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The Benefits of Manufactured Stone

Apr 9, 2010 | Tips


Everyone loves the look of natural stone, but sometimes the cost and special considerations needed for increased structural support and construction can put it out of reach for many people.

Manufactured stone: the affordable alternative
The growing demand for the beauty and style of stone has led to the development of high quality natural stone alternatives. Manufactured stone is a concrete product molded and dyed with durable iron oxide pigments to look just like various types of natural stone. The result is a thin (only an inch or two thick) stone veneer that looks just like the real thing – at a fraction of the weight. So instead of stacking and cementing heavy, awkward stones on top of each other, manufactured stone veneers are simply installed on any structurally sound wall using a mortar made of Portland cement and other ingredients such as lime, sand, and latex modifiers. Once dry, the manufactured stone is permanently held in place and will easily last decades – perhaps even centuries – under most environmental conditions.

Greater efficiency, greater savings.
Because manufactured stone is cast concrete using molds created from specially selected natural stones, the resulting product is shaped to fit more efficiently, reducing waste and speeding installation. In fact, an installed manufactured stone wall can cost approximately a third to half the cost of a natural stone wall, eliminating the cost associated with natural stone construction, which can require special wall ties for masonry or stud walls and reinforced footings to support the much heavier real stone.

Better selection.
Natural stone selection and use is often limited by geography – local and regional stone is used for most construction because weight makes it prohibitive to ship stone long distances. However, manufactured stone has given architects, builders, and homeowners greater freedom of selection and design by enabling them to choose virtually any stone look they desire because availability is not limited by geography. Manufactured stone is made all over the United States and its much lighter weight enables it to be shipped virtually anywhere. So now you can choose the look of Napa river rock for a home here on the east coast and not pay a king’s ransom in shipping.