The Real Facts of Artificial Stone

Category: Stone Knowledge Updated: 2023/6/1 Views  Views: 108       Likes  Likes: 6

Architects and general contractors are constantly looking for ways to reduce construction costs of new homes. One area where many of them cut costs is on the exterior fa?ade of the home. This is why we see so much artificial (or synthetic) stone being used today. However, when choosing between natural stone and the man-made knockoff, it is important to consider all the facts - not just the initial cost.

One of the most obvious drawbacks to artificial stone is its durability - or lack thereof. Man-made stone is simply not as durable as the real thing. Artificial stone is made from a lightweight concrete mixture that can often break or chip. When this happens, it is usually quite noticeable. Many manufacturers of this product do not color their concrete through and through. As such, when a piece of artificial stone is cut or broken, exposing the interior, it is obvious to even the most untrained eye that this material is made from concrete. Unlike artificial stone products, natural stone is colorfast and resists scratching and fading. When a piece of natural stone is cut or broken, it simply exposes more natural stone. Moreover, because synthetic stone is cast in a limited number of molds, the larger the area covered, the more repetitive the pattern becomes, making it obvious that the material is fake. Also, in some climate conditions, synthetic stone can shrink or expand over time, causing cracks and mortar gaps. Due to high moisture absorption characteristics, fake stone should not be installed all the way down to the ground. This can create an unattractive appearance and highlight the fact that the material is not real.

Another common drawback to artificial stone is found in the installation process. Manufacturers of man-made stone commonly tout the ease of installation of their product. On the surface, this sounds as if it would be a desirable characteristic. However, an unintended consequence of this claim is that, oftentimes, contractors with little or no masonry experience are installing the product. In contrast, a reputable natural stone producer would never suggest that natural stone should be installed on the fa?ade of a home by anyone other than a qualified mason.

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