Are exterior stone veneer panels & siding worth it? 6 pros & cons

Stone is a highly resistant material that is also waterproof and doesn’t change over time with continuous exposure to the elements. Stone veneer panels are the top choice for people that want to combine aesthetics and durability. 

This material easily passes the test of time, as many prehistoric monuments were created from stone. Some still stand today, like Stonehenge or the Egyptian pyramids. When properly used, it can last for several lifetimes.

Continue reading below if you want to reinforce your home and make it durable. We discuss whether the exterior stone veneer panels and siding are worth it. You will find out if they are ideal for you, and we also have 6 pros and cons facts about these panels. 

beautiful stone veneer

What is stone veneer?

These siding are decorative coverings intended for exterior and interior use. These protective coverings can increase the resistance of your walls while also giving a stylish and aesthetically pleasing look. 

Most people will choose plastic siding for their homes to increase efficiency and reduce costs. But stone siding also offers a natural look to the home’s exterior. They are more expensive than plastic alternatives, but the investment is worth it and the value is superior.

pile of stone veneer

These sidings were created out of real stone when they first came out. It was sourced from entire slabs of flagstone that did not need to be cut. As this option increased in popularity, some companies started producing natural stone siding at a standard thickness. 

What is mortarless stone veneer?

The stacked stone veneer is not that different from the classic one. The only difference is that the mortarless stone veneer does not require any mortar. You won’t have to mix or use masonry tools in the installation process.

mortarless stone veneer

These sidings are stacked tightly to minimize the joints between them. Mortarless stone veneer sides have many advantages for homeowners and professional workers who fulfill several projects daily. 

It installs fast and lowers labor costs. Because there is no mortar mess, the workspace is kept clean and the surrounding area is protected. With an easy installation, anyone can do it regardless of their experience. 

Real vs. fake stone veneer

There are many differences between real and fake stone veneers, and a trained eye can spot them easily. Fake stone veneer has many names: faux, artificial, and manufactured are just some of them. For someone that is not experienced, choosing between fake or real veneer can be confusing.

The main difference between them is the product itself. Fake stones are cast in molds to create specific shapes that make them look real. This mold is created from a mix of cement and specific aggregates that try to recreate the look of natural stone.

No chemicals are added to create a real stone veneer. The final product is made from real natural stone. This stone is sourced from quarries or harvested directly from the fields. Our planet is responsible for the manufacturing process. 

Cost of stone veneer siding

stone veneer in a pile

On average, stone veneer siding costs from $5.50 to $10.75 per square foot installed. This cost does not include the labor and transportation costs. To install it on your home, you should expect to pay between $8,250 and $16,125.

This price range varies based on the total size of your home. For example, a 1,500-square-foot home would require $12,188 on average to install stone veneers on its walls. This material is the cheapest, costing less than natural stone sides, reaching up to $48 per square foot.

The final cost of installing stone veneer siding will vary depending on multiple factors. It includes things such as the design and size of your house or whether you are doing a full or partial installation. 

Pros & Cons of stone veneer

Stone veneer comes with various advantages and disadvantages. Below, we will look at 3 specific examples from each category. 

Pros

  • It is relatively cheap.
exterior stone veneer

Stone veneer is always cheaper than natural stone siding. While natural stones will cost you between $28 and $50 per square foot, the veneer will cost between $2.50 and $8 per square foot for bricks and just a little more for panels. 

The installation process is also easier as they are lighter than real stones. Masons can be expensive to hire, and labor costs will eat up your budget. Luckily, the easy installation allows you to hire any experienced worker without needing specially qualified contractors. 

For example, a 2,000-square-foot home will cost up to $76,000 for real stone installation. A veneer will only take $27,000 out of your budget. 

  1. It is found to be extremely versatile.

You don’t need extra footings to support them, as they can easily stick to the surface. This siding can be used for wood, metal, or other stones. Each brick or panel has a special design at the back, which makes the installation easier.

Some of them even come with special shapes to fit in the corners. This way, you can install them correctly and fix them in place for a long time. 

  1. Long-lasting durability is ensured.

They will last you a long time simply because it is made from sturdy materials that can pass the test of time. The elements of nature will not affect stone veneer, as harsh weather does not damage the siding.

It does not matter if you live in a desert area with burning hot temperatures or if you are from a damp place with high humidity and recurring rains. 

They can easily withstand severe conditions and keep your home safe. Some companies producing these siding will offer up to 75 years warranties, which means they will last you at least a lifetime. 

Cons

  1. You might encounter moisture problems.

Their biggest problem is that they can let moisture build up in the interior wall. However, this only happens when the installation is not done properly. Unfortunately, most companies will focus on how their products look rather than how they perform.

While the product is designed to look like real stone, it is made of concrete. It means there should be an added moisture barrier beneath it. 

  1. Vent issues

While normal siding will have a sealant around the vents of your house, these ones are pressed directly into the mortar. It can develop several problems over time. 

Mortar is not as flexible as a sealant, which might break your vent cover. A vent cover will be difficult to replace if it is broken and has its edges set in the mortar.

  1. While the performance is long-lasting, the visual aspect is not. 

After a couple of years, your siding will look different than how they were when you installed them. It applies both to real ones and manufactured stone veneers. 

The color will start to change after 30 years, and the aspect will become old. The performance is still there. The high durability and efficiency of stone veneer siding are still at their maximum potential. 

Best stone veneer for a fireplace

A veneer might be the best idea if you have a fireplace installed in your home. These siding will create a specific natural look to your fireplace, increasing its authenticity. See below the best two options you can find on the market.

Tritan BP LR-4824-GFX Lightning Ridge Siding Panel, Gray Fox

This product ensures maximum safety as they are class A fire-rated. The company hired an independent laboratory to test and certify their products personally. It makes the Tritan siding panels ideal both for residential and commercial applications.

Everyone can install these panels, whether you are a professional or an amateur. Your fireplace will look better with this addition, and you won’t need expensive tools or special skills to do it yourself. Each of these panels is created by artisans that ensure the beautiful tradition and originality that you can see in real stone models.

These panels are manufactured from high-quality polyurethane, which guarantees maximum durability. Perfect for indoor decorations and outdoor kitchens, these veneer sides will last you for years. 

NameTritan BP LR-4824-GFX
Country of Origin‎China
Coverage‎7.3 Square Feet
Item Weight‎10.98 pounds
Product Dimensions‎48.5 x 24.75 x 1.25 inches

Pros

  • It’s light.
  • It’s easy to work with.
  • Tritan BP’s product looks great.

Cons

  • One customer received a damaged product. However, all ours was received in good condition.
Sale
Tritan BP
32 Reviews
Tritan BP
It's a popular product.

Tritan BP LR-4824-NST Lightning Ridge Siding Panel, Nature Spirit

Whether you are a designer, an architect, or a first-time amateur, this is the perfect way to start. This product made from Tritan is very similar to the one presented above, with the main difference being the color and style.

It is class A fire rated, so you won’t have to worry about safety conditions. This siding panel is the solution you are looking for, and it is one of the best choices for decorating your fireplace.

Each panel is created by highly skilled artisans who have undergone extensive training to ensure authenticity and originality in their products. 

NameLivelynine Removable 3D Faux Brick Wallpaper
Color‎Brown brick
Coverage‎8.65 square feet
Is Stain Resistant‎Yes
Material‎Plastic
Product Dimensions‎78.8″L x 15.8″W

Pros

  • It looks very realistic.
  • The colors are intriguing.
  • It’s a great alternative to real stone.

Cons

  • It gets expensive if you’re covering a big area.
Tritan BP LR-4824-NST
55 Reviews
Tritan BP LR-4824-NST
It's another great product from the same company.

Stone veneer wallpaper

Livelynine Removable 3D Faux Brick Wallpaper Peel and Stick Wall Paper Roll

This peel-and-stick brick wallpaper is made out of durable vinyl. Although not as resistant as a real one, the high-quality material will last you a long time. It offers a brown brick effect, which is ideal for your home’s fireplace. 

Because it is oil and waterproof, you won’t have to worry about unfortunate accidents and spillages. You can cut the vinyl to any size, and the peel and stick option will let you attach it to various materials.

This company is serious about the quality of its products. They offer a 30-day refund if you are unsatisfied with this wallpaper. But based on customers’ positive reviews, almost no one uses this option.

Pros

  • It’s significantly cheaper.
  • It looks surprisingly realistic as long as you’re not studying it up close.
  • It can change the look of a room.

Cons

  • It’s only wallpaper and not actually faux rock.
  • It looks less real than the two products above.
Livelynine 
531 Reviews
Livelynine 
It's some great wallpaper for your home.

Yancorp 10ft Brown Brick Wallpaper Peel and Stick Wallpaper

This wallpaper is very easy to install, as a grid on the back makes measuring and cutting simple. The vinyl peel and stick wallpaper look highly realistic with a 3D visual effect that impresses everyone who looks at your fireplace.

All you have to do is peel off the adhesive paper and stick the wallpaper to any dry flat surface. You won’t need extra tools or special glues. You can easily remove the vinyl without damaging the surface when you want to replace it. 

Pros

  • It’s easy to put up.
  • The price is good if you’re looking to spruce up a space.

Cons

  • It’s also only wallpaper
  • You need to make sure to line it up properly.
  • Tile will look better for backsplash than this.
Yancorp
4,607 Reviews
Yancorp
Here's another great wallpaper option.

Jeweluck Wallpaper Brick Peel and Stick Wallpaper

After many ideas and different models, this wallpaper is the final result developed by the company. It’s intended for residential and commercial use.

Its surface is smooth but also features a slight texture. The color will offer subtle differences depending on the lighting, and the hues will range from light gray to light brown. 

The unique design is clear and natural, which accurately imitates real stone. Elegant and generous, this wallpaper can make your home feel warm, especially when installed on a fireplace. 

Pros

  • The price is good.
  • In our opinion, it looks better than the product from Yancorp.
  • The print quality is pretty good.
  • It sticks easy.

Cons

  • It’s wallpaper.
Sale
Jeweluck 
923 Reviews
Jeweluck 
Here's a great, bright wallpaper option.

Dry stacking stone veneer

When dry stacked together, the stone veneer sides can add a rustic look to your house. Installed with mortar joints, they offer an old-school design to the surface it is installed.

If you prefer a modern design instead, you can install them without mortar joints which imitates the look of quality craftsmanship. Dry stacking veneer is becoming more and more popular as more architects and builders use it all over the world. 

Stone veneers vs. vinyl siding

Compared to vinyl siding, veneers are much easier to install. But vinyl siding will always be more flexible, which can break during installation. 

That’s why when you use vinyl siding, many materials might end up in waste, and the workplace will become messy. Veneers are always the better option when you don’t want to worry about your safety or work conditions. 

Cutting

Cutting veneer is not difficult, but you might need some special tools to do so. A circular saw or an angle grinder is the best you can use for this process. If you already have everything that is needed, follow the 4 steps below.

If you need a circular saw, we highly recommend this one.

Pros

  • The laser guide is great.
  • Good value for money.
  • It’s easy to handle.

Cons

  • It’s a bit light.
GALAX PRO
1,405 Reviews
GALAX PRO
Here's a model we recommend for the purpose.

How to cut stone veneer

  1. Use an electric rotary hammer to drill holes across the stone face, spaced 4 inches apart.

  2. Insert a pair of steel feathers into each hole.

  3. Tap each wedge with a hammer.

  4. Continue tapping each wedge until the stone cracks in two.

FAQ

Is stone veneer cheaper than stone?

While the installation costs between the stone veneer and real stone are similar, natural stone is sometimes more affordable than veneer. 

How long do stone veneers last?

If you properly maintain and care for veneer siding, it can last anywhere between 20 to 75 years. Most companies offer warranties for decades, as these products are always highly durable and resistant. 

Is stone veneer worth it?

Most of the time, stone veneer will is always worth it as it will increase the resale value of your home. No matter how much you pay for it, the return on investment is always significantly larger. Real estate experts say you can get back almost 97% of what you paid for the installation of veneer.

If you don’t want to resell your home anytime soon, the stone veneer is still worth it because it upgrades your home in many ways. A house that features this exterior will always catch the attention of passersby. You will also be satisfied whenever you pull into your driveway, as this addition is something worth appreciating.