Introduction to Stone Veneer Cladding

Most stone cladding today is available as a stone veneer. The stone is glued to the wall as you would a wall tile because it is only 30 to 40mm thick. There are many advantages to doing things this way. The cost is lower than foot-loaded masonry, there is lower earthquake risk, and with our SUMNER® system it is easier to gain consent through your local council. These three reasons are why schist veneer has become the primary way to do stonework.


SUMNER is the comprehensive solution

SUMNER System photo showing our SUMNER Fiber Cement Sheet installed over 18mm SUMNER Battens. The board is then primed and stone installed with SUMNER Grip adhesive

SUMNER Schist Cladding System

SUMNER® is the best system on the market for thin stone slip and masonry veneer.

For more than 15 years, our system has lined homes throughout New Zealand. During this time, more and more builders have turned to SUMNER®. Mainly for its reliability and the knowledge that our system protects their clients and projects from cladding failures. Customers looking for cost savings should select a less expensive stone rather than an inferior system.

SUMNER® also supplies stone veneer. Delivered ready to install, along with the adhesive, board, tape and components to complete your project successfully. You can see a photo of our SUMNER® System (left). We designed and tested every element to ensure installations are weathertight, structural and problem-free. We do not endorse product substitution, which may result in problems and failures. CODEMARKED products remain consistent, which ensures performance. To protect our clients and the industry, we always inform building control officers any system or product substitutions.


  • Receive pre-cladding that is fast and easy to assemble.


  • Supported by high level SUMNER CODEMARK compliance.
  • Architectural CAD details available to download as .rvt, .dwg and .pdf from our website.
  • Written specifcations available from both Masterspec and Smartspec.
  • Avoid unwarrantable noncompliant methods.


  • Choose from our large stone selection.
  • Knowing they receive the best price.
  • Comprehensive full 15 year guarantee. Most other companies do not warrant weather tightness or that the veneer won't pull free. SUMNER's guarantee covers all of these.



  1. Avoid Direct Fix - For years the tile industry direct fixed over membraned decks. The method had expensive weathertighness and repair issues, however, where councils were liable. Unsurprisingly this method was removed from the NZBC. Now cladding is following suit. Councils are rejecting consent applications where they would be liable for direct fix cladding failures. This makes SUMNER's cavity over masonry an excellent solution to direct fix.
  2. Avoid unwarrantable precladdings. We recomend our SUMNER Board but not Hardies, BGC or Eterpan.
  3. As stone suppliers we are dedicated to the commercial supply of schist and stone veneer.
  4. CODEMARK means guaranteed compliance .
  5. SUMNER Board is more dense than most fibre-cement boards, having a density of 1420 kg per cubic metre. The stone, adhesive and board are similar in their makeup and consequently have a similar lineal coefficient of expansion and contraction. An advantage of using a system designed specifically for stone veneer.


SUMNER™ Schist Veneer Applications

As you will see from our project gallery SUMNER™ schist veneers are used on both commercial and residential projects throughout New Zealand. Most installations can be divided into either stone walling or stone columns. Walling is fairly straight forward, however stone columns we will discuss in detail because when done properly schist veneer stone columns look fantastic.


Stone Columns when using panels

There are two methods for cladding columns when using modular panels. In both instances the structure needs to be built to the correct size as the product is in modular predefined lengths. Our instant quote lets you select either option and alerts you as to the price difference to help you with your decision.


Solid L corners

Solid L Corner units are preformed to wrap around the column. They are available in our Otago Series, Ledgestone Series, Traditional Series and some Bluestone Series products. This unit is slightly more expensive but well worth the cost.


Natural Ends

Another very acceptable way of finishing stone columns. As its name suggests these panels have one natural end which extends past the end of the column. The next panel then returns back along the adjacent face and so on. The finish is not as perfect as the previous method, but the cost is also lower.


Along with columns there are many instances where veneer stonework is used to good effect. Feature walls, large exterior chimneys, interior fireplaces, perimeter boundary walls and entrance gates. Here are just a few photos from our current projects:


SUMNER® Installer Training

SUMNER® averages six training days per year in which installers are instructed in both theory and practical application. Our training is regarded as the best in the industry and is a must for both professionals and DIY. Learn the techniques to ensure your fitment lasts the test of time. Contact our office to enrol for our next training day in your region. Below are photos from previous training days.

Where to from here?

We highly recommend looking at our products page where we place photos and videos for all our stones. We have an architectural office in Auckland where you are welcome to view our products. Alternatively if you are in the South Island a CMS representative can call in to discuss your project. All our details can be found on SUMNER's Contact webpage. If you are interested in using SUMNER™ products please phone us to discuss.

Did you know?
SUMNER's system can be used to comply and install other stone veneers. Please refer to our System Partner page for more details.

Specifiers Resources

Generate specifications with confidence.

Both providers shown below ensure they provide written specification current with the New Zealand Building Code and New Zealand law. We recomend Masterspec which redirects you to SUMNER's 4272s Natural Stone Veneer Specification. Smartspec requires a user login and is also highly recommended.

Full system details and drawings can be found on our document page.

SUMNER Smartspec Written Specification

Brick Veneer

For clients using brick veneer we recommend RED TABBED flat packed masonry panels. An exciting, new, all in one modular panel prefabricated off site which is well suited to larger projects such as hotels, appartments or retirement homes. This panel differs from stone veneer systems as it is installed with screws not adhesive.