One of the best ways to add a layer of durability and style to a home, wall, or other fixture is by using stone cladding. This is an extra layer that is created from either real or manufactured stone, and it is added over buildings, walls, etc., that are actually made from other materials. For example, a metal building could even get faced with a new layer to make it look as if it has stone walls.
Real and Simulated Stone Cladding
Very often, even though it is called stone, the facing is actually created from another product that looks and feels like real stones. A concrete base is one typical product that is used to create these simulated products. Very often, simulated products are attached to the following kinds of materials:
• Stud timber frames
• Any sort of waterproof sheeting barrier
• Fibre cement sheets
• Metal mesh
• Coat of mortar
Typically, the stone cladding gets attached to the wall with a mortar blend. There might also be bracing added for extra support, but this really depends upon the type of wall.
In other cases, the cladding is made from true stone. This stone gets quarried and formed into very thin slices to reduce the weight as much as possible. Of course, natural stones will always be heavier than synthetic alternatives that only look like real stones.
Because of the weight, this kind of facing will usually need more than just mortar to hold it in place. In some cases, mechanical fixings or special types of products that are called stone clips will be used for this job.
Is Stone Cladding Always A Good Idea
Stone walls give homes and other kinds of buildings a particular character. They may look like classic or rustic buildings. If this fits in with the blend of an area, it’s a good look. However, if every other building is made out of bricks or wood, it might look out of place.
You also have to consider the durability and strength of the original structure. Even though synthetic stones are lighter, there will also be some weight added to the building by the new facing. This is not usually a problem, but if you aren’t sure, you should ask experienced contractors or engineers what they suggest.
What About Stone Veneers?
While the stones on the outside of a house are usually considered “clad” in stone, a very similar look can be achieved on the inside walls of a home or other building. However, this is usually called a stone veneer. On interior walls, it is even more likely that the actual facing will be made of a synthetic material to keep it light, so it can be attached right over existing dry walls or other interior wall substances.
Typically, veneers get suggested as both decorative and protective facings for inside walls, and sometimes they are even used on interior surfaces. This kind of facing is usually about an inch thick. It also has to weigh less than 15 pounds/square foot. Otherwise, inside walls may need additional supports.
For this, manufactured stone is used to provide decorations and an extra layer of protection. It looks like natural stones, and it may even have the texture of natural stone, but it is entirely mixed up and produced within a factory. Sometimes, this product is also called stacked stone, artificial stone, or flexible stone.
In the rare cases where natural stone is actually used, it is cut very thin to make it as light as possible. For that reason, this is also sometimes called “thin” stone.
Advantages of Manufactured Stones for Cladding
There are many advantages to choosing manufactured stone instead of natural stone. Even though this stone is manufactured, it is usually made out of natural products, so it isn’t hazardous to create or have inside or outside of a house. Also, manufactured stone is much easier for companies to make, so it is a lot cheaper.
But overall, the biggest reason to use synthetic stone alternatives is the weight. Because it is much lighter, it is better suited for many kinds of walls without worrying about adding extra support. This also means that it is easier and cheaper to apply to a building’s interior or exterior walls.
However, natural stone may be more durable. Also, in the course of time, if a piece should happen to break out or chip, it tends to blend with the look on a natural stone wall. It just makes natural stone look a bit aged, but not ruined.
With a manufactured rock facing, any break looks a lot more broken until it is replaced and repaired. Of course, natural stones can be reused, and that is not really true for many kinds of manufactured stone cladding. The right choice really depends upon your situation.
Is a Stone-Clad Wall a Good Solution For You?
Both natural and synthetic stones can provide your home or other building with some real benefits. The extra layer can serve as a protective coating, and this may help keep out moisture and provide more insulation. It is possible that this rock facing can help reduce utility bills and make it easier to keep houses comfortable.
Adding this stone barrier is not just a good way to protect the walls of a house. It also adds a particular look and style, and you can pick out the type of stone look that you want with either real stones or synthetic ones. You might match the look of other buildings, even older buildings, or even conform to the look of an entire neighbourhood.
There are lots of reasons to consider rock facings, and these can be either natural or synthetic. Synthetic rock faces have become more popular today, but there are still some reasons to consider real stones. While manufactured stone is lighter, cheaper, and easier to install, natural stones are likely to be more durable and look better if they happen to break or chip over time.