Introduction to Stone Veneers for Cladding

Most stone cladding today is available as a stone veneer. This is where the stone is only 25-40mm thick and is glued to the wall as you would a wall tile. There are many advantages to doing things this way. The cost is lower than foot-loaded masonry, there is lower earthquake risk, and it is easier to get it passed through your local council. These three reasons are probably 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™ specialises in stone veneer. We supply stone veneer ready to install and, at the same time, deliver the adhesive, board, tape and every component needed to successfully complete your project. You can see a photo of our SUMNER™ System (left). We designed and tested every component from the frame wrap forward to ensure the installation is weather tight, structural and problem free.

Now usable in Extra High Windzones

In May 2019 we passed Extra High Windzone testing (60m/s). We are one of the only stone veneer claddings usable in extra high windzones. If your project is in the extra high windzone you should attach the document below when applying for consent.

SUMNER -Extra High Windzone test report


  • 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. Our schist quarry and fabrication is dedicated to commercial supply of schist.
  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

There are two methods for cladding columns with stone veneers. 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 trained and approved applicators

All SUMNER applicators are trained by SUMNER staff before certification to install our system. All SUMNER projects are professionally installed. Here are some photos from our training days this year.

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 why not have Ray Luke our Christchurch representative 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