In terms of popularity among facade materials, stone is second only to plaster. A huge variety of facing stone allows you to embody any ideas with it and fit into any budget. You can decorate the whole house, its basement with a stone, decorate window and doorways – there are more than enough options. When it has already been decided how the facade will be arranged and the time comes to buy the right material, the most crucial moment awaits us – to understand the entire range and find the most suitable solution. What kind of facing stone for the facade and the basement exists, what is the difference between its different types, and which masonry is better?
# 1. Types of stone for the facade of the house
All the stone that the market offers us today can be divided into two large groups:
- a natural stone;
- fake diamond.
Natural stone is divided by species, artificial – by manufacturing technology and materials used for this.
# 2. Natural stone: pros, cons, format
When the budget allows, natural stone is probably the best way to decorate the facade of a private house. Its main advantages include:
- stunning appearance with an original and unique texture, beautiful shade and relief;
- environmental friendliness, because this is a material of natural origin, and if it can be processed, it is only mechanical;
- resistance to negative environmental factors (sunlight, precipitation, temperature extremes, as well as mold and insects), therefore, natural stone is a reliable protection for the outer walls of the house;
- high durability.
Among the disadvantages, of course, is the high price, so natural stone can be considered a kind of indicator of the status of the owner of the house. On the other hand, expensive material can be used to decorate some elements of the facade: the stone goes well with plaster, and as a result, facade work will cost much less, and the house will look great. In addition, in this way you can reduce the load on the foundation. If a full facade cladding with natural stone will be performed, then this must be taken into account even at the design stage of the house in order to make a more powerful foundation, because the weight of the stone is quite large.
Natural stone, as a rule, is subjected to some degree of mechanical processing before being sold. It can be cut, sawed, grinded, polished, or milled. Depending on the processing option, natural stone is:
- “Rock” – a stone that fully retains its natural structure;
- bush hammered – a stone, the surface of which is made with imitation of point strong blows;
- polished – a stone with a more or less even texture and obvious traces of machining;
- sawn stone retains its natural roughness and can be exposed to flame during processing;
- polished stone has a matte and almost smooth surface;
- polished stone is processed to a mirror finish.
As for the size, natural stone is usually supplied with a thickness of 1.5-2.5 cm, and the following types of stone are distinguished by format:
- wild stone – elements of irregular shape, but with neatly processed edges, it is more difficult to make facing from such a stone, but it looks gorgeous;
- stone slabs (sometimes called slabs) are also irregular, but large in size. In fact, it is a large solid stone block;
- tiles of the Euro-2 format have dimensions 60 * 30 cm and a thickness of 2 cm, it is easiest to work with it, therefore such a stone is in the greatest demand;
- die – a stone with dimensions of 30 * 30 cm and a thickness of about 2 cm, created from scraps of material.
No. 3. Natural stone: types
The following types of natural stone are usually used for facade decoration:
granite – one of the most durable stones, has a decent hardness, frost resistance, minimal moisture absorption. It looks massive and strict, it can have a polished or chipped surface, the color depends on impurities: it can be from a light gray shade to pink and almost red. The minus of the material is an increased natural background radiation, so it is better to purchase it in proven places so that all indicators of the stone comply with safety standards;
marble is easy to process, it can be polished to a mirror surface, which is used for the production of facade tiles. The color, like that of granite, depends on impurities, and in the light the stone looks especially beautiful. For cladding, marble of medium hardness is used, it is quite strong and dense, but over time it can darken;
labradorite is a durable and beautiful stone, ideal for facade decoration, but very expensive, since its deposits are few. They can only be used to veneer certain parts of the facade;
limestone is a relatively inexpensive stone, easy to process, has much higher thermal insulation properties than granite and marble. Color – from white to gray and yellow. It is easy to work with the material, it has bactericidal properties, but in terms of hardness it is much inferior to other stones, and high porosity favors increased moisture absorption;
sandstone can be chipped or polished, it is inferior in strength to granite, but is ahead of limestone, has low porosity and is considered the most optimal in terms of price / quality ratio, therefore it is the most popular among all natural stones;
Shale is sold in the form of rectangular beds with a characteristic relief, or in the form of irregular polygonal tiles, the surface is chipped. Clay and crystalline slate are equally used for cladding the facade. The stone looks great, but during operation it tends to crumble – the layered structure affects.
Other types of stones are also used for facing facades, but those described above are the most popular.
No. 4. Artificial facing stone
If the facade of an already built house is being renovated and you want to decorate it with a stone, but the foundation will not withstand such a load, and it is not possible to carry out work to strengthen it, an artificial stone will be the best choice. It looks good, but most outwardly will not determine where there is a high-quality artificial stone, and where is natural.
- more affordable price (compared to natural analogue);
- beautiful appearance, variety of shapes and textures, because the technology allows you to copy any kind of stone;
- resistance to high humidity, sunlight, temperature extremes, mold and mildew;
- durability and ease of maintenance;
- light weight.
Artificial stone is a fairly strong material, but it is inferior in strength to its natural counterpart. The material is made on the basis of natural materials, so it can be called completely safe, but if you compare it with natural stone, then its substitute loses in terms of environmental friendliness. Artificial stone can be considered a very worthy alternative to natural.
No. 5. Types of artificial stone for the facade
The industry has mastered a lot of ways to create man-made stone. The main types of artificial stone are:
clinker stone is made from special refractory types of clay at elevated temperatures. The result is a strong, durable and solid material that is not afraid of moisture and sunlight. By its properties, it is close to some types of natural stone. It is produced in the form of clinker facing bricks, tiles with imitation of brickwork and sandstone of various types of processing;
concrete stone is the easiest to manufacture, and therefore the cheapest. It is made of high strength concrete by pouring it into the appropriate shape and ramming. In a similar way, you can make a stone of any size, shape and relief, paint it in bulk and imitate even granite, even slate. The strength of such a stone is high and is similar to cement plaster, the weight, however, is also high. An architectural stone is also distinguished – the same concrete, but it contains mineral fillers and special modifiers;
polymer sandstone is made on the basis of polymers and fillers, which are usually sand. Such a stone imitates a brick or has a chipped surface. The material is not very durable, but due to its plasticity, waterproofness and resistance to high temperatures, it has high durability;
a stone based on synthetic resins with a filler in the form of stone chips is closest to natural stone in strength and beauty. Can imitate any breed and have any surface;
ceramic façade stone is produced using a technology close to conventional ceramic tiles, i.e. clay based. The material imitates a stone with a smooth polished surface or with a slight relief, is resistant to moisture, but not the highest strength, and under the influence of temperature changes it can begin to peel off, therefore it is not used very often.
No. 6. Facing stone installation options
The stone can be mounted in one of the following ways:
- on an adhesive base directly to the outer walls;
- on the hinged facade.
The first option is used most often, but requires careful leveling of the surface and the use of a reinforcing mesh. The ventilated façade allows air to circulate freely and remove excess moisture, as there is a hole between the outer wall and the trim. In this case, the stone is fastened to the metal guides using clamps. It is better to entrust the cladding of the facade with a stone to specialists – it is difficult to do all the work with your own hands.
No. 7. Types of stone laying when finishing the facade
A lot depends on the appearance of the stone, but it is no less important how the individual elements are located relative to each other. The type of masonry is chosen depending on the architectural style and your own preferences:
cladding for masonry from a die involves the use of elements of irregular shape (if it is a natural stone, then with minimal processing). They are arranged randomly and so that the gaps are minimal. Outwardly, the masonry looks natural and very impressive, but the installation process is also complicated by the fact that it is necessary to have a sufficient aesthetic taste;
cladding under the “castle” masonry involves the use of rectangular elements with different lengths and widths. It is not difficult to dock them, but it is important to beautifully combine stones of different sizes, and this requires certain qualifications. The finished masonry resembles the one used in medieval castles, which is why it got its name;
cladding under the “plateau” masonry is created from elements of rectangular and square shapes, the sides of which are multiples of 5 cm, and differs from the “castle” masonry only in the presence of square elements, which makes it more diverse. The arrangement requires qualifications and certain experience;
masonry “rondo” involves the use of round and oval stones (pebbles, processed quartzite), is used mainly for finishing individual elements of the facade;
masonry “shahriar” – the simplest in execution, consists of rectangular elements, reminiscent of brickwork. Here it is only important to lay out the first row evenly;
the “Assol” masonry is made from a die, only the stones are placed here not with the front side, but with the end, which allows you to form a beautiful volumetric surface. The laying process is complex, mainly shale and sandstone are used.
Both natural and artificial stone have sufficient performance for facades. Modern artificial stone in terms of durability, strength and decorativeness has already come close to natural, which cannot but rejoice – a beautiful facade is becoming even more accessible.