone or the final results. Not all stone veneers are made equal. Taking the time to understand the pros and cons, and setting the expectations, will help ensure there are no surprises during installation or at the end of the project.
Natural stone veneers maintain the colour and texture that Mother Nature created. Furthermore, this natural colour runs throughout the entire stone. Man Made alternatives on the other head are usually coloured with pigments on the face and are concrete on the inside. Cutting natural stone veneers and seeing the cut end is therefore not an issue. This is not the case with man made products however and extra care and steps must be taken to disguise the cut ends.
Furthermore, when viewed up close, natural stone veneers are very distinct. The natural composition of the stone is unmistakeable. Man made stones on the other hand cannot replicate what Mother Nature has taken millions of years to create. When man made stones are viewed up close, it is very evident that the colour and texture is man-made and the final result cannot compare to natural stone.
Finally, the colour found in natural stone veneers is derived from the different minerals found in the stone. It is also these minerals that give natural stone veneers their personality. These minerals withstand what Mother Nature throws at them and most natural stone veneers maintain their colour throughout their life. Man made stones on the other hand are coloured by pigments, and this colour is usually applied to a very thin layer on the face of the stone. As this layer breaks down due to UV rays and airborne contaminants, the colour of man-made stones can dramatically break down over time.
When selecting your next stone for your next stone refacing project, consider your options and make a decision based on all the important factors.