Stone Savants: The Artistic Evolution of Modern Masonry

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As a lightweight, sustainable alternative to quarried stone, MSV provides a growing number of contemporary styles for more artistic applications. Here are three advantages of using MSV to elevate the architectural and artistic appeal of any space, whether indoors or out.
Masonry on wall

From architectural wonders to casual everyday spaces, masons have shaped our homes and workplaces for centuries, often at the expense of their own health.

The masonry profession is nearly as old as human civilization, with a history that has shaped many of our world’s most iconic structures. From architectural wonders to casual everyday spaces, masons have shaped our homes and workplaces for centuries, often at the expense of their own health.

With nature-inspired, crafted materials such as manufactured stone veneer (MSV) continuing to gain traction in the marketplace and with consumers, it’s now easier than ever before to incorporate the compelling textures and colorways of the natural world into projects without as much wear and tear on the body. As a lightweight, sustainable alternative to quarried stone, MSV also provides a growing number of contemporary styles for more artistic applications.


Span Hewn Stone from Cultured Stone
Span Hewn Stone from Cultured Stone

USING MSV TO ELEVATE ARTISTIC APPEAL

Here are three key advantages of using MSV to elevate the architectural and artistic appeal of any space, whether indoors or out:

1. Less Weight + Faster Installations

One of the benefits of working with manufactured stone veneer (MSV), rather than full-bed natural stone, comes from its lightweight properties. MSV typically comes off the palette in easy-to-manage boxes that weigh roughly 10 pounds. MSV is also pre-sorted for variations in color and size, so moving, manipulating, and applying it simply isn’t as hard on the body.

Installation also moves faster with MSV on most projects. Due to the weight that full-bed stone puts on the mortar, even the most skilled masons can only make so much progress each day. Faster, easier installation allows masons to add more projects to their schedules during seasons of heavy activity.

2. More Variety

MSV also provides a wider selection of colors and textures, including a versatile mix of trend-setting modern profiles that are much newer to the market. In markets where stone options haven’t extended far beyond a range of browns and grays until very recently, there is a growing interest in more contemporary options.

This includes solutions that extend beyond what may be expected or ordinary, into linear cuts of stone and brick veneer as well as unique profiles that emulate weathered wood. Peter Byl, a technical sales rep for Canadian Stone Industries (CSI), notes, “A broad selection is important to homeowners, of course, but it’s also an important part of the mason’s sense of artistic ownership on each and every project.”

With more options to choose from and specify, there’s more for a skilled mason to bring to the table when it comes to showcasing his or her skills and creative eye.


Ashland TundraBrick® from Eldorado Stone
Ashland TundraBrick® from Eldorado Stone

3. Professional Pride

In a world full of potential stressors, it’s valuable to walk off the jobsite and know that you’ve done meaningful work that is going to add to your customers’ lifestyles. To that end, the versatility of MSV allows masons to see themselves as more than installers.

Curt Trierweiler, another of CSI’s technical sales reps, shares, “One of my customers told me that he doesn’t see himself as ‘just’ a mason when he works with manufactured stone veneer. He sees himself as an artist.”

No product offering is perfect, but it’s important to keep working together to further innovate with respect to product offerings and the masonry profession as a whole. It’s also rewarding to know that the steps the industry takes today will have an impact on both the homes and workspaces of tomorrow and those who build them.


Man installing MSV
Installing MSV: View our short video series ​​​​​​

Sarah Lograsso is Director of Marketing and Portfolio Management for Westlake Royal Stone Solutions, which comprises five industry-leading brands of architectural stone veneer that redefine versatility for any project. See Westlake Royal Building Products’ full portfolio of siding, trim, stone, and roofing products here.