Back in the day, if you wanted to build a strong home, stone was a popular option. It provided the structural rigidity needed to safeguard against the elements. But as time has gone by, there have been several innovations. So, what if you really like the look of stone but don’t like the expense? Enter stone veneer siding. In this article, CLAD Siding discusses the durability of stone veneer as well as common issues with this siding choice.

The Lifespan of Stone Veneer

Stone is a beautiful and striking addition to any home. But it’s also extremely heavy, expensive, and laborious to install. Plus, you have to enlist the help of a highly skilled stonemason to install or repair it. All of these variables can make you think twice about incorporating traditional stonework on your home’s exterior.

So, how long does stone veneer last? Before we get into that question, let’s take a look at what makes stone veneer a popular home siding pick.

Stone veneer is a much more accessible option compared to traditional stone masonry. This is a non-structural, decorative way to beautify your home’s exterior. It adds instant luxuriousness to your property, as well as a big boost in curb appeal and property value.

Three Primary Types of Stone Veneer

1. Natural stone full veneer

Consisting of 3- to 5-inch cuts of real stone, this veneer technique retains all the natural allure of real stone. Downside? It’s the most expensive and labor-intensive option. The installation requires the touch of a skilled craftsman, too.

2. Natural stone thin veneer 

Utilizing much smaller cuts of stone – anywhere from 3/4” to 1-1/4 inches – this thin veneer offers the natural aesthetic of real stone while being much more cost-effective and easier to install than full-on stone masonry.

3. Manufactured stone veneer or faux stone 

Composed of Portland cement & lightweight aggregate or polyurethane, this option provides the best of both worlds: the attractiveness of real stone and much lower cost.

How Long Does Stone Veneer Siding Last?

Now, back to the lifecycle of stone veneer siding. As shown above, there are two main types of veneer: real stone and faux stone. Real stone veneer siding, when properly installed and maintained, can last for many decades (even as long as a century). That’s impressive! Faux stone veneer typically holds up from 20 to 75 years.

Compared to other exterior options, natural stone veneer provides much longer-lasting protection for your home. It doesn’t crack, peel or fade. And it’s also impervious to the damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Add to the mix its abundance in natural form, and it’s also a highly sustainable material that adds years and years of gorgeous looks!

As for faux stone siding, it also offers many benefits. Cheap, versatile, and low-maintenance, the siding is an engineered, lightweight alternative that still provides the visual splendor of authentic stone. Whichever option you choose, whether faux or real veneer, you can enjoy a lifetime of outstanding durability and fantastic visual charm!

Disadvantages of Stone Veneer

To recap, stone veneer siding provides a ton of value. It retains all the beauty of traditional masonry without the excessive cost, weight, labor, and skill required to install on your home. Of course, as with any type of siding, stone veneer does have its drawbacks. Now that we’ve looked at stone veneer a little closer, what are the disadvantages of stone siding?

To get a clearer understanding, let’s separate the downsides by type of stone veneer: real and faux. This way, you can easily compare the two options.

Cons of Real Stone Veneer

Love the look and feel of real stone? Real stone veneer is an amazing option! Offering the color and texture minus the heft of weight and cost of standard masonry, it’s a fine addition to any home’s exterior. It comes in two types – full veneer and thin veneer – and is commonly composed of quarry stones such as slate, granite, basalt, and limestone.

Expensive and Labor-Intensive

The obvious disadvantage of full veneer is its cost, labor-intensive nature, and need for a skilled stonemason. Thin veneer, on the other hand, is less expensive and much lighter. 

Proper Installation is Imperative

What they do share are common issues: moisture, weak bond, and deteriorated mortar. If installed incorrectly, stone veneer can become susceptible to these issues much sooner.


Also, weight plays a key factor. This can place major limitations and restrictions on how and where you apply it to your home. It requires a proper footing or shelf to properly support it.

Venting Issues

Finally, vents for stoves and other appliances can be a headache. Mortar doesn’t allow for the same flexibility as a standard sealant. As a result, this can cause vent covers to break. And since stone is hard to remove and reinstall, this can be super hard to fix (as well as lead to moisture and pest issues if you are unable to repair quickly).

Cons of Faux Stone Veneer

Offering the appealing look of real stone without the cost or weight, faux stone veneer is a great option for those looking for a cost-effective way to add an instant wow factor to their home. Made of a Portland cement mixture, it’s highly customizable when it comes to shape, size, and color. However, it’s not without its issues.

Not Always Natural-Looking

One of the main disadvantages is that it’s mass-produced. This means you won’t find the unique variations found in real stone. If you’re in search of a more natural appearance, faux stone veneer might not be the best option for your needs.

Susceptible to Damage

Also, it’s not as robust as natural stone. For example, polyurethane veneer can’t take impact as well, which can result in the material actually bending. 

Not Sustainable

And then there’s sustainability. Though cement-based stone veneer is pretty eco-friendly, faux siding that is made of polyurethane is not a sustainable material.

Finally, manufactured or cultured stone has two more issues. 

Requires Expert Installation

Faux stone veneer still requires installation by a highly trained professional. If not properly applied, you can have issues with extreme water damage, for example. 

Requires Maintenance

The visual appearance can fade with time (and lack of maintenance). It’s important to take proper care of manufactured stone veneer.


Ready to call in the professionals? Whether you’re looking at real stone or faux stone veneer, it pays to hire the right stone siding contractor or stonemason. With the help of CLAD Siding, you’ll be able to find the right fit in no time! Click here to learn more and request your quote today!