Home Renovations can be an exhausting time, whether you are starting from scratch or updating a specific area you’ll be faced with countless decisions to make. Many of these decisions will be based around price, quality, and appearance. So if you choose to use stone to create a feature wall, pillar, or wall/ flooring alternative, you will have the decision then of fake stone or natural stone. So it’s important to understand the differences between both options, and any compromises that will be made in relation to lower price. This article may help you understand the differences, and how the product will last over time.
There are many names to describe and label fake stone, these include ‘man-made’, ‘faux’, ‘cultured’, etc. Don’t let these various names confuse you as they all mean unnatural stone, if you’re unsure it’s always best to ask and check. It’s important to understand how the elements of fake stone react to environmental conditions.
Fake Stone Colour can Fade
The main visible component of fake stone is the thin colour coating used on the exterior to replicate the appearance of natural stone.
The first problem which arises from this is the tendency for the colour to fade when exposed to sunlight. This issue is particularly important for those living in Australia, as UV sun levels are extremely high. In these circumstances the fading process is fast-tracked, which means the time where the fake stone has strong colours is short-lived. We do many things to lessen the damage of Australia’s hot sun; we protect our skin by applying sunscreen, we protect our house by pulling down blinds and turning on air conditioning, however the external application of stone receives no mercy from the beaming rays of UV and for this reason it’s clear fake stone doesn’t stand a chance.
Fake Stone can Chip and Scratch
If you can compromise on colour strength, then another problem will test you.
The layer applied to fake stone is only on surface level and as such, is prone to chipping. Once the paint chips off, the manufactured raw concrete underneath is exposed and is noticeable due to the vast colour difference. Chipping is not the only issue with the colour coating, scratching can also damage the appearance and draw attention to the problem.
Cement can crack
Cement is also a key component in fake stone; the problem with this is that there is greater water absorption. This can lead to cracks in the product which are irreparable. These cracks are more likely to occur if you live in a geographic location prone to frequent freezing and thawing. As cracks form in the product this not only impairs the appearance but also allows more water to enter and continue the freeze and thaw pattern. The continuation of this process will inevitably weaken the stone until it breaks away from the wall.
Natural Stone Message
Generally speaking, people like to use natural stone to complement their house as it sends the message of strong, durable, reliable and permanent. However due to the elements in fake stone, none of these stone characteristics are upheld, rather the complete opposite is likely to occur being weak, insubstantial, defective, and temporary.
True Value of Natural Stone
We’ve all heard the expression ‘you get what you pay for’, this is true when purchasing stone. Natural stone can be a more expensive alternative than fake stone, but the costs usually start and end with upfront purchasing and installation. Fake stone may require maintenance and replacement overtime. Natural stone has a truly unique colour that goes beyond surface level, giving it more consistency throughout. Every piece of stone is completely unique in appearance and texture; this is because no two pieces of stone are identical.
Every home is unique; your stone should be too.