Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Natural Thin Stone Veneer II

Continuing on our series on Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer, this post will incorporate some distinctions and comparisons of our natural thin stone veneer and a man made or concrete thin product.  

First let's view just a portion of the distinctions of Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer:
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Low maintenance
  • Consistent colors-natural stone will not deface colors
  • Easily installed
  • All colors are unique, no predetermined pattern
  • Entirely natural
  • Proven material used over many centuries
  • Natural thin stone veneer allows for unique, creative patterning
  • Abundantly available
  • Looks just like a full thickness stone material
Now we can notate some of the disadvantages of a cultured, man made, or concrete thin product:
  • Unnatural appearance
  • Possibility of fading, cracking, staining
  • Dyed concrete aggregates allow for possible chipping and fading to reveal interior aggregates
  • Not easily manipulate for installation purposes
  • Predictable colors 
  • Composed of cement, aggregates, and chemicals
  • Warranties are necessary to promote product
  • Defined, predictable patterns produced from a set of molds
  • Prone to fading
**Note:  There is a reason the concrete products are commonly referred to as "fake stone".  There is only one way to go if you truly want REAL STONE.**

While these are some distinct differences, there are some overwhelming similarities, which again make Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer even more appealing.

  • Both products weigh less than traditional, full depth stone
  • Both are installed using similar application strategies
  • Both allow for precut corner pieces, creating the appearance of full depth material
  • Price is very competitive
  • Neither require a footing or brick ledge for installation
**Note:  For those who just thought natural thin stone veneer was not a cost effective measure, think again.  A natural stone is an absolutely efficient, effective and logical material to use on your next project.**

To summarize this post, Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer is an advantageous product.  This is an all natural material, with a tremendous wide range of possible color selections.  Our natural thin stone veneer allows for a unique possibility of blends and patterns to call your own.  Again, the most appealing reality is that Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer is natural, not made with cement products.

When analyzing and assessing the best scenario for your next project, the question shouldn't be whether to use a natural or manufactured product, the question should be whether to use Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer or Kirby Stone Company's full depth natural stone.  We can help establish the best option for your project and assure you are making the best decision by relying on the expertise from Kirby Stone Company, LLC.

Until next time, be sure to contact our Sales Team with any questions and we will be glad to do what it takes to help you along the way.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Phenomenon of Kirby Stone Company's Natural Thin Stone Veneer

This segment will be the first in a series on natural thin stone veneer products as supplied by Kirby Stone Company. This series on thin stone will begin with an introduction into the products and discuss some of the specifications. Through the next several posts, we will look at many different aspects of the Kirby Stone Company natural thin stone veneer and how it may just be the material you need for your project.

You may be asking "what exactly is natural thin stone veneer?" There are a multitude of features to consider when discussing Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer. First off, it is important to note that Kirby Stone Company is capable of supplying natural thin stone veneer in many different selections of material. The details of varying products will be covered in a later post once we have established the groundwork of natural thin stone veneer.

Also note, the information provided is for general guidelines only and may not be suitable in all specific scenarios or instances. Feel free to contact one of our sales staff members to discuss your specific project for a precise determination and assessment of product needed.

Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer product begins as a natural stone harvested from beneath the earth within one of our quarry locations. A full depth stone (3"-5") is formed which at this point is ready to go through a special thin veneer saw to create a natural thin stone veneer. This thin veneer piece is an exact match to the full depth stone only in a thin version. Having a thin material has advantages which will be examined in a later discussion in this same series. The natural thin stone veneer available from Kirby Stone Company is offered in the same blends, colors, and shapes as the full thickness stone products. Whether your selection is a quarry chopped material, sawn chopped material, or a flagstone/builders material, it can be cut into a thin stone to fit the needs of your specific project.

Natural thin stone veneer is typically a nominal thickness of 1-1/4 inches. With the varying contours of the face of natural stone the depth could range from 3/4" to a thickness of 1-1/2". At Kirby Stone Company, we take great pride and go to great lengths in our quality control to see to it that there is a consistency in the variance of the range of the thickness of the stone within the standards and within the tolerance of the natural stone. This material is cut using a high quality, diamond blade saw set at a specific height in order to reach the thickness of 1-1/4". The thin stone used in the field of a vertical wall structure is considered a flat piece.

The weight of natural thin stone veneer is a great consideration to take into account. Kirby Stone Company's thin stone veneer weighs approximately 10-14 lbs/SF. This is a weight to remember when we detail the comparisons of the natural thin stone veneer to the natural full depth veneer. There are times when the weight of a product is a factor during the masonry phase of construction, which makes Kirby Stone Company the needed product.

Another aspect to the natural thin stone veneer is the ability to create a natural transition to the corner of a verical wall structure. Kirby Stone Company has the capability of creating a 90 degree corner piece with the use of a specially designed thin saw used for the purpose of cutting corner pieces. This piece of stone known as a corner piece is still the same thickness as a flat piece, but incorporates a 90 degree cut giving off the appearance of a full depth stone at the corner. There are returns coming off of each edge of the 90 degree, one being a short edge of approximately 3" and the other being a longer edge. This material gives the opportunity to keep with the aesthetics and appearance needed while creating the look of a full thickness stone on the corner of the structure or building.

This photo represents an example of a flat piece of Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer.

You can see in this photo the 90 degree angle created as a corner piece of Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer.

Now you should be able to begin to imagine the multitude of uses for the Kirby Stone Company natural thin stone veneer.

In the next edition we will evaluate some of the advantages of using Kirby Stone Company's natural thin stone veneer and conduct a comparison of the natural thin stone versus a man-made or concrete thin product.

Until next time, be sure to contact our sales team to help you with all of your natural stone selections in order to best maximize your design.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Project Showcase: Texas A&M University San Antonio Campus

In this project showcase Kirby Stone Company will detail the eye catching and phenomenal construction of the brand new multi-purpose building on the permanent grounds of Texas A&M University San Antonio Campus - TAMUSA. This first building on the new campus weighs in at a little over 90,000 gross square feet. Set to house the library, bookstore, student services offices, classrooms, faculty, and administrative offices, and a food services area. This new addition to the campus was opened Fall 2011.

The design intent was/is a Spanish Mission Style which incorporates a great deal of detail in the stone and masonry installation. The desired natural stone used on this structure was Desert Sunset Sandstone harvested by Kirby Stone Company, LLC. This particular blend of stone is an extremely unique sandstone product, with very few sources available. The color of this natural stone ranges from a bright yellow to a soft mustard yellow and all colors in between.

Let's back up a bit to the Spanish Mission Style idea and we discuss the cut of stone used on this project. In order to replicate the look of a Spanish Mission the stone was harvested in a combination of hand squared and flagstone patterned natural stone product. The varying sizes and shapes of the stone are crucial in replicating the design intent. The other part of the equation is the importance of the installation. The installation of the stone is critical in keeping the design intent as well and assuring the Spanish Mission idea is followed. It was amazing to see the project during construction to see the amount of detail that went into the masonry craft of installing this to keep the desired look and quality.

While the majority of the stone installed on this structure was specified at a brick ledge depth of 3"-5", there was also a large amount of Kirby Stone Company's thin veneer stone product utilized. The thin stone veneer in the Desert Sunset had to mimic the full depth natural stone in appearance with the only difference being the depth. The thin veneer was installed on portions on the building that did not allow for a full brick ledge. Again, great work was completed by the masonry contractor to insure there was flawless transition from the regular depth stone and the thin veneer product.

Kudos goes out to Shadrock and Williams Masonry, LTD on the great amount of hard work and detail put into the applicationa and installation of this project. It's truly amazing how important the role of the masonry contractor is for a project of this magnitude. Shadrock and Williams did a superb job and showed a great deal of craftsmanship!

Here is one of many photos of the project.

To learn more information about TAMUSA and for more photos of the natural stone and chronological photos of construction follow the following links:



It was a great pleasure for Kirby Stone Company to have the opportunity to work with everyone involved on such a unique project. Remember if you are looking for a natural stone product for your next project, Kirby Stone Company is the place to look.


Architect: Kell Munoz Architects

General Contractor: Bartlett Cocke General Contractors

Masonry Contractor: Shadrock and Williams, LTD

Stone Supplier: Kirby Stone Company, LLC

*Some information was collected from websites shown above.

Monday, July 4, 2011

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: America the Beautiful (and Natural!)

As we celebrate the Independence Day this July 4th, Kirby Stone Company, LLC wants to focus on the most renowned national landmarks and memorials that have had, and will always have, on the formation of the United States. The handful of landmarks and monuments discussed are only a few that use natural stone, and each possesses the same benefits characteristic of natural stone: unique, enduring, timeless and beautiful.

Arlington National Cemetery

Located in Virginia, Arlington National Cemetery was established during the American Civil War is a military cemetery. The land used for this reminder of all those who have served in the United States Armed Forces was originally the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee. The cemetery is situated directly across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and also serves as the burial grounds for many other individuals and Presidents influential to what America is today. For more information on Arlington National Cemetery, please visit the official site HERE.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a World Heritage Site located in northwestern Arizona, and it is renowned for its geological significance. The Colorado River snakes through the Grand Canyon, cutting the ravines to an average depth of 4,000 feet. These large incisions create a tremendous record of up to four geological periods, displaying a wide array of geological features, rock types and fossils…a geologist, paleontologist, archaeologist and biologist’s dream!! For more information on the Grand Canyon, please visit the official site HERE.

Lincoln Memorial

Sitting amidst the National Mall in Washington D.C., the Lincoln Memorial was built to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Built in the design of a Greek Doric temple, the Lincoln Memorial utilizes Yule Marble, a sedimentary stone located in Colorado. The marble is known for the consistency of its pure white color. It does not possess the gray streaks typically found with quarried marble in Vermont and other areas of the country. The Lincoln Memorial has been the site of many famous momentous speeches, including Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. For more information on the Lincoln Memorial, please visit the official site HERE.

Mesa Verde

Similar to the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde is also designated as a World Heritage Site. Located in Colorado, Mesa Verde was the first national park set aside to preserve the works of man. The location includes some of the most well kept cliff dwellings in the world as well as many geological features. Most of the stone consists of sandstone and shale, and some rock formations date back 90 million years. Well known for the cliff dwellings, these structures, built within the cliffs, were occupied by the Anasazi people between 550 and 1300 AD. Cliff Palace is located within Mesa Verde and is considered the largest cliff dwelling found within North America. For more information on Mesa Verde National Park, please visit the official site HERE.

United States Capitol Building

The United States Capitol is one of the most recognized structures in the landscape of United States history. Located in Washington D.C., on top of Capitol Hill amidst the National Mall, the building is used as the workplace for Congress, and the name “Capitol” is latin for “city on a hill”. Freemason and the first President of the United States, George Washington laid the cornerstone of the structure, and while the original structure consisted sandstone, quarried in Virginia and ferried to Washington D.C., additions to the United States Capitol Building were built using marble. For more information on the United States Capitol Building, please visit the official site HERE.

Mount Rushmore

Situated within the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is one of the most visited national landmarks, hosting over three million visitors annually. The name derives from New York City attorney, Charles E. Rushmore, who, in 1855, was appointed to find the title of ownership to the property on which the monument was carved. Sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and later by his son Lincoln Borglum, the sculptures include 60-foot heads of the former Presidents of the United States in granite. The project’s construction began in 1927 and continued until funding expired in 1941. For more information on Mount Rushmore, please visit the official site HERE.

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is an obelisk, a tall four-sided tapering monument, located near the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and due east of the Lincoln Memorial in the National Mall. Built to commemorate George Washington, the monument is constructed of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, much of which was donated from states throughout the Union and foreign dignitaries. The Washington monument is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 555 feet 51⁄8 inches, and until the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889, the monument was the tallest structure in the world. Construction of the monument began in 1848 but was not completed until 1884. The monument was finally dedicated in 1885. For more information on the Washington Monument, please visit the official site HERE.

Rainbow Bridge

Located within the feet of Navajo Mountain in southern Utah, Rainbow Bridge is considered to be one of the world’s highest natural bridges at 290 feet. Consisting of sandstone formed during the Triassic and Jurassic periods, Rainbow Bridge was known for centuries by Native Americans as sacred. They referred to the structure as Nonnezoshe or "rainbow turned to stone”. It was not until 1910 when the structure became known to the public, as President William Howard Taft deemed it a national landmark to preserve this "extraordinary natural bridge, having an arch which is in form and appearance much like a rainbow, and which is of great scientific interest as an example of eccentric stream erosion." For more information on Rainbow Bridge, please visit the official site HERE.

From all of us at Kirby Stone Company, LLC, we wish you a safe and memorable Independence Day. Remember all those who have come before and blazed a trail to what the United States is today. God Bless America!

For more information regarding Kirby Stone Company, LLC or our quarry-direct
natural stone products, please feel to visit our website at:


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Monday, June 27, 2011


When beginning a new project, whether the project entails new construction of a residential or commercial development or the renovation of a pre-existing project, perhaps a patio or fireplace, the use of natural stone grants the user the benefit of several characteristics and qualities that will distinguish the project and provide you with the satisfaction of a high-quality finished product. The benefits of using natural stone in your next project include all of the following:


Limestone with Fossils - Approx. 20 million years old

Natural stone is manufactured by the earth itself, and the aesthetics of the stone are often affected by the weather and other environmental conditions, making most stone unique to the region in which it is quarried. Every slab of natural stone has characteristics distinctive to that particular stone. The benefit of such a characteristic ensures an appearance within a landscaping or construction project that is truly one of a kind.


The Alamo - San Antonio, Texas

The earth produces natural stone over a period of millions of years, and stone is featured in some of the largest architectural feats in history. Many of these historic landmarks utilizing the benefits of natural limestone or sandstone include the Alamo, the pyramids of Egypt (limestone), the City of Pompeii and many other projects from the beginning of civilization to modern times. When using natural stone, you can be assured your project will endure several lifetimes!


Empire State Building - New York, New York

Utilizing natural limestone and sandstone promotes a distinct sustained resource that provides depth and contrast to the design aspects of a project. The durability and strength of natural stone and the variations of colors and textures contribute to a wealth of design ideas that will outlast any construction fad and withstand the test of time.


Prince Edward Islands - Sandstone Arch

When thinking about natural stone’s qualities, no one characteristic is more vital than the stone’s beauty. This trait is the sum total of natural stone’s unique, enduring and timeless qualities. The variation in texture and color from one stone to the next, the stone’s innate ability to endure and the intrinsic value of a design that promotes aesthetics from era to era all prove natural stone to be an asset to any project.

For more information regarding Kirby Stone Company, LLC or our quarry-direct
natural stone products, please feel to visit our website at:


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