Renovation With Manufactured Stone

Words: Dan Kamys

Chimneys & Fireplaces

The fireplace is the focal point of every room. Furniture often is arranged to face it, our favorite items are placed on our mantels, and it is the heart of every home. Updating the look of a fireplace is a great way to enhance a home, and an easy way to update a fireplace is by giving it a new face with manufactured stone.

Manufactured stone is gaining popularity as a building material for both indoor and outdoor projects, due to its authenticity and versatility. First and foremost, it is difficult for the untrained eye to differentiate between manufactured and natural stone. Manufactured stone, which comes in countless styles, is easy to install over most substrates. Weight can be a factor when renovating a fireplace. If a fireplace is above a basement or on the second floor, extra caution should be taken to find a lightweight product. Manufactured stone is a fraction of the weight of natural stone, so the concern of putting too much strain and stress on the foundation possibly can be eliminated. Manufactured stone is available in a large variety of colors and styles. The most successful projects are created using stone styles that look native to the project area. Many companies will customize a color, making it easy to match just about anything from a paint color to a natural stone. Another way to get a custom look from manufactured stone is by selecting the type of grouting technique that works for the project. There are three main techniques: dry stack, ?-inch mortar, and over-grouting. The dry stack technique means there are no mortar or grout joints. It gives a cleaner and more contemporary look to any stone profile. The ?-inch mortar technique is the most common and lends itself to a traditional look. The over-grouting technique is stylish and can give the stone profile a more Tuscan look. All three of these can dramatically change the appearance of a project. Custom colors for grout also can be used.

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