The traditional appeal of natural stone is hard to beat. However, the demand for natural stone combined with the labor costs involved results in a daunting price tag. Plenty of man-made alternatives exist for homeowners on a budget, but the terms are often easy to confuse with one another. Here are some common products you may find to help you when looking for manufactured or engineered stone Milwaukee.
The furthest from natural stone, faux stone is a lightweight foam material that is textured to resemble stone at a glance. Faux stone mainly finds use in inexpensive veneer panels. While lightweight and easy to install, these panels often lack durability and can be distinguished from stone on closer inspection. Still, high-quality faux stone panels see much use in interior and exterior decoration.
Cast stone is a type of concrete made to resemble natural-cut stone, often using natural sand or gravel as aggregate. Being structurally stable and easy to work with, as well as able to mimic many kinds of natural stone, cast stone has a long history of use in architecture. The uniform appearance of most cast stone is a giveaway, but it often is considered a boon for appearance anyway. Today, cast stone often goes by other names like manufactured or cultured stone, sometimes causing confusion.
Sometimes confused for cast stone or its variants, engineered stone is a composite material using natural marble or quartz as an aggregate. However, it uses a polyester resin as binder rather than cement. The result is hard, non-porous and uniform in structure that can be cut and polished like natural stone, albeit requiring heavy equipment to do so. The resin can be sensitive to UV radiation, so engineered stone is primarily used indoors for high-quality tiling and countertops.
Natural stone substitutes come in various forms, each suited for different uses. Knowing how they differ is important in picking one for your project.