Tag Archives: Cast Stone

How To Make Your Life Easier When Remodeling A Fireplace

Even with the many innovative products sold on the construction and DIY market we still see a lot of people using the so-called real stone. Although appealing, the real stone they refer to is not on the market. What we see is almost always concrete, a mix of cement, pebbles, gypsum and painted over.
The only things they have in common with real stone is the fact that they absorb water and stains and, are hard to cut and install and create a lot of dust in a home when they are cut.

Fireplace Created With Synthetic Stone Parts
Fireplace Created With Synthetic Stone Parts

As you can imagine by the above statement we prefer to talk about other products, those that don’t take shortcuts when created in the factory. The products that are designed to last and that are geared toward the “weekend warrior” rather than the expensive installer.

Stone veneer can be almost any material. Cast stone is also referred to as stone veneer but it’s really just a cast material that is thinner than other products. It is not necessarily cut down to a smaller thickness, in most cases it is cast in those dimensions.

So, the reason why products like these should be friendly to installers is that many homeowners who want to create or remodel a stone wall or a fireplace do not want to learn to be a mason, nor want to create a lot of dust in their house in the process.

Another reason why they don’t want to use materials that absorb water is that they will create outdoor facades so the material has to be resistant to stains, water and freezing temperatures. These qualities are simply not available to “concrete blocks” therefore they look into synthetic materials.

accessories
Accessories

Using stone and brick made of dense resins allows you to have a variety of accessories to make the projects easy to complete. You can find things like:

Inside or Outside corners

Ledge trim

Outlet trim

And more.

Imitation stone veneer
Imitation stone veneer

When creating your own walls a homeowner doesn’t want to buy a wet saw and learn to be cut dusty materials to create corners. Polyurethane accessories are ready to install and if you had to cut them to size you could do so by simply using a jig saw.

Making the shift from heavy products to light ones is actually risk proof. You can order a panel or two or a small sample to see what you will be dealing with. Most companies will take that product back if you are not satisfied.

The remodeling projects are becoming easier and easier to complete. Stay up-to-date with the available options!

How To Remodel A Fireplace With Faux Stone Panels

How many homeowners do you think have a fireplace? How many of these, do you think, are completed and will never again need a makeover? Probably none.

Soon or later, either because of tear and wear or because of outdated designs, every fireplace will need a makeover.
Let’s say you have a fireplace like this one which was designed and built in the 70’s.

Old Fireplace
A fireplace in need of a makeover.

There is no doubt that when it was built, this fireplace made the family enjoy the time spent around it and appreciate its appeal, for a long time. Forty years later the design naturally becomes outdated and it needs a fresh look.

So, what are the best ways to do this? The options are few and pretty clear-cut, at least to us.

Most people know about cultured or cast stone, those types of stones that are either real or made form heavy composite materials like concrete, gypsum and gravel. Until now these were pretty much the only materials available.
Luckily today we have a really nice alternative, faux stone that come in very convenient panels. In some quality stores you can find brick, stacked stone, Ledgestone and even river rock at really good prices. You can install them without hiring a mason and without having to learn how to be one.

Here’s how you do it:

1- Start by framing the firebox opening with some faux stone trim

Frame the opening with a trim
Frame the opening with a trim

2- Cut your panels to go from the left wall to the installed trim. All you need to do is cut the panels straight with a simple circular or table saw. No special blades are necessary.

Cut and fit the faux stone panel
Cut and fit the faux stone panel

3- Repeat the above process for every row of panels needed, until you reach the ceiling.

You will inevitably have some cut-off pieces but you can use them below the hearth as in  this example.

Project Completed
The completed faux stone fireplace

4- In some cases you might need to use some caulking to fill gaps or exposed edges where the panels are cut. For this, you can simply using a Touch up kit, which has all the colors of the stones. You can use it to paint right over the caulk.

Project completed!