Brick vs Stone Veneer Siding: Which to Choose?
Brick and stone veneer siding are a great alternative to traditional brick and stone because it provides the great look of these materials at a fraction of the cost. Let’s face it, if cost wasn’t a concern, most homeowners would prefer the look of a solid brick or stone veneer over vinyl siding. These veneers provide the same durability and stately look but at a cost that’s affordable to the average consumer.
Brick Veneer Siding
There are 2 main types of brick veneer siding available on the market today. The materials used in producing the first type of brick are usually made from clay or a combination of clay and cement or rock aggregates. The second type uses a mix of composites to produce a faux brick veneer panel. In either case, the production of a brick veneer requires less material to fabricate which translates to a lower cost for the consumer. Traditional brick is usually 3 inches thick but brick veneer is only 1 inch thick. This makes it somewhat easier to handle than traditional brick which helps lower the installation cost.
The skill level for installing this type of veneer siding depends on the type of product. Installing a brick veneer requires a good degree of skill and is usually not recommended for the do-it-yourself homeowner. Faux brick veneer panels are easier to install than solid brick veneer but it can still be rather tricky to get it right. The problem lies in keeping the coursing level as you pass over windows and doors. Skilled masons can adjust the thickness of the mortar grout joints to ensure the coursing remains straight. Faux panels, although easier to cut, do not offer the wiggle room of adjusting the mortar joint since they are fixed panels. A combination of wire lath, mortar and mortar grout is used to install solid brick veneer while faux panels are fastened directly to the exterior plywood. Brick is a porous material by nature so it’s important to use a vapor barrier if you decide to tackle this project yourself.
Stone Veneer Siding
Stone veneer siding offers many of the same features as brick veneer siding, but with more options for colors and designs. Cement is poured into molds and the finish product is air brushed to give it the appearance of a naturally weathered stone. Installing stone veneers is done in much of the same manner as installing a brick veneer. The use of wire lath and a thick mortar bed is what is used to hold the stone to the exterior of the home. Individual pieces are then arranged in a random pattern to give the impression of a natural stone wall. Mortar grout is then used to fill in the gaps. As with a brick, installing a stone veneer requires a good deal of skill, especially when navigating around doors and windows.
When comparing the 2 systems, it’s important to weigh all the factors such as installation, look, and of course cost. Only then will you be able to come to your own conclusion on which type of veneer siding is right for you.