Manufactured stone veneer (MSV) is a material created to look like natural stone. Instead of using expensive, heavy stone as a building material, homeowners can achieve the same look at a fraction of the price using manufactured stone veneer. Made from a mixture of concrete and other elements, MSV is often textured using molds of real stone. Its lightweight design allows it to be installed over existing structures like interior walls or exterior siding without adding extra support.
Benefits of manufactured stone veneer
More affordable than natural stone
Easy to repair
Variety of designs
Nearly 70% average return on investment
Does not require additional structural support
Manufactured stone veneer is usually made in tile form. It is not designed to bear weight, but this can be particularly useful for home remodeling and renovation when the goal is to redesign the appearance of an existing structure. Each tile must weight less than 15 pounds to maintain structural integrity of a building. It is important to note that veneer can also be made of natural stone. While natural stone veneer holds the same weight requirements, it must be cut thinner because natural stone typically weighs about twice as much as manufactured stone veneer. Whether manufactured or natural, stone veneer that weighs less than 13 pounds per tile is often classified as thin veneer.
Because manufactured stone veneer is made artificially, manufacturers can easily replicate a design should a home with MSV need a repair. This is much more difficult with natural stone veneer because the source of the stone may become unidentifiable after time, or the source may have been used completely. Manufactured stone also allows designers to create a texture from scratch, whereas natural stone must be chosen from a more limited selection.
On average, manufactured stone veneer costs about a third less than natural stone veneer. However, some projects will cost more or less with manufactured versus natural stone because of the wide range of stone available. Modern technology and chemistry advancements have allowed some manufactured stone to become indistinguishable from natural stone, but not all stone is made equal. It’s crucial that designers and homeowners look closely at specs before ordering a mass shipment of any stone veneer.