The BIG PICTURE of cultured stone fireplace options may give you a BIG SURPRISE. Not only is there a vast array of stone types, textures, colors, shapes and styles from which to choose, but more importantly, each one has the look and feel of the real deal!
This realistic looking stone product
has a multitude of applications. It
can be used as a veneer on walls and winding stairs, in addition to fireplace surrounds.
Cultured stone, though an actual brand, is a name commonly used in reference to numerous manufactured, or faux stone products. One of several brands, it is, nonetheless, among the leading brands in the manufactured stone industry.
Cultured stone can be used to create a wide variety of different looks. For example,
the manufactured brick surround pictured below (left) lends a somewhat refined look to
this fireplace, while the river rock surround (be-
low right) gives it a more rugged and rustic look.
Manufactured stone is made from lightweight aggregates, Portland cement and iron oxide color pigments. Each stone is cast in a mold taken from a piece of natural stone to give it a more authentic look. After the mixture sets, it is removed from the mold and allowed to cure.
While manufactured, or cultured stone fireplace products offer lighter weight, easier installation,
better color consistency and a more uniform aesthetic than natural stone, the
primary advantage is that they are significantly lower in cost . . . both in
terms of the product, itself, and
the cost of installation.
On the other hand, the inherent uniformity and color consistency removes the
variations and imperfections that many admire and appreciate in nat-
ural stone. In addition, with some brands, if the faux stone is chipped, the cement interior is exposed because the surface coloration does not run throughout. The concrete-based product is also more porous than natural stone and needs to be sealed, particularly if it is in an area affected by moisture.
Typically, manufactured stone products are delivered in cartons containing
several individual stones of varying sizes and shapes that need to be as-
sembled - much like a puzzle - on site. However, some manufacturers are now offering modular panels and preassembled mantels, as well, such as the one pictured below right.
The big picture of cultured stone fireplace options includes designs for both indoors and out . . .
as well as somewhere in-between.
The big picture of cultured stone fireplace options includes a great deal of versatility in placement, as well as a wide range of looks. Regardless of whether you're aiming for a rustic or refined look for your fireplace . . . . . whether it's for your parlor or patio . . . great room or outdoor room . . . . you are bound to find a manufactured, or cultured stone fireplace product that is right for you. One that gives you a natural stone look and feel at a fraction of the cost!
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