Looking to boost the beauty and value of your home with a stone fireplace? Think about it: stone is as sturdy and as classic as the best investments come. If you are mulling over the stone to use in your new construction project, check which do you think will fit into the style, weather and feel of your home; it’s either going to be in natural stone or cultured stone.
Natural stone is the investment per excellence; it is pricier, weightier, and a testier work of art to handle compared to cultured stone. Your options for this category tend to be limited, too. Granite, Marble, and Limestone are the typical options.
Cultured stone products can however be designed to “match” the stone surface type you are going after, are typically more striking and durable than real stone products for fireplace projects. Imagine also the pleasant bonus of lesser costs. The look of cultured stone is composed of stone aggregates, dyes and lightweight cement. It is said that most sellers of cultured stones offer a half-a-century guarantee against wear and tear.
With respect to natural stone, let’s take a closer look at a perfect representative: natural limestone. A sedimentary rock made of calcium carbonate, the appearance and quality of the limestone is influenced by factors such as the quantity of calcium carbonate in the limestone and the amount of fossil contained in the final product of natural limestone.
Now, zero-clearance fireplaces are more affordable to construct compared to classic masonry block built fireplaces. With zero-clearance fireplaces, the iron fireplace frame is boarded up with plywood. The relatively light weight of cultured stone allows veneers to be placed on these wood surfaces. The stone veneers are held securely in place by a metal lath attached to the wood surface, then by a thin application of mortar
As we have stated, the cost of applying thin faux stone veneers is much lower than real stone given the weight and shape differences. Real stone requires laborious craftsmanship, as is normal for every natural limestone work. It is so much so that the total value will warrant the master worker’s signature to be affixed somewhere on the finished stonework. Another thing about natural limestone fireplaces, in particular, is that the costs for each work will always be according to your own skilled taste and preferences.
An important reason for getting faux stone for your home is that its availability in regular shapes and sizes means you can achieve a variety of stone fireplace designs. As a matter of fact, part of the process when selecting cultured stone is designing the fireplace.
Nevertheless, a reason for thinking twice about faux stone veneers is that it can take in moisture; furthermore, when it is chipped, when chipped, the surface has a mark that is glaring. Consequently they be demanding in terms of care and maintenance. Watch out also, and be careful about falling on to recurring and redundant patterns in your design which ought to look natural.
Thus, quo vadis, faux stone or natural traditional stone? A lot will actually depend on how you and your master craftsman work together to achieve the result. Faux stone veneers look and feel like real stone, and enables stunning stone fireplaces to be built at a fraction of the cost of traditional stone.