Stone is a popular choice for hardscape projects because of its durability and varying colors, shapes and textures
Stone is a popular choice for hardscape projects because of its durability and varying colors, shapes and textures. That said, you'd have to be a talented—and fit—stone mason to build a stone outdoor kitchen from scratch. There is an alternative if you want the look of stone with an easy, DIY install.
Stone veneer, real or cement-based, is easier to work with compared to real, full-sized stone. Veneers are cheaper, lighter, and are available at your local stone yard. They'll also last longer than just about any other material available and require little, if any, maintenance.
These real stones are rough shaped into neat square and rectangles with varying shades of golden brown. The neutral color makes these stones perfect to clad large exterior projects, like a chimney or exposed foundation.
Canyon Creek; About $10 per square foot; about $15 per linear foot for corner peices; Natural Stone Veneers International
With only an inch or so of depth, thin veneers are tough to dry stack without mortar. Use dark-colored mortar—which blends in with the stone—to install these granite veneers. Then, pullout exposed mortar with a brick trowel to minimize visible joints.
Aqua Grantique Ledgerock; About $14.75 per square foot; about $23.50 per linear foot for corner pieces; Krukowski Stone Co.
A cement-based mixture is poured into molds taken from natural rocks. Colors are based on those found in the countryside, but with little of the weight and density, these fieldstones are easier to work with.
Allegheny Fieldstone; About $6 per square foot; about $6.50 per linear foot for corner pieces; Glen-Gery Landmark Stone
A thinner version of the classic, this brick veneer is easy to use inside. Overloading an interior wall with the weight of real brick won't be a problem.
Cigar Factory; About $1.40 per square foot; about $2.90 per linear foot for corner pieces; Robinson Brick Company
Channel the feel of an old British pub in your home with these reddish bricks, aged with a white, caulk-like residue.
English Pub; About $1.40 per square foot; about $2.90 per linear foot for corner pieces; Robinson Brick Company