Choosing the Best Faux Stone Panels: What You Need to Know Before Buying
Written by Milan Jara on 18th Feb 2022
Choosing the best faux stone panels to revitalize your commercial space or home shouldn’t be hard. Here’s what you need to know for a seamless buying experience.
When selecting the best faux stone panels for your home or business, you may be lost for choice. But deciding which faux stacked stone panels are the perfect fit for your space doesn't have to be a chore.
Several factors come into play when looking for the ideal faux stone panels, and you'll want to get it right the first time because you can't easily change your mind once you've made the installation. If you have no idea what to look out for, read on!
What Are Faux Stone Panels?
Faux stone panels are large blocks of pre-assembled or pre-stacked faux stone pieces that imitate the look of natural stone. Each panel can measure several square feet, depending on the manufacturer or brand.
One notable advantage of faux stone panels is that they are aesthetically pleasing. You can use faux stone siding as decorative stones to enhance various places in your spaces, such as on an accent wall that serves as the focal point.
However, despite the attractiveness the beautiful stone panels bring to your home or commercial space, you might face problems with their durability. They are usually shorter-lived than manufactured stone, natural stone veneer, or even real stone.
What About All These Other Names?
Faux stone panels are similar to stone veneer and natural stone veneer, both of which are used as wall siding on an interior or exterior wall to replicate the appearance of natural stone siding.
You can use stone veneer siding when you want something that mimics natural stone without dealing with the fully-fledged masonry that comes with it.
Stone veneer requires less mortar or cement, yet it replicates the look of natural stone– one of the top choices of natural building material.
Unlike stone veneer and natural stone veneer, faux stone panels are artificial and do not contain any natural stone components or minerals. Instead, they use plastic or foam, depending on the manufacturer.
Natural stone veneer and stone veneer panels feature natural materials. The former is natural or real stone that has been cut into thin profiles to make veneers.
Stone veneer is concrete, and thin stone veneer is less than two inches thick.
As you shop around for faux stone panels, you may also come across manufactured stone veneer, a type of stone engineered from mineral composites.
It's worth noting that different manufacturers may have different names for faux stone. Some simply call it faux stone or faux stone veneer. Others call it cultured stone, manufactured stone, or even man-made stone.
You'll also come across Eldorado Stone, which is made using portland cement, iron oxide, and lightweight aggregates.
What to Know Before Buying Faux Stone Panels
Here’s what you need to know before ordering faux stone panels to change the look of your commercial or residential place.
Size of the Panels
The size of the faux stone panels you choose generally determines how quickly you can complete the job and how many panels are required for the project. If you go for small panels that are less than seven square feet, you will end up using a lot of them if you’ve got a lot of space to cover.
Seven square feet is good panel sizing in terms of area per panel. This option will serve you well whether you have a big or small project. If the size of the panel is too big for a certain spot, you can always cut it to fit, working from the panel's backside.
Other aspects you may want to consider include thickness, density, and weight. The thicker the panels, the more stable they are. But this isn't always the right choice when you have limited space. Denser panels will also be heavier. This is good for stability but might be difficult to work with if you are installing them by yourself.
Requirements for Installation
Faux stone panels are similar to faux brick panels in that their installation process is quite easy.
Faux Brick Panels
You do not need masonry skills to install faux brick or stone. The installation of single-piece faux brick can be a bit daunting as you need to apply grout, which makes the process messy.
To install faux stone panels, you only require construction adhesive or screws, depending on the placement method designed by the manufacturer. However, many require both screws and adhesive.
Faux stone panels that use screws require you to strategically drive screws through them into the wall. Those that use adhesive require you to apply the adhesive evenly before sticking the panel on the wall.
For the installation, you must ensure you have the right tools and skills for the job. If you don’t think you can handle it yourself (or you just don’t want to!), you can always call an installer from our service provider's directory.
Before choosing the faux stone panels, ensure that you can use the wall attachment method in your space. If you are a renter, your landlord might not want you to put holes in the wall.
Panel Color, Style, and Texture
The beauty of faux stone panels is that they come in a multitude of colors, styles, and textures. These three aspects are important when selecting the best faux stone panels for your home or business.
Suppose you do not have much interior design knowledge. In that case, call an approved interior designer to help you determine which color, texture, or style best complements or contrasts your current decor and furnishings.
You can choose from various colors in our faux stone selection, such as Biscotti Tan, Cappuccino, Slate Gray, Sandstone, Dusty Gray, Smokey Ridge, and Coconut White, among others.
The various styles of our faux stacked stone panels include Acadia Ledge, Canyon Edge, Earth Valley, Cascade, Harvest Ledge Stone, and Canyon Ridge, among others.
For texture, the idea is to ensure that it complements the texture of other entities in your space, such as windows, wood furnishings, glass walls, vinyl siding, and metallic or wooden doors.
Since most of these items are smooth, the rough texture of the siding will provide much-needed contrast.
Panel Pricing vs Your Budget
Your intended budget for the siding project also counts. If you are on a tight budget, select a cheaper model. And remember, a low price doesn't always equal low quality!
If budget isn’t a big factor and you’re willing to spend a bit more to reinvent your place with attractive faux veneer siding, you can choose higher-end panels that cost more.
In terms of pricing, the best faux panels are those that fit your bill without forcing you to break the bank. Remember, the bigger your project is, the more you are likely to spend.
Construction Material and Fire Rating
Our Tritan BP and Ekena brands faux stone panels are urethane or polyurethane. They are Class A fire-rated the highest fire rating for guaranteed fire safety and protection.
Avoid purchasing stone panels made of foam as not all are fire-rated for use in homes or businesses. Be especially cautious if there are fireplaces or other fire hazards nearby.
You don’t want to risk destroying your new wall, or worse, losing your house, if the panels catch and spread fire easily.
Location of Installation
The location of the faux stone panel installation is a point of genuine concern. If you are using the panels for exterior siding, go for ones that are durable and weather-resistant as they will be constantly exposed to the elements.
If you're installing the panels near a fireplace, ensure that they are fire-rated and guaranteed not to catch fire easily. The best approach may be to avoid installing them too close to the fireplace if you have any doubts.
A big project will require you to buy many faux stone panels. Before you do, measure how much space you need to cover the area in square feet. Use a tape measure for ease of measuring.
When measuring, determine the length and width of each location where you want the panels installed, such as a TV wall. Multiply these two measurements together to get the area in square feet.
Next, make adjustments on the coverage area for things like power outlets and the fireplace since you don't want to cover them. To get the total area you need to cover, add these measurements together, then subtract the sum from the total area obtained above.
Now you have the net area to be covered. To determine the number of faux panels needed for the entire project, divide the net area by the size of one square faux panel. Be sure to add a 15 percent contingency to cover any panels that may become damaged during installation.
The above calculation will help you determine how much money you need to spend per square foot or for the whole project.
If the cost of the panels exceeds your budget for the project or per square foot, you can opt for less expensive panels, keeping in mind that you can still get high-quality decorative material.
Condition of the Placement Wall
You must always mount faux stone panels on a clean, dry surface. If your placement wall is covered with dust, mold, or moisture, your investment will go down the drain.
The placement wall must be of real construction material with proven structural integrity. Faux stone itself lacks structural integrity, so you don't want to use it as a replacement for the real wall. It is only useful for decorative purposes and not real structural construction.
Basements are one of the places to avoid decorating with faux stone panels. Most basements are damp, meaning that the adhesive will not hold the panels in place for a long time.
If you must panel a basement wall, ensure you buy only the best wall panels and adhesive.
Who Owns the Property?
Faux stone can raise the property's resale value, but whether you can install it depends on who owns the property. If you own the space, you won't be afraid of installing a faux stone wall, even when you have to screw the panels in place.
Most property owners renting or leasing their property won't allow you to put up a faux stone wall. And this is for a good reason. The adhesive may damage the wall's surface when you decide to take the panels down. Similarly, the screws will leave holes when removed.
Now you know what to consider when choosing the best faux stone panels to bring a new touch to your space and mimic the look of natural stone. You can obtain this look without breaking the bank since faux stone is much cheaper than real stone.
Before you order the panels, ensure you know the size of the project and how much you are willing to spend on it. The size of the panels, property ownership status, the desired interior matching, and the installation requirements are also crucial aspects to consider for the best results.