6 Common Misconceptions About Stone Facades

For decades, creating a stone facade has been an effective way for modern homes to truly stand out. A stone facade can improve the attractiveness of your home, increase its value, and actually make you feel like you’re living in a brand new home without the obvious expenditures of purchasing one.

Unfortunately, there have been quite a few misconceptions about stone facades that have made the rounds amongst certain homeowners over the years. These have often deterred homeowners from installing one, or have at least delayed their plans.  Misconceptions should never hold you back from any type of redesign, so we thought it was important to cover a few of these to put your mind at ease.

Types That Are Available 

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of stone facade misconceptions, let’s take a quick look at the five different types of stone facades for you to choose from:

  • Full Stone — Utilizing large stones that can be cut and shaped into the design you want, this option displays the entire stone.
  • Thin Stone — In situations where full stone won’t fit, thin stone can be installed instead, and at a lower price point.
  • Cultured Stone —  This mass-produced stone is available in several colors and offers a cost-effective option.
  • Full Brick — This low-maintenance choice is available in a wide range of styles and will add value to your home.
  • Thin Brick — With this stone face choice, you get the appearance of full brick when you don’t have enough room for full brick.

Common Misconceptions

Now that you know which basic types of stone facade are available to you for installation, let’s take a look at a few of the misconceptions that you may have come across over the years, shall we?

Stone All Looks the Same

This is an odd misconception that a lot of homeowners seem to have and we’re not really sure exactly where it comes from. Like most things when redesigning a home, there are plenty of different choices that you can make. In fact, if you read through the different types of stone that we listed above, you’ll see that you have a variety of appearances in style, textures, and colors with some of the selections.

Stone Is Too Expensive

Whenever you decide to take on any kind of landscaping or home improvement project, the cost of such a project is obviously going to be an important factor. Therefore, we don’t blame you at all for thinking that the installation of a stone facade will set you back a great deal of money, especially given how spectacular they look. But, while there are expensive types of stone facades there are also types to fit basically any budget. This means you can still get a beautiful result without breaking the bank.

Stone Is Difficult to Maintain

This is another misconception that people sometimes seem to have, but it’s also one that doesn’t really seem to have much of an origin. It probably stems from the fear that you’re going to spend money on something that can be marred due to either wear and tear, neglect, or carelessness. The truth is that stone is pretty darn easy to take care of and even if there are cosmetic issues caused by interior or exterior forces, you can easily have them redone for a small fee or typically do it yourself.

Stone Is Yesterday’s Design

This specific misconception actually cracks us up a little bit. It seems that many homeowners are concerned with spending money on a project and then having that change suddenly become old news. But, this isn’t like purchasing a new computer, where there’s going to be a brand-new model out the following year. Even stone facades that have been installed for decades keep their value and appearance, and are just as popular now as when they were put in. Each type of stone facade provides a look that definitely won’t go out of style in your lifetime.

Stone Won’t Add Value

This is yet another misconception that doesn’t really make any sense, but the fear itself actually does. After all, not only is your home the place where you live and want to be proud of, but it is also one of the biggest investments that you’ll ever make in your lifetime. Whenever you make such a big change to your home, such as the installation of stone as part of a reinvigoration project, you want to know that it will increase your home’s overall value. It will certainly depend on a few different factors, such as how elaborate the design and installation is, but you’ll definitely see some added value.

Stone Doesn’t Last Very Long

No matter how much a homeowner invests in a stone facade or other type of home improvement project, they definitely want it to last as long as possible. There is a misconception floating around out there that stone facades don’t last very long, but this isn’t true. In fact, once you’ve had a stone facade installed, it will last decades with very little maintenance, if any. Even lower priced stone facades are built with sturdy, reliable materials, so you don’t have anything to worry about. Like all things, the facade will deteriorate over time, but regular upkeep will keep it going strong for many years.

Purchasing Stone in New Jersey

Now that you’ve learned a little about some of the misconceptions involved with stone facades, there’s a good chance that you’re ready to proceed with your project. Once you’re ready to begin, reach out to Braen Supply for all of your material needs, plus our new landscape design services where we will analyze your project and act as a liaison with a reputable contractor. Our team of experts will assist you with every part of the landscaping process and will answer any questions you may have. Our materials are competitively priced and can be either picked up at our New Jersey location or delivered in bulk to most areas of NJ, NY, CT, and PA.

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5 Tools Every Contractor Installing Veneer Stone Should Be Using

Since the earliest days of man, stone has been among the most sought-after building materials. In addition to looking beautiful, stone is extremely strong, durable, and weather resistant. It’s no wonder, then, that so many NJ homeowners are still itching to use stone in the design of their homes. While constructing a home entirely of stone is not often practical or affordable, though, there’s no need to lose heart. Modern stone veneer materials are just as attractive, tough, long-lasting, and low maintenance as standard stone. Contractors who understand this truth will be able to offer everything their customer bases crave in terms of style, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Best of all, stone veneers are easy to install – so long as you’ve got the right tools in your box. Here’s a look at five of the essential tools that you should be using to install veneer stone in NJ.

The Importance of Having the Right Tools On Hand

Think that choosing high-quality stone veneer materials and mortar are enough to ensure that your veneer project goes off without a hitch? Think again. A contractor is really only as good as the tools that he (or she) employs. No matter how great your materials are, they won’t be able to live up to their full potential unless you take the time to ensure that the materials are applied using the right tools.  You’ll find that working with veneer stone is much easier and that your finished project looks (and functions) far better when you work with the following tools:

Tool #1 – Grinder

Any contractor working with veneer stone will absolutely need to have access to a quality, reliable grinder. For most purposes, you will be best served by selecting a 9” or 4” grinder with a blade suitable for cutting concrete, such as a diamond blade. Because diamonds are used as an abrasive, it’s easy for these blades to successfully cut through veneer stone in order to allow you to cut off any loose ends that would otherwise prevent you from being able to properly position the veneers along a wall or other surface.

Tool #2 – Notched Trowel

The simplest and most effective way for a contractor to install veneer stone is to make use of a good notched trowel – or two. Seasoned contractors often swear by a two trowel system in order to speed up the process of applying mortar to the wall. The best way to do this is to load up a mud board about 16” off the ground and to situate it where it’s in easy reach of you and your team. Use a London trowel to scoop up mortar with one hand and transfer it to a second trowel in your other hand. In this way, you can apply mortar to the surface non-stop, allowing for a faster and smoother process.

Tool #3- Sponges

Sponges might not necessarily seem like a “tool”, but they happen to be one of the most important tools that a contractor can have on hand when installing veneer stone. Working with stone veneers and mortar can be extremely messy. This creates a much bigger problem than just getting a bit of mortar smeared all over your clothes or stuck to your skin. Mortar that oozes through the cracks and spaces between your veneer stone and is allowed to harden will be extremely unsightly, can reduce the integrity of your project, and will be very difficult to remove. It’s best to have plenty of sponges on hand to wipe away excess mortar and allow for a clean, polished job.

Tool #4 – Tile Spacers

As a contractor, your primary goal is to finish a high-quality job that will leave your clients fully satisfied and happy with the work. This means that one of your main objectives should be to ensure that the veneer stone you install looks absolutely perfect. Trying to “eyeball” the design and spacing of the grout between each individual stone is a huge mistake that could end up compromising the entire job. Having reliable tile wedges or spacers on hand will help you to ensure that everything turns out perfectly. These wedges will ensure that spaces between stones are uniform, and will create a look of cohesion throughout the entire project.

Tool #5 – Piping Gun or Grout Bag

Grout is what allows a contractor to “seal the deal” and complete their veneer stone project. Quality grout helps to hold the veneer stones in place over time while also adding to the overall aesthetic of the wall, or similar surface. Of course, in order to be successful, you’ll need to have the right tool for applying grout smoothly and evenly between stones. Depending on your preferences, either a piping gun or a piping bag can be very effective for this purpose, although grout piping bags are generally able to hold more material than a typical grout gun. In order to ensure that the grout keeps moving smoothly through the bag or gun, you should make a point of rinsing out your tool after every third round.

Installing Veneer Stone in NJ

If you’ve been hired to complete a stone veneer project in NJ or its surrounding areas, Braen Supply is here to help you get the job done right. As a leading supplier of beautiful, high-quality veneer stone, you’ll find exactly what you (and your clients) are looking for. We are also happy to help connect you with the tools you need to complete the work efficiently and effectively. Our massive inventory of veneer stone is competitively priced and is always available at wholesale rates. Feel free to check out our convenient NJ locations in order to take a look at our inventory, or to address any of your questions with one of our experts. Our veneer stone is available for pickup or can be bulk delivered to a number of locations throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and limited parts of PA, and CT. Give us a call or stop by to learn more.


The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Veneer Stone

If you’ve been paying attention to the latest style trends in home design, you’re well aware that veneer stone is extremely popular right now. This affordable and practical alternative to traditional stone construction makes it possible for homeowners to enjoy the exquisite beauty and sophistication of natural stone – regardless of weight restrictions and budgetary constraints. It’s not hard to see why veneer stone is such a great option for NJ homeowners, and it’s no wonder that you’re so interested in going this route with your home makeover. Before getting started on the work, though, you need to be equipped with all of the facts about veneers. What are the differences between thin and full stone veneers? What are your options in terms of style, shape, and color? This cheat sheet will tell you everything you need to know to make the right decision for your home transformation project.

Types of Veneer Stone

Let’s start things off by exploring the different types of stone veneers that are available for home design. The most popular veneer materials are:

  • Full Stone Veneers – Full stone veneers are sometimes referred to as 4” veneers because, as you can likely surmise, the stone is cut to a thickness of 4”. Full stone veneers have been around for quite some time and have provided countless homeowners with the option of upgrading their home’s interiors and exteriors with the look of gorgeous natural stone. The stone is carefully cut to uniform sizing and can be cut into various shapes, depending on the type of stone used. Full stone veneer will still have some density to it, and weight will vary based on the stone type. Not all projects are suited for full stone veneers because excessive weight might create structural issues. It’s very important to have your home assessed prior to working with a full stone veneer in order to ensure that this is the right material for the job.
  • Thin Stone Veneers – Another option for NJ homeowners is to work with a thin stone veneer. These veneer stones are cut to a much thinner thickness than full stone veneers, thin veneer is typically cut to a thickness of 1.5”. This type of veneer is relatively new on the market, as it has only been in recent years that we have been able to capitalize on advancements in the diamond cutting technology that allows for thin, precision cutting of natural stone. Since its introduction to the market, however, thin stone veneers have exploded in their popularity, and the reasons are obvious. For starters, the material looks absolutely fabulous. The lightweight, thin nature of the stone also makes it very easy to work with, and allows for much faster and more efficient installations.
  • Cultured Stone Veneers – Although many NJ homeowners love the idea of working with a veneer stone that is produced from natural stone, it’s not at all uncommon for people to choose to work with cultured, or manufactured stone. This is a veneer stone material that is manufactured from a concrete mixture that is placed into molds crafted from natural stone. Numerous pigments are carefully mixed and shaken into the concrete in order to ensure that coloring matches natural stone and is uniform throughout. The thing that people love most about cultured stone is that it is customizable and that all stone materials are uniformly beautiful and flawless.

Veneer Stone Shapes and Cuts

In addition to enjoying the ability to select which type of veneer stone you’d like to use for your project, you will also be able to make decisions pertaining to the shape, cut, and style of your veneer. Here are some common options:

  • Square/Rectangular – Square or rectangular cut veneer stones are a staple in designs that are more on the traditional side. The straight, modular shape of the veneer is aesthetically pleasing and offers sophistication to any home. These veneers can be arranged in brick patterns, or at random, as you wish.
  • Ledge – These narrow strips of stone are placed together in a linear pattern in order to create incredible texturing and depth. Ledge style veneers might be installed in a uniform coloration, or you might choose to create a mosaic of color with this particular cut. This cut of veneer stone is often seen in rustic designs.
  • River Rounds – River rounds offer the smooth, rounded edges of river rock, and are very soothing and classically beautiful. The charming and rustic look of river rounds is great for creating a cozy environment that evokes a sense of being in a mountain cottage or lake house but can be really used in any rustic design.
  • Mosaic – Mosaic stone veneers feature a natural or cultured stone that have been given an irregular cut and are cobbled or patterned together to create uniquely beautiful patterns and designs.
  • Ashlar/Strip -Ashlar style veneers are similar to ledgestone. The rectangular cut stone features a split face, but the veneer tends to be a bit wider in shape than its ledgestone counterpart.
  • Custom Blends– Of course, if you love the look of multiple different types of veneer stone, you always have the option to mix and match and come up with a blend that truly resonates with your unique sense of style and personality. When you go this route, the sky’s the limit.

Working with Veneer Stone in NJ

When you’re ready to start making decisions about your veneer stone project, Braen Supply is ready to help you make your dreams come true. As one of the largest veneer stone suppliers in NJ, we offer a large inventory of full stone, thin stone, and cultured stone veneers in a variety of shapes, styles, and colors. Our team of professionals is happy to assist you as you choose the right materials for your home, and can help you calculate out how much material you’ll need to purchase. Our veneer stone materials are available at competitive wholesale rates, and you can pick it up or request bulk delivery to areas throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and limited parts of PA, and CT.

Does Veneer Stone Get Discolored?

If you’ve ever seen veneer stone used as a decorative element for the exterior or interior of a home, you already know that the material looks absolutely stunning. The simple application of stone veneers can instantaneously transform the appearance of any house and create a look that will stand out from the crowd and impress your guests. Before taking the plunge and making the decision to upgrade your home with stone veneers, though, you want to make sure that you have all of the facts. Sure, the veneer looks fabulous initially, but will it continue to look just as great over time? Will you need to worry about fading or discoloration? In order to address these concerns and provide you with the facts you need to give your home a makeover, we’ve dedicated this post to discussing whether or not veneer stone becomes discolored, and how to keep your veneer stone looking good for years to come.

Preventing the Discoloration of Veneer Stone is Preventable

Perhaps you have encountered old stone veneers that have not been properly cared for. These stones may appear lackluster or even somewhat faded and discolored. This can be very discouraging to a homeowner who is interested in working with a veneer for his or her home. Fortunately, problems with discoloration and fading are actually preventable. The majority of discoloration and fading occurs when stone veneers are exposed to certain harmful substances, or when they aren’t properly treated and maintained. Understanding what can cause issues will help you to protect your veneers, and knowing the right way to go about veneer maintenance will empower you to keep your home looking perfect. Here’s a closer look at a few things that can cause discoloration, staining, or fading, and how you can prevent these issues from happening to your veneers:

  • Harsh Chemicals Exposing your stone veneers to strong or harsh chemicals can wreak havoc on the look of your home. Bleach and muriatic acid, for instance, will cause rapid discoloration, as will a number of other harsh cleaning compounds. Never use products like these when cleaning and caring for your veneers. Instead, you should opt for a mild cleaning solution of warm water mixed with a small amount of dish soap or vinegar. Chlorine is another chemical agent that can cause problems for the look of your veneer stone. Most cultured stone manufacturers will advise you to avoid installing veneer stones below the water line. If you’re working with veneers near a swimming pool, for example, you’ll want to ensure that your materials won’t come into contact with chlorine. Finally, ice melt and rock salt can cause discoloration and corrosion of stone veneers. If you are planning on installing veneers along low foundation walls, or other areas that might come into contact with ice melting compounds, you should make it a point to use non-chemical alternatives for managing snow and ice. This will allow for safety while also protecting your veneers.
  • Prolonged Exposure to Water It was mentioned before, but veneer stone shouldn’t be installed below the water line. Not only can chlorine impact the color of the material, but prolonged exposure to water can also take its toll. While veneers are resilient and will continue to look great when exposed to regular weather and precipitation, a constant flow of water over the surface of the materials can and will make its mark. This goes for areas where a cascade of water, such as a manmade waterfall, continuously flows over veneer stone.
  • Dirt and Debris Buildup Although stone veneers are very low maintenance, you should still plan on spending a little time on taking care of the materials. Homeowners who make the mistake of ignoring the buildup of dirt, dust and other debris could run the risk of allowing their veneers to become temporarily or permanently stained and discolored. Leaving dirt and debris can not only allow the stuff to do its own handiwork and cause staining, but it can also encourage the growth of mold or mildew which are difficult to get rid of and can create even further problems with discoloration. The best course of action is to routinely rinse off your stone veneers with the hose on a spray setting, and to gently scrub away dirt and other buildup with a mild cleaning solution and a soft bristled brush.
  • Lack of Sealant There can be no mistaking the fact that stone veneers are among the most durable and long-lasting materials for exterior home design, but that doesn’t mean that it’s 100% immune to the impact of mother nature. After all, being exposed to the UV rays from sunlight day in and day out, or even being impacted by salty air from the Jersey Shore can cause some fading or discoloration. Fortunately, you don’t have to stand back idly and watch it happen. Applying a sealant to your veneer stones can help to protect it from these elements and can lock in the color of your veneers, while simultaneously adding to their strength and reliability. Don’t skip this vital step.

Keeping Veneer Stone Vibrant in NJ

As a NJ homeowner, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to install a gorgeous veneer stone facade for your home and keep it in perfect shape in the many years to come. The low maintenance nature of stone veneers means that it’s very possible to ensure that the stones remain vibrant in their coloration, tough, and durable – with only a little bit of your time and attention.

Once you’re ready to move forward with a veneer stone installation, the team at Braen Supply will be there to help you – every step of the way. From helping you choose the right materials for the job, to answering your questions about care and maintenance, and even posing you in the right direction of a sealant, we’ve got you covered. Feel free to visit our convenient NJ locations or give us a call to learn more today.

Why We Love A Stone Façade (And You Should, Too!)

Mother Nature has been supplying the world with natural stone like granite and river rock since the dawn of time, and ever since man started building structures, we have been infatuated with that natural stone. Stone construction has a certain degree of sophistication and elegance about it, while still remaining charming and inviting. It’s no wonder, then, that so many NJ homeowners are crazy about the idea of incorporating natural stone into the design of their home’s exteriors and interiors. The problem, of course, is that natural stone – while plentiful in its supply – isn’t always accessible to the masses. Cost, weight, and other limitations have prevented many people from enjoying stone decor in the past. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Technological advances have made it possible for manufacturers to produce gorgeous, high-quality veneer stone that makes good, practical sense for any homeowner. Read on to learn more about why we love a stone facade so much, and why you’re sure to fall in love with them, too!

Welcome to 2018: This is NOT Your Grandma’s Stone Facade

The words “Stone Facade” tend to have some negative connotations associated with them. While mankind has been experimenting with the idea of stone veneers since the time of the early Romans, it has only become truly successful in recent years. Previous attempts at manufacturing a high quality, attractive, and believable stone facade have struggled to live up to the hopes and dreams of homeowners. The price may have been right, but the stone veneers just didn’t measure up to the real thing. As a result, stone facades faded from popular culture for some time.

Today, however, the stone facade is making a comeback – in a big way! Homeowners now have the option to work with either natural stone veneers or cultured (manufactured) stone veneers. This is because our technology has come far enough to allow us to cut natural stone into very thin slices to be used as veneers just about anywhere, while cultured stone is being produced in ways that make it look more authentic and gorgeous than ever before. In fact, manufactured stone is now being made from a fantastic concrete mixture that is blended with dozens of pigments and molded in the counters of actual stones. Throughout the manufacturing process, the molds are vibrated in order to allow the color pigments to run throughout, for a higher degree of authenticity.

The end result is that stone facades are showing up just about everywhere. Homeowners are loving their ability to create an incredible stone facade to cover their home’s exterior walls and outdoor living spaces, as well as for indoor living. Veneers look incredible in kitchens, on fireplaces, in wine cellars, and in a number of rooms throughout the home. There’s really no limit to where stone can be used anymore!

Benefits of a Modern Stone Facade

When you really look at the materials closely, you’ll realize that there’s really nothing NOT to love about quality stone facades. Here are just a few of the many reasons why we love them so much:

  • Natural Beauty – The top reason why we (and many others) love stone facades is that they bring the beauty of the outdoors to your home.
  • Variety – One of the greatest things about working with veneer stones is that you will have no shortage of options when it comes to creating the facade of your dreams. Whether you crave a look of sleek sophistication, a rustic chic home, or anything in between, you’ll be able to find a veneer that coincides with your plans. Veneers are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, and styles, and will make the design process simple and fun.
  • Versatility – Because of their lightweight nature, stone veneers can be used effectively in just about any space.
  • Low Maintenance – Last, but certainly not least, a good stone facade doesn’t require a whole lot of time and energy on your part. With just a little TLC, you can rest assured that your veneer stones will continue to look pristine and beautiful in the many years ahead.

Falling in Love with a Stone Facade in NJ

We’ve taken the time to tell you why we love stone facades so much – now it’s your turn to fall in love! Braen Supply is a leading supplier of high-quality natural and manufactured stone veneers in NJ and its surrounding areas. We offer a massive inventory of beautifully crafted veneer materials for you to choose from. It’s never been easier to find a veneer that suits your individual tastes and needs while also meshing with your budget. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about stone facades and veneers as you explore our local showroom. We can also point you in the right direction of local contractors who work with stone veneers and can provide you with information about care and maintenance. Our veneer stones are always available at the lowest and most competitive rates and can be picked up at your convenience or delivered to locations throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and limited parts of PA, and CT. Give us a call or visit our supply store to learn more.

How To Care For Veneer Stone

If you’ve fallen in love with the look of veneer stone, you’re not alone. In fact, stone veneer has become one of the hottest trends in both exterior and interior home design. It’s easy and affordable to completely transform the look of your NJ house with a stone veneer that speaks to your individual tastes, style, and needs. Once installed, the veneer is extremely tough, durable, weather-resistant, and low maintenance. Despite requiring very little in the way of elbow grease, however, it’s always in your best interest to take some time to give your veneer stone a little TLC. So what’s the best way to keep your veneers in tip-top shape and prime condition?  Read on for a few smart tips that will tell you everything you need to know about veneer stone maintenance.

Why is Veneer Stone Maintenance Necessary?

Before diving into our pro tips for caring for your veneer stone, let’s take a moment to explore the topic of why you should be concerned with veneer maintenance to begin with. After taking the time to completely customize the look of your home with a quality stone veneer, the last thing you want is for the colors to appear dull or to allow for dust and grime to build up on the surface of the stones. Taking the time to clean and care for veneer stone means that you get to preserve the vibrance and vitality of the material while protecting your original investment in the project. Homeowners who spend a little bit of time on veneer stone maintenance are generally happier with their homes for much longer, and may even enjoy higher property valuations over time.

Tips for Veneer Stone Maintenance

If you’ve noticed that your veneer is looking a little dirty or lackluster, you may be itching to clean the veneer stone. Before you dive in with a power washer and bleach, though, it’s important to brush up on the facts. Not all materials are suitable for cleaning veneer stone. In order to ensure that you’re able to properly maintain your stone veneer, we’ve compiled a list of “Dos” and Don’ts”.

DO Inspect and Maintain Regularly

When you routinely inspect your stone veneers, you’ll be able to keep an eye on any problem spots that need to be cleaned, filled in, or otherwise repaired. It’s typically a good idea to do a visual inspection at least twice a year – during the spring and fall.

DON’T Use Harsh Chemicals

If you notice dark stains from dirt or mold, your first instinct might be to grab a powerful cleaning chemical or bleach in order to clean your veneer surface – don ‘t do it! Harsh chemical compounds can cause a lot more damage than good and could end up costing you a lot of money in repairs in the long run.

DO Mix Your Own Mild Cleaning Solution

If you can’t reach for a super strong chemical cleaner, then what can you use to get your stone veneers looking shiny and new again? We suggest creating your own, mild cleaning solution. A mixture of warm water and either a small amount of vinegar or dish soap will do the trick nicely.

DON’T Use Wire Brushes

Wire brushes might be great for really getting down to the nitty-gritty when cleaning some surfaces, but you definitely don’t want to use these guys when maintaining your stone veneers. Wire bristles will scratch the surface of the stone and take away from the beauty of your home.

DO Seek Out Soft Bristles

Soft bristles are the way to go when cleaning veneer stones. Although you may need to employ a bit more elbow grease, you’ll find that soft bristles are highly effective at removing debris and buildup while still being mild enough to keep your veneers looking pristine.

DON’T Pressure Wash

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when cleaning and maintaining your stone veneers is to blast the veneer stone with a powerful stream of water with a pressure washer. This can actually blast grout out of place and can loosen the stone.

DO Use Your Spray Setting

After scrubbing your veneer stones, you’ll need to rinse them off carefully. It’s a good idea to use the spray setting on your garden hose in order to ensure a gentle yet effective rinse.

DON’T Ignore Lose Mortar

If, during your check, it looks like any of the mortar or grout between veneer stones is becoming lose, it’s important to take corrective action right away. Left ignored, your veneer wall could begin to come apart. There’s absolutely no reason for this to happen! As soon as you detect a loose area, take a moment to apply a fresh layer of grout with a grout gun or bag. Or call your mason in to come and touch up the area.

DO Think About Sealant

Some NJ homeowners have found that applying a breathable sealer to the surface of their veneer stone can be very helpful for long-term maintenance. A good sealant can preserve coloration, discourage the buildup of grime, and can even make it a lot easier for you to clean up the veneer stone during your semi-annual cleaning and maintenance routine.

Caring for Veneer Stone in NJ

Braen Supply is passionate about veneer stone. As one of the largest suppliers of full, thin and cultured veneer stone in NJ, we understand how important it is for you to protect your investment in your stone veneer project. In addition to helping to select the best veneer stone for your home, we can also answer any questions you may have about proper care and maintenance. Feel free to visit our store or give us a call for more information. We cater to homeowners and contractors throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and limited parts of PA and CT.

3 Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Veneer Stone

Veneer stone is a gorgeous architectural element that can add value to any home. Generally, stone veneers are used as a decorative means of covering either the exterior and interior walls of a house. These veneers may be crafted from real stone, or they may be comprised of manufactured stone. Because both types of veneers are developed with such care and precision, natural stone and manufactured stone veneers are equally popular throughout NJ. If you’ve been thinking about introducing the look of veneer stone to your property, you’re likely interested in learning as much about the material as possible. In order to shed some light on the subject, we’ve put together this simple guide on three key things to know about veneer stone.

Veneer Stone Increases Property Value

One of the primary reasons why NJ homeowners love stone veneers is that they offer so much in the way of beauty, charm, and sophistication. Both natural and manufactured stone veneers are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, sizes, and styles, depending on your individual tastes and desires. Because the veneers are so versatile, it’s easy to create a look that matches with your home design style.  As stone is such a desirable commodity in construction and home decor, this can immediately increase the curb appeal of your home and add to the overall value of your property. Stone veneers are capable of completely transforming the look of your home and making it much more visually appealing. This is great news whether you’re planning on living in your home for a long time or thinking about putting it on the market in the near future.

Veneer Stone has Many Options

Believe it or not, selecting a natural or manufactured stone veneer to upgrade your home with may not be as easy as you think as the options are endless. You’ll find that stone veneers come in many different cuts and colors, which means there is something for everyone regardless of your style. Your supplier can walk you through the different options that are available and help you select the right cut and color for your home. They will also be able to help you stay on budget and complete your project without breaking the bank. During this time, you might also discuss whether or not you should be working with natural or manufactured veneer stone, as well as whether full stone or thin stone veneers are better for your home – and the differences in pricing.

Veneer Stone is Easy to Work With

Although completing a construction job entirely of natural stone can be challenging and cumbersome, working on a project with veneer stone is surprisingly simple. The lighter weight of veneer stone makes it very versatile in terms of where and how it can be installed, and thin stone veneers are capable of doing what even a full stone veneer cannot. This means that you can decorate and upgrade your home in ways and locations that would never be possible with true stone or other construction materials. The lightweight also makes it very simple for skilled contractors to quickly install the veneer stones. In addition to everything else, veneer stone requires very little maintenance and will continue to look and function beautifully in the many years ahead. All you’ll need to do is invest a little bit of time to inspect your veneer once or twice each year and to fill in any missing grout or mortar. During this time you can also clean away any dust, dirt, debris, or grim with a mild solution of warm water and dish soap, as well as a soft bristled brush. You might also consider sealing your veneer stone in order to make it even easier to clean and care for.

Where to Buy Veneer Stone in NJ

If, after reading through these points, you feel as though stone veneers are the way to go when upgrading your home, you’ll need to find an excellent veneer stone supplier. Although veneer vendors are available online, and veneers can also be purchased in big box stores, your better off steering clear of these options. Buying veneer stone online means that you won’t have the option to visually inspect the materials before working with them, and it is also likely to result in high shipping and handling fees. Purchasing from a big box store might also seem like a smart idea, but you will not receive the same level of customer service as you would if you worked with a local supplier.

So where should you turn in your hour of need? The smartest option is to look for a locally owned and operated veneer stone supplier, like Braen Supply, that offers a massive inventory of high-quality materials at fair and reasonable prices. We offer both natural and manufactured stone veneers, and also sell both full stone and thin stone veneers. Our team of experts is ready to answer any questions you may have about choosing, installing, and maintaining veneer stone. Once you settle on the veneer you love, you can choose to transport the materials to your job site on your own, or you can talk to our team about having them delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and limited parts of PA, and CT. Give us a call or drop by to learn more today.

Full Guide for Using Stone on Homes: How to & Style Options

As a homeowner, you want your property to stand out – in a good way. Instead of being just another cookie-cutter house, you want yours to exemplify your unique personality and sense of style.

One fantastic way of achieving these objectives is to work with stone. Stone has long been revered for its elegance and sophistication. Unfortunately, however, building with stone can be expensive and impractical.

The good news is that there are still plenty of ways to incorporate stone onto your home and around your property. Here’s a quick guide to enhancing your house with stone.

Why Stone?

For starters, let’s consider the many reasons why you should give serious consideration to introducing stone to your home. The first and most obvious reason is that stone is absolutely beautiful.

There’s no doubt about the fact that stone – regardless of the type you choose – will significantly increase the aesthetic value of your home, thus increasing overall property value.

In addition to looking fabulous, stone is also a timeless material that will continue to remain in fashion in the many years ahead. On top of everything else, stone is extremely versatile.

Whether you’re trying to make a bold statement with a modern edge or are simply in hopes of establishing a simple and traditional look for your home, you’ll find that it’s more than doable.

Of course, stone is also weather-resistant – a must here in the northeast where we are frequently subject to extreme temperature fluctuations and weather pattern. The end result is a luxurious-looking exterior for your home that will last a lifetime and beyond.

Full Stone Veneers

The process of completely constructing a home with natural stone can be quite expensive. Making the decision to enhance the appearance of your home with a full stone veneer is a much more cost-efficient means of giving your house the facelift it deserves.

Full stone veneers can be produced from an array of different types of natural stone in a range of lovely colors and shapes. Veneers can be applied to most surfaces.

Depending on the look you’re trying to create, you might decide to use stone veneers on your home’s entire exterior, or you might choose to highlight certain areas of the house with the stone.

As an example, some homeowners will use stone veneers only along exterior foundation walls, around windows and doors, or on one side of the home. Working with a design software or speaking with an expert can help you to make the best decision for your property.

Thin Stone Veneers

Because full stone veneers tend to be heavier, they may not always be the most practical or budget-friendly option for your project. This is especially true of projects where the stone needs to be situated in smaller spaces.

Fortunately, thin stone veneers are available and offer the same beauty and structural integrity as full stone veneers. The thin stone is also very easy to work with and makes for a quick installation.

Thin stone veneers can be applied anywhere that a full stone veneer would be used, as well as in more restricted areas that would not be suitable for a full stone veneer.

Other Ways to Use Stone

Of course, there are other ways in which you can make use of stone in the design of your home and your property beyond simply using the material as a decorative siding or facing. In fact, there are many features that can benefit from a stone facelift.

You might consider working with stone to build a new chimney (or use a veneer to transform an existing chimney). Natural stone is also great for pillars, columns, and mailboxes, amongst other things.

Stone can also be used in the property as a decorative feature. Whether you like the bold statement that boulders can make or prefer to use stone as a surface for driveways, paths, and patios, you’ll find that natural stone will significantly – and instantly – add to the curb appeal and value of your property.

Adding Stone to Your NJ Home

If you believe that stone is the right fit for your NJ home, Braen Supply is here to help make your dreams come true. Braen Supply is recognized for being a leading stone manufacturer and supplier in NJ and throughout the northeast.

We offer a massive inventory of high-quality stone and stone veneers. We are always ready and able to with you in order to ensure that you find the perfect materials for your property and to answer any questions you may have about selection, design, installation and maintenance.

Our stone is available at the most competitive wholesale rates and can be picked up at your convenience or bulk delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ and NY and throughout limited parts of CT and PA. Give us a call or visit our location to learn more today.

What Is The Best Stone for Outdoor Patios?

A new stone patio can completely transform the look of your property. In addition to looking fabulous, a quality stone patio allows you to get the most out of your outdoor living space while increasing your home’s value and curb appeal.

In order to be truly happy with your patio, you need to take the time to select the best stone for your specific needs. While NJ homeowners are fortunate enough to have plenty of fantastic options for patio construction, you may find that some materials are better suited to your lifestyle than others.

Today’s post will highlight some of the best stone for outdoor patio construction, and tips for choosing the right material for your property.

Best Types of Patio Stone

The landscaping and construction industries are thriving in NJ. As a result, local homeowners have the luxury of selecting from a wide range of high-quality stone materials when beginning their patio projects.

Multiple varieties of natural stone, including cut pavers and slabs as well as loose fill materials, are available. While larger pavers offer a more traditional appearance for an outdoor living space, loose-fill gravel and decorative stone add unique texturing and beauty to your property.

Understanding the individual merits of each stone option will help you to make a choice that will continue to delight yourself, your family and your guests in the many years ahead. Here’s a closer look at some of the best and most popular natural stone types for residential patios in NJ:


Bluestone has been a staple in patio construction for many years – and for good reason. This stunningly beautiful stone offers a sense of luxury and elegance while still providing a close connection with nature. Bluestone is easily recognized for its incredible coloring.

The stone features shades of blue, blue-gray, tan and sometimes indigo. The smooth blend of coloring is dazzling, regardless of the cut or style of bluestone.

Bluestone is available in large slabs, in pattern cut shapes, or as an irregular stone paver. In pattern cut bluestone, it’s simple to create aesthetically pleasing geometrical designs.

The irregularly cut stone offers the appearance of flagstone and allows for a much more one-of-a-kind appearance. Regardless of which style you go with, you’ll be pleased with the outcome. Bluestone is extremely tough, durable and weather resistant.


Brownstone is often associated with building materials in the heart of NYC, but it can be used for so much more. In fact, many NJ homeowners have found that the rich earthy tones of brownstone look absolutely fantastic in their outdoor living spaces.

Brownstone features shades of brown and tan, and creates a truly inviting environment for outdoor living. Available in pattern cuts, you’ll enjoy creating a beautiful arrangement that suits your every whim.


Limestone has long been a favorite of homeowners throughout the northeast. The extremely reliable and subtly elegant stone material is extremely versatile and can be used for a wide range of purposes throughout your landscape or hardscape.

Whether you’re looking to create a “floor” for your outdoor kitchen or seating area or are considering a garden patio for reading, you’ll find that limestone slabs and pattern cut pavers are the perfect fit for your needs. Limestone doesn’t scratch or scrape easily and holds up beautifully when exposed to the elements.

Sahara Granite

One of the most unique and exciting natural stone options for outdoor patios is Sahara Granite. This exquisite material is characterized by lovely shades of tan, brown, gold and black.

The “desert vibe” given off by this stone makes it a great option for creating a poolside patio for lounging and entertaining. The stone is also great for any outdoor living area with water features.

Like all granite materials, Sahara granite is known for being extremely durable and long lasting – even when exposed to regular usage, wear and tear.

Pea Gravel

There’s no reason why you should limit yourself to stone slabs or pavers. A growing number of NJ homeowners are discovering the many benefits associated with working with loose fill materials.

Among the different types of loose gravel and other natural stone, pea gravel is among the most popular. Pea gravel is known for its small “pea” size and its smooth, round shape and texture.

Pea gravel features an array of lovely colors ranging from red, brown, tan, white, gray, blue, green and just about everything in between. This interesting blend of colors is visually intriguing and creates a soothing yet fun atmosphere.

One advantage to working with a loose fill material like pea gravel is that it can easily be poured into any shape, giving you a great deal of flexibility in terms of patio design. Gravel also offers excellent drainage, is extremely affordable, and is simple to maintain.

Other Loose Fill Stone

In addition to pea gravel, there are other loose fill stone options for you to choose from. Traditional ¾” washed clean stone offers a simple and yet elegant look of classic gray and white gravel.

Goose egg gravel is another excellent choice, offering a rounder and smoother appearance with smooth and neutral tones of white and tan.

Many NJ homeowners are also fans of yellow round “Jersey Shore” gravel. This fun, unique stone creates a bit of a beach vibe, featuring shades of tan, brown and yellow, which combine together for a golden, sandy appearance.

Choosing Your Patio Stone

Because each type of natural stone available for patio construction is so beautiful and reliable, you’ll find that you could benefit from any material.

Ultimately, the best stone for your outdoor patio is your decision, based upon your personal sense of style and what you want for your property, the intended use of your patio, and other landscaping or architectural features throughout your property.

It can be helpful to visit a local showroom in order to see how different materials appear in person and in contrast to other landscaping materials. You can also consult with a trusted landscaping professional in order to make the best possible decision for your home.

Buying Patio Stone in NJ

Braen Supply is a leading manufacturer and supplier of the best natural stone for outdoor patio installations in NJ and its surrounding areas. We take pride in offering the most beautiful and high-quality stone products at the lowest and most competitive wholesale prices on the market.

Our team of professionals is more than happy to discuss your goals, dreams and needs in order to provide you with advice on which product is right for you.

Our patio stone can be picked up at your convenience from our NJ facility or can be bulk delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ, NY and NYC and limited parts of PA and CT.

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Thin Brick Veneer Costs, Installation & Thickness & Types

If you love the idea of working with brick, you’re in good company. Brick is a staple in the colonial construction that’s so prevalent throughout the northeast and NJ.

Unfortunately, working with full brick isn’t always practical or cost-efficient. That doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your dream of using brick for your project, though.

Thin brick veneer is an affordable and beautiful solution that will meet your every need. Could thin brick veneer be right for you? Read on to learn more about the uses for thin brick veneer, their size, cost considerations, installation tips and more.

Thin Brick Veneer At-A-Glance

One of the greatest things about thin brick veneer is that they are engineered from the exact same stuff as traditional building bricks. This high-quality kiln-fired clay brick is simply cut thinner in order to scale back costs and to reduce weight constraints.

When you buy thin brick veneer, you’ll find that they come in sheets which are cut to a specific size and then applied to an interior or exterior wall. Generally, these veneers are cut to a thickness between 3/8”-1”.

This thin size and lightweight nature are what make it possible for the materials to be applied to walls and surfaces where the full brick would be too heavy and bulky.

Thin Brick Veneer Uses

Thin brick veneer can be used in any type of project where the full brick would be used and beyond. Many NJ homeowners choose to use thin veneer for creating an attractive siding for all or part of their house.

The brick looks fantastic when used as a covering for foundation walls or for the lower portion of the home’s siding. It also functions beautifully when used to face an entire wall or part of a wall. Of course, you are free to side your entire home with a thin brick veneer in order to create the impression that your home was constructed of full brick.

In addition to the use of siding a home’s exterior, thin brick veneer is also a popular choice for both interior and exterior fireplaces. This creates a beautiful aesthetic at a fraction of the cost. Thin brick veneer could also be used for interior walls, wine cellars, backsplashes, etc.

Installing Thin Brick Veneer

When you work with full brick, a good deal of precision and expertise is required. Unless you’ve laid or build with brick in the past, chances are that you’ll need to hire a professional mason to get the job done correctly – especially if the bricks being used are load bearing.

Specific building codes and regulations must be met in order to ensure safety. A lot of time and effort must go into the project. Choosing to work with a thin stone veneer, on the other hand, is very simple.

All of the above challenges can be avoided, as the thin veneer can be quickly and readily applied to your walls and other surfaces.

Because the thin brick is decorative rather than functional, you will not have to worry about code requirements associated with the materials. The veneer can be applied after a code-compliant building has been completed.

Thin Brick Veneer Costs

One of the first questions that people ask about thin brick veneer has to do with how much they will need to spend in order to enjoy working with the material. When compared to many other landscaping materials, thin brick veneer is extremely affordable.

Due to the fact that less time and material is required during the manufacturing process than for the production of full brick or manufactured stone veneers, you can expect your overall costs to be significantly reduced. In addition to this, the thin brick is extremely lightweight, which reduces transportation costs.

Finally, thin brick veneers are known for being a very energy efficient building material. The thin brick is able to help keep buildings cool during the summer and to keep heat in during the winter. This means that you may be able to enjoy the added savings of a reduced energy bill on top of the low costs of the veneer itself.

Working With a Thin Brick Veneer in NJ

If you feel like a thin brick veneer is a perfect solution for your upcoming project, Braen Supply is here to help accommodate your needs. As a leading supplier of brick and natural stone veneers in NJ, we offer a huge inventory of high-quality thin brick materials at the lowest and most competitive rates in the Tri-State area.

Our team of experts is more than happy to discuss your project needs and to provide advice about choosing and using thin brick veneers. Give us a call to learn more about ordering your thin brick veneers for pickup or bulk delivery to areas throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and limited parts of PA and CT.