Manufactured stone has come a long way since its introduction some decades ago. There are several companies that manufacture a wide variety of man made stone. In the Western United States, Eldorado Stone and Cultured Stone Veneer are two popular products. You can find links to their websites at the bottom of this page under Material Links. There are several advantages to using a manufactured stone.
Lightweight (no concrete footings required)
Minimal projection (usually no more then 2")
Incredible variety of colors, shapes, sizes
Matching accent pieces such as hearthstones, window surrounds, sills, arch stones etc.
Less labor intensive (translation = lower cost)
For simplicity we describe three categories of manufactured stone: Ledge Stone, River Rock, and Field Stone
Rectangular, tight fitting stones of several sizes and many colors
More rounded, colorful rocks that appear to have been tumbled smooth by years in the river
Larger more random shaped stones that appear to have been unearthed in a field
For the sake of simplicity in selecting your appropriate stone, imagine that there are only three major categories of stone based on the general shape of the stone.
Ledge Stones: Rectangular, tight fitting stones of several sizes and many colors
River Rocks: More rounded, colorful rocks that appear to have been tumbled smooth by years in the river
Field Stones: Larger more random shaped stones that appear to have been unearthed in a field
Arguably, there are several subcategories under each major type of stone, but trust me; you have the three R's: rectangular, round, or random (rubble) shapes.
If you pick your favorite shape of stone from these three main categories, then the next decisions involve primarily color and size of stone. Keep in mind that if you are working with a smaller area, a smaller type of stone is more appropriate, If you are working with larger area, any type of stone could be selected and mixing the stone varieties, such as perhaps 70% ledge stone with a larger, random shaped field stone sometimes makes the appearance more interesting. The decor and architecture of the home will influence your decision. Others are concerned that the selection is indigenous or at least not out of character with the neighborhood or natural environment.