A cast stone fireplace can add a warm, inviting focal point to any living room.
Cast stone is made from an aggregate of stone chips cast in a flexible mold.
Cast Stone Fireplaces: Pros
If you are choosing between a cast stone fireplace and one carved from natural stone, the comparatively low cost of the material alone will give cast stone a clear advantage. The stone chips used are sometimes waste products from other processes. Also, cast stone fireplaces are often mass produced, which brings down the cost of the labor required to make them, compared with the man hours that goes into a hand carved piece of natural stone.
While cheaper than its natural cousin, cast stone is not necessarily less stylish, as it can be fashioned to your exact requirements when manufactured. In fact, cast stone can be made to look just like natural stone. It does not always stand out as looking new either – cast stone is a manmade product that has been around for hundreds of years.
Cast stone fireplaces will usually be made in one piece, so they are straightforward to install. They can also be made lighter than natural stone fireplaces by placing cast stone veneer over another fireproof material. This way, if your walls cannot or should not support the weight of a large boulder in your living room, you can still have a stone fireplace!
Cast Stone Fireplaces: Cons
There are some disadvantages to these fireplaces. For example, a bespoke cast stone fireplace will be almost as expensive as one that has been hand carved from natural stone, as the manufacture of a mold to fit your requirements will be a costly exercise.
Cast stone fireplaces are heavy, and will need a few willing do-it-yourself enthusiasts or professional masons to install.
Further, unless you seal your cast stone fireplace, the stone will be porous, and will easily absorb stains from soot and dirt.
Finally, although cast stone can look very similar to natural stone, purists would argue that the beauty of the patterns in a real piece of marble or limestone are unparalleled. Natural stone can echo the geological background of an area, especially if you have used locally sourced masonry throughout your home renovation.
With many do-it-yourself projects, the choice between a natural or a cast stone fireplace will come down to budget.