Precision in Every Cut: A Guide to Handling Manufactured Stone Veneer

CruxLon Training
Cultured Stone

Precision in Every Cut: A Guide to Handling Manufactured Stone Veneer

Cruz Leon is the founder of Crux Lon Hardscape University, based in South Elgin, Illinois. His award-winning program helps masonry professionals hone their craft with dozens of class offerings like the Outdoor Living Bootcamp, the Masonry & Outdoor Kitchens Workshop and the 2-Day Hardscapes Hands-On.

Leon began working with hardscapes as a high school student in 1999 before starting his own business six years later. At the encouragement of colleagues who told him he had a knack for teaching the trade, he launched the University three years ago. We asked Leon to share some tips and insights for cutting manufactured stone veneer (MSV) products.

Pay Attention To The Details 

To Leon, great cuts are less a matter of technique than they are a state of mind. Finesse takes time. However, masons often feel the pull to finish a project as fast as possible and start their next paying gig. As long as the work looks passable, they’ll consider it done.

“It’s all about how you do your job,” Leon said. “I know some guys just want to get it done and move on to the next job. We’re different – we want to get it done as perfectly as possible.”

Leon is a believer in going the extra mile make sure that no stone is crooked or sticks out awkwardly from the rest. If a corner doesn’t fit perfectly, he’ll take the extra time to sculpt it.

In the end, this attention to detail has been more worth the while. His reputation as a mason who demands quality work of his crews has spread through his area, and he is now frequently sought after and recommended for lucrative, high-end projects.

Plan Ahead

Leon always likes to lay veneer pieces on the ground first to arrange how they’ll look on the surface. While some products come pre-sorted to speed the installation, he prefers the process of mixing them up.

Even when the stones are arranged by the manufacturer, installers will usually face decision points when they’ll have to deal with gaps in the pattern. For example, while installing veneer around a fireplace, a mason needs to get creative about which stone colors to use and how to cut them while framing the opening. When making cuts in situations like these, Leon likes to chisel the edges to make them look as rough and natural as possible.

Keep it Clean at the Top

Especially when working with veneer panels, Leon prefers to avoid cuts to the upper sections that are most clearly in view. He’ll start by placing a level piece of wood near the ground to guide a first row of panels or stones and then work his way up. Once the top has been reached, he’ll infill the bottom portion, where any pieces of stone that needed to be cut are not visible as prominently.

When installing individual stones, Leon acknowledged that it’s not practical to check every piece to make sure it’s level. Instead he likes to draw marks on the wall every four inches or so and follow them to ensure the stones stay on track. After finishing every 2-by-2-foot area or so, he steps back to take in the full picture, and make any cuts or tweaks needed to make it look right.


A Measured Approach

Since cutting stone is time consuming, Leon likes to figure out ways to do fewer of them. At the start of any job, he recommends taking some extra time to scan the job site, think through your strategy, and take measurements that can help you avoid mistakes later.

When using veneers or pavers that come in large sizes, Leon doesn’t believe it looks good when the pattern abruptly ends with a bunch of small, cut pieces. To avoid this, take measurements at the beginning to determine how you can use cuts that are as large as possible on both ends of the rows.

Keep Learning

Years ago, Leon used to hear complaints about masons working too fast, too shoddy, and depressing the value of everyone else’s work by not charging enough. So he decided to do something about it.

Leon started the Hardscape University with the aim of providing a fast, affordable way for masons and workers who wanted to transition from fields like landscaping to get a formal education on the craft’s finer points. Whether you need a primer on cutting stones or operating special machinery, he recommends masons of all experience periodically set aside time for professional development at programs like his.

Years ago, Leon used to hear complaints about masons working too fast, too shoddy, and depressing the value of everyone else’s work by not charging enough. So he decided to do something about it.

Leon started the Hardscape University with the aim of providing a fast, affordable way for masons and workers who wanted to transition from fields like landscaping to get a formal education on the craft’s finer points. Whether you need a primer on cutting stones or operating special machinery, he recommends masons of all experience periodically set aside time for professional development at programs like his.

“I feel like our trainings are elevating the industry by helping people understand why the job needs to be done right,” Leon said. “Once they understand that, they’ll figure out how to charge what needs to be charged – sometimes they don’t know any better. If they educate themselves, it’s good for everyone.”

Need a special cut that you don’t have the tools or background to handle? Reach out to Instone’s Fabrication and Design Services. Our team can work with you on custom cut-to-size hardscaping and partner with you in the design of large-scale projects and sourcing of stone products.

How to Achieve Superhero Status With Clients & Boost Sales

Blue Mist Granite
Blue Mist Granite

How to Achieve Superhero Status With Clients & Boost Sales

We all know that spring signals the start of a busy season for those in the construction, masonry, and hardscaping fields. Homeowners are eager to kick off their long-awaited renovation projects. This is an excellent time to lay the groundwork for a successful sales year.

Achieving success goes beyond simply providing top-notch materials. It demands a strategic approach that prioritizes quick and efficient service, outstanding product quality, and, most importantly, the satisfaction of your clients.

This guide is designed to arm you with actionable advice to enhance your interactions with customers, ultimately helping you secure more contracts and boost your sales.

Prompt & Accurate Quotes: First Impressions

The first step towards a successful spring should be no surprise: communication is key. Many homeowners will shop around when starting a large home project. Swift, detailed, and professional quotes are essential and do more than provide numbers; they showcase your engagement, dedication, and professionalism.

You can influence their hiring decisions from the start by ensuring your quotes exude clarity, accuracy, and a comprehensive outline of expectations and deliverables. A messy quote can come across as unprofessional and unbothered and be seen as a reflection of your work on the job site.

Use tools like the Toro Stone Calculator to help you estimate how much stone and other materials you need for a project. Additionally, Instone dealers can easily log in, create a quote in minutes, save the quote, and send it or print it for the customer, ensuring a professional-looking quote is provided instantly. Of course, you can always reach out to us for swift and detailed quotes as well. A precise quote reflects your professionalism and can be the deciding factor for potential clients. 

Advise on Material Choices: Quality Meets Budget

While some homeowners will have researched materials independently, many only know what they want the final product to look like — but not how to achieve it. You can help guide homeowners through a maze of options to find what suits their desired aesthetic best. Your expertise can help them make informed, budget-conscious decisions. This is where you can highlight the value of investing in Instone’s premium materials for lasting satisfaction and peace of mind.

Incorporate Innovative Techniques: Building for the Future

Stone masonry is an ever-evolving art that shifts as innovative new techniques and tools emerge. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of — and to quickly incorporate — industry-leading building techniques, like new moisture management systems, into your work whenever possible.

It is important for you to educate homeowners on the benefits of using these industry-leading systems and solutions in their projects. Understanding these long-term advantages ensures that their investment is not just for the present but a contribution to their home’s future. Plus, it helps build your authority as an industry leader.

Promote Upselling Opportunities Wisely: Enhancing Value

Any upselling must be done strategically for the homeowner’s benefit and must align with the homeowner’s budget and expectations. This approach not only improves the outcome but also enhances customer satisfaction.

Here’s how you can apply this strategy effectively:

Offer bundled product options that enhance the overall project—like combining landscape stone with stone veneer for outdoor kitchens or fireplaces. This not only simplifies the purchasing process for your clients, making your shop a one-stop solution but also enhances their space’s aesthetic and functional value.

Utilize Visualization Tools: Seeing is Believing

Looking for ways to stand out from the competition? Elevate your proposals by incorporating visualization tools. These innovative tools can transform your quotes from simple documents into engaging visual experiences that better communicate the value and vision of your work. By allowing your clients to see their projects’ potential outcomes, you’re enhancing their understanding and excitement and establishing your commitment to transparency and quality. In a market where first impressions are crucial, leveraging visualization tools can be a game-changer in convincing homeowners to choose your services over others.

Maximize the benefits of this approach with the Instone Visualizer, a powerful tool designed to bring your client’s vision to life right before their eyes. Here’s how you can integrate this tool into your sales strategy:

  • Interactive Kiosks: Establish interactive kiosks at your business locations where clients can actively engage with the visualizer. This allows them to visualize the impact of different stone and color combinations on sample home exteriors, interiors, and patios, enhancing their decision-making process with an immersive, hands-on experience.
  • Staff Training: Ensure your staff knows how to guide clients through the visualizer. Well-trained employees can assist clients in exploring a variety of design possibilities, helping them reimagine their spaces from creating feature walls to transforming patios.
  • Website Integration: Embed a link to the Instone Visualizer on your business website, giving clients the convenience to start their design exploration from home. They can effortlessly modify wall colors, trim and compare different stones to ascertain which aligns best with their aesthetic preferences.

The Instone Visualizer allows clients to use sample homes for their design endeavors and allows them to upload their own photos for unique customizations. This tool simplifies decision-making by providing a realistic preview of the finished project. Clients can share their designs, print reports and even access tutorial videos on how to use advanced editing tools within the visualizer. With these capabilities, designing a home with stone has never been easier or more accessible, making the Instone Visualizer an essential part of your sales and marketing arsenal.

Maintain Clear Communication: Building Trust

Trusting someone to work on or in your home can be a challenge. Reliability and trust are built through clear and consistent communication. One way to do this is to regularly update homeowners with project timelines and delivery times. This demonstrates your commitment to meeting their needs and provides them with a sense of comfort, as they aren’t left wondering about these details.

Understanding the importance of prompt service is why we offer optimal lead times that can be conveniently checked on our website—just enter the quantity for an approximate lead time. This feature allows homeowners and dealers to plan precisely, knowing when to expect their materials.

Our commitment to efficient service delivery is a testament to our dedication to ease and efficiency. Our route truck delivery system is designed to simplify the delivery process, removing any uncertainty by utilizing pre-scheduled weekly lanes that service our dealer network from one of our three distribution centers. It’s a testament to our dedication to ease and efficiency—when you need the product now, we make it easy.

By integrating these logistics details into your communication strategy, you promise reliability and deliver on it. This reinforces trust with your clients, ensuring they feel well-informed and confident in their choice to work with you.

Respect the Workspace: A Reflection of Professionalism

It is essential to remember that your ‘workspace’ is someone else’s home. Keeping this in mind and respecting their personal space will go a long way to making for a happy homeowner.

No matter how good the results are, a disrespectful contractor will likely cost you work in the future, while a well-executed job done by someone respectful can lead to good word of mouth and more jobs.

Document Your Projects: Showcase and Inspire

Visual storytelling is a powerful tool that should not be overlooked. Keep homeowners engaged with your work with pictures. Document the various stages of your projects and use them to enhance your social media and website presence.

The adage “seeing is believing” rings particularly true here; providing tangible examples of your completed work highlights the quality and diversity of your offerings and inspires and attracts potential clients. In today’s digital age, a visually compelling portfolio is indispensable for standing out in a crowded marketplace and fostering trust in your craftsmanship.

Leverage Social Media: Build Your Brand

Social media platforms like Instagram are invaluable because they are indispensable extensions of your professional portfolio. These platforms serve as a vibrant showcase for the photos you capture while documenting your work and the testimonials you garner from satisfied clients. Social media amplifies your visibility and significantly enhances your credibility in the eyes of potential clients. A robust social media presence does more than just display the quality and scope of your projects; it also creates a dynamic platform for attracting new clients and engaging with your community.

By actively sharing updates, progress shots, final reveals, and client testimonials on social media, you effectively broadcast your commitment to quality, transparency, and customer satisfaction. This ongoing dialogue with followers and the broader community fosters a sense of engagement and belonging, transforming your social media space into a lively forum for exchange and inspiration. Plus, social media offers an easily accessible avenue for prospective clients to discover your work and envision the potential transformation of their own spaces.

Consider creating events like a customer appreciation day or an open house to thank your existing customers and also entice potential clients. Promote these events through your social media channels and feature highlights and updates on your website to showcase your active community involvement and commitment to customer service.

Keeping Your Website Updated: A Digital Storefront for Your Brand

Speaking of your website, remember it’s the digital storefront of your business and is just as crucial as your physical location. It’s the hub where potential clients land to explore what you offer and make decisions. That’s why regularly updating your website with your latest offerings and ensuring that the digital reflection of your brand is current and comprehensive is valuable time spent. This step is vital and often missed, which can be a significant oversight in a digitally-driven market.

By consistently refreshing your website content with the latest product information and updates, you’re not just aiming for more sales; you’re enhancing the value and experience for your clients. This dedication to providing up-to-date and accessible information aligns with client needs and reinforces their decision to choose your services. A well-maintained website, paired with a vibrant social media presence, builds credibility and solidifies your position as a forward-thinking and client-focused leader in your industry.

Looking for assistance to keep your website fresh and your marketing on point? Instone has got you covered. Our dealers have exclusive access to our wide array of resources from web developers to social media experts, ensuring your marketing stays updated and search-friendly.

Obtain Certifications: The Power of Education

​​Securing a competitive edge in the construction, masonry, and hardscaping industries is crucial for winning contracts and building a reputable business. One strategy to achieve this is through a commitment to continuous learning and professional development. This commitment to professional growth does more than just elevate your technical capabilities; it signals to prospective clients that you are a forward-thinking contractor who values innovation, safety, and the highest standards of quality.

The certifications and knowledge you acquire become powerful tools in your marketing arsenal, allowing you to confidently articulate the value you bring to every project. Plus, staying on top of the latest industry trends, techniques, and materials ensures that you can offer cutting-edge solutions that resonate with homeowners looking for modern, durable, and aesthetically pleasing outcomes.

​​Enhancing Your Expertise: Instone’s Educational Resources

Deepen your knowledge of stone masonry by leveraging Instone’s comprehensive suite of educational and training resources. Videos covering state-of-the-art stone veneer techniques, on-site installations, and specialized instructional content are just a click away. Gain valuable insights into our premium natural stone collections, like the Aura Natural Landscape line and Pangaea Natural Stone veneer, and learn to confidently recommend the best solutions to clients. By subscribing to our YouTube channel, you ensure you’re always at the forefront of the industry, ready to deliver excellence to your clients with the best-in-class materials for veneer, hardscaping, and fireplaces.

Spring is all about growth and opportunity. You can achieve sales and build long-term relationships with your clients by providing prompt service, utilizing high-quality materials, and ensuring customer satisfaction. Let this season bring you to new heights of professional excellence and customer delight.

How To Use Instone’s Game-Changing Virtual Home Design Tool

Visualizer Tool Example
Visualizer Tool Example

How To Use Instone’s Game-Changing Virtual Home Design Tool

TAKE THIS …

Choose the perfect stone…

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With the Instone Visualizer, you can complete a wall-to-wall virtual home makeover in a matter of minutes. The free online tool allows you to simulate what a home or property would look like after a renovation with any combination of stone products from Instone’s expansive catalog.

Powerful yet simple, the Visualizer offers installers and dealers a way to show clients renderings of projects that can be used to assist with sales, and homeowners a way to browse their options for veneers, pavers and other stone products. Users can upload photos of a job site and redo a wall or patio area with new masonry in a couple of clicks. 

Instone Vice President of Natural Stone Products Justin Alicandro said the Visualizer has made the need to assemble stone samples or create mockups for clients obsolete. 

“This is so much more efficient than the way we used to do things,” Alicandro said. “Homeowners can come out of a session knowing pretty much what they want, and if they don’t like the products once they see real samples, they can tweak the project again in the Visualizer and try a plan B. The Visualizer is such a great tool.”

How It Works

To get started, find or snap a digital photo of your project area and add it to the Visualizer. (If you don’t have an image available, you can browse our samples for one that resembles your property.) Photos should be at least 1600 pixels wide and not exceed 16 MB. A standard camera phone pic will do nicely. 

With the photo now online, the Visualizer’s AI will scan its features and automatically identify areas most likely for stonework. The technology will also recognize features like windows and doors and omit them. If it misses a wall or ground section you’re interested in, don’t worry – you can draw a polygon to highlight the area manually. 

You can then click on any of these areas and choose the interior or exterior Instone masonry product you’d like to see applied there. Once it appears, you can try different brands, profiles, and colors to see how they look, and even change the stone sizes on the fly. The images you create can be saved, shared, and easily edited later. 

Fine-Tuning

The Visualizer has multiple editing tools to help fine-tune your renderings and make them more realistic. You can adjust the opacity of the masonry to totally block out the surface beneath it or to allow important features to peak through. Another tool allows you to adjust the perspective, which can realign the stone if it’s not quite level or doesn’t track the angle of the surface accurately. 

For the best results, we recommend taking your photos facing straight ahead toward the surfaces that will be clad. If possible, it’s best to move any furniture or other obstructions out of the way.

The Visualizer will even help you simulate the appearance of non-stone upgrades. You can apply paint colors to your banisters and doors or try out new shingle styles and colors on the roof. These features can be combined with the stone improvements to give you a full picture of how all of the materials will look together.

visualizer editing tools
Before and after using the Instone visualizer with Pangaea® 3 Course Ashlar Oxford

Share & Create a Report

The Visualizer offers a range of options for sharing before and after images with clients or anyone else who may be interested in giving feedback. You can quickly export the renderings as JPG and PNG files or use share buttons to email them or post them to Facebook, Twitter/X or Pinterest. 

Of high value to masonry professionals, the system can generate attractively formatted reports showing the finished home and thumbnails identifying all of the products featured in the project. 

“For a contractor trying to win a job, price is obviously important, but if you can demonstrate for a homeowner what their house is going to look like when it’s complete, that will definitely set you apart from others trying to quote the job,” Instone Chief Operating Officer Rob McKay said. “Ultimately, a lot of people will still want to see a sample and feel it in their hands, but the Visualizer is a great tool to help them narrow down their choices.”

Watch Our Full Tutorial

For a full demonstration of what’s possible with the Visualizer, watch our training video (“Pro Tips for Selling With The Instone Visualizer”) above. You can also check our Visualizer page for FAQs and a series of shorter videos with tips and demos focused on specific Visualizer questions.

Exterior Home Design Trends for 2024: Stone Edition

Exterior Home Design Trends for 2024: Stone Edition

Dark Is In For Exterior House Colors

Not all choices in life are black and white, but when it comes to stone veneer color choices, they increasingly are. As we gaze into the crystal ball of stone exterior home trends for 2024, Instone Northeast Territory Sales Manager Mike Kornele predicts that we can expect to see more veneers where black takes the leads, complemented by white or light gray highlights.

“It seems like over the last couple of years, everything has been trending to that more modern look – squared off, smooth facing, contemporary finish. Darker colors are definitely in,” he said.

While the timeless grays and earthtone veneers that sell well every year continue to hold their ground, the allure of dark stones is on the rise.  Homeowners looking to make their indoor and outdoor spaces stand out are opting for those bold alternatives. Kornele points to Pangaea Natural Stone’s Black Rundle and Cambrian color Ledgestones and Castlestones as prime examples and hot sellers.

Pangaea® Natural Stone Black Rundle
Pangaea® Natural Stone Black Rundle
Pangaea® Natural Stone Cambrian Ledgestone
Pangaea® Natural Stone Cambrian Ledgestone
Pangaea® Natural Stone Cambrian Fieldstone
Pangaea® Natural Stone Cambrian Fieldstone
Pangaea® Natural Stone Cambrian Fieldstone
Pangaea® Natural Stone Cambrian Fieldstone

In the world of manufactured stone veneers (MSV), Kornele envisions a continued embrace of stones that offer an “in and out” look to them – those with depth and interesting textures that draw the eye. With the market now offering an array of MSV colors and finishes, customer preferences have moved away from the flat planes that once dominated the industry.

However, it’s important to note that exterior home color trends can vary by region. Kornele observes that the modern veneer trend is thriving along the East Coast, while new inland areas are leaning towards stones that blend seamlessly with Colonial and farmhouse-style architecture.

The Color Palette for Outdoor Pavers and Hardscaping 

When it comes to outdoor pavers and hardscaping, shades of gray and blue have consistently dominated year in and year out, according to Instone Vice President of Natural Stone Products Justin Alicandro. Instone boasts one of the widest selections of blues and grays in the country, thanks to Aura Natural Landscapes, ensuring there’s a color to suit every design vibe.

For those leaning towards a darker tone, Blue Mist granite is a top contender. If you prefer a lighter touch, check out the Blue Ice Natural, Blue Ice Thermal, Imported Gray, or Silver Ridge granites. Alicandro notes that Misty Blue Marble and Silver Travertine are in high demand for pool pavers.

However, Alicandro has noticed a surge in stones for pool areas that are pure white or close to it, like Arctic Cloud marble. This white marble is loved for its subtle grey veins that flow through each stone. “This is extremely popular for pools because it stays cool, and the sandblast finish provides texture for a non-slip patio,” he said.

Alicandro also expects earth tones Oxford Buff, a light tan/cream-colored stone, to maintain its strong momentum from last year. Customers view it as a more durable, attractive, and budget-friendly alternative to Midwest limestones, he said.

Another intriguing trend Alicandro has seen is the use of natural stone accents to complement manufactured hardscaping materials. For example, contractors are pairing natural stone pool coping with concrete pavers; natural stone stair treads with concrete retaining walls; and natural stone widestock to cap concrete walls. This trend is gaining traction as natural stone pieces can be larger, providing a more appealing look. For example, concrete coping is typically produced only 18 inches long, while natural stone sections can extend up to 4 feet.

“It’s less jointing for the capping. It’s a more attractive look and a trend that’s happening more and more each year,” he said.

Outdoor Kitchen Popularity Is Surging
Stone Veneer Adds The Distinctive Touch

For masonry professionals, get ready to shift your gears when it comes to veneer installations on outdoor kitchens. Modular outdoor kitchen materials, like those offered by Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys, have significantly reduced installation time and complexity, making projects that were once the domain of only wealthy homeowners attainable for a broader audience. But homeowners are cladding these outdoor kitchens in stone veneer to give these modular structures a distinctive style.

“It seems now more and more Mrs. Smith wants a kitchen that’s going to be more unique than Mrs. Jones’s kitchen, so they’re getting into a lot more veneer work,” Kornele said. “Everybody is always going to be doing their water tables, foundations, entryways, stoops, and things like that, but outdoor kitchens are definitely on the rise. That’s a market that’s going to be pretty solid for the next couple of years.”

Isokern Fireplace
Pangaea Ledgestone

Of course, the right veneer style is just one part of the equation – homeowners also need to select pavers that harmonize with them. Kornele suggests most people prefer a healthy contrast in stones so that they stand out without being overly flashy

“When you’re choosing your colors, you want things that are going to complement each other, but you don’t want things that are exact, because you don’t want to step back from your project and see a blob of one color,” Kornele said. “You want the colors to stand out and be distinct, but you don’t want them to battle each other.”It’s a decision driven by personal preference, but it can be made simple by Instone’s Visualizer. The tool allows users to create instant digital overlays showing how stone products would look on photos of their home or property

“It is a very efficient tool,” Alicandro said. “In the old days, you had to get physical samples of stones and put them next to each other to see how they’d look together. Now you can look at multiple combinations in a matter of minutes.”

Elevate Your Home with Stone Veneer: 5 Perfect Places for Accent Walls

Pangaea Fieldstone
Pangaea accent wall

Elevate Your Home with Stone Veneer: 5 Perfect Places for Accent Walls

In the world of home construction and DIY, creating an accent wall isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about making a bold statement. These accent walls, also known as feature walls, are where craftsmanship meets character, and they’re more than just a visual interest; they’re a game-changer for your project.

While paint and wallpaper have their place, they can’t match the enduring value and impact of stone veneers and architectural tile. Accent walls not only elevate the aesthetics but also add substantial value to a property, and it’s simple to maintain, ensuring your home interiors remain a source of awe for decades.

Choosing the right spot for an accent wall might seem challenging, but often, the room itself provides strong cues. Here, we delve into five strategic settings perfect for your stone veneer accent wall.

Artepiso Orchid
Artepiso Orchid

1. First Impressions Matter

Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Stone veneer on a wall greets your guests and sets the tone for your entire space. It’s the introduction that demands attention and admiration.

The placement of the Artepiso Orchid wall tiles in the space above acts as a focal point for anyone who may walk through the front door. These playful tiles, like any framed art, are sure to get the conversation started and create a welcoming atmosphere as soon as guests enter the house.

Light and easy to install, Artepiso 3D architectural tile adheres to most surfaces with a simple and inexpensive installation. They can also be painted for an attention grabbing splash of color.

Beon Stone® Carbo Classic
Beon Stone® Carbo Classic
Pangaea Fieldstone Cambrian
Pangaea® Fieldstone Cambrian

2. Accentuate the Architecture

Craftsmen know that great rooms deserve great features. Stone veneer can turn ordinary walls into stunning showcases. Fireplaces, floating room dividers, and walls with architectural details become canvases for your creativity.

A masterful example of this approach can be achieved with Be.on Stone® Carbo Classic veneer panels. Rather than installing shelves in the cutout section of the kitchen shown above, a stone matching the style around the adjoining room was applied, with artwork placed over it. From this vantage point, it gives the appearance of a window that offers a peak at the stone wall continuing behind it.

Ready to accentuate your home walls with another quick renovation, then look no further than your dated fireplace. Building materials like thin stone veneer and Pangaea® Fieldstone Cambria, seen above, transform any drab fireplace wall or surround into the family’s room’s best feature. 
See more fireplace inspiration in our blog, 5 Interior Projects To Tackle This Winter with Stone Veneer.

Pangaea® New England Quarry Ledgestone
Artepiso Andes
Artepiso Andes

3. Chase the Light

Sometimes, all you need to find the perfect spot for your accent wall is to follow the light. Let the natural light be your guide, drawing visitors’ eyes to your masterpiece. However, be cautious with walls that get intense backlighting or the window views will overshadow the veneer.

When crafting the room with those captivating waterfront views in mind, practicality was key. The choice of Pangaea® New England Quarry Ledgestone veneer wasn’t just about aesthetics; it was a smart decision. It blends seamlessly with the elegant wood paneling on the ceiling, all while ensuring the natural light from those massive windows takes center stage.

For those of you who like to get creative with lighting, consider adding some excitement with Artepiso 3D architectural tiles, seen here in hexagonal Andes shapes. These tiles boast intricate grooves and peaks, creating a mesmerizing interplay of light and shadow. And if you want to kick it up a notch, apply a coat of vibrant, glossy paint to make them shine even brighter.

Cultured Stone Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone
Cultured Stone® Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone

4. Read the Room

Look at the room’s layout; it often reveals the ideal accent wall location. Is there a wall where all the furniture converges? Maybe one housing a fireplace or TV? That’s your focal point, and that’s where stone veneer shines.

Take a look at the arrangement of the above living room, featuring Cultured Stone’s® Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone veneer. Would a feature have made better sense anywhere else? Note how the veneer calls out to the stone visible through the window on the home’s exterior.

Winesburg Plank
Dutch Quality Winesburg Plank 4&6 

5. Beside Views

In the bedroom, the most impactful accent wall is typically the one behind the bed. It highlights the bed as the most important feature of the room (which it is), and with the right material choice, can look like an extension of the headboard itself. And when you’re laying in bed, the view of an accent wall straight ahead may not have the calming effect you need.

Take a look at the red and brown hues of the Cultured Stone® Winesburg Weathered Plank 4&6 veneer. This manufactured stone was molded to precisely replicate the grain and character of reclaimed barn wood; its artistry and craftsmanship are molded to replicate the warmth of reclaimed barn wood.

We Make It Easy!

Creating a statement with stone veneer has never been easier. six brands of natural and manufactured stone veneer products available in hundreds of colors, shapes and sizes, Instone is your partner in making your vision a reality. 

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Stone Veneer Fireplace Upgrades

Pangaea Fieldstone
Pangaea Fieldstone

A Step-by-Step Guide to Stone Veneer Fireplace Upgrades

Ready for a decorative fireplace makeover? If that old brick fireplace doesn’t quite match your home’s new vibe, there’s no need to fret. Think of it as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

Swapping out the dated look for a stylish stone veneer fireplace is simpler than you might think. And guess what? In most scenarios, you can leave those bricks right where they are.

Sure, red brick fireplaces have that quintessential American charm. But, if yours looks a bit weary after years of cozy fires, it might be time for a change. While some folks opt for a quick brick fireplace makeover with heat-resistant paint, nothing beats the elegance and value boost of a natural stone facade.

Wondering about the how-tos? Whether you’re thinking of adhering stone veneers directly onto the bricks or using nifty tools for an extra-sturdy bond, we’ve got the lowdown. Take a look at your options and tap into Instone’s treasure trove of resources to guide you every step of the way.

Prepping for Interior Stone Veneer

Before you dive into your fireplace transformation, it’s essential to set the stage for a smooth installation. Start by laying a tarp around the fireplace area. This step ensures that any stray mortar or debris doesn’t play havoc with your floors.

Next, give those bricks some TLC. It’s important to remove any dirt, dust, or loose materials that could compromise the adhesion of the stones. A vacuum with a brush attachment should do the trick for most of the cleaning. For stubborn spots, a gentle wipe with a damp sponge will work wonders. And if you come across areas of the brickwork that are crumbling or a bit unstable, consider giving them a light sanding to create an even surface.

Stone veneer prep

Choose Your Backing

Option 1: Metal Lath

Want to ensure that your stone veneer clings on like a champ? Enter the metal lath. This meshy marvel is not only strong but also flexible. Shape it around your fireplace, get it to hug those corners, and even trace out that fancy mantel.

After drilling or nailing the lath into the bricks, you’ll want to apply a scratch coat over its entire area. Fill all of the gaps with mortar, build about ½ inch layer on top of the lath, and comb over it with the trowel’s teeth to create grooves for the stones to grip to. Once the scratch coat dries, you can begin applying mortar to the back of the stones and attach them to the surface.

Option 2: Cement Board

Want a simpler DIY? Then cement board might be your best bet. It offers a clean slate, making your veneer application smooth and easy. After fastening the cement board to your fireplace, you’ll want to spread a scratch coat, groove it nicely, let it dry, and then give it time to dry.

Then you can apply mortar to your stones and install them with ease.

Option 3: Direct Application

Got a fireplace in tip-top condition? Why not skip the lath or cement board and go direct? Apply the veneer straight onto the brick, but make sure those bricks are ready for the spotlight — means no crumbling faces, loose bricks, unstable cracks, or other substances on the fireplace that could weaken the bonding.

 A tiny caveat: if your bricks have a paint job, it’s best to opt for either Option 1 or 2.

Get Your Materials Ready

Stone Veneer or Stone Veneer Panels?

Dutch Quality Industrial Grey Plank
Dutch Quality Industrial Grey Plank
Quail Grey Dutch Quality Veneer
Quail Grey Dutch Quality Veneer
Cultured Stone Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone Fireplace in Living Room
Cultured Stone Echo Ridge Country Ledge

Veneer Panels

In a bit of a hurry? Interloc natural stone veneer panels or Cultured Stone Pro-Fit faux stone panels might be your speed. These mechanically fastened panels simplify installation and reduce installation time.

Pangaea Fieldstone Cambrian
Pangaea Fieldstone Cambrian
Pangaea Grigio Ledgestone
Pangaea Grigio Ledgestone
Pangaea® Fieldstone Westcoast
Pangaea Fieldstone Westcoast

Stone Veneer

If you choose traditional stone veneer take the time to do a little prep. Before you begin, make sure your stones are clean and lay them out in your desired pattern.

Be sure that you have all the necessary materials at hand. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installing your chosen type of stone veneer. In most cases, you’ll need your trusty trowel, type S Mortar, and a masonry saw before getting started.

For more detailed instructions, check out these comprehensive guides for Cultured Stone and Pangaea.

If you’re seeking inspiration for your fireplace makeover, take a look at these inspiration pages.

And if the DIY route isn’t your cup of tea, you can find a certified installer near you by searching our database.

Let Instone Make it Easy

Navigating the world of stone veneer fireplaces can be overwhelming, but don’t sweat it! Instone’s network of suppliers is ready to guide you. They’ll help you pinpoint the perfect method and materials tailor-made for your project. Ready to rock that decorative fireplace transformation? Contact Instone today for a dealer in your area.

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Investing in Excellence: How the Certified Installer Program is Raising the Bar in the Masonry Industry

mortar layout
mortar layout

Investing in Excellence: How the Certified Installer Program is Raising the Bar in the Masonry Industry

For a homeowner getting started on a masonry project, finding a top-quality local contractor can feel like a virtual maze. Unless you have a family connection or a trusted source shares a positive testimonial, you’ll likely delve into the hit-or-miss world of crowdsourced websites. When sifting through the well of comments on Google, social media and home improvement sites, it can be hard to know what to believe. Was that five-star rating and glowing review submitted by the owner’s wife? Was there more to the story than the rant about a crew that wasn’t up to the job?

A new program initiated by the Concrete Masonry and Hardscapes Association (CMHA) is taking the guesswork out of the process by providing hard-earned endorsements from those who know the field best. Launched in January 2023, the Certified Installer Program grants certificates to those who undergo two days of testing and observation to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.

Cultured Stone Echo Ridge photo
Cultured Stone Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone

Nearly four years in the making, the program was developed by a consortium of manufactured stone producers, installers, vendors and respected industry experts. 

Jeff Tew Headshot

“The Program offers professionals an opportunity to separate themselves from the pack of less skilled and experienced competitors in their market”

Jeff Tew, Westlake’s Director of Technical and Training

“As long as I’ve been doing this, I’ve had architects, homeowners and builders ask, ‘How do I know if I’ve got a good installer,’ or, ‘Do you have a list of certified installers?’ We couldn’t do that on our own as a company, but as an industry we could take that up and deliver a robust certification program,” Tew said. “It’s a great way to now point those folks in the direction of the best-quality contractors.”

Once certified, installers are listed on the CMHA and Westlake Royal Stone Solutions websites (click here to scan the current roster). Tew said interest from customers has been high already.

“The people who are joining are interested in seeing the industry become better, stronger and more code-compliant,” Tew said. “The early adopters joining the program now are the ones who will see the most and fastest results. Beginning next year, a lot more information from the CMHA will be pushed out to architects and builders encouraging them to use those certified contractors.”

brush application to veneer

Making the Grade

Those who seek certification will go through a course administered either by the CMHA or regional partners (including Westlake) that have undergone “train the trainer” programs.

Day one is primarily conducted in the classroom. Participants complete a series of modules covering each step from installation to completion, including code requirements, materials, and terminology definitions. Trainers provide instruction on key topics like how to assess a wall’s suitability for installations; the proper use of grouting and mortar, and when materials should be discarded; and working in varying temperatures. Participants must pass a 50-question multiple choice test at the end of the day.

Day two is more hands-on and challenges installers to demonstrate their ability under close observation. Participants must install manufactured stone veneer on a 10-square-foot wall, demonstrating proper techniques and following any special instructions in the product’s guide. They are also shown a completed wall that has 12 mistakes and asked to identify them.

The certification lasts three years. To renew it the first time, participants can retake the 50-question written test online to extend their certification by three years. For second renewals, the applicants must retake the full course in person. (The course designers determined that after six years, enough conditions in the industry will have changed to warrant a reexamination.)

Cultured Stone White Oak ledgstone
Cultured Stone White Oak Country Ledgestone

An Investment in the Future

Westlake produces several manufactured stone veneer brands, including Cultured Stone, which is carried by Instone. Cultured Stone’s leadership team was integral in developing the certification program and Westlake has dedicated significant resources into making it successful, Tew said.

The company views its contributions as an important investment in an industry that is still growing up, he said. Actions like the creation of the Certified Installer Program and the establishment of the ASTM 1670 standard for manufactured stone veneer products are helping build credibility and will improve the industry’s reputation going forward.

“It’s another important step, and the CMHA taking leadership and developing this program is one way we can show that we care about the contractors out there,” Tew said. “We’re not just trying to sell them stone. We’re also trying to help them succeed with their businesses.”

To view a schedule of upcoming certification session dates and locations in your region, click here.

For additional questions about the program or manufactured stone veneer, contact Instone today.

5 Interior Home Projects To Tackle This Winter with Stone Veneer

Panagaea indoor fireplace
Panagaea indoor fireplace

5 Interior Home Projects To Tackle This Winter with Stone Veneer

Stone can set the tone for your interior home makeovers. Whether you need a mancave makeover to host late-night card games, an elegant dining room redo to impress guests, or an elevated entertaining space to lift spirits during holiday gatherings, stone veneer is your MVP. Adding a touch of stone to your home bar, fireplace, or feature wall can take your home entertaining spaces to the next level.

Ready for some heavy-duty inspiration? Scroll down and let’s start planning out your ultimate sanctuary with these 5 home improvement projects with stone veneer.

Pangaea® Fieldstone Cambrian
Pangaea® Fieldstone Cambrian
Pangaea® Fieldstone Cambrian
Pangaea® Fieldstone Cambrian
Pangaea®Fieldstone Westcoast
Pangaea® Fieldstone Westcoast
Pangaea® Fieldstone Westcoast
Pangaea® Fieldstone Westcoast

1. Fireplace Makeovers Add The Drama 

Ramp up your fireplace game. Interior stone veneer doesn’t just add charm; it transforms a space. Imagine a floor-to-ceiling stack of stone veneer, framing a fireplace and capturing the feel of a time-honored estate.

The examples above feature Pangaea® Natural Stone products, offering a contrast in fireplace design styles thanks to a variety of available colors and patterns. For a bold look that makes the fireplace the star of the room, the last two images above feature Pangaea®’s Fieldstone Westcoast veneer. For a softer look, muted grays deliver a sophisticated, but understated impact, with Pangaea® Fieldstone Cambrian. No matter your home’s style, Pangaea has a look for you.  

Dutch Quality Winter Point
Dutch Quality Winter Point Drystack

2. Basement Renovations Rule On Game Day

When a home begins to feel crowded, the basement becomes the go-to space for entertaining. But hard choices await: which boxes to junk, what old gear to retire, and most crucially, which stone finish to choose.

Take this Illinois mancave makeover, where the homeowner transformed a standard basement into the ultimate entertainment hub for watching the games. The striking Dutch Quality Winter Point Dry Stack veneer sets the scene, perfectly framing the tv screen and inviting indoor fireplace. And that support beam, it integrates into the room design nicely thanks to the faux stone veneer, which mimics a natural stone pillar.

Cultured Stone® Arcadia Pro-Fit® Terrain™ Ledgestone. Interior Stone Veneer Accent Wall.
Cultured Stone® Arcadia Pro-Fit® Terrain™ Ledgestone

3. Game Rooms That Bring Big Fun 

With a ping pong table, dartboard, and a flat-screen mounted over Cultured Stone®’s Arcadia Pro-Fit Terrain Ledgestone, we give this home points for having the coolest game room in town. The Pro-Fit Terrain stone veneer has staggered depths and alternating rough/smooth finishes to add depth and balance and to show this isn’t just a game room; it’s where legends are made. 

4. A Historic Case for Stone in Wine Cellar

Archaeologists have found caves in Europe and Asia used by winemakers over 5,000 years ago. The ancient vintners knew that dark, subterranean confines were ideal for avoiding temperature swings that could ruin the fermentation process. The practice endured and gave rise to the temperature-controlled cellars that are still used to make and store wine today.

Instone honors this legacy with interior stone veneer that shout Old World gravitas. The above Beon Stone® Element Collection Carbo (left) panels and Cultured Stone® Palermo de Mare (right) veneer could be the right detail to add some traditional appeal.

Artepiso Cedar Wine on the bar
Artepiso Cedar Wine on the bar
Pangaea® Sierra Ridge Roman Castlestone
Pangaea® Sierra Ridge Roman Castlestone
Dutch Quality Sienna Drystack
Dutch Quality Sienna Drystack
Dutch Quality Sagewood Ledgestone
Dutch Quality Sagewood Ledgestone

5. Home Bars That Have It All 

What kind of vibe do you want for your personal bar? If you’re thinking bold and daring —  and maybe even a little funky — take a peek at the incomparable shapes and textures of Artepiso 3D architectural tiles, like the Artepiso’s Cedar pattern tiles shown on this wine bar. The light and ultra-customizable concrete tiles can be painted any color and adhere to most surfaces with a simple and inexpensive installation. 

Looking for a less modern material choice? Instone offers many material options for bars and wine cellars. The photos above showcase the multiple looks of stone veneer to create the perfect ambiance for entertaining. 

Stone Veneer At The Ready for Your Indoor Renovation Projects

Got a renovation on your mind? From igniting the spark of an idea to laying down the groundwork, we’re here to help you with fresh ideas, material options, or cost estimates for your entertaining space makeover. 

Instone carries six natural and manufactured stone veneer brands that offer hundreds of options for colors, shapes, sizes, and styles. Whatever your style – rustic, modern, or unique – we’ve got the goods. Hunting for something custom-made? Instone’s Fabrication and Design Services professionals are on standby, ready to assist.

Whether you’re a mason, contractor,  or DIY weekend warrior, let us connect you with an Instone products dealer in your area. Contact us today!

Looking for more interior inspiration, follow us on Pinterest and Instagram.

Choosing Manufactured Stone Veneer: A Quick Guide to Colors, Factors, and Brands

Echo Ridge Country Ledgestone
Cultured Stone Veneer

Choosing Manufactured Stone Veneer: A Quick Guide to Colors, Factors, and Brands

The Mason’s Pallet

Just as every artist has their palette of paints, every mason has their pallet of stones. 

No decision in an indoor or outdoor stone veneer project makes an artistic statement like the choice of material colors. Materials like stone have the power to set a tone, make a bold first impression, and pay tribute to the personality of a homeowner.

Manufactured stone veneer (MSV) aka stone siding provides masonry professionals a full spectrum of color options. While natural stone is colored through ancient geologic processes that are beyond human control, there’s an artistry to the creation of MSV that allows for personalization in both shape and shade depending on demand.

Cultured Stone Aspen Country Ledgestone
Cultured Stone Aspen Country Ledgestone

Unmatched Color Schemes

Cultured Stone, the first-ever MSV manufacturer and industry leader,, offers over 75 stone colors in two dozen textures and styles. They are also the producers of various brick veneer profiles and colors, including Tenley Brick, hailed by Azure Magazine as “structural as well as decorative … and [introducing] a contemporary spin to old-world character.” Dutch Quality Stone, on the other hand, is available in 36 colors and is a great cost-conscious alternative produced by Westlake Royal Stone Solutions, Cultured Stone’s parent company.

These collections pay meticulous attention to detail and boast an extensive range of colors. Incorporating a stone profile that harmonizes with your exterior color palette or compliments the interior with an accent wall is a great way to elevate the look and feel of a space. This is precisely why they stand as the preferred selection for architects, masons, and discerning homeowners alike.

Cultured Stone’s color palettes are inspired by nature and align with the latest design trends and styles, ensuring its array of veneer ensures its veneer colors look vivid and compelling. Iron oxide pigments are applied by hand to each mold before the concrete and aggregate mix is poured, ensuring the color seeps thoroughly into the stone’s face and all the way around its edges.

“The coloring line is the most detailed and sought-after job in the plant,” Joe Marxkors, Sales Area Manager at Westlake Royal Stone Solutions said in an episode of Instone’s “InBuilding Design” exploring the benefits of MSV. “It takes 10-15 years to get there. You could have up to 10 different colors on one stone.”

As a result that craftsmanship, Cultured Stone has created some of the most realistic looking manufactured stone on the market. Marxkors sometimes carries a briefcase with a block of natural stone and a similar MSV version and challenges viewers to guess which one is real. Even the most seasoned masonry professionals often get it wrong.

“Cultured Stone the brand looks like the most natural stone product in the industry,” Instone CEO Kevin Grotke observes in this discussion on the differences between natural stone and MSV. “They are the founder and leader of the industry. They go to a great extent to capture the texture and the coloring of the stone.”

Manufactured Stone Veneer Color Considerations

Several factors may determine the veneer color a mason chooses for a home. Its appearance must complement the overall home design, enhance its curb appeal, and harmonize with the surrounding environment. Here are some key factors that masons tell us influence their color choices: 

  • Architectural style plays a significant role in color selection. A traditional or rustic-style home may benefit from earthy tones like brown, beige or gray, while a modern or contemporary-style home will look sleek with vibrant colors like black, white, or shades of blue.
  • Existing exterior elements such as the colors of the roof, siding and trim should be taken into account to create a cohesive and balanced appearance.
  • Surrounding landscapes are often considered to ensure the home blends with its environment. For example, a material like Cultured Stone’s white Fossil Reef Coral Stone is a natural pick for a home in a coastal community, while the rugged and earthy Bucks County Dressed Fieldstone is a great match for a home on a wooded property.
  • Neighborhood character should also be taken into account. Whether to use a veneer that blends with the surrounding homes or a bold color that makes it stand out from the crowd is an important design choice.
  • The climate and natural lighting in the area are factors to consider. In regions with intense sunlight, lighter colors may be preferred to reflect heat and keep energy costs down. 
  • Last but not least, homeowner preferences are of course crucial in the decision-making process. Masonry professionals should guide their clients’ choices to ensure they fulfill the vision for their home.
Stone Veneer Buyer's Guide: Colors, Factors, Brands: Dutch Quality Tuscan Ridge
Dutch Quality Elkwood Tuscan Ridge

CULTURED STONE TOP 5 COLORS OF 2023

FLIP CARDS TO REVEAL COLORS

Echo Ridge Dressed Fieldstone

Grays with blues and browns

Bucks County European Castle Stone

Cream with Brown & Red Features

Chardonnay Alpine Pro-Fit

Khaki with Charcoal & Reds

Gray Southern Ledgestone

Varying Gray Shades

Aspen Dressed Fieldstone

Dark Beige with Brown & Gray Highlights

DUTCH QUALITY TOP 5 COLORS OF 2023

FLIP CARDS TO REVEAL COLORS

Prestige Weather Ledge

Prestige

Cream with a mix of greys and orange

Winter point

Winter Point

Light gray with darker tones

Elkwood

Blend of grays and ruddy colors

Sienna

Reddish-brown with gray features

Quail Grey

Mid-tone gray with dark and lighter elements

Stone Siding Home Exterior Color Trends

Even with the endless variety of MSV colors available, there are a few timeless styles that are always in demand. MSV is made to mimic the appearance of natural stone, so veneers that have gray or beige bases like granites, limestones andsandstones maintain their appeal over the years, even as design trends change. The top five regionally-based est-selling Cultured Stone and Dutch Quality veneer colors of 2023 are a reflection of that.

Your Trusted Stone Supplier for Manufactured Stone Veneer

Instone carries manufactured stone and brick veneer brands in hundreds of color options for both interior and exterior home renovation projects. Contact our team today to discuss the perfect material, color and finish for your project today.

Upgrade Your Stone Veneer Siding Game: Get Quick & Stunning Results

Be.on stone photo
Be.on stone photo

Upgrade Your Stone Veneer Siding Game: Get Quick & Stunning Results

Fast-track Your Masonry Projects with Instone’s Solutions

Whether you’re a contractor or a weekend warrior do-it-yourselfer, you feel the need … The need for speed.

Installing a veneer one stone at a time is meticulous work that takes time. Time that could be spent on a family outing, crossing tasks off the to-do list, or doing the things you love. Or in the case of a masonry professional, time that holds you back from moving on to the next job.

Instone offers two high quality solutions that are easy to install and help you cruise through stone veneer siding installations. Interloc Natural Stone Panels and Be.on® Stone are three to eight times faster to install. And they work well on interior and exterior applications.

Both stone siding brands have their own unique features but share a common approach in producing panels made of multiple stones. The professionally designed panels can cover plenty of ground in a hurry. The veneer panels fit together seamlessly and are designed for stress-free installation, making projects simple enough for any moderately handy do-it-yourselfer to take on.

Using Interloc or Be.on Stone, a wall that looks like it’s clad with thousands stones will only actually require a few dozen stone veneer panels. Chris Camosse, general manager for Massachusetts-based Camosse Masonry Supply, said these creative products have been hot sellers and given his company an edge.

“With the proprietary products that Instone finds, it allows us to have something that our competitors in the area don’t have – for example, the Interloc interlocking panel systems,” Camosse said. “These have become a huge success not only with homeowners but with contractors. Everyone sees the value of the product and the time it saves.”

Interloc gif
Interloc Natural Stone Veneer Panels – Real Stone 8x Faster

A Loc on Quality

Interloc panels feature thin natural stone pieces that are set into mortar and shaped to fit tightly together, hiding joints and giving the appearance of a stacked stone masonry wall. With Interloc, the hard work of selecting and arranging individual stones is already handled at the factory. Adding to the ease of installation, Interloc stone veneer panels have rough grooves on their backs that aid bonding.

Camosse first began carrying Interloc products about three years ago. Since then, he has held short how-to courses for contractors to introduce the product. During the courses, he demonstrates the panels’ consistency, time savings, and helps them become familiar with the product.

“The product we got on day one was the same quality as the product we got a year in, so that proved a lot to us as well.”

Chris Camosse, general manager for Massachusetts-based Camosse Masonry Supply

Interloc is available in two styles: New England, which features a blend of grey and warm, earthy colored stones, and Berkshire, a more consistent grey stone with sandy highlights. Use our online savings calculator to compare costs of Interloc vs. standard stone veneer siding.

Interloc Natural Stone Veneer Panels In Two Colors - Berkshire and New England
Be.on Stone Veneer Panels Showcase Carousel
Be.On Stone Veneer Panels – Mechanically Fastened

Above and Be.on for Simplicity

Instone President and CEO Kevin Grotke recently took on a DIY project of his own, adding wainscoting around the outside of a cottage he bought for family getaways. After giving some thought to his options, he determined Be.on Stone mortarless stone veneer siding was the ideal choice.

“We’re only here on the weekends so I’ve only got a day and a half to get this done, which is why I decided to go with this rather than a mortar and a lath application.”

Kevin Grotke, Instone president and CEO

Be.on Stone, also known as “screw-on stone veneer” or “stone veneer siding,” requires no mortar. It requires few tools – if you have a screw gun, a tile saw, a level and a tape measure, you’re off to the races.

As Grotke demonstrates in this video, the key is applying a starter strip along the base of the wall at the beginning of the job and making sure it’s level.

Once you’ve screwed in the initial row of veneer panels, you can run the rest of your panels above them quickly and perfectly level. Whether you have a standard OSB or plywood wall, you only need two or three fasteners per panel and don’t need to hit a stud.

Best of all, you won’t need a confusing assortment of panels to form your corners. As explained in our InBuilding Design series, the same pieces are used for inside and outside corners.

“You don’t need to order inside corners, you don’t need outside corners. One panel does it all,” Hortigan said. “All you have to do is figure out what your square footage is.”

Plus, with Be.on Stone’s patented D.Rain water management system, any rain that makes it behind the stone veneer drains automatically to the bottom of the wall, preventing mold and other damage to the structure. The product also has a 50-year warranty.

Be.on stone veneer siding drain system

Be.on Stone comes in four styles, ranging from the Element collection, with its old European flavor, to the more contemporary Horizon. Each has its own variety of color options. Try our Virtual Designer for an instant glimpse at what a Be.on Stone veneer would look like on your home.

Be.on color skews

We Make it Easy!

Contact Instone today to learn more about why Interloc and Be.on Stone products are the fast, easy solutions for your next stone veneer job or DIY home exterior and siding project.