Cultured Stone vs Natural Stone Veneer For Exterior Siding

Culture stone and natural stone veneer are the two most popular stone veneer options in the market that are mostly preferred by homeowners and masonry contractors. While cultured stone is a man-made product, natural stone is made from real, quarried stone. They might look the same at first glance but there are significant differences between the two. Let’s discuss!

What Is The Cost of Both Types of Stones?

The cost difference between cultured stone and natural stone is not that simple. At first, you might have thought that cultured stone veneer is a cheaper option but that is not the case here. Even though the installation process of both stones is more or less similar, natural stone tends to be a more affordable option in the long run.

On the other hand, cultured stone might be a cheaper option but will not last long either. Meanwhile, natural stone does not cost much upfront but will last for many years to come due to its high quality.

What Is The Difference In The Installation Process?

Cultured stone when compared to natural stone veneer is a lot easier to install due to its density and weight. Manufactured stone veneer is easier to work with and it can be used for a variety of purposes. And, if you plan on installing the stone veneer yourself, the cultured stone veneer is going to be the perfect option.

Furthermore, the natural stone could only be installed directly on concrete, porous stone, or block. If the natural stone needs to be installed on a smooth surface, you will be needing a metal lath and scratch coat to allow the thin sheets to grip properly. In addition to that, using natural stones for walls is relatively challenging as it tends to be denser and more difficult to cut than cultured stones.

Which One Looks Better?

If you are looking for visual appeal, there is nothing better than a real stone exterior. Natural stones have a unique natural texture that isn’t repetitive. Moreover, natural stones come in a variety of unique and different colors. You can choose different ones to come up with a unique design and add more beauty to your backyard.

Meanwhile, cultured stones are designed to replicate natural stones using stains and paints. Even though they do a pretty good job of mimicking natural stones, the paint fades away with time due to exposure to the sun and other external factors. However, since they are man-made, you have a variety of options to choose from.

What Is The Difference In Weight And Size?

The difference between cultured and natural stone is quite much. For instance, cultured stone weighs half of the weight of the natural stone. When it comes to size, a full-dimension cultured stone begins at about 2 inches thick and can increase to about 6-8 inches thick. Depending on the needs and preferences of the customers, these cultured stones could go up to 14 inches in diameter. On the other hand, natural stone comes in a lot fewer variations with a minimum thickness of ¾ of an inch and a maximum thickness of 1 ½ inch.

Which One Lasts Longer?

Finally, it comes down to which one lasts longer. This is where the main difference jumps in with cultured and natural stone veneer. If installed properly, natural stone will last for years to come and will not fade away since the texture and color are natural.

However, if you are opting for cultured or manufactured stone, it will fade away after some years regardless of the paint quality. Since it is a man-made product, its longevity is no match for natural stone. Paints and stains hardly ever last a lifetime.

Final Word

In the end, both cultured and natural stones have their pros and cons. The perfect option for exterior siding rests on the budget, needs, and preferences. If you want something that will last a long time, you can opt for natural stone but the color options will be limited. However, if you want more patterns and color options, you can go for manufactured stone veneer but the color will fade away with time. Get advice from stone veneer contractors as well because they can better recommend the right material depending on various factors. Lagras