Exterior paneling used to be a cut-and-dry ordeal, where every home was made of wood or stone but now, thanks to technology, we have many manufactured alternatives to choose from. Now we are able to decide from many options that allow us the ability to use lightweight materials that are more fire-resistant, more durable, more water-resistant, easier to install, more simple to maintain, and less expensive in their entirety.
Each type of exterior paneling alternative comes with its own pros, cons, look, and feel so in this article we will summarize the different types of paneling to help you determine the perfect type for your dwelling.
Faux stone panels greatly differ from natural stone and even from manufactured veneer stone. Faux stone panels are made of lightweight foam or porcelain. While easy to cut and apply, faux stone foam panels are not durable against impact whereas their porcelain counterpart offers more durability and even more water resistance.
Natural stone and manufactured stone are heavy, mineral-based products and are even more durable than foam or porcelain but are a much more expensive alternative. Faux stone panels’ greatest advantage is that they are easy to apply, requiring no mortar or grout, instead faux stone applies with glue or smart cladding systems making it a breeze.
Real, natural stone is the real stuff: 100 percent actual stone quarried from the earth. Few homeowners possess the masonry skills needed to work with stone, and even having previous experience with ceramic tile does not help much. Natural stone requires an expensive installation process, and high-cost maintenance, it is not water-resistant and is susceptible to corroding.
The main issue with natural stone is that is the heaviest material you can use for exterior paneling, with limestone tipping the scales at over 170 pounds per cubic foot. Interested in putting natural stone inside your home? Interior stonework often requires additional bracing beneath – so make sure to consider this ahead of time.
Manufactured Veneer Stone
Manufactured stone, represented by brands such as Cultured Stone, El Dorado, and Coronado Stone, feels very close to real stone. Cement and aggregates give manufactured stone its heft and feel; iron oxides and other pigments give it a stone-like look.
Manufactured stone usually comes in individual stones that fit together with mortar, though sometimes it is available in panels. While not as heavy as real stone, manufactured stone is about 30 percent lighter than real stone but much heavier than its porcelain and foam counterpart. Finally, the thickness can be an important issue when installing any veneer, thinner being better. Manufactured stone can run from several inches thick down to 3/4-inch meaning installation is still fairly difficult requiring a professional to do so.
Wood-like Facade Panels
Created to emulate the warm, distinct feeling that real wood provides, wood-like facade panels are manufactured to be more durable, more fire-resistant, and more water-resistant than their real wood counterparts. Lighter and easier to install, these wood-like panels are normally made with porcelain for that classic look and feel without the price tag or worry of your house burning down.
Offered in premade, precut sizes for ease and simplicity when installing, wood-like facades can be installed is much faster and require much less maintenance for a hassle-free alternative to wood without the price tag.
Exterior Metal Panels
Commonly used for commercial buildings, exterior metal panels are being seen more and more in modern homes for their high durability and added protection against the elements. Known for its long lifespan and regaled for its insulation and water resistance abilities, this fire-resistant, non-corrosive material truly ensures the safety and comfort of those inside its walls all while maintaining its pleasant appearance.
Easier to install and more lightweight, exterior metal panels are used to replace heavy alternatives such as concrete. Exterior metal panels can increase the life of structures it is placed upon while offering numerous benefits such as reduced energy consumption of the building as a whole – for an ecologically friendly alternative that is bound to stand the test of time.
Due to technological innovations, many new, better, and stronger materials are now available for home and building exteriors. These new materials are created to be less heavy, more durable, and easier to install than materials before. Created with environmental wear and tear in mind, all these new materials provide increased water resistance, fire resistance, and insulation abilities and ensure lower energy consumption – with so many options to choose from finding your perfect exterior paneling just became a breeze, so the question really is what look and feel are you interested in?