Advantages of Cultured Stones in Long Island

by / Friday, 06 January 2012 / Published in Featured Article

You see cultured stone in nearly any residential community and in many storefronts and commercial centers as well. What is cultured stone though? Unlike many stones used in masonry and construction, cultured stone isn’t exclusively, or even usually, a functionally structural part of the building process. In almost all cases cultured stone is adhered to another, sturdier or more easily manipulated surface like wood, concrete, steel, etc, for aesthetic reasons. Cultured stone is a relatively new option for builders, masons and home improvement companies. It was not invented until 1962 by two brothers from Vellejo, California, Garret and Floyd Brown, a couple of plasterers. They wanted a material that was easy to work with but with all of the beauty of natural stone. They created flexible molds and used exact stone replicas to come up with an exact copy of the more difficult to work with stone, and at the time hand colored these in order to look as real as possible. They weighed less than one quarter what stone weighs yet were durable enough to be used outdoors. The veneer was light enough to be plastered to nearly any surface with an adhesive and the materials used could stand up to the elements.

Modern cultured stone
Today of course the process for creating cultured stone is streamlined, bringing down the cost significantly but also allowing for more options and even sturdier, yet equally light and easy to work with stone. Cultured stone is perhaps most often used around fireplaces, more and more they are found at the entrance to homes, around garden areas, as chimneys, steps, walls, fire pits, outdoor kitchens or grills, even walkways. Today an entire home may use cultured stone to give the appearance of an actual stone building.

How real do cultured stones look?
Most people literally will not be able to tell the difference between cultured stone and real stone, even if they are standing next to an actual stone structure and a cultured stone structure. The molds used for these stones are created from real stone and carefully selected for a specific appearance or style. The casting process captures every single detail of each individual stone and the mold is then colored using iron oxide pigments that look exactly like stone. Masons and others who work with real stone and cultured stone alike may see the difference, only in that the cultured stone actually usually looks cleaner and more appealing than if one were to use real stone due to the simplicity of the installation process and less likelihood of cracking and breaking like real stone.

Benefits of cultured stones
1. It is lightweight and easy to work with, and can be adhered to nearly any surface.
2. It comes in a wide range of styles.
3. It offers the beauty of stone, but without the expense and construction difficulties.
4. It is easily customized and changed if you decide to do a makeover. This cannot be said of stone in most cases.
5. Adding cultured stone can often increase the value of a home.

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