Monday, May 18, 2009

The Benifits of Thin Veneer

As you...go about considering the merits of Kettle Valley Stone for various projects, I wanted to share some practical information that may be a good reminder and hopefully of benefit.

Natural thin stone veneer is a genuine stone product, quarried directly from the earth. Unlike most artificial or manufactured products, natural thin stone veneer is colorfast, will not fade or discolor, and it resists chipping & scratching. It's the perfect material for use where size or weight limitations are a problem.

THIN STONE VENEER typically ranges from 3/4" to 11/2" in width as compared to full size stone at 4", 6", 8" or more.
· The great thing about it doesn't look like a veneer.
· Thin stone veneers can be used to create a variety of architectural elements that once were limited to very expensive buildings. Stone is a timeless design doesn't lose its elegance or desirability versus man-made materials.
· Versatility is the big advantage to thin stone veneer - it can be used on interior walls, fireplaces, or on the exterior walls of a home or building. It can be added to existing structures with little modification. Custom blends are also becoming popular where customers want to create their own look.

The primary advantage of THIN STONE VENEER for builders...starts from the ground up.

Thin veneer stone is basically a facing product and doesn't require a ledger, footings or wall ties like conventional full sized stone. The stone isn't supported by the footings underneath - it's supported by the wall. "That's where a lot of the savings is." You build a conventional frame structure instead of framing it for masonry. The thin stone isn't necessarily less expensive, but the framing & structure is.

· You can also make a decision to add stone at the last minute without much additional preparation. To a large project, these are significant savings from an engineering standpoint - in the amount of structural reinforcement that would be required.

· Thin stone veneer...up on chimneys, dormers and higher elevations that can't carry a heavy load...amounts to project cost savings by not having to carry a structural component all the way up. Labor costs are less with THIN STONE VENEER because it goes up faster and easier than full-sized stone. You save because you can put up more square footage in a workday…its lighter weight and you don't have the structural issues associated with full-size stone or brick. There's also less fatigue on the mason ...THIN STONE VENEER is lighter.

Appearance is probably the strongest selling point.

There's not a noticeable difference between THIN STONE VENEER and full-size, especially with current cutting techniques that produce L-shaped corners. When you do a corner, you're doing a wrap around that has the appearance of full-size stone.

Beauty is more than skin deep. Manufactured products often don't have uniform color throughout. When the installer puts in a manufactured product and they have to trim a piece to fit, they have to color the edges. If there is damage such as chipping, it needs a touch up or patching. A manufactured product is also susceptible to fading. Neither is an issue with natural stone.

Another emerging new market for THIN STONE VENEER is...taking what appears to be a stone bearing wall and run it throughout a building creating a very strong architectural element. These effects can be done economically with thin stone veneer and frame walls without needing the support of concrete footings or heavily reinforced structural walls. The whole idea is that you can use thin stone veneer in applications to create architectural elements that were once limited to "very expensive buildings."

Another practical consideration...are the economics of shipping thin stone veneer in quantity...compared to a full-sized stone with relatively small square footages, per rail or truckload.

Hopefully there are some fresh new perspectives and a reminder of some you're already contemplating.

Harry Haddow

Kettle Valley Stone Company
Phone 250-870-3769
Toll Free 877-670-7625