Natural, Manufactured Or Faux: Which Stone Is Right For You?


If you desire the look of stone for your home’s exterior and start exploring the options, you’ll soon be faced with some questions. What are the differences between natural, manufactured and faux stone? Which one is best for my application?

Start with the basics:

Natural stone siding is as it sounds. Natural stones are gathered and processed from quarries. They are shaped using a process similar to how stone tiles are formed; with diamond saws, and water cutting techniques. The individual stones are set together in mortar to form a single, section that can be applied to the exterior of your home.

Manufactured stone veneer siding uses no actual stones, but is poured into convincing molds where the liquid mixture sets into a stone-like shape. Once formed, each of the “stones” can be set into mortar in much the same way natural stone is. There are also varieties of manufactured stone veneer siding that are formed into panels rather than as individual ‘stones.’

Faux stone siding products are lightweight, durable panels which have a remarkably realistic stone appearance. The molds which make the panels are cast from real stone and rock patterns. Panels can be cut easily and come with a patented attachment process, with weep channels and air chambers creating a complete siding system. They also have an insulated value of R-4.5.

In appearance, the three varieties of products are remarkably close. Each can add resale value to your property, for their appearance and ability to protect a structure over the long-term.

Here are a few more comparisons to consider:

  • Manufactured stone veneer siding is notably lighter and easier to work with than natural stone.
  • Natural stone siding adds an extra aesthetic dimension – every installation is subtly different, thanks to natural colour variation.
  •  Faux stone siding is extremely lightweight, making installation quick and easy. It is low-maintenance and there’s nothing faux about its ability to withstand all types of weathering.
  • Manufactured stone veneer siding is typically priced lower than natural stone, making it increasingly popular in residential projects.
  • Natural stone siding adds structural benefits that manufactured stone does not.
  • Faux stone siding adds property value as well as insulation value that natural or manufactured stone cannot offer.

Gentek sells both manufactured stone siding – read a previous blog on the excellent Versetta Stone here – and faux stone. New this year is a faux stone product called EasyRock. This product’s simulated stone panelling system delivers the elegance of stone, without compromising the properties of what makes stone great. For natural stone products, look up your local stone supplier and compare the options.