Stone siding is an evergreen trend for exterior house design, which has many benefits over other types of stone cladding. Stone cladding adds natural beauty to the exterior of your home and can also increase its value. Furthermore, it changes the outlook of your home from ordinary to extraordinary as it’s not only beautiful and luxurious but also stands the test of time due to its withstanding nature against the harsh weather. There are many stones available in the market that you can use to decorate the exterior walls of your house. Here is an article on the different types of natural stone for house exterior.
Advantages of Stone Siding
The major advantage of stone siding is that it’s a natural material, so it adds to the green appeal of your home. In addition, it follows green building norms as it allows you to shape and cut stones with less waste. This type of masonry also produces very little waste, such as sawdust, which can be recycled within the environment. Using pre-manufactured stone panels can help you do away with the cost of hiring a professional for installing masonry. Stones are also not very expensive compared to other types of siding that require insulation which can be quite expensive.
The stone cladding is quite strong compared to wood siding, which means your siding will have a longer life span. Wood siding can give away due to its frequent exposure to harsh weather conditions. On the other hand, Stone siding requires only little maintenance as it’s not vulnerable to termite or insect attacks. You also don’t need regular painting of stone walls as they can be easily cleaned with a soft brush and soap or detergent.
Disadvantages of Stone Siding
Stone siding is very rigid compared to other exterior house finishes such as wood, vinyl, and aluminum, making them difficult to work with. Therefore, before installing stone cladding on the walls, you need to prepare the wall surface and ensure that it’s perfectly smooth and even.
Stone siding is not a good choice if you are looking for instant results. For example, stone cladding takes around 2 weeks to settle down in humid weather conditions. This means you cannot install them during the rainy season or right before winter when the humidity levels are high. If you want your stone siding to give you an instant effect, then opt for masonry that’s premade into panels.
The main disadvantage of stone siding is that it’s a permanent installation, and so if you don’t choose the correct material, it can lead to serious problems for your home. Also, natural stones are not very easy to maintain as they need regular sealing and painting to prevent water seepage, which leads to discoloration over time.
Types of Stone Siding
There are different types of natural stones available in the market, which have a distinct appearance. Before installing stone cladding on your house exterior, you need to decide the type of stones that would suit your home exterior. Some of the most common types of stone for exterior house siding include limestone, sandstone, granite, and slate. Let’s dive deep into the stone siding world.
Solid Stone Siding
This type of stone is a raw material in its natural form, which means you’ll have to cut and shape it yourself. Solid stone siding is one of the oldest types of stone siding. This type of masonry can decorate external walls, floors, headstones, fireplaces, and many more. In addition, these types of stones offer you a wide range of colors and textures that can be sculpted into different designs and shapes to suit your house’s exterior architecture.
Pros: Solid stone siding is one of the most affordable options for adding a luxurious look to your home exterior. It’s easy to install as it requires very few tools, and you can get your entire siding done in under a week.
Cons: Solid stone siding is not very easy to install, and so many people avoid using this material for their exterior house finishing. This type of masonry also needs regular cleaning, which takes time and money.
Manufactured Stone Siding
This type of siding is created in a factory by using pre-cast stone. The stones in this category are very similar in appearance and can be easily installed on any exterior wall or surface. However, manufactured stone siding is not made from natural materials, so you cannot use them for flooring and other decoration purposes. The most common manufactured stone used for exterior house siding includes sandstone bricks, split face blocks, and porcelain tiles.
Pros: Manufactured stone siding is very easy to install as they come in different pre-designed panels with a backing attached to them. You can get your entire siding done within a couple of days. Also, these types of stones don’t require regular maintenance, so you don’t need to use any cleaning chemicals.
Cons: Manufactured stone siding is very expensive compared to other materials such as aluminum, vinyl, and wood. They also cannot be used for flooring or home exterior decoration purposes due to their low durability.
Natural Stone Siding
This type of masonry is manufactured stone siding that replicates the appearance of natural stones. The manufacturing process involves adding crushed stones to cement, water, and special additives to form a clay-like material. This clay-like substance is then transformed into a mold with a backing attached to it which can be used for exterior house finishing purposes.
Pros: Natural stone siding comes with a warranty of up to 50 years, and so you don’t need to worry about repairs or replacement. This type of stone is very easy to maintain as they require regular sealing, but doing so increases their durability.
Cons: Every type of natural stone has its own appearance and color, which means it’ll be difficult for you to find the perfect match for your home exterior. This is also one of the most expensive types of siding materials available in the market, so it might not be ideal for people looking for an affordable option.
Polyurethane Faux Stone Panel Siding
Manufactured stone siding is the most common type of faux stone panel siding. James Hardie Fiber Cement Company first introduced this material in 1965. Polyurethane faux stone panel siding is made from polyurethane foam, acrylic binding agents, pigments, additives, and cement, creating a material that looks like real stone.
Pros: A single panel of polyurethane faux stone siding has the same appearance as a 12 inch thick stone without any weight issues. These types of stones are available in different textures, shapes, and colors, so you can choose one that matches your home exterior design. In addition, this type of masonry requires very little maintenance and is very easy to install.
Cons: If you want superior quality faux stone siding for your home exterior, it’ll be very expensive and might even cost more than real stone panels. This material is also susceptible to extreme weather conditions such as heat, cold, rain, etc. The only way to fix this problem is by adding a top coat of paint, which increases their durability.
Natural Stone Veneer Panel Siding
This type of siding is a stone veneer that has been attached to a plywood or fiberboard backing. This product was first introduced by the James Hardie Fiber Cement Company in 1968 and is available as a single panel. Manufactured natural stone veneer panels are mainly made from polyurethane or vinyl resin that replicates the appearance of real stones.
Pros: Natural stone veneer panels are more affordable compared to other types of natural stones. They are very easy to install, maintain, clean, and repair. This type of siding requires less maintenance as opposed to real stone panels, which need regular sealing.
Cons: The appearance of these stones is not as realistic as manufactured stones because they lack the natural markings found on actual rocks. Also, they require a panel casing that can be easily damaged.
Natural Stone Cladding Panels
Natural stone cladding panels are thin membranes made from vinyl or synthetic materials applied to other exterior surfaces like wallpaper. Their main advantage is the ability to imitate the appearance of real stones and bricks without the added weight. Manufactured natural stone cladding panels are mainly fiberglass, wood pulp, mineral fillers, and synthetic materials.
Pros: The biggest advantage of using natural stone cladding panels is that it’s very easy to install as there are no tools involved in the process. They also have better resistance to mechanical damages compared to other types of siding materials. In addition, this type of siding is available in various colors, textures, and shapes, which means you have many options to choose from.
Cons: Cladding panels are less durable than other panel siding materials available in the market. These types of siding require regular maintenance due to their paper-based backing that can be damaged by moisture. Also, these stones cannot be painted or stained to match your home exterior design. They are also not fireproof, nor are they recommended to install areas with high wind potential.
Natural Stone Shingles
This type of stone shingles is available in two different varieties: wood shakes and slate tiles. Manufactured natural stone shingles are mainly composed of mineral fillers and synthetic materials.
Pros: These shingles can be applied using different installation methods such as adhered, hot-seamed, and nailed down. Compared to manufactured stone panels, they are less expensive and more durable. Also, these types of siding can be easily repaired or replaced instead of completely replacing the whole surface area, which makes them perfect for remodeling projects.
Cons: Depending on where you live, finding these types of siding materials might be difficult in your local home improvement store. Also, because they are natural rocks, there is a lot of variation between stones, which means matching the color or texture of the shingles with your exterior design will be a little bit difficult.
Natural Stones for House Exterior
Natural stones for the house exterior can be a stylish and attractive addition to your home exterior design. However, choosing the right stone siding material is not as easy as it first seems. It would be best to consider factors like durability, maintenance, resistance to weather conditions, and stain-proof qualities to achieve the look you want without sacrificing the overall condition of your home. Let’s look at the different types of natural stones available for exterior use and their pros and cons.
Quartzite is a type of stone that has quartz as one of its main ingredients. These siding materials are durable and resistant to weathering, making them the perfect choice for exterior applications. However, they are not fireproof, nor are they stain proof, which means they will require regular cleaning to maintain their beauty longer.
Pros: Quartzite is a durable material that can last for many years with little or no maintenance. It’s also resistant to water penetration which makes it ideal for exterior applications. In addition, they are available in various colors, textures, and shapes, which means you have many options to choose from.
Cons: While quartzite is naturally resistant to water penetration, maintaining this quality over an extended period will require regular cleaning to remove stains and dirt deposits. Also, the color of these stones is not consistent throughout, which means it might be difficult matching the color of your siding with other house features such as doors or windows.
Granite is a type of stone that has quartz, feldspar, and mica as its main ingredients. It’s available in various colors with different degrees of sheen depending on the metal element added to the stone during processing.
Pros: Like quartzite, granite is also extremely durable and has very low porosity. It’s also resistant to weathering, which makes it an excellent choice for exterior applications. However, granite requires very little maintenance to retain its beauty and will not stain easily.
Cons: Granite is a difficult material that requires meticulous attention during installation because of its linear surface patterns. Also, the color of these stones is not consistent throughout, which means it might be difficult matching the color of your siding with other house features such as doors or windows.
Flint is a very dense, sedimentary rock that’s mainly comprised of quartz. It’s available in various colors with different degrees of sheen depending on the metal element added to the stone during processing.
Pros: Flint siding materials are extremely durable and strong. It’s also very resistant to weathering, which makes it an excellent choice for exterior applications. However, it doesn’t require much maintenance and will not stain easily.
Cons: Flint is a difficult material that requires meticulous attention during installation because of its linear surface patterns. Also, the color of these stones is not consistent throughout, which means it might be difficult matching the color of your siding with other house features such as doors or windows.
Travertine is a type of sedimentary rock that’s composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It can be used as siding for exterior applications where it will be exposed to the elements.
Pros: Travertine is available in several colors, textures, and shapes which means you have lots of options. They are also reasonably resistant to water penetration and very durable.
Cons: Travertine is a difficult material that requires meticulous attention during installation because of its linear surface patterns and the need for sealing every twice month to protect it from stains and dirt deposits. It’s also prone to flaking, allowing moisture and other elements to penetrate the stone, resulting in damage to its structural integrity.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock that’s composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It can be used as siding for exterior applications where it will be exposed to the elements.
Pros: Limestone is available in several colors, textures, and shapes which means you have many options. They are also reasonably resistant to water penetration and decay. Limestone can be a good choice for a house exterior because they are easy to cut, shape and fasten to your home. They also blend well with other stones.
Cons: Limestone must be protected from moisture during the winter months, which means you have to paint it or seal it in some way so that it doesn’t become damaged by the weather.
Marble is a metamorphic rock that’s composed mainly of recrystallized carbonate. It looks like limestone, but marble tends to be more expensive and softer than its counterpart.
Pros: Marble can add a dramatic look to your home exterior, especially if it has been polished smooth by machines. The stone does require some maintenance from time to time, but the results are well worth the effort.
Cons: Marble is usually more porous than limestone, making it more susceptible to stains and other surface irregularities. It should also be sealed during the winter months to prevent deterioration of its color and quality.
If you want to add a rustic look to your house, sandstone might be a good choice for exterior siding. Sandstone is made of quartz and colored with iron oxide or other minerals and comes in many different colors and textures, which gives you lots of options to choose from when decorating your home’s exterior.
Pros: Sandstone is a good siding choice for homes because it comes in so many different colors and textures to choose from, which makes decorating a lot easier. They are also fairly resistant to water penetration and decay, making them an easy material to use on your home’s exterior.
Cons: Like limestone, you have to protect sandstone from the elements during the winter months with a coat of paint or sealer. Otherwise, its color can fade, and it will be more susceptible to water penetration.
Slate is a metamorphic rock that’s made of clay minerals and formed under intense heat and pressure. It can be used as siding for exterior applications.
Pros: Slate has a great rustic look, comes in many different colors, and can be cut to resemble shingles which means you can get all kinds of interesting looks on your home’s exterior. It is also relatively easy to install and maintain.
Cons: Like sandstone, slate needs to be painted or sealed during the winter months if you don’t want it to fade or become waterlogged.
When looking for exterior cladding, you should consider natural stone because it can provide your house with a dramatic look that will impress. Natural stone comes in many different colors and types, so you have lots of options available when choosing this type of siding.
Just keep in mind that natural stone will require some maintenance during the year, so be prepared to spend some time cleaning and repairing your exterior siding now and then. Moreover, remember that you have to protect your stone from the elements during the winter months, which means you need to use a coat of paint or sealer.