3 Reasons to Use Cultured Stone® on Your Project
When selecting a stone veneer for your interior and exterior designs, the question often arises: natural or manufactured stone veneer? There are benefits to both, but the biggest considerations are: how does it look and how much will it cost?
What is Manufactured Stone Veneer?.
Manufactured stone veneer, also known as MSV, is a lightweight building material used as a decorative wall covering for exterior or interior surfaces. Produced by using a concrete mixture that’s poured into a mold and colored using mineral pigments – its porous and light weight properties make it easy to cut and handle, creating compared to natural stone.
Manufactured stone veneer originated in 1962 by a pair of brothers in Vallejo, California. They developed a concrete mixture to cast in flexible molds that were created from natural stone to give it a realistic size and texture. They began distributing this stone into the market under the brand name Cultured Stone®. Today, Cultured Stone remains the industry-leading brand offering premium manufactured stone veneer (MSV) products.
How is Manufactured Stone Veneer Used?
Manufactured stone veneer as a decorative architectural element that can be used on a variety of project applications. It is applied to the wall using lath, scratch coat, mortar, and grout. Manufactured stone veneer is lightweight, does not require ties or footings, and offers panelized systems for easy installation. This makes it a great alternative to natural stone.
The varied shapes, sizes, colors and textures of manufactured stone veneer provide design versatility that’s perfect for creating an inviting space. Range of applications include
- Outdoor Living
3 Reasons Cultured Stone® Is A Great Choice
For homeowners, installers and dealers, there are three solid reasons to choose Cultured Stone MSV over a natural stone.
1. Manufactured Stone Veneer Can Save Homeowners Money
For homeowners choosing Cultured Stone, one of the biggest benefits is cost savings. Since the stone is made from cement and not quarried, it’s less expensive to produce compared to natural stone, and the savings are passed on to the consumer. However, not all manufactured stone looks natural. Cultured Stone has created an intricate process to create the most realistic-looking stone product on the market and offer a versatile range of styles.
A manufactured stone veneer product can cost as much as 50% less than natural full bed depth stone. Another cost saving comes in the form of labor. Read on about the installation process for Cultured Stone and how its light weight features means faster install times and lower labor costs
2. Manufactured Stone from Cultured Stone® Looks Like the Real Deal
Cultured Stone is made from a mold of actual natural stone so it has the shape and texture of a quarried real stone. Before cement is poured into the molds, each stone and brick is literally hand painted piece-by-piece by highly-trained artisans. Using only the highest quality natural mineral oxides, the stone’s surface is infused with rich, authentic tones, offering an unmatched depth and variation in color.
This attention to detail gives consumers an authentic look of natural stone. It also means that Cultured Stone provides a wide range of finishes and styles that are consistent in shape, color, and availability.
According to Joel Ginsberg, branch manager at Hearth & Home Technologies, which sells manufactured stone veneer for interior projects, consistency in color is one of the biggest selling points of Cultured Stone. “If you ever need to replace it or add more to your project down the road, it will be the same color you bought previously. With natural stone, you’ll get whatever color is cut out of the mountain, which may be different from another piece cut somewhere else or at another time.”
The range of offerings with Cultured Stone includes:
- 20+ textures
- 100+ colors
- Accent products
Think you can tell the difference between natural stone and manufactured stone? Watch our recent episode of “In Building Design” to see how hard that can be:
3. Manufactured Stone Veneer Is Easier and Faster to Install Than Natural Stone
If you’ve ever held a piece of natural stone in one hand and manufactured stone in the other, the first thing you may notice is the difference in weight. Cultured Stone’s products are made of lightweight aggregate materials and are approximately one-quarter the weight of natural stone.
For installers, this means it’s easier—and therefore faster—to install. There isn’t as much worry or challenge with the stone sliding down the wall as you install it, so your project can be completed more efficiently in less time. Cultured Stone is available in a variety of stone types, including individual pieces and modular, panelized profiles. While panelized profiles offer a quicker installation, individual stone profiles allow for more customization in application and grout technique that can enhance overall design.
Some of the benefits of installing Cultured Stone include:
- No ties or footings required
- Adheres to any structurally sound surface
- Simple installation process: lath > scratch coat > mortar and grout
- Panelized systems are available
How to Install Manufactured Stone Veneer
See our series of videos on the installation process for Cultured Stone: