Stone Veneer versus Natural Stone Fireplace
Stone Veneer or Natural Stone for your Fireplace Decoration project…which one should you use?
Stone cladding is one of the most popular method of decorating a fireplace. We are often asked questions about the difference between using natural stone and faux stone veneer for a Fireplaces. In this article, we are going to answer the most common questions and clarify the biggest misconceptions about the manufactured stone.
How obvious it is that a fireplace was decorated with a fake stone?
It is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a real and manufactured stone once installed.
If you choose a good quality stone veneer for your cladding project, as well as hire a professional to install the product, you can be assured that the final effect will be amazing. An average visitor to your house will not be able to tell if you used a natural stone or its manufactured equivalent for the fireplace decoration.
Natural stone is more expensive, so it must be a better product for a fireplace decor, right?
The difference in pricing between Natural Stone and Stone Veneer has nothing to do with the quality of these materials.
Many people believe that buying a cheaper product is always a bad thing… but this is not he case when it comes to our stone veneer tiles!
Natural stone is more expensive as the cost of sourcing and delivering the product to retailers is much higher (real stone is very heavy!). On the other hand, manufactured stone cladding tiles are much lighter and thinner, therefore the cost of production and delivery is cheaper. As the retailers buy stone veneer for less than natural stone, they can offer better prices for this product to the end customers. Simple!
You cannot use artificial stone tiles on a chimney breast because of the heat generated by a fireplace will damage the tiles.
This is one of the most common misconceptions about manufactured stone. Our stone cladding tiles are heat resistant, very light and thin. They can be used on any wall that is reasonably stable and correctly prepared for tiling. Stone Veneer is perfect for chimney breasts and walls behind stoves décor.
Fake stone cladding works only with modern interior design projects.
This is absolutely NOT true. As the stone veneer is manufactured, virtually any colour, texture and measurements can be produced. Many designs perfectly imitate natural stone. This is why our stone cladding is so
popular among architects and interior designers in Ireland – you always find a product that works well with a given design. Summarising, our artificial stone cladding works well with modern and classic interior designs.
Is there any difference in installation of a real stone and a stone veneer?
Artificial stone is very easy to install. In contrast, natural stone often requires hiring a skilled professional (and experienced masons can be really expensive to hire!). If you are not into DIY and have no idea how to approach stone veneer installation, we do recommend arranging a professional to do this for you. However, the cost will be significantly lower than natural stone installation cost. Decostones offers fitting services for private clients only in Munster area, but we have a list of recommended and trusted fitters from Dublin and other major cities form all over Ireland.
Any advice on stone cladding aftercare?
While faux stone veneer requires virtually no maintenance and any cracked tiles are easy to replace, any cracks or loses in a natural stone fireplace can be difficult (and costly) to fix. The cost of materials as well as the installation are very high in comparison to stone veneer.
When it comes to the cleaning routine, it is similar for natural and fake stone. Usually cleaning the dust with a dust brush or a wet cloth is sufficient. Some people like to use special conditioning materials designed for stone cladding cleaning and maintenance but they are not necessary to clean the fireplace cladding.
Why you should choose Stone Veneer over Natural Stone (Infographic)
Here is a quick summary of the benefits of using faux stone veneer over real stone.