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What Is Cultured Stone: a Complete Guide

You might have noticed some houses in your area or new ones being built look different because they have stone details. This is because of a new type of affordable stone product called cultured stone. Cultured stone on walls makes houses look modern. People use it on the whole house or just in some places to add interesting textures.

Though it looks like it costs a lot, it’s really not expensive and looks just like real stone. We’ll talk about what cultured stone is, where you can use it, and how it’s different from real stone.

cultured stone veneer

Table of Contents

What Is Cultured Stone?

Cultured stone is known as artificial stone. What materials are in cultured stone? It is made by mixing Portland cement, various aggregates, and iron oxides. They gets poured into textured molds and is then baked, ending up with a product that closely looks like real stone.

For the exterior parts of buildings, it proves to be an excellent choice, because the inclusion of cement keeps it stable and durable, and the pigments from iron oxide ensure its realistic look to offer an upscale appearance to exteriors.

cultured stone close up

Differences Between Natural And Cultured Stone

Natural Stone: Mined from the Earth, natural stone requires no artificial coloring or additives. It can take various forms, from round river stones to cut pieces. Natural stone has high weather resistance and can be intricately carved for architectural detailing.

Cultured Stone: Unlike natural stone, cultured stone is entirely man-made. It’s specifically manufactured for particular applications, reflecting its intended design. While it shares weather-resistant features with natural stone, it’s less customizable in its existing form. Cultured stone is suitable for covering facades but cannot be part of the exterior structure due to its weight.


Cost: Natural stone is more expensive to produce and install due to its challenging extraction process. In contrast, cultured stone is entirely manufactured, making it a cost-effective alternative.

Stone Veneer: Often confused with cultured stone, stone veneer consists of thin slices of real stone. It’s pricier than cultured stone and comes in both genuine and faux versions. Faux veneer stone, crafted from high-density polymer, lacks the texture and strength needed for outdoor use.

Best Applications For Cultured Stone

The appeal of cultured stone lies in its versatility; it is the best choice for a complete siding solution or as an accent in design. Indeed, adding even a minimal amount of stone can significantly enhance your home’s value.

By replacing just 300 square feet of vinyl siding with cultured stone on the lower third of your home’s front, you can recover 96% of your investment. Suggestions for your home’s exterior with cultured stone include:

  • Garage Façade Refacing
  • Accent Low Garden Bed Walls
  • Entry or Garage Door Detailing
  • Window Framing
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Landscape Walls
  • Firepits
  • Pool Houses
  • Outdoor Bars
  • Whole Home Façade
  • Front Porch Pillars
brown cultured stone

Pros & Cons Of Cultured Stone


  • Strong and durable.
  • Warranties range from 20 to 75 years.
  • Requires little maintenance and is fire-resistant.
  • Lighter than natural stone, allowing for versatile use.
  • Material and installation are affordable.
  • Can return up to 92% of investment upon home sale.


  • Improper installation may cause leaks.
  • Needs correct installation and backing materials to avoid moisture problems.
  • More expensive than vinyl and aluminum siding options.

When Not to Use Cultured Stone

Cultured stone cannot be used for supporting structures. It lacks the necessary strength. For such purposes, natural stone is the better choice.

It is made to carry only its own weight when used on façades, not to serve as a construction material. However, patio stones can support many outdoor constructions. Matching these with a cultured stone veneer can achieve a cohesive appearance.

white cultured stone

How to Install a Cultured Stone Interior Wall

Installing cultured stone is simple enough for a DIY project.


  • Native Custom Stone’s Cultured Stone
  • Mastic
  • Wire Mesh
  • Trowel
  • Wire Cutters
  • Work Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Tape Measure
  • Tarp (Floor Protector)
  • Staple Gun
  • (Wet Tile Saw)
cultured stone Installation
  1. Prepare your wall inside. First, measure how much space the wall covers. Then, cut the wire mesh so it fits exactly. It’s important that wire mesh pieces do not cover one another. Use a tool to attach the mesh firmly to the wall, placing attachments every 4 to 6 inches.
  1. Next, put a layer of mastic over your wall that has wire mesh. With your flat tool, spread the mastic to fill all gaps between the mesh and the wall already there. Ensure it sticks well to its surface. Let the mastic dry for 24 hours before starting with your stone.
  1. Start putting your cultured stone in place from the bottom and move upwards. Spread mastic on the back of each stone and press it onto the wall. Like natural stone, these stones will vary in size. You might need to cut some to fit. If you use a wet saw for cutting, make sure the stone is dry before you spread mastic on it.

Tip: Use enough mastic so that a little squeezes out when you press the stone onto the wall. But, you don’t want so much that it spills out past the edges where two stones meet.

  1. Let your stone dry for 72 hours before you seal it. Use this guide to learn how to clean your stone after you have installed it. Enjoy your work!
Gray Cultured Stone


Can I put cultured stone on top of old brick or concrete?

You can, but getting the surface ready the right way matters a lot if you want it to last.

The old surface must be clean, solid, and not have any loose bits or coverings on it. You might need to use a special glue or a metal mesh to make sure the new stone sticks well, depending on how the old surface looks.

Always follow what the producer says about how to get the surface ready and what glue to use for the best results.

What are the latest trends in cultured stone design and application?

The newest trends in cultured stone design focus on big stones for a sleek, updated appearance. Designers also mix in metals or glass to give extra texture and appeal, with real stone colors for a genuine look.

Many people now prefer designs inspired by minimalism and Scandinavian styles, with cultured stone in simple, clean lines to make spaces feel cozy and welcoming.

cultured stone fireplace

Are there specific adhesives and grouts recommended for cultured stone installation?

Yes, the manufacturer often suggest using certain adhesives and grouts that are made to fit well with their stone products. They help deal with the thermal expansion and contraction of the stone and resist moisture penetration. The advised adhesives and grouts can really help with making the installation last longer and stay strong.

Is it easy to take off or switch out cultured stone once it's put in place?

It can be tough and might harm the surface underneath. The glue used to put the stone in place aims to form a lasting connection, which means trying to take the stone off often leads to breaking it.

If one needs to remove or switch it, asking a professional for help is usually the smartest move to avoid damage and get the job done right.

How does cultured stone affect the resale value of a home?

Adding cultured stone to a home might raise its resale value, especially if the stone is laid nicely and fits well with the home’s design. Things like stone veneer fireplaces, accent walls, and stone on the outside of the house often appeal to buyers and can help a property grab attention in the market.

Yet, how much it adds to the resale value can change depending on what’s popular in the market and what buyers want.

cultured stone veneer outdoor

Are there any health concerns associated with the materials used in cultured stone?

Cultured stone products are usually safe for use in homes and businesses. Nonetheless, since they contain silica, similar to concrete, there is a risk of breathing in silica dust when cutting or grinding the material.

To reduce any health risks, adhere to safety measures, such as applying dust control techniques and wearing the right personal protective gear during the installation process.

How customizable is cultured stone in terms of shapes, sizes, and colors?

A big plus of cultured stone is how much you can customize it to what you want. Manufacturers provide many colors, shapes, and sizes, giving both designers and homeowners the chance to get a unique look that suits their taste and the needs of their project.

It’s often possible to ask for special orders for specific color combinations, shapes, or sizes to either match stone already in place or to craft a standout design element.

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