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  • Installing this ledgestone piece-by-piece would be a tedious process, panels allow multiple pieces of stone to be installed at once.
  • When installed properly, veneer panels provide a seamless look.
  • This wall was finished with panels measuring one square foot each that fit together seamlessly so there's no mortar or grout work necessary.
  • Specialty masonry skills are not necessary to install stone veneer panels.

A stone veneer panel is nearly identical to sheets of bathroom tile sold on a mesh background. This system was first created to speed up the setting process for very small, mosaic-like ceramic tiles (See pictures of mosaic tiles used outdoors). Today's high demand for ledgestone veneer, which is also composed of many small mosaic-like pieces has resulted in similar products known as stone veneer panels.

Stone veneer panels evolved with the rising popularity of dry stack and ledgestone. "You have to consider the labor, says former stone mason David Croteau of Stoneyard.com. With ledgestone you may have to set 5 to 7 individual stones per square foot of surface. Other types of stone you might only set two pieces, so you can see how this impacts your labor."

Stone veneer panels eliminate the tedious, and thus expensive to installation of ledgestone and similar dry stack patterns which reduce labor costs considerably. Moreover, panels are available in many other patterns as well, in both natural stone and manufactured stone. These are much easier to install without specialty stone masons, which opens the door for landscape contractors to provide high end stone veneer patterns in house without subcontractors.

Coronado Stone offers many of their manufactured stone veneers in panels. "Panels are most common on stack and ledgestones. Our new Proledge line was mainly created for ease of installation and tends to work best on larger installations. Panels range from 4 to 6 feet tall and 8 to 24 inches long. We sell about 50% our ledgestone with mortar and the rest without."

Natural Stone Panels

Real Stone Source is a leading producer of natural stone veneer panels. "The cost per square foot of our stone is comparable to loose stone, but installation is much easier. We offer one square foot panels that fit together seamlessly so there's no mortar or grout work necessary. You save even more because with panels you can measure and estimate exactly. With loose stone the contractor must order 15 to 20% overage, but with panels there's little to no waste, which is much more efficient. One of our struggles is to convince user and installer to recognize the lower cost of installing our panels."

"The look of our panels are seamless and clean with good color and the quality of our products stand out because it's not an easy thing to do to get ledgestone pieces to fit together properly. There's no evidence as to how it’s attached. A lot of research and development went into our panels so most projects have no evidence of panel origins."

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