Brick and stone veneer products are looking better than ever these days. Advances in design and technology have made it easy to create gorgeous fireplace surrounds, exterior accents, and more.

Robinson Brick Co.'s Thinrock (shown here in Seabed) can be applied to any regular wall without additional structural support.
Robinson Brick Co.'s Thinrock (shown here in Seabed) can be applied to any regular wall without additional structural support.

Robinson Brick Co., which has been making bricks for 125 years, recently applied its expertise to the veneer market, resulting in the ThinVeneer line, which includes Thinbrick, Thinrock, and Thinrock accents. All veneers are made from actual brick and stone, giving them authenticity. The company has been expanding the line since it was introduced in 2002. “The thriving remodeling market has been a dynamic force behind the spike in demand for Thinveneer,” says Lesa Bannon, vice president of marketing. “Homeowners are looking for simple and unique ways to … remodel using natural, lightweight materials.”

Thinbrick can be applied to any regular wall without additional structural support, because it installs like tile. (Still, check local building codes.) Thinrock is natural stone that is quarried and cut thin. Both veneers come in a wide variety of colors and textures.

Another stone veneer option is Owens Corning's Cultured Stone. Offered in 16 textures and a myriad of colors, Cultured Stone can create nearly any look, from contemporary to Old World. “A stone exterior enhances curb appeal and perceived value by providing differentiation and character,” says Scott Flowers, general manager of Cultured Stone. They offer two software programs to view and download all installation information and product specifications in multiple formats.

Stone Mountain Brick Company's brick veneer is made with concrete, making it not only lighter but more durable. Stone Mountain offers custom colors in all of its textures.

The advantage of using veneers, whether they are natural or manufactured, over actual bricks and stone is obvious: They're far lighter and easier to work with, which means getting projects completed faster and with less labor.

As more manufacturers venture into the veneer market, the options for both exterior and interior applications will grow, lighting the imaginations of remodelers and homeowners alike.