Friday, July 30, 2010
Artificial Stone for your Log Cabin Fireplace
Like most log cabin owners, I will be installing a fireplace in my cabin. Although the Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains have winters much milder than what we experienced when we lived in New England, I am looking forward to firing up those wood logs on a snowy day. We currently have a natural gas fireplace in our townhouse near Atlanta. We use it occasionally but miss the wood smell and natural flames of a wood fireplace.
After some research, we have decided to install a stone fireplace. We feel that the stone will stand out and provide an attractive contrast in our log cabin great room. There are a number of stone choices available. Natural stone is available in a full veneer which is three to five inches thick and a thin veneer which is a lighter weight version and about an inch thick.
Besides real stone, you also have the artificial or manufactured stone option. Artificial stone is made from concrete or cement and aggregates that are poured into special detailed molds. Special pigments are added to produce long lasting colors. Surface coloration is achieved by applying pigments to the surface of the mold. There are different styles available that mimic a variety of natural rocks. They look like the real thing.
A major advantage of the artificial stone is weight and the resulting easier installation. Artificial stone can be one third to one sixth of the weight of real stone. Artificial stone faced fireplaces do not require full masonry foundations to support them in you log cabin. Installing the lighter ‘stones’ saves time and cost. They can be installed by the weekend handyman following simple instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Manufacturers will provide warranties up to 50 years on their manufactured stones. They are non combustible. They are typically cheaper than real stone. Given the real look and other advantages, I will be using artificial stone for my log cabin fireplace.