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Stone, Manufactured Stone, & Faux Stone Siding FAQ


BuildDirect is pleased to provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on a wide variety of our products. If your questions are not answered on this page, or you simply wish to speak with a Customer Service Representative, our customers can contact us toll free from anywhere in North America at 1-877-631-2845 or by email at customerservice@builddirect.com


 Q. What is the difference between natural stone siding, manufactured stone veneer siding and faux stone siding?

A. Natural stone siding comes from a harvest of real stones gathered and processed from quarries. Some varieties of natural stone siding are processed in manufacturing factories and formed from large slabs. 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, stone-sized section that can be applied to the exterior of your home. Several of these sections are butted together to provide seamless coverage.

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 you can buy that are formed into panels rather than as individual “stones”. These panels can then be set into mortar as a unit.

Faux stone siding products are lightweight and durable panels which have a remarkably realistic rock look that comes from a unique coating which is chemically bonded with the molded surface of the panel. The molds which make the panels, are cast from real stone and rock patterns. Panels can cut using common woodworking tools. They 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.


Q. What is manufactured stone veneer siding made from?

A. Manufactured stone veneer siding is made from Portland cement and iron oxide pigments for coloration. Stone veneers are mass produced, which means its price tags are priced slightly lower. The concrete also accounts for its lighter weight.


Q. What is faux stone siding made from?

A. Faux stone is made from Portland cement and iron oxide pigments for coloration. It is mass produced, which accounts for it generally more reasonable pricing. This is also why it weighs less than natural stone siding.


Q. How do natural stone siding, manufactured stone veneer siding and faux stone siding compare?

A. For looks, they are all very close. The makers of manufactured stone veneer siding, and the makers of faux stone siding do a very good job of making these products look just like real stone. Also, all of these varieties of stone siding add resale value to your property, just because of how long they tend to last as a means of protecting a structure and making it look great. Otherwise, here’s a selected list of comparative traits.

  • 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 color variation.
  • Faux stone siding is extremely lightweight (1 pound per square inch) making installation easy and fast. They are also low maintenance and withstand all types of weathering. No additional materials are needed for installation such as mortar, cement mix, or netting.
  • Manufactured stone veneer siding is typically priced more reasonable, which accounts for the increasing popularity of manufactured stone veneer in residential projects.
  • Natural stone siding adds structural benefits to a property in the way that manufactured stone veneer siding does not.
  • Faux stone siding adds property value as well as insulation value that Natural or manufactured stone cannot offer.

Q. Is there a difference between architectural stone, cultured stone, and manufactured stone veneer?

A. No. You’ll find that siding which is derived from a mold and is made to look like real stone goes by all of these names and more.


Q. What is the best natural stone siding to get?

A. It depends what you’re after. There are a variety of choices in natural stone siding which add their own unique look to exteriors. To make sure you’re getting the best type of stone for what you have in mind, it’s always a good idea to order a sample.


Q. How long will my natural stone siding or manufactured stone veneer siding or faux stone siding last?

A. Stone has been a trusted material for thousands of years – since civilization began. AS a lot of people know, some of the castles from the 1200s built in Europe are still standing today. This is a huge benefit to your property, of course. But, if you want to make sure that your natural stone siding retains its original look for as long as possible, you should make sure to seal it.

Manufactured stone siding is also a reliable material, designed to endure as long as the structure it’s built upon lasts. But like natural stone, the length of time it keeps its original look is partially down to you.

Faux stone siding panels are made with a closed cell Polyurethane and therefore do not absorb any moisture leaving no reason to expand or contract. The in-mold coating system with UV inhibitors also keeps the colors rich throughout time.


Q. How do I take care of natural stone siding or manufactured stone veneer siding or faux stone siding?

A. All natural stone siding needs to be sealed to ensure that it doesn’t degrade due to moisture and other elements. So, if you’ve chosen natural stone wall cladding, you’ll need to seek out the latest in stone sealers. Check with your retailer about the right ones to use with your choice in natural stone. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to keep any acidic cleaners away from natural stone siding surfaces. So, choose your cleaners wisely; talk to retailers, read the labels, and follow all of the instructions on the packaging.

If you’ve decided to go with manufactured stone veneer siding, the best way to keep it clear of unwanted materials is to hose it down about twice a year. That is pretty much it. Manufactured stone veneer is designed to be low maintenance and hard wearing as an exterior surface. These are some of the many reasons it’s become as popular as it has in the past few years.

Faux stone siding panels may need the occasional cleaning of debris from the elements and is very easy to do with a soft bristle brush or a power washing, not getting closer than 12” and not more than 1500 PSI.