Urestone Panels from Replications Unlimited, Hazelwood, Mo., are made with a solid polyurethane plastic shell for durability, followed by a closed molded layer of medium-density polyurethane foam. The panels, which received the most reader inquiries from the May issue, page 71, are suitable for interior and exterior residential and commercial applications.
There were several driving forces behind the panel design. The size is one design element. In introducing another artificial or synthetic stone to the market, Replications Unlimited had examined what advantages it could build into the design to differentiate its product from real stone, cultured stone and other synthetic stone manufacturers.
“There are a number of stone panel systems that allow 2 to 8 square feet of stones to be installed at a time, such as 16- by 24-inch and 24- by 48-inch panels, so we decided we would set up our manufacturing process to produce a full 4- by 8-foot sheet as our main product line for the professional series of panels, as well as set up a 2- by 4-foot production line for smaller projects and the do-it-yourself market,” says Rodney D. Jarboe, Replications Unlimited’s president.
The 4- by 8-foot panels allow a project to be installed with fewer seams and repeat patterns. Installation can be done with screws and adhesive; no structural reinforcement is required. Panels interlock with each other and will not deteriorate over time. Panels are easily cut using any tool that is used for cutting plywood or lumber, including circular saws, jigsaws and table saws. Myriad colors are available and styles include castle stone, ledge stone and stacked stone. The designs are molded from real stone, brick, wood and other textures. Each panel weighs 32 to 40 pounds, or approximately 1 to 1 1/2 pounds per square foot.
Replications Unlimited also wanted to avoid the possibility of its panels being damaged by weed cutters and general handling. “We decided instead of the present technology of a high-density stone surface that can be scratched, dented and damaged, we would add a solid polymer layer that would add toughness and weather resistance,” Jarboe says. “We believe that we have taken the synthetic stone panels to the next level of technology. Synthetic can no longer be looked down upon.”
The panel system encompasses the panels, corners and trim accessories. The company also provides a colored grout caulk and touch-up paint that is designed to blend in the seams and screws. Adhesive can be shipped with the panels or the end user can request the specifications so they can get the adhesive on their own. Panels come with a five-year warranty.