Manufactured Stone Veneer vs. Natural Stone Veneer: What’s the Difference?

Stone veneer in front of house mimicking the look of natural stone

Stone design is beautiful and easy to spot when you see it. What’s more challenging is being able to tell if the siding is made of natural stone or manufactured stone veneer. Difficulty differentiating the two materials is by design and exactly what manufacturers strive for. While both manufactured stone veneer and natural stone may look similar, they vary in many ways. Understudying these differences can help homeowners and commercial property owners decide which material is right for their home improvement project.

With over 70 years of experience providing clients throughout central and northern New Jersey with high-quality stone veneer products and installation services, Garden State Brickface and Siding is very familiar with these differences. Here, we detail the key differences between these two building materials and what you should know about both.

What Is Manufactured Stone Veneer?

Manufactured stone veneer is a popular building material among property owners. Made from a mixture of Portland cement, iron oxide pigments, and aggregates poured into a mold, it is engineered to mimic the appearance of natural stone siding, while providing advantages that real stone cannot.

What Is Natural Stone?

Natural stone refers to building materials that are 100% stone quarried straight from the earth. Nothing is added or removed from natural stones. Natural stone can be sourced and cut in a variety of ways to meet the specific design needs of the client.

Key Differences Between the Two

Even though stone veneer does a great job of impersonating the look of real stone, the differences between the two are hard not to notice. Be aware of the following differentiations:


One of the biggest differences between natural stone and manufactured stone veneer that property owners care about most is price. Compared to natural stone, manufactured stone veneer is considerably less expensive. The exact cost of both is dependent on several factors such as the amount of material needed and type but generally, manufactured stone veneer is the more inexpensive choice.


A big difference you may not notice just by looking at the two building materials is their discrepancies in weight. Natural stone is much heavier than manufactured stone veneer. This matters in terms of transporting and moving the building material. If you need to ship the material to your location, it can be much more costly to do so with natural stone given its weight. If you are planning to move the building material yourself, weight should still be taken into consideration, as lifting the heavier natural stone is more likely to lead to injuries if not done with proper technique.

Installation Process

The discrepancies in weight also play a role in the installation processes for both building materials. In many cases, installing natural stone requires the services of an experienced and expensive expert. That’s because natural stone often requires added support and reinforcement to be installed beforehand. DIY enthusiasts and contractors can benefit from the convenience of installing manufactured stone veneer.


There’s no denying the beauty of both natural stone and stone veneer. However, the effort that goes into maintaining their good looks is where they are different. Cleaning stone veneer is easy and only requires a simple wipe-down from time to time with a standard cleaning solution. Natural stone must be maintained constantly to keep its elegant looks. Furthermore, because of the way its cut, natural stone consists of several hard-to-reach places which can make cleaning even more of a challenge.

Stone Veneer in Central and Northern New Jersey

Those who want to make the statement of stone design without the drawbacks can find the solution at Garden State Brickface and Siding. We offer a great selection of manufactured stone veneer sourced from Dutch Quality Stone. Their manufactured stone veneer uses products that were designed by local artisans from Amish Country in Ohio, ensuring an immaculate finished product every time. Stone veneer products found at Garden State Brickface and Siding exhibit superb quality. They are designed to last while only requiring minimal maintenance.

To accommodate various design preferences, our selection of manufactured stone veneers is offered in a wide range of colors, profiles, shapes, and sizes. Some varieties include:

  • Dry Stack
  • Fieldstone
  • Ledgestone
  • Limestone
  • Rough Ashlar
  • Stack Ledge
  • Tuscan Ridge
  • Weather Ledge
  • Weathered Plank 4
  • Weathered Plank 6

No matter what your design preferences may be, our team can bring your stacked stone veneer vision to life. We are also pleased to offer clients in central and northern NJ financing options. Contact us today for more information about our manufactured stone veneer inventory or our advanced services.