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What is Cast Stone?

Explore the Advantages of Cast Stone and Learn Why It's Our Preferred Choice for Crafting Exquisite Fireplace Mantels.

Cast Stone or Real Stone

Why Cast Stone Comes Out on Top

When it comes to selecting materials for your fireplace mantel, the choice between cast stone and real stone is crucial. While real stone has been a traditional favorite for centuries, cast stone offers a range of benefits that make it the superior choice for modern homes.

Aesthetic Versatility
Cast stone is manufactured to mimic the appearance of natural stone so closely that it often surpasses real stone in terms of uniformity and customization. With cast stone, you can achieve a consistent look or tailor finishes to suit your specific design needs without the variations found in natural stone.

Enhanced Durability
Cast stone is crafted to endure. It resists weathering better than most natural stones, maintaining its integrity and appearance over time. This makes it particularly suitable for fireplace mantels, which must withstand heat and potential chemical exposure without deteriorating.

Choosing cast stone can significantly reduce costs without compromising on style or durability. It is generally less expensive than natural stone due to its more efficient manufacturing process. Additionally, its lighter weight lowers installation costs and makes it easier to handle and transport.

Environmental Impact
Cast stone also scores high on environmental sustainability. By using natural aggregates and recycled materials, it minimizes quarrying and the associated environmental strain of extracting and transporting natural stone.

Customization at Its Best
Perhaps the most compelling advantage of cast stone is its adaptability. Cast stone can be molded into virtually any shape, allowing for unique and intricate designs that are often impossible with cut natural stone. This ability to customize shapes and textures makes cast stone an ideal choice for personalized fireplace mantels that truly reflect your style and enhance your home's decor.

A Brief History of Cast Stone

Cast stone has a rich and storied past that stretches back over nine centuries. The first recorded use of this material was around 1138 in the historic Cité de Carcassonne in France, marking the beginning of its journey through architectural history. By the 19th century, cast stone found a robust foothold in London, paving the way for its widespread acceptance and utilization.

In the early stages, one notable development was the introduction of Coade stone, a durable fired ceramic resembling stoneware, which became popular for its resilience and fine detailing. However, as the industry evolved, the majority of cast stone began to be crafted from high-quality Portland cement-based concrete. This material was cast in various molds made from wood, rubber-lined fiberglass, or iron, which proved to be more economical and offered a more consistent finish than natural stone.

The process allowed for the transportation of bulk materials and onsite casting, which significantly reduced costs compared to transporting and carving large stone blocks. This practicality made cast stone a favored choice in both architectural and engineering projects.

In the early 19th century, the innovation continued with a Dutch entrepreneur, Van Spangen, who established an artificial stone factory in Bow, London. The business eventually transitioned to Felix Austin after a partnership dissolution. Austin further refined the product, introducing what was known as Victoria stone, which combined finely crushed granite with Portland cement, set in molds and hardened with silicate of soda.

Throughout its history, manufacturers have improved cast stone's composition to ensure it is non-porous, withstanding the corrosive effects of sea air and pollution. This evolution reflects its role not just as a functional building material but also as an artistic medium, capable of enduring beauty and practicality in modern construction. Today, cast stone continues to be a pivotal material in creating durable, aesthetically pleasing structures around the world.

Wkipedia - Cast Stone


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