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The Difference Between Norstone Standard and XL Series Rock Panels

In our ledgestone collection of products, our Standard Series and XL Series Rock Panel products share a lot of similarities but are also very different products. Since we get asked the question “what makes them different” so much we decided to put it in words what the important differences are between Norstone Standard and XL Series Rock Panels.

Detail of a Norstone Standard Series Rock Panel in Ochre Blend showing dimensions of lenght, height, and depth

Probably the most obvious difference between Standard and XL Series Rock Panels is the scale of the panels themselves. For most folks this is is fairly obvious, with XL signifying a larger scale product. From a detailed standpoint, what we really mean by scale is that the individual stones that make up the Standard Series are smaller, both in height and length, than the individual stones that make up XL Series panels. On average there might be 16-18 individual pieces of stone in a Standard Series Panel and maybe 10-12 in an XL Panel of the same size. The larger scale of the XL Series makes it more suitable for larger scale projects, for example a neighborhood perimeter wall that is 6’ tall and 1000’ long might look very “busy” if clad in Standard Series but is a perfect scale for XL. The cool thing about scale is that it’s somewhat subjective especially when using a larger scaled product on a smaller project. You might not think that the XL Series makes sense for a smaller installation like a kitchen backsplash or interior fireplace, but there are plenty of great examples, like this beautiful bright kitchen backsplash, that prove that a larger scale item can still look great on a smaller project.

Single field unit of a Norstone Charcoal XLX Rock Panel showing the staggered end profile

The second most obvious difference between Standard and XL Series Rock Panels is easy to see when comparing individual units of the panel itself, that being the ends of the Standard Series Rock Panels are straight cut and the XL Series Panel ends have a staggered joint. Having designed and worked with stacked stone panel systems for close to 15 years we know that just because the staggered end looks more sophisticated and complex, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. The straight end on the Standard Series Rock Panels is much easier to work with and install, particularly in certain applications like when working between two outside corners. The staggered end profile of the XL Series Rock Panels is important because the larger scale of the stones gives the panel less opportunity to hide the look of the vertical seam, which is where the staggered ends come in and make sure XL Series installations look as seamless as a panel system can be.

Norstone White Standard Series Rock Panels used in feature wall with a Cafe sign

A more subtle difference between our Standard and XL Series Rock Panels is the design or layout of the individual stones within each series. Two of the Standard Series Rock Panel colors, White and Ivory, have a unique design where each stone is the same height (1.5”) and the lengths vary. The other two colors in the Standard Series, Ochre and Charcoal, will have stones of three different heights, multiple lengths, and the placement of the larger stones will vary within each panel. In contrast, all the colors of the XL Series have the same design, with multiple heights and widths in this larger scale panel.

While we’re talking about colors, another difference between Standard and XL Series Rock Panel is what colors they are available in. Standard Series Rock Panels have been available in Ochre, Charcoal, White and Ivory since Norstone started making these products almost 15 years ago. XL Series Rock Panels are available in these same colors as well as other colors like Aztec, Pearl, and Sierra.

Whether the Standard or XL Series Rock Panels are the right fit for your project, you can rest assured that either will deliver the architectural grade look that discerning stacked stone panel customers are looking for. If you have any questions on any of our ledgestone or modern smooth faced stone products please contact us via our website to find out more, request a sample, and see what product might be a great fit for your next project.

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Norstone's New Dimensions in Natural Stone blog aims to discuss design themes, sources of inspiration, and how the world around us influences our creative interpretation and buying preferences.

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