1. What’s the difference between natural stone & cultured stone veneer?

Natural stone is a material that’s 100% quarried from the earth and is shaped or carved into the desired form. Nothing is added or removed to change the colour or quality of the material. It features natural imperfections formed over thousands of years, through extreme weather and climate conditions. These natural markings, texture and tones are impossible to replicate.

Cultured stone veneer, on the other hand, is a man-made product designed to resemble natural stone. It’s typically made of cement with aggregates and pigment dyes added before being poured into moulds that help to create a simple shape and texture to natural stone.

Beyond aesthetics, the major difference between natural stone veneer and cultured stone veneer is how they perform. Natural stone can be used structurally, depending on the format and is incredibly durable. Veneer won’t be able to support any additional weight and the pigmentation will fade more rapidly than natural stone.

2. Can stone wall cladding be used indoors and out?

Yes, one of the main benefits of stone wall cladding is its versatility and durability. Natural stone is highly resistant to the elements, making it suitable for outdoor use. It is even suitable in harsher environments such as coastal or poolside.

Internally, stone walling can add a textural and organic element to your interior spaces and with several different formats to choose from, you can use stone to create a contemporary, sleek feel or a rugged, rural look.

3. What are suitable substrates for stone wall cladding?

Stone Wall Cladding Questions 01
EB Interiors using Barrimah® Traditional Format cladding for an interior feature wall.

Natural stone wall cladding is typically a heavy material requiring a suitable substrate to support its weight. Drywall, Gypsum Board or Sheet Rock aren’t suitable for this application.

A suitable substrate needs to be structurally sound before installation of the cladding and may require an engineer’s certification. The best material for a substrate are concrete, blockwork or brickwork walls. The surface must be even and true, with a variance of no more than 2mm every 4m, and be free from movement, oils, grease, waxes, paints, curing compounds or any other loose materials.

Before installing any stone wall cladding, it’s best to check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure your substrate is adequate for the material.

4. How is stone wall cladding installed?

Installation of stone wall will vary from site to site and heavily dependent on the application. The professional contractor and specifier will confirm the best method for application of your chosen wall cladding material.

A typical installation of wall cladding will begin with a thorough cleaning of the substrate and the back of the stone to remove any dust or other contaminants. The stone is generally laid from bottom to top to maintain a consistent level up the wall. A suitable adhesive will be applied by a trowel in sections before the material is laid within the controlled areas. It’s important this is down efficiently to ensure the adhesive isn’t allowed to skin prior to being applied to the substrate.

Any residual adhesive is sponged off immediately before the stone is left undisturbed for at least 24 hours.

5. How much stone do I need?

The amount of stone wall cladding you need should be measured in square footage. You can easily work out the square footage of the area that needs to be covered by multiplying the width by the height.

Where you have windows or doors, simply calculate their square footage and subtract it from the total. Corners are calculated in linear footage. By measuring the outside corners (from top to bottom) you’ll have the total linear footage of corner pieces required.

It is recommended you allow an extra 10% for cutting, trimming, error or wastage. If you are unsure of the measurements, it’s best to speak to your specifier, contractor or stone supplier to confirm the amount of stone you require for your project.

Feature image: Cadence and Co Wamberal Free Form feature wall. 

For more advice, tips and inspiration about feature walls, head to our Learning Library.