When someone says manufactured stone or cultured stone, what comes to mind? Many people imagine the old vinyl replicas that were used on the fronts of homes some 25 years ago. You could tell from a mile down the road that the stone was fake and a poor quality at that. Things have changed with technology since then and the manufactured stone of today can trick even the most experienced stonemason without close examination.
The difference between manufactured stone and real stone is that manufactured stone is synthetic in nature although made from natural stone chips. Suspended in a binder such as polyester, epoxy resins or cement, the resemblance is uncanny. The main difference in looks is the weight of the cultured stone that is up to 75% lighter than the real thing. The most popular type of stone products is made from quartz that utilizes large or small pieces of stone to create different displays.
Manufacturers make manufactured stone, usually with a specific focus on placement. For example, some companies may make only exterior manufactured stone for use as siding on homes, or outdoor fireplaces. While the product can also be used indoors, the main market is outdoor design where molds are used to make stone pieces relevant to nature. Some businesses may incorporate marketing cultured stone in an existing business such as bathroom remodels. Creating marble counter tops, shower walls and even bathtubs may be their forte. Floor dealers may offer a variety of hard surface alternatives in slate, granite and marble looking stone at a far cheaper cost than real stone.
The selection of manufactured stone is limitless. Almost any type of stone can be found for designs in or outside of the home. Because of the structure of the material, stone veneers are durable and maintenance-free. There is no chipping, cracking or staining from exposure to the sun or liquid spills as found in natural stone. The possible design options are growing each day and many architects and designers are now taking a hard look at this relevant new product that lasts for decades.
Unlike the fake stone from years ago that did not have the technology to make such a resilient product, cultured stone is also very safe. Because it is created out of natural stone and tested binders, manufactured stone is non-combustible and produces no smoke or has any fueling properties. This is good news for homeowners that worry about the safety of new materials on the market.
Realistic, natural, easy to work with and low-cost are the attributes of manufactured stone. There are many good manufacturers that have spent years on perfecting this material and will stand behind their products by placing unbelievable warranties on them. Investigate this new way of bringing life to a tired home with manufactured stone that looks and feels like the real thing, only better in so many ways.