Everything You Need to Know about Manufactured Stone Veneer

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If you're considering adding manufactured stone veneer to your home, you're in for a treat. This product has been growing in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason! Manufactured stone veneer can add a touch of elegance to any home, and it's relatively affordable.

In this blog post, we will define manufactured stone veneer, discuss the many benefits of manufactured stone units like this, as well as provide everything else you need to know on the subject. So if you're thinking about adding this beautiful material to your home, be sure to read on!

What Is Manufactured Stone Veneer?

Manufactured stone veneer is a man-made product that replicates the look of natural stone. While it is not as durable as natural stone, it is much less expensive and easier to install.

Manufactured stone veneer is often used to add an upscale look to homes and businesses. It can be used on both the exterior and interior of a building and can be applied to walls, floors, ceilings, fireplaces, and more for a fraction of the price of natural stone.

So what does stone veneer look like? Well, that depends on the type of stone veneer you choose. There are many different types of manufactured stone veneer available on the market, each with its own unique look. You can find stone veneer that resembles granite, marble, limestone, sandstone, and more.


The manufactured stone veneer is made from a variety of materials, including concrete, polymers, and pigments. The composition of the stone veneer you choose will affect its price, durability, and weight.

For example, concrete stone veneer is the most affordable option but it is also the heaviest. And polymer stone veneer is more expensive but it is much lighter in weight.


what is manufactured stone veneer
Buff Split Veneer

The term veneer refers to a thin layer of material that is applied to the surface of something else. In the case of manufactured stone veneer, a thin layer of stone is applied to a backing material, usually concrete or wood.

The veneer is then attached to the surface using mortar, adhesive, or screws. Once the veneer is in place, it can be grouted just like natural stone.

Faux Stone vs. Veneer Stone

First, what is a faux stone? Faux stone is a material that is made to resemble stone but it is not actually made from stone. It is usually made from concrete, polyurethane, or other man-made materials. Veneer stone, on the other hand, is made from actual stone.

While both materials can be used to achieve a similar look, there are some key differences between the two such as their weight, durability, and price.

The Origin of MSV

Back in 1962, two brothers from Vallejo, California named Garrett and Floyd Brown saw a need for a new kind of building material. As skilled plasterers, they were uniquely suited to create such material. And that's exactly what they did, coming up with a concrete mixture that could be cast in molds and hand-colored to resemble natural stone.

Today, MSV is widely used by builders and homeowners alike who appreciate its beauty, durability, and versatility.

What Are the Advantages of Manufactured Stone Veneer?

Okay, now that we know what manufactured stone veneer is, let's discuss some of the many advantages of using this material. And there are a lot.


One of the biggest advantages of manufactured stone veneer is that it is incredibly durable. It is made from concrete, after all, which is one of the most durable building materials around.

MSV can withstand extreme temperatures, high winds, and heavy rains. It is also fire-resistant and pest resistant.

Has Various Color Palettes

Background of natural slate stone veneer wall

Manufactured stone veneer comes in a wide variety of colors, which means you're sure to find the perfect match for your home or business. There are many different types of stone veneer available on the market, each with its unique look.

Has a Cohesive Profile

When installed correctly, MSV has a very cohesive profile. This means that the joints between the stones are much less visible, giving your walls a clean, finished look.

Relaxing Ambiance

There's just something about stone walls that exudes relaxation. And when you have MSV in your home or business, you can enjoy that relaxing ambiance every day.

Improves Acoustics [Extra Optional Heading]

Another advantage of manufactured stone veneer is that they can improve the acoustics in your space. The stone absorbs sound, which means you won't have to deal with as much echo in your room.


MSV is also very versatile. It can be used indoors or outdoors, on walls or floors, and in wet or dry areas. And it can be used to create various looks, from rustic to modern.

How Exactly Is Stone Veneer Manufactured?

what does stone veneer look like
Stone veneer

Now that we know all about the advantages of manufactured stone veneer, you might be wondering how exactly it's made.

Well, the process begins with a mold. A mold is created from an actual stone, which means that each veneer stone has all of the same natural details as the stone it was made from.

Once the mold is created, a concrete mixture is poured into it. This mixture is made from Portland cement, sand, water, and various aggregates.

Once the concrete mixture has been set, it is carefully removed from the mold. Iron oxide pigment is also added to give it its beautiful color and finish.

How Does the Manufactured Stone Veneer Installation Process Go?

Installing manufactured stone veneer is a relatively simple process. Let's say it's being installed on a wall. First, a layer of mortar is applied to the wall. Then, the stones are laid in place, one by one.

As each stone is laid, more mortar is applied to the back and sides. This helps to hold the stones in place and also prevents water from seeping behind them.

Once all of the stones are in place, the joints are filled with mortar. This helps to further secure the stones and gives the wall a finished look.

Where Is Manufactured Stone Veneer Used?

As we mention, MSV is extremely versatile. Here are some examples of places you can find it.


MSV is commonly used on walls, both indoors and outdoors. It can be used to create accent walls or even an entire exterior wall.

Outbuildings Such as Sheds & Garages

MSV can also be used on outbuildings, such as sheds and garages. Exterior manufactured stone veneer is perfect for this.

Fireplaces & Firepits

MSV is also commonly used on fireplaces and firepits. It can help to create a more realistic look, and it's also fire-resistant, which is always a bonus.

Grilling Pavilions & Outdoor Kitchens

MSV is also a great choice for grilling pavilions and outdoor kitchens. It's durable, which means it can withstand the heat of grilling, and it's also easy to clean.

The Differences Between Manufactured Stone Veneer & Thin-Cut Natural Stone

While similar in a lot of ways, there are also some key differences between natural stone and MSV.


One of the biggest differences is price. Manufactured stone veneer is generally more affordable than thin-cut natural stone.

Installation Process

Another key difference is the installation process. Manufactured stone veneer is much easier to install than thin-cut natural stone.

Visual Appearance

The visual appearance is also different. Manufactured stone veneer has a more uniform look, while thin-cut natural stone has a more random, natural look.

The Number of Contemporary Forms Is Growing

As the popularity of MSV continues to grow, so does the number of contemporary forms that it comes in.

You're no longer limited to traditional rectangular stones. You can now find square stones, round stones, and even stone mosaics.

Installation Speed Is Improving

As the technology improves, so does the installation speed. It's now possible to install an entire wall in just a few hours.

This is a big improvement from the days when it would take days or even weeks to install a single wall.

Long-Term Color & Texture Durability

MSV is also becoming more durable. The color and texture are now able to withstand the test of time, meaning your investment will last for years to come.

The Differences Between Mortared MSV & Dry Stack MSV

what is stone veneer
Natural stones

There are two main types of MSV: mortared and dry stack.

  • Mortared MSV is the more traditional type. It's installed by spreading mortar on the surface and then pressing the stones into place.
  • Dry stack MSV is newer and doesn't require mortar. Instead, the stones are simply stacked on top of each other.
  • Mortared MSV is more durable and has a more polished look. Dry stack MSV is easier to install and is better suited for DIY projects.

Common Misconceptions about MSV

Despite its growing popularity, there are still some misconceptions about MSV that people encounter when searching for info on Google such as "what are stone veneers?".

Here are some:

MSV Is Only for Exterior Use

One of the most common misconceptions about MSV is that it's only for exterior use. This simply isn't true. MSV can be used both indoors and outdoors.

MSV Is only for Walls

Another common misconception is that MSV is only for walls. Again, this isn't true. MSV can be used on walls, floors, ceilings, fireplaces, and more.

MSV Is Difficult to Install

A lot of people think that MSV is difficult to install, but this isn't the case. MSV is actually rather easy to install these days.

Manufactured Stone Veneers Maintenance

Once you've installed MSV, it's important to properly maintain it. Here are some tips:

  • Clean the surface with a mild soap and water solution.
  • Be sure to rinse the surface thoroughly after cleaning.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.
  • If you do need to use a stronger cleaner, be sure to test it in an inconspicuous area first.
  • Regularly seal the surface to protect it from stains and other damage.
  • Re-seal the surface every one to two years, or as needed.

Finding the Right Manufactured Stone for Your Home in Ohio

As you can see, there's a lot to know about manufactured stone veneer. But don't let that overwhelm you. Start with the basics and work your way up. And if you ever have any questions, feel free to ask a professional company like Stone Center. We're ideal for customers near Columbus and Cincinnati.


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Jon Smiley

Jon, the owner of Stone Center, is a knowledgeable expert in natural stone products, specializing in various types of stone for landscaping and architectural projects. Passionate about promoting the beauty and versatility of natural stone, Jon aims to use these blogs to inspire readers with creative ideas to upgrade their homes.

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