5 Ways To Use Belair Retaining Walls In Your NJ Landscape

One of the fastest, simplest and most effective means of giving your property a makeover is to incorporate Belgard Belair retaining wall blocks into your landscape. Like all Belgard products, the Belair wall collection is designed with style, functionality and longevity in mind. This means that there are a number of ways that you can make use of the blocks to enhance your home, depending on your individual needs and preferences. To emphasize this point, we’ve put together a quick guide to what you can expect from Belgard Belair retaining walls, as well as five fabulous ideas for introducing these wall blocks to your property.

Belair Belgard Retaining Wall Blocks At-A-Glance

Belair retaining walls are a part of Belgard’s Natural Collection, featuring a rugged and naturalistic chiseled facing on all sides. The blocks are designed to look just like real stone, and it’s nearly impossible to differentiate between a Belair wall and a 100% natural stone wall. In addition to featuring a chiseled surface, each stone features rich and detailed texturing. The blocks are available in several different color families, making it easy for you to match your new wall with your landscape’s current style of decor and existing features. Because Belgard Belair retaining walls are crafted from concrete, they are extremely affordable and highly durable. The blocks are also treated to prevent fading and discoloration, meaning that your retaining wall will continue to look spectacular throughout the years.

Uses for Belgard Belair Retaining Wall Blocks

It’s easy to fall in love with Belgard Belair retaining walls at first sight, but you may be wondering exactly how you should make use of them throughout your landscape. Fortunately, Belair wall blocks are extremely versatile and can serve a number of decorative and functional purposes. Of course, a retaining wall’s primary purpose is generally to prevent erosion and to protect the integrity of the landscape, but these walls can be used for so much more. Here’s a look at five of our favorite ways to use Belair retaining walls:

1. Maximize Your Living Space

Building with Belgard Belair retaining wall blocks makes it possible for you to level of areas of land throughout an otherwise sloped and unusable landscape and start enjoying more time outdoors. Once these areas have been leveled off and are secured with the attractive wall blocks, it’s easy to create a stunning patio for entertaining and dining, or even an outdoor kitchen. Not only will this maximize your ability to spend time outside with your loved ones, but it will also increase the overall value of your property.

2. Let Your Garden Grow

If you’ve got a green thumb, Belgard Belair retaining walls can help you to be able to spend more time tending to your flowers, vegetables and other plants, while also giving you the ability to show them off to the world. Again, retaining wall blocks make it possible to level off hilly or sloped patches of land. This makes the landscape much more suitable for growing. At the same time, the wall blocks create a beautiful planter bed setting for your vegetation that will not only protect your plants, but will also accentuate their beauty.

3. Facilitate Movement

Belgard Belair retaining wall blocks are the perfect solution for any homeowner who needs to construct a spectacular staircase that will help guests move from one area of the property to another. The blocks are stately and elegant and are a fabulous choice for establishing a front staircase leading up to the front doors of homes with hilly front yards. Stairs can also be used to facilitate movement between various levels of your patio or landscape. The blocks complement many Belgard stair caps and treads, making it easy to create a charming and cohesive design.

4. Create Boundaries

You don’t necessarily have to use Belgard Belair retaining wall blocks for building retaining walls. Instead, the blocks are a great choice for freestanding walls. These types of walls can be used to create boundaries between various areas or “rooms” of your outdoor living space, such as a division between your hot tub and your outdoor living room. Freestanding Belair walls are also great for creating boundaries and privacy between you and neighboring properties.

5. Establish Extra Seating

Throughout the years, we’ve seen many homeowners choose to build additional seating into their Belair retaining walls, steps and freestanding walls. By giving the wall a dual purpose, you are able to create seamless seating that looks absolutely stunning while making it much easier for you to entertain large groups of friends, family and loved ones at a moment’s notice.

Planning Your Landscape with Belgard Belair Retaining Wall Systems

Do you love these ideas as much as we do? Or do you perhaps have other ideas and plans for working Belgard Belair retaining wall blocks into your landscape? Whatever the case may be, we urge you to visit a local Belgard showroom for more ideas on how to build with the blocks and incorporate them into your property. You might even request samples of the colors that you’re most interested in so that you can compare the shades against other tones and hues that may exist within your landscape and hardscape. It’s also a great idea to work with a contractor or landscaping design software in order to draw up plans that are customized for your property. In addition to this, Belgard offers access to an online design studio that will make it easier for you to visualize how the blocks will look within the scope of your unique landscape. Whatever you do, have fun with your design!

Working With Belgard Belair Retaining Walls in NJ

Braen Supply is available for all of your Belgard Belair retaining wall system needs. As a top supplier and authorized dealer of Belgard products, we are able to provide exclusive access to a full range of Belair retaining wall blocks in a various colors and hues. Homeowners can visit our local showroom in order to see how the walls look in-person, and to draw further landscaping inspiration. Our team of Belgard experts is more than happy to answer any questions you may have and to provide you with landscaping and hardscaping tips. Our Belgard Belair wall blocks can be picked up at your convenience or can be bulk delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ and NY and limited parts of PA and CT.


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How A Belgard Belair Retaining Wall Can Modernize Your Home In NJ

As a homeowner, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that your property continues to look fresh and modern throughout the years. Not only is maintaining excellent curb appeal important for your own happiness and well being, but doing so also ensures that you can get the maximum value out of your home. If you’ve been feeling like your home’s landscape is a bit lackluster and dated, it’s time for an upgrade. The Belair Wall collection by Belgard offers a simple, affordable and highly effective means of modernizing your home’s exterior.

Characteristics of a Modern Landscape

When we talk about modern landscaping, what do we actually mean? Lush green lawns and sprawling vegetation have been the hallmarks of traditional landscaping, and while green is still chic, modern homeowners are favoring less of it. According to HGTV, today’s most stylish landscapes feature a good balance of plant life and stone or concrete walls, stairs, patios and walkways – often with metal or wood accents. In addition to this, a modern landscape should be simple, sophisticated and free of clutter. A modern landscape is obviously a great fit for modern style homes, but they are also fabulous when juxtaposed against more traditional architecture. Ultimately, this can make even the most classic homes appear more modern and exciting.

Belgard Belair Wall Collection At-A-Glance

The Belgard Belair Wall collection is a perfect fit for any homeowner who is interested in updating their landscape. Belgard is a top designer and manufacturer of excellent hardscaping materials, including wall blocks. These faux “stones” are carefully engineered to look and feel just like natural stone while being manufactured from modern, durable and affordable concrete. Because the blocks are produced from concrete as opposed to natural stone, there is a much higher degree of control over the quality, consistency and uniformity of each block that is sold to homeowners like yourself. Consequently, it’s simple to achieve a clean, sophisticated and clutter-free wall design for your property. The Belair Wall collection, specifically, features soft, neutral colors blended together for beauty, clean lines and rugged texturing. The combination of the geometrically shaped blocks and the ridged and rippling textures make for a truly modern and upscale contrast that will intrigue and delight you and your guests. The Belair collection can be used in designs featuring straight lines, sharp edges, or even curves. This versatility makes it a great option for all landscapes.

Benefits of the Belgard Belair Wall Collection

The Belair collection from Belgard has grown very popular throughout NJ and the northeast, and it’s easy to see why. There are numerous benefits associated with working with these attractive and agile blocks. For starters, the blocks are designed with aesthetics in mind. These are not your grandma’s cinder block retaining wall materials; they’re crafted and engineered with intention, and their look is very “now.” It’s easy to create a modern look for your landscape with these Belgard blocks, pairing green space with “stone.” Whether the blocks are used to construct a retaining wall or a planter, you’ll enjoy the look of contemporary balance. Beyond this, Belgard Belair materials are weather-resistant, durable and long-lasting. This means that your wall or other landscaping features won’t become weathered and worn down over time, thus detracting from the modern vibe you worked so hard to achieve. Instead, your Belair Wall blocks will continue to look fresh and vibrant at all times.

Top Uses for Belgard Belair Wall Blocks

So, how can Belgard Belair Wall blocks be incorporated into your landscape in a way that allows for truly modern design? Here are a few of our favorite ways to improve the look of your home with this stunning wall collection:

  • Retaining Walls – One of the most common ways that Belgard wall blocks (especially those from the Belair collection) are used is in the construction of functional and aesthetically pleasing retaining walls. In addition to preventing erosion and preserving the integrity of your landscape, these gorgeous blocks will create a more modern and appealing look for your entire property, giving your home a much-needed facelift.
  • Raised Planters – Just because your modern landscape features hardscaping elements like Belair Wall blocks doesn’t mean that it can’t also boast a beautiful garden. These wall “stones” are perfect for building raised planters and flower beds.
  • Tiered Landscaping – Get more out of your outdoor living space by leveling off areas of your property and creating tiered landscaping with the Belair collection. The sleek, clean look of each tier will add a modern a appeal to your landscape as a whole, and you and your loved ones will be able to get a whole lot more use out of ALL of your land instead of just small sections.
  • Stairs – Belgard wall blocks can also be used to construct beautiful and upscale staircases. Whether the steps are leading from one tier of your landscape to another or are welcoming your guests to your front door, the Belair collection will provide the modern flavor that you crave.

Achieving Your Perfect Look With Belgard Belair Wall Blocks

Because Belgard wants homeowners to be fully confident in their landscaping decisions, the company has developed two unique project design tools. As you begin considering your options for upgrading your landscape, we recommend that you check out Belgard’s Project Visualizer. Here, you’ll be able to upload a picture of your space and start playing around with different Belgard materials, like Belair Wall blocks in order to see how they’d look within the scope of your property. This will immediately give you a sense for how modern and sophisticated your home can begin to look with these unique blocks, and you’ll be able to easily figure out which colors and shapes will look best within your space.

Beyond the Project Visualizer, Belgard also offers Authorized Contractors and their clients access to Belgard Design Studio. This interactive 3D design tool allows you and your contractor to enjoy full renderings of your landscape upgrade before you ever start breaking ground on your project. This will give you the freedom to play around with the design and layout to make sure that things are “just right” before you begin work. After working with these spectacular tools, you’ll feel confident in your design choices and ready to turn your dreams into a reality.

Working with Belgard Belair Wall Blocks in NJ

Could the Belair Wall collection from Belgard be your ticket to creating a more modern and beautiful landscape of your own? As a Belgard Authorized Dealer, Braen Supply is more than qualified to help you make the right decision for your landscaping upgrade. Our team of experts is happy to answer any questions you may have about Belgard products, and you’ll have the freedom to take a look at how the blocks look and function in our large showroom. You’ll find that our Belgard materials are always available at the lowest and most competitive market rates. Our materials can be picked up at your convenience, or we can bulk deliver your order to locations throughout most of NJ and parts of NY, NYC, CT and PA.

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The 5 Tools You Will Need Before Installing Garden Stones

There are many different ways in which a homeowner can enhance the appearance of his or her property, but there are few that are more attractive than the use of garden stones. In fact, garden stones are so versatile that they can be used in a wide variety of landscaping projects, both large and small, and they’re easy on the budget.

That being said, it’s not like the garden stones are going to spread themselves throughout your yard for you. So, you need to know what type of tools will be required for the installation. Let’s first discuss the primary tools that you’ll need prior to laying down the stones and then we’ll provide you with a quick list of steps to follow for the process.

5 Tools That You Will Need Before Installing Garden Stones

To get you started on your new landscaping project, let’s take a look at five tools that you’ll need to pick up to complete the project:

Steel Rake 

You’ll need a steel rake for a couple of reasons. First, you can use it to rake leaves and other debris out of your yard to start prepping the area for garden stones. The second use for the rake is to even out areas of dirt and the garden stones throughout the preparation process.


Another handy tool that you should pick up for the job is some type of weed eater that will help you get rid of both grass and weeds from your yard. There are a variety of types of weeders, including ones that allow you to stand up while you’re pulling them out, just in case you have any physical ailments that prevent you from being on your hands and knees or knelling to yank them out of the ground.

Hand Tamper

The next tool you’ll need is a hand tamper, which allows you to firmly press down the soil to pack it down. This will be used a few times throughout the preparation process, so make sure that you don’t neglect to pick one up from a gardening department if you don’t already have one.

Landscape Fabric

This is an item that some homeowners seem to forget about when they’re prepping their yard for garden stones, and that could be a big mistake. Even though you’ve pulled the weeds from your yard and spread down weed killer, you should put down a layer of landscape fabric, which will stop any straggling weeds from coming up.


If you do any kind of landscaping work at your home, it’s probably a good idea to have a wheelbarrow in the event that you need to haul a large amount of materials or other items from one place to another. In this case, if you’re receiving garden stones in bulk, this makes moving them to the correct spot a lot easier.

5 Quick Steps to Install Garden Stones

You can see a more detailed list of steps by clicking here, but we thought it’d be a good idea to provide a truncated version to start you off:

Kill Grass and Weeds

The first thing you need to do to prepare your lawn for the installation of garden stones is to kill all of the grass and weeds in the designated areas where you’ll be spreading them. You can start by pulling out as many of the weeds as you can with your trusty weeder, and then spread down some herbicide to get what you missed.

Dig into the Soil

The next step is to dig into the soil by approximately four inches through the area where the garden stones will be spread so that the rocks aren’t placed on uneven ground. If the ground is uneven, you’ll want to grab your steel rake, smooth it out, and then use the hand tamper to compact the soil.

Apply Crushed Stone Pack and Landscape Fabric

In addition to the tools listed above, you’ll also want to pick up some crushed stone pack. Spread approximately 2 1/2 inches of the pack over the compacted soil, use your steel rake to make it even, spray it with a bit of water, and compact it to two inches thick with the hand tamper. Once the crushed stone pack is in place, it’s time to lay down the landscape fabric to stop any weeds from coming up that you might have missed.

Apply Edging

The good news is that you’re almost finished! With the crushed stone pack and landscape fabric down, you need to lay edging around the yard. Follow the landscape fabric edges and lay down the edging there, which will provide additional protection by enforcing the area where you will be placing the garden stones.

Add the Garden Stones

This is the part you’ve all been waiting for, and it’s actually where you get to have some fun. Move your desired garden stones to the prepared area and simply spread them out evenly in the spot. Leave approximately 1/2 inch from the top so that the rocks don’t spill over during a rain. Then, as you might have guessed, spread the stones evenly with your steel rake.

Purchasing Garden Stones in New Jersey

Prior to picking up the required tools for your landscaping project involving garden stones, you should first hunt down a reputable supplier. Braen Supply has been providing all types of landscaping materials for nearly 20 years and can help you get the most out of your next project. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you with selecting the right type of garden stones for your project, give you advice on its specifications, and answer any questions you have. In fact, we’ve recently added landscape design to our expertise, so feel free to come in and speak with our designer, who will help analyze your project’s needs and send you to a reputable contractor. We can have materials bulk-delivered throughout most of NJ and parts of NY, CT, and PA or you can pick up the materials at our New Jersey location.

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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.