Types of stone cladding

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Types of stone cladding
Natural stone can be used inside of a home as a fireplace mantle. (fireplace hearth with reeds image by steven hendricks from Fotolia.com)

Stone cladding can be used on the interior or the exterior of a house and serves primarily as an artistic and decorative feature. On the inside of a home it is most commonly found in fireplaces and walls. On the exterior, stone cladding is applied over the framing or attached to existing outside walls -- either siding or brick -- to provide a sturdy finish.

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Solid Stone

Historically, solid stone was a very popular method of housing construction as the materials were plentiful. However, stone is heavy and difficult to transport. While some people still build houses completely out of stone, it is more common to use stone as an accent, such as for a chimney or a single wall. Instead, alternative methods that recreate the look of stone are used.

Faux Stone

Faux is a French word meaning "false." Faux stone, therefore, is a manufactured product that looks like real stone. It is available in a variety of colours and shapes, but is lighter than real stone. It is usually made from poured concrete and shaped into slate pieces or stones using moulds. Unlike real stone, it doesn't need to be sealed to prevent moisture from seeping inside.

Types of stone cladding
Stone cladding provides ruggedness and durability. (stone house in the mountains image by Daria Miroshnikova from Fotolia.com)

Polyurethane Foam Panels

Polyurethane foam panels are manufactured wall panels that have the look of real stone but none of the weight. They are extremely light yet resistant to moisture, and are easy to ship and install. These panels install over your existing siding or interior walls, increasing the efficiency of your insulation.

Thin Stone Panels

Another common cladding method employs thin stone panels. These are thin pieces of stone cut into sections. They are usually 3- to 4-feet square but only an inch or so thick. The most common material is granite; however, marble and limestone are also used.

Types of stone cladding
Granite is one of the most common building materials for stone cladding. (granite image by Andrzej Solnica from Fotolia.com)

Paint or Wallpaper

If you don't have the money or ability to incorporate real stone, you can use paint to create a faux stone finish. A variety of "stone" wallpapers are also available, such as brick and pebbled stone.

Types of stone cladding
Faux marble is a common painting technique to recreate the look of stone. (orange faux marble image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com)

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