Is Stone Veneer Worth It? Stone Interior Walls Pros and Cons

Many homeowners on a budget are choosing veneer stone siding over natural stone walls. Why is veneer becoming so popular, and do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? We have conducted some research to help you decide if stone veneer walls are right for you. 

There are pros and cons to using stone veneer for your interior decor. 

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • Energy-efficient and eco-friendly. 
  • Protective
  • Long-lasting
  • Economical
  • Customizable 
  • Suitable for domestic and commercial structures

Cons

  • Prone to mold and freeze damage 
  • Exposure to sunlight may cause discoloration
  • Chips and cracks are highly visible

There is a lot to understand and consider before making such a massive commitment to your interior decor. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about stone veneer walls and see some compelling examples to inspire you!

A rustic themed house with matching furniture's and a faux covered fireplace, Is Stone Veneer Worth It? Stone Interior Walls Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Stone Veneer Interior Walls

As noted above, there are definite benefits and drawbacks to using stone veneer indoors. 

What are the Benefits? 

Natural stone is sturdy but also tricky to work with. Veneer stone is much lighter and more flexible than regular stone, yet it can withstand extreme environmental changes and offer a similar elegant finish. Stone veneer resembles natural stone. It is much more realistic than it was twenty years ago and is more suitable for homeowners on a tight budget.

It can also be customized for residential or commercial buildings and is economically friendly. If it is installed correctly, the product can last up to fifty years.

Environmental Aspects 

Building an eco-friendly home is a priority for many people. Our natural resources have taken millions of years to form. Therefore they are limited. Quarrying can leave behind dust and waste. Erosion can occur.  

Transporting natural materials requires a substantial amount of energy. Manufactured stone requires less energy and is not made from toxic materials. Tax incentives can also save you money. 

Structural Uses

Natural stone contains an earthly beauty that has entranced people for centuries. Traditional stone cladding and veneer stone are frequently seen in many modern and traditional homes. Even as personal tastes and manufacturing processes change, stonework will continue to delight homeowners. Practical uses for stonework include:

  • Dining rooms
  • Chimneys
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Above-ground swimming pool walls
  • Stairs
  • Trims
  • Columns
  • Fountains

Natural and Manufactured Stone

Natural stone veneer is made from either collected or quarried stone. It is also known as “thin stone veneer” because of its consistent weight and depth. Manufactured stone, also known as “artificial stone,” is lightweight and easier to transport.

More Choices

Veneer offers more color options and designs than traditional stone, suitable for masonry, wood, and metal structures. Therefore, stone, wood, and brick veneer are all ideal for both classic and eclectic styles. The contours from actual stones give the concrete mixture its stunning pigment. If you decide to layer the pieces, then grout is not needed. However, grout does offer extra protection against natural elements.    

What are the Drawbacks?

Although veneer stone will never rot, it is prone to discoloration if exposed to sunlight. Mold damage may also pose a problem for the material. The tight spaces must be sealed; otherwise, moisture can develop. During winter months, water may seep in and freeze, causing large sections to break off. A gap or weep hole between the bottom of the veneer and the ground will force water to flow out from the space and prevent moisture buildup. Be sure to use the right kind of mortar so that water will not get trapped inside the area. You can also apply a water-resistant surface to the original framework as a precaution. 

What Are the Types of Stone Veneer Finishing?

Full bed Stone Veneer

These stones are around 6-8 inches thick and are quite versatile. However, the lifting and shaping of the stones demand skill, time, and patience. Some types of stone may not be available in certain regions. The stones positioned underneath provide support for the ones on top and are secured to the backing wall with steel ties.

Thin Stone Veneer

This is a versatile stone that is suitable for tight spaces. The panels are fastened to a wall with an adhesive mortar. While thin stone veneer is easier to work with than a full bed stone veneer, it is also more expensive. 

Fieldstone or Round

The surfaces of these fieldstones are naturally rounded and resemble the natural stone walls of historic New England. 

Mosaic stone veneer 

Mosaic veneers are angular with flat surfaces. The cutting a sawing of the stones yields a tighter wall structure. 

Click here to see this mosaic stone veneer tile on Amazon

Ledgestones 

Ledgestones are long and thin and can fit tightly together. 

Ashlar veneer 

Ashlar is similar to Ledgestone, only larger. You can combine both veneer cuts for a unique effect. 

Square/Rectangle

You can also combine these with Ashlar and Ledgestone. 

Dimensional 

Dimensional pieces are smooth and straight. They require very little cutting or shaping. 

Is Faux Stone Cheaper Than Natural Stone? 

Working with natural stone is a significant investment of time and money. It can cost as much as $18 a square foot. Also, a little project may take weeks to finish, and you must continuously keep the areas clean to prevent corrosion. Veneer typically costs approximately $10 a square foot. 

Installing Stone Veneer

When installing stone veneer interior, you will want to see that all of the pieces are consistent in color, size, and texture. Arrange several pieces on a flat surface and note the color and texture patterns. Pay attention to the size and thickness of each cut; adjust the pieces as needed. The walls should be suitable for installation; painted surfaces should be sandblasted or stripped. You may need to replace the wall.

Consult a licensed professional if you have no experience working with a stone veneer. Carefully plan each step because even the smallest mistake can spell disaster. 

Suggested Tools

  • Trowels: For spreading and smoothing the mortar
  • Mason Hammer: Use this to shape the stone edges. 
  • Staple Gun: You will need to insert nails or staples through the metal lath. 
  • Joint Tool: A joint tool is excellent for smoothing out grout. 
  • Brushes: Brushes are handy for dampening and cleaning off the stones upon project completion. 

Methods

The substrate should be level and clean. After you arrange the pieces, it is time to cut the stone. For best results, use a wet saw with a diamond-edged blade. A backboard is necessary for bathroom installation because of high moisture content. Fill any 90-degree angles with flexible caulk.

A thin-set mortar with a polymer adhesive is durable and will hold the stone in place. Mix the thinset according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Select white mortar if you are working with light-colored stone. This prevents staining. 

Attach a metal lathe to the substrate. Cover the lath with a coat of mortar and allow it to sit for 24-48 hours. The coat should be about 1/2 inch thick and flattened so that the stone will sit evenly. 

If, during the drying process, you discover that the pieces are uneven, spread a coat of mortar on the stone’s underside and beat the stone into the mortar. An impregnating sealer can protect the stone’s porous surface even after the mortar has completely dried. Be sure that the sealer will not discolor the stone. Sealing is required for exterior applications. 

Can You Stone Veneer Over Drywall? 

It is risky to install veneer over drywall. Drywall is not waterproof and cannot withstand the stone pieces’ pressure held in place by a mixture of mortar and water. The moisture from this mixture will cause the drywall to disintegrate. 

Waterproofing Methods

It is much safer to use a cement backboard or a masonry application. Cement blackboard is also known as gypsum board. It is entirely waterproof and more durable than drywall. Make sure that the stone is a dry fit.

Pay close attention to the installation area, the substrate’s condition, and the stone’s size. Fibrous cement boards should be approximately 1/2 inch thick to support the stone’s weight. You can also waterproof drywall by covering the area with a roofing belt or waterproof building paper. Use galvanized nails to secure the product to the wall studs. 

Finishing The Job

After completion, brush away excess dirt and mortar buildup. It is easier to do this while the mortar is still drying. After it has completely dried, you must vigorously scrub or chip away at the dirt. Congealed mortar is harder to remove from the stone.

You should wash the stone regularly with PH-neutral cleaners. Acid and alkaline cleansers will etch the surface and should be avoided. Brushes and joint tools should be completely dry. Do not pressure wash. 

Can Stone Veneer Add Value to Your Home? 

Veneer retains many stone or brick benefits, yet it provides more insulation by trapping air between two exterior walls. You will save money on utility bills. Since the product is fireproof, you may even lower your insurance premium costs. 

Aesthetics will also enhance the value of your home, and this requires little effort. A single feature wall can be a significant selling point for buyers. Use this opportunity to explore your artistic side. An interior wall is your canvas. What will you paint? 

Stone Interior Walls Examples

Time-Worn Beauty

Use a faux brick veneer on all four walls to create the feel of an older home or restored loft. This white-washed brick is a soft and romantic foundation for an eclectic room.

Stone decorated wall with a bluish color patterned chair with a glass top coffee table in front

Bring the Outdoors Indoors

The use of cut stone style veneer on the wall combined with slate flooring creates a mountain lodge vibe in this room. Using it along one long wall, then as an accent on the opposing wall to frame the TV, gives this room visual interest, which it would lack if it were one long beige wall. 

A classic themed house with stone decorated wall incorporated with white furnitures matched with a stone tiled floor

Eclectic Cabin

Use stone veneer in an unexpected way by creating a fully covered focal wall, installing bits of stone on the other walls to make them look like stuccoed rock walls.

A classic style living area with decorative patterned walls incorporated with stone tiles on the floor

Elegant Getaway

Use a larger stone patterned veneer to create accents on fireplaces and archways to bring a rustic mountain feel to a high-end retreat. 

A stone themed house with a wooden panel cover in the oven area and a beam decorated with faux stones

Castles in the Air

Give your home the elegant yet aged feel of an old castle by using dark cut stone patterned veneer to line one wall and a fireplace. The smaller set of the stonework enhances that hand-cut look. 

A rustic themed house with matching furnitures and a faux covered fireplace

This cool-toned siding panel is lightweight, which makes it perfect for both interior and exterior projects. Interlocking groove panels provide a smooth finish. 

Click here to see more on Amazon. 

Industrial Chic

Want to turn your oversized room into an Industrial dream? Install Faux aged brick on all four walls for the illusion that your home is actually a reclaimed factory space. 

A post industrial themed living room incorporated with stone decorated wall and a Mediterranean themed window

Romantic Cottage 

Do you yearn to live in a stone cottage in the Irish countryside, but you live in a suburb near Albuquerque? Have no fear! Deep-set windows trimmed in wood surrounded by a stacked stone veneer on all walls can give you the look you want without breaking out your passport. 

A modern living room with a stone decorated wall with protruding columns and white couches

This neutral-toned panel comes in a pack of 30 pieces, and you can assemble them in a pattern or single layer. 

Click here to see more on Amazon. 

Brick Simplicity

Give your basic room a makeover by adding a brick wall to a focal wall. Choose a multi-hued pattern for more visual interest.  

A modern living room with a decorative brick wall on the left and a matching colored sofa with wooden paneling on the floor

Sleek and Modern

Gray stacked slate adds textural interest to this minimalist room. They blend well with the gray walls and concrete flooring. 

A modern design reception area of a hotel with a noticeable faux decorated wall and a grooming are with a huge mirror

Vertical Symmetry

The tall vertical fireplace reflects the size and shape of the windows, as well as providing a touch of the outdoors that can bee seen through them.

A luxurious living room with a huge steel framed window, wooden flooring and a faux decorated fireplace

Keep It simple

In this minimalist room, the gray stone wall provides textural interest, as well a cool contrast to the fiery orange chair. 

A gorgeous and spacious living area with a stone decorated veneer on the wall on the left side and a white wall on the corridor on the right

Traditional Comfort

No dining area in a traditional-style cabin is complete without a large stone fireplace. Stack the stone to the roof for best effect. 

A faux decorated fireplace incorporated with and overall rustic themed house and furnitures

Breathtaking Entryway

For a stunning entry, install a stone covered dual-sided fireplace as a partition between your entryway and your living area. A light stacked slate provides a lovely rustic feel, while still keeping it light and airy. 

A decorative stone veneer in the fireplace section with wooden flooring

If you prefer warmer tones, the Mojave Stacked slate is sure to please. It is made of weather-proof material with a UV protectant. One tube of grout is needed for every four pieces. It is mold-resistant; therefore, it is safe to clean the slate with water. 

Click here to see more on Amazon. 

Romantic Cream

Choose a stone pattern in pale creamy colors that border on hues of pink to lend romance to a small space.

A cool modern themed room with a faux decorative wall on the side and huge mirror on the dressing area

Contemporary Beach Vibes

Pattern a focal wall with a pinky-sand stone veneer as the base for rich golden decor for a true contemporary feel. 

Decorative stone pattern on the wall with a stone patterned mirror frame

Industrial Kitchen

This room has all the elements that make Industrial design so great. A large airy room, aged brick and black iron trim on the wooden furniture.

Faux decorated wall with a rustic themed countertop and hanging lamps

To recreate this look, try this veneer from Koni Brick.

Click here to see this on Amazon. 

 

Masculine Living Room

Create a backdrop for your fireplace mantel using chocolate-colored stones with the same tone as the leather furniture for a masculine yet comfortable living room.

A brown themed living room with a fireplace decorated with stones on the walls and a brown couch

Faux Fireplace

Use stone veneer to create the illusion of a massive corner fireplace in your log cabin if you are building on a budget or don’t want the hassle of maintaining a real stone fireplace. 

A stone decorated fireplace blended together with wooden paneled wall and rustic themed furnitures

Country Corner

A Stone Veneer Wall in warm cream tones is the perfect accent for a rustic farmhouse look. 

White walls and a stone decorated wall on the center blended with a wooden paneled flooring

Gray Stone Cabin

Gray stone used to accent one corner of the room softens the concrete fireplace’s modern feel, creating a juxtaposition between the rustic and modern styles. 

Modern living room with a stone decorated wall with protruding trusses and a white sectional chair

Rustic Details

Nothing says rustic cabin[like natural wood tones and rough-cut stone walls. Get this same look by covering a wall with an easy to install veneer. 

Decorative stone installed on the walls incorporated with a rustic themed living room with wooden tables and brown upholstered char

Touch of Color

A pretty beige stone wall keeps this minimalist room from being too cold and stark. 

A white colored living room with a white sectional couch and an area rug on the center and a beautiful stone decorated wall

This piece uses soft cream tones to suit many types of decor. It is durable, lightweight, and mold resistant. 

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purchase the product here on Amazon

French Country Retreat

Pair a warm stone wall with dark wood planks on the ceiling and have beams to create a restored French cottage’s look. Colorful tapestries add to the feel.

A rustic themed living room with noticeable protruding trusses, a brown decorated wall, and wall painted with a beige colored wall

River Stone

If you want a different look for your cabin getaway, try a veneer with rounded river stones for your fireplace. 

A rustic house with a wooden panel from the ceiling to the flooring and a stone decorated fireplace

Stacked Stone Geometry

Instead of laying the stone pattern horizontally, try placing it so that the stones are vertical, creating a unique pattern that draws the eye up and added height to the room. 

An empty space in a house with a fireplace decorated with stone patterned walls

In Closing 

The lower cost, easier installation process, and eco-friendly aspects of stone veneer give it an advantage over natural stone walls. The proper maintenance will prevent mold damage and keep the walls in excellent condition. Veneer yields beautiful results, which will increase the value of your home. 

If you are unsure if stone veneer is right for you, check out these other posts from Homedecorbliss.com!

Check out other fantastic wall murals here. 

Click here to see compelling faux stone wallpapers.

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