Stone is a popular design component both inside and outside the home. It’s beautiful to look at and has a wide range of colors, textures and styles. For this reason, there’s certain to be a type of stone that’s perfect for your home. But when it comes to choosing faux stone vs. real stone, how do you know which one will work best for you?
As the use of stone becomes increasingly popular, you have more to choose from — and that can sometimes lead to confusion. When you’re doing a home improvement project and want to add stone to either the interior or exterior, a great option is to use faux stone panels.
In recent years, the technology and techniques used to make faux stone panels have advanced to create some of the most versatile and sophisticated home décor options on the market. And, once you understand more about what faux stone has to offer, you can make a more informed decision as to why faux stone could be the best choice for your home’s design.
The Natural Appeal of Faux Stone
Stone is naturally beautiful, and adds a dramatic touch to any space. Whether it’s used as an accent wall, in a wine cellar, for a chimney or to create the ultimate man cave, it has instant appeal and sets a comfortable but elegant tone for the room.
Before the advancement in manufacturing technologies, the choices for buyers who wanted to add stone accents were pretty limited — and pretty expensive. These days, you have a tremendous selection of faux siding options, from river rock siding to brick siding and even cobblestone. Essentially, if there’s a style you want, there is a faux stone option to help you create it.
One of the biggest misconceptions about faux stone is that it won’t have the same appeal as natural stone, or it will look cheap and manufactured. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Faux stone has grown in popularity largely due to the fact that it is virtually impossible to tell faux stone from real stone after it has been installed. It even has the texture and feel of real stone.
Because the faux stone panels are made in molds that were created directly from real stones, they have all the details of natural stone or brick. That includes the texture, coloring and shading of the stone. And while customers love the natural look and feel of faux stone panels, that’s not the only thing driving its popularity.
Saving Money While Upgrading the Look of Your Home
When adding stone either to the exterior or interior of a home, one of the first challenges of real stone is that it requires a construction professional to do the job. You’ll need to work with a company that is knowledgeable about stone and which types will work best in your environment. It’s important that the stones are hard enough to withstand stains, moisture and scratches, and you’ll have to hire someone with proven masonry skills to make sure the stone is cut and installed properly.
Real stone also requires an intensive process to excavate it from the earth, one that requires destroying the landscape as well as the natural vegetation and habitats around it. From there, it still must be delivered to a manufacturer and be transformed into a product suitable for use in homes. Every step of that process adds to the expense.
Faux stone panels made from polyurethane are an attractive, eco-friendly alternative to real stone. They recreate the natural look that you want and are just a fraction of the cost of real stone. Even if you’re not an experienced do-it-yourselfer, installing faux stone panels is a simple project that can easily be tackled in a single weekend. (With a little help from how-to videos, installing the panels is even easier.)
Polyurethane, which is a durable, non-toxic material used in many different types of products, is even more resistant to harsh weather conditions than real rock or brick. It can endure heat, cold, moisture, direct sunlight and wind, which makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor projects. Faux stone panels made from polyurethane also can resist peeling, fading and cracking, which is often a major concern for people who want to buy faux materials but aren’t sure how well they will wear over time.
Faux Stone Panels: Do Try This at Home!
Are you still wondering if faux stone is right for you? Getting a sample of the faux stone panels you’re interested in is a great way to “try it on” and see how it looks in the space you want to renovate.
This allows you to preview the different colors and textures, then decide which pattern and finish are best for you. It will let you see how the stone panels work with the other colors in your space, and you can see how it looks at different times of the day. You can attach samples to a piece of cardboard or fiberboard and move it around to different walls to get a better idea of how it looks.
Where you’re going to place your stone panel will help determine what type of stone siding you want; if you’re placing faux stone panels on the exterior of your home, for example, some materials will work better with your landscaping selection than others. Think about the vegetation around your home and how it looks at different times of the year; you want to make sure the type of stone panels you choose looks natural and at home.
There are many ways that you can use stone to add more dramatic appeal both inside and outside your home. Whether you prefer brick, rock or stone, find the one that suits your project and begin exploring your options!