Most manufactured stone looks good. Getting a truly “natural look” can be a challenge, and some stone fall short in that area. Many times, even though the stone looks good in a display, the installed look may not please the eye of the beholder. A poor installation can make any product look bad. Be sure to look at the workmanship of the installer you are considering. If you are the talented homeowner, and are installing the stone yourself, be attentive to detail and follow the recommended installation procedures. You can do a professional quality job if you don’t rush it.
There is some considerable difference in the weight of manufactured stones. Some companies will try to have their products be the “lightest” when compared to the product of their competitors. Often this is done at the expense of other important considerations, such as strength, moisture resistance and density. As long as the stone may be installed using traditional methods for man-made stone, a little extra weight in the product does not present problems. In fact, it usually indicates that the manufacturer has more design considerations that promote durability and longevity built into his product.
The test criteria are established by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) as they apply to manufactured stone products. The ASTM has been held to be the recognized standard for uniformity and reliability in testing methods of our type of product.