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December 19, 2007 8:46 AM CST

Natural Stone: Ask an Expert


Question: Why does natural stone have such a lasting appeal?

Answer: Natural stone has been formed over millions of years. The color is forms naturally throughout, with no dyes. If anything, the color is enhanced further with the passage of time.

The positives of natural stone are many. If the rock is chipped, it is natural, not concrete, on the inside. Natural stone has been through millions of freeze-thaw cycles before it has been harvested for natural thin veneer. Natural thin veneer also is available as a veneer or full-size bed depth of three to five inches. Natural stone is not a repetitive pattern; no two jobs will look the same. Houses can be side-by-side, but there will be no discernable shape or color pattern. Each job becomes a work of art, based on the mason. One of the most understated benefits of using the natural stone is the ability to use it as a veneer on the house, as landscape crush for the gardens, and as boulders for features or retaining walls.

Question: What's the future of thin stone veneer?

Answer: Natural stone has always been desired for all types of building markets. In the past, the making, shipping, structural support and installation of natural stone have made it cost prohibitive outside the immediate area. Working with thin veneer, some of the cost of shipping, (as we ship more square feet for the same tonnage), installation (less time consuming and easier to work with than full bed depth), and the cost of the structural support are eliminated, making it available to more than just a local market.

We currently ship coast-to-coast and have been involved with projects in Squaw Valley, Calif.; Tamarack, Idaho; and Mount Tremblant, Quebec. As the market matures and becomes more knowledgeable, a positive future for natural thin veneer exists. Informed architects always seem to like using natural products both for the aesthetics and the positive environmental impact. It fits all projects from an accent to a main feature, because a natural color always looks best with other natural products.

About the Author

Marty Pope is co-owner of Kettle Valley Stone Company. He can be reached at 250-491-0405 or


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