Natural Stone vs. Cultured Stone

Deciding whether to use natural stone or cultured stone in your home can be a difficult choice.  Both add an elegant aesthetic to your home and have a similar appearance.  Below is a brief discussion of natural stone and cultured stone and the benefits and drawbacks of each choice.

NATURAL STONE

A geographical list of stone used for decorative purposes in construction and monumental sculpture. Uses for natural stone include architectural stone (construction, flooring, cladding, counter tops, curbing, etc.), raw block and monument stone for the funerary trade.1

Benefits:

The diversity of natural stone products encourages limitless design potential.4

Natural stone products like those created in granite, marble, limestone, slate and sandstone, among others possess innate characteristics that contribute toward LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or LEED intended construction.4

The value in natural stone is more than a monetary measure. It involves longevity, ease of maintenance, permanence and stability that far exceed initial investment. 4

Durablilty – it will last forever and does not really incite the same debate as cast stone.2

 

Drawbacks:

It requires more labor by a skilled professional to hand shape pieces.

Higher cost

Heavy

More maintenance required (for more information click here)

 

CULTURED STONE

Also known as cultured stone, cast stone is man made from cement. Pigments and crushed natural stone are incorporated to give it a natural stone appeal. It is molded and formed to look like natural stone. It is widely accepted as a great replacement for sandstone, brownstone, limestone, granite, slate, coral rock, and many other types of natural stone.2

Benefits:

Cultured Stone project costs (materials and labor) can be about half of natural stone (natural = $50 – $100 sq ft) vs. (cultured = $25 – $50 sq ft).3

Cultured Stone can go over anything, and also create realistic 90 degree corners.3

Cultured Stone is not load bearing, so no headers, sills, lally columns or structural support is needed.3

Versatility – because cast stone is man made, the only limits for color and style are the imagination.  A plethora of options are available.2

Time – it is usually much quicker to install (as long as it is ready from the supplier).2

 

Drawbacks:

The look of cast stone is fabricated and may not appear as unique or detailed as natural stone.2

Some claim it is less durable. Much of this depends on the quality of cultured stone.2

Over time, the coloring may change.2

 

Sources

1.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_decorative_stones

2.  http://www.alloregon.com/cast-stone-vs-natural-stone/

3.  http://www.culturedmasonry.com/why/

4.  http://www.buildingstoneinstitute.org/technical-stone-info/stone-a-sustainability.html

 

If you are looking to remodel your home in Portland, Oregon contact Sitka Projects today for a quote on your home remodeling project.