Stacked stone vs Flexible stone veneers – What’s your choice?

Stacked stone vs Flexible stone veneers – What’s your choice?

If you’re thinking of a cladding option for your feature wall, splashback, fireplace or kitchen cabinetry, you would’ve definitely come across the term “stackstone”. But what is stackstone, & what are the advantages & disadvantages of using stackstone when compare with an alternative such as flexible stone veneers? Today, let’s explore what stackstone is, & how it compares to flexible stone veneers.

What is stackstone?

Stackstone is known in a variety of different names, such as stacked stone & stacker stone. Stackstone is essentially an old-age construction material that has been used in building designs for a very long time. Stackstone is known for its natural beauty as well as good structural integrity.

Stackstone is basically a 3-dimensional stone veneer, which is made out of cut pieces of multiple natural stones. These veneers are then applied to a backing, & installed in the same way as wall tiling.

Why use stackstone?

There are many advantages in using stackstone, so let’s explore a few of these in detail.

• Environmentally friendly building material
Stackstone, as previously discussed, are made of natural stone, which includes slate, quartzite, sandstone, marble, limestone & granite, among many others. Stackstone is environmentally friendly because they are natural raw materials, as opposed to synthetic building material. Using stackstone in your commercial or home property will not leave an environmental footprint, however, there is a flipside to this as well, which we’ll discuss later.

• Variety of colours & shapes to choose from
You can choose from an endless range of stacked stone to use, from different colours to different shapes & even the type of stone you want to use. Depending on the aesthetic of your commercial or home property & the type of application, you have a variety & the freedom to choose a stackstone design which will blend with the rest of the atmosphere.

• Natural appearance
Using natural elements in your home or office adds to the beauty of your home & makes the interior more comfortable, adding an element of warmth. Since stackstone is a natural stone veneer, & will bring a cottage/farmhouse aesthetic to wherever it’s installed.

• Undiminished colour
Since stackstone is natural stone, the colour will not fade away with time. The texture, colour & hand-feel of stackstone is bound to last for a long time, preserving more or less of the original look it had when first installed.

• Durability
Stackstone, made from natural stone, is one of the most durable natural building components you can use in your commercial or home construction project. These veneers are anti-fracture & water proof, prolonging durability.

• Versatility
Regardless of what aesthetic your commercial or home is, there will most probably be a stackstone design & colour to match & complement it. There will be more traditional options, or more modern options to choose from as well, hence the versatility. There’s also versatility in terms of application, since stackstone can be used as a splashback, feature wall & even surrounding a fireplace.

Flexible stone veneers as an alternative to stackstone

So, now that we’ve understood the pros of stackstone, let’s look at an alternative, namely flexible stone veneers.
Same as stackstone, flexible stone veneers are also a natural stone veneer, but bring an altogether different set of advantages to the table. Let’s look at what this type of stone veneer is, & what these advantages are. Based on this, let’s see whether stackstone is a better option to use as a stone cladding.

What are natural stone veneers?

Natural stone veneers are sustainably extracted with a minimum carbon footprint from 100% natural metamorphic rock. It results in a thin layer of stone which is attached to a backing, which is most commonly fiberglass, but could also be fabric or translucent.
This backing, with the thinness of the stone layer (1.5 mm to 2.0 mm) gives not only tremendous durability, but also ensures a light-weight & easy to install stone veneer. The stone surface provides natural water & heat resistant, which means that it can be installed both indoors & outdoors.

Natural stone veneers can be installed on top of any substrate, including glass, tiles, cement, wood, brick & render. From floors to walls & ceilings, applications are only limited by your creativity, with the most common applications being splashbacks, feature walls, fireplaces, bathrooms, bedrooms, & furniture. For anyone who’s interest in DIY products, you can be sure that this is the best stone product that you can install on your own, with a few household tools & easily available adhesives & sealants.

Pros of using flexible stone veneers

1. Durability
The stone surface speaks for itself. Since the surface of the veneer is natural stone, it’s durable & resistant to extreme weather conditions, whether scorching hot or freezing cold. This is the main reason that it can be installed outdoors. Unlike so many other cladding options, the stone surface is also resistant to scratching & chipping, & with the proper installation & maintenance, it’s bound to last a lifetime.

2. Ease of installation
Unlike most cladding options, flexible stone veneers are extremely light-weight, only being around 1.5 kilos per standard sheet. That, combined with the thinness, contributes to ease of installation, to the point where the product is DIY. No need for special equipment or an installation team, just an angle grinder to cut the sheets, a PU adhesive to paste it, & finally a penetrative sealant on top of the surface. You’ll not only save up on labour cost, but also, it’ll be something fun for you to look forward to do in the weekend, especially if you’re a DIY enthusiast!

3. Versatility of application
Natural stone veneers can be installed on both indoor & outdoor surfaces, but that’s not the best part – seeing that it can endure extreme weather conditions as well as be installed on top of any kind of substrate, applications are limitless for your home renovation or building construction project, from indoor & outdoor floors to walls & even ceilings. Common applications that’s popular include splashbacks, feature walls, fireplace exteriors & even furniture! It’s also a beautiful product to install on your cabinetry, bathrooms & bedrooms.

4. Water & heat resistance
Natural stone veneers are naturally water & heat resistant, since the surface is natural stone. So, you can install it in places where water & heat resistance is an absolute necessity, including outdoors.

5. Visual appeal
Natural stone veneers have an elegant look, whether it’s installed indoors or outdoors. The natural stone surface is unique in appearance & since each sheet is unique from the other, it creates a theme of its own.

6. Low maintenance
Once a penetrative sealant is applied on the stone surface after installation, it’ll preserve the surface & the most basic dust & day to day dirt can be easily cleaned with water.

7. Lightweight
Unlike other cladding options, the natural stone veneer is an extremely thin slice of rock, weighing only around 1.5 kilos per standard sheet, so it’s the perfect solution when you want an elegant stone appearance, without the weight & difficulty in installation. It’s also perfect for installation on structures that are unable to bear heavy weights.

8. Affordability
Compared with other cladding options & considering the advantages it offers, natural stone veneers are affordable. Not only saving up on the labour cost if you do it on your own, but each sheet is extremely cost effective for the benefits & unique stone look it offers.

Now, having seeing the advantages of both stackstone & flexible stone veneers, let’s have a look at why flexible stone veneers may be the better choice of natural stone veneers to use in your commercial or home construction project.
Issues in using stackstone

• Carbon footprint
One of the advantages which was discussed with stackstone is that it was environmentally friendly, however, compared with flexible stone veneers, it can have an impact in terms of the carbon footprint. The thickness of a stackstone veneer is approximately 1 inch to 2.5 inches, which means that more rock is needed to be quarried, making an impact on the carbon footprint. Flexible stone veneers, on the other hand, have a thickness of only 1.5 to 2.0 mm, so you need to quarry much less rock when compared to stackstone.

• Installation is recommended to be done by a professional crew
Installation of stackstone is highly recommended to be done by a professional, since incorrectly installed stackstone can result in loose panels, water damage & other issues. Also, installation requires Thinset, a type of mortar, & application needs to be done correctly for the stackstone panel installation to endure. In comparison, flexible stone veneers can be installed easily by DIY enthusiasts, using equipment which is generally available at home, & adhesives/sealants which can easily be purchased, so no need for a professional.

• Installation will be both time consuming & costly
Stackstone, which uses mortar for installation, will be relatively more time consuming to install than flexible stone veneers, which requires only an adhesive & sealant. Also, since installation is recommended to be done by a professional for stackstone, the labour cost will definitely be more costly than flexible stone veneers, which is essentially a DIY product.

• Limited versatility in application
Even though stackstone is versatile in applications, there are limitations to this when compared with flexible stone veneers. Stackstone, being heavier than flexible stone veneers, cannot be installed on structures that cannot bear weight, also, it’s not as supple as flexible stone veneers, so installation on curved surfaces is going to be far untidier & difficult, even if it’s achieved.
Add to this, stackstone cannot be used for light featured, as opposed to flexible stone veneers. Since some flexible stone veneers have a translucent backing, you can use a backlight behind it for illuminating features, which definitely cannot be done with a products as thick as stackstone.

Closing thoughts – Stackstone or flexible stone veneer?

At the end of the day, both stackstone & flexible stone veneers are natural stone veneers, so in terms of durability, you’re safe regardless of which product you choose. Also, both these products are water & heat resistant, so applications would be mostly similar. Look-wise, since both stackstone & flexible stone veneers are extracted from natural stone, they will be somewhat similar & have a rough hand feel to it. Both stackstone & flexible stone veneers require little effort to clean & maintain. This is mostly where the similarities end. Stackstone is definitely more difficult to install when compared with flexible stone veneers, which is a DIY product, so you’ll need a professional to install stackstone, meaning more cost in terms of labour, & it will also take more time to install when compared with flexible stone veneers. Apart from this, if you’re structures cannot bear weight, or require a slight degree of curvature, then without doubt, flexible stone veneer is the better option compared with stackstone.

All in all, depending on the type of application, the flexibility required of the stone panel, & whether your budget covers installation cost will help you to make the decision between using stackstone & flexible stone veneers.



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