Magazine article Sunset

Sly Stone

Magazine article Sunset

Sly Stone

Article excerpt

Today's new faux veneers are surprisingly realistic and versatile

Stone veneer has always been a cheaper alternative to the real stuff. The problem was that it looked like it. But thanks to new casting techniques, manufacturers can now replicate in concrete the textures, shapes, and colors of real stone with exacting detail. Add to that a wide variety of styles and easier installation and you get a rock-solid alternative to traditional masonry.

It's no wonder, then, that the latest stone veneers are appearing in new communities like the Sentinels at Santaluz in Southern California (, where a hacienda look was desired. Veneers are also appropriate for remodeling, as the photo on this page shows.

To guarantee these stone veneers offer an impressive range of realistic rock shapes, manufacturers assemble a master set of real stones from which they cast the veneer. Such a set typically offers many different rock shapes within a 150-square-foot area before a stone shape is repeated.

Finishing touches

Other details complete the illusion of real masonry. For example, the edges and corners of stone-veneer walls need specialty pieces-such as trim stones and L-shaped corner pieces called quoins.

There are three major grouting styles. Dry-stack, or groutless, does not reveal visible grout lines and makes the assemblage look as if the stones were carefully stacked and held together by their own weight. Standard raked grout reveals a narrow band of tooled grout that recedes slightly from the surface plane of the stone. …

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