Creating stone veneer is a unique and creative process. Here at Prestige Stone Products, we wanted to create a product that is very close in appearance to natural stone and does not require any additional footers. What we now produce can be applied to almost any load-bearing wall, wood frame, steel, or masonry. This is how we do it:
Making the Molds
For each veneer pattern, we manufactured our own latex molds for corner and flat stone slabs. To get realistic molds, we make ours from natural stone. It’s an extensive process that requires attention to detail and accessibility to enough natural resources, but we are happy to do it. Mold-making is time-consuming. While we don’t offer custom molds as a product, we continue to add to our product database to keep up with trends and customer tastes.
Making the Stone
Everyone who works in manufacturing is trained in the multiple steps of making the stone to guarantee product uniformity and knowledge in the workplace. In 2022, we averaged a daily output of 13,000-15,000 square feet of product because of our amazing employees and new technology. These are the steps we take when making stone veneer.
Step 1: The mix
Our stone is manufactured and not quarried. We’ve had to develop a mix that is both attractive and durable as a finished product. All of our stone veneer is a combination of white and gray cement, lightweight aggregates, iron oxide pigmentation, and water.
Step 2: Applying color
We use a dry pigment powder, known as iron oxide to coat our molds before pouring our concrete mix. We currently order in 5 primary colors and then mix them together to create unique and replicable shades. (A fun fact: this is the very same pigment that many lipstick manufacturers use to get the rich colors in their cosmetics.)
Our team dusts this powder onto the molds that come through our conveyor belts. The flat molds then get a misting of water to ensure that the pigment will adhere properly to the wet veneer mixture.
Step 3: Pouring the mix
The process of filling the molds varies between the mold type. For flat molds, the mixture is poured in and the entire piece is vibrated to remove air pockets and debris. This also helps to create a level product. Then a brush roller is used to prevent overpours before curing.
Our corner molds are all filled at a 90-degree angle. Our team then scraps excess off of those corner pieces and cleans out the cavities before everything moves along the line to dry.
Step 4: Curing and Pulling
Each of our filled molds is left within our facility for several hours to ensure everything has properly dried. These set molds are then placed at our Pulling Stations for removal. To cleanly and efficiently take the stone out of the molds, an air hose is connected to the mold. This inflates the mold to release the stone. Our team then pulls each piece from the inflated mold and neatly stacks them into boxes for inventory.
Storage and Shipment
At Prestige Stone Products, we know that our boxes for the stone will need to withstand the elements before they reach you. Once lids have been placed on each box of stone, we stack them onto pallets and wrap them tightly in plastic to block out moisture. Veneer samples are kept in our climate-controlled facility and are properly packaged before they are sent to gallery rooms.
Our goal from start to finish is to create a stone veneer that is both high-quality and affordable. We continue to grow our diverse selection of styles and colors in our facility to keep up with the popular looks and styles of our customers. Want to see our options? Our resource page is full of product technical data and pdfs for you to check out. We at Prestige Stone would be happy to work with you.