Stone is one of the most imposing building materials there is. Used to construct the earliest fortresses walls and buildings, it is beautiful and durable. But it is also heavy and difficult to work with and generally one needs a skilled stonemason to cut and lay the stone. Because it has to be quarried and transported, natural stone is also expensive.
For decades companies have been making faux stone products, including synthetic veneer that can be used to clad timber frame homes inside and outside. Available in a wide range of styles that copy different types of natural stone, these products are made from cement that is combined with very fine crushed stone, or with lightweight fillers. They are fixed to prepared wall surfaces using mortar, either in imitation of a dry-stacked wall, or grouted with mortar so they look as if natural stone was laid the conventional way.
While a competent handyman (or woman) can work with faux veneer, particularly the kind that is made using lightweight, pumice-stone type fillers, it’s a relatively messy process that requires skills similar to those used when laying bricks. Truly DIY stone panels (Go-Stone), on the other hand, are very light and ultra-easy to install with minimal tools and no masonry skills.
How DIY Stone Panels (Go-Stone) Are Different
The DIY stone panels (Go-Stone), manufactured by Native Custom Stone are made using recycled tires that would otherwise be destined for landfills. With less than 7 percent of the 242 million tires discarded in the US every year being recycled, this sets them apart as the most environmentally friendly faux stone veneer product on the market. The panels are sold in multiples of five square feet, and each box contains the equivalent rubber content from one 12 lb. tire.
The company utilizes contemporary crumb rubber technology that enables them to mold the material into panels that look exactly like stone. They are also incredibly light – about 50 percent lighter than other types of simulated stone veneer.
Unlike cement-based simulated stone veneers, these DIY stone panels (Go-Stone) don’t require any mortar to fix them in place. Instead, they are fixed in position using a regular tile adhesive. The only tools required are a notched floor trowel, a measuring tape and either a spirit or torpedo level to ensure the panels are laid level. If panels need to be cut to fit a specific space, a drywall or wet-cut saw will also be required.
Go-Stone panels are available in several different colors to create different effects. Corner pieces are also available for use on pillars and stand-alone features. Accessory pieces include different sizes “stones” that are made to accommodate light switches and plug holes.
Synthetic Stone Veneer Products From Native Custom Stone
Native Custom Stone’s DIY stone Panels (Go-Stone) are intended for indoor use only, however Native Custom Stone also has a range of simulated stone veneer products that can be used externally. The latter products come in a range of styles to mimic rugged field stone, ledge stone and stack stone, rounded river rock, Ashlar that looks like a rubble stone, and larger rocks styles that look like old stone walls built with large rocks and natural stone.
All products are available from select Home Depot stores, www.homedepot.com, or from BuildDirect.com