Art imitates stone

Dal-Tile Corp.

Industry: “There is an unmatched elegance that stone exudes, and now that look is more accessible than ever before with Manufactured Stone. We’re seeing slight growth in the manufactured stone industry, as it is seen as a viable, and cost effective alternative to natural stone,” says Lori Kirk-Rolley, senior marketing director, Dal-Tile Corp. “We’re now seeing an increase in use of [manufactured stone], not only on exterior surfaces, but interiors on accent walls, fireplaces and columns as well.”

Product offering: “Chiseled Ready Stack is one of Daltile’s most innovative manufactured stone lines. This panel system brings modern architecture in a wide range of colors to complement any décor,” Kirk-Rolley says. “It combines the intricate detail, rich colors and beautiful texture of rustic, dry stacked stones with the ease-of-installation of a panel system.  Each piece fits together perfectly so the panels blend together seamlessly, making separation hard to detect. Our top selling Chiseled Ready Stack colors include Moon Glow, Harvest Blend and Dappled Shade.”

Where it is going? “We will begin to see more manufactured stone products that are easier to install, saving consumers time and money,” she says. “Panel products are also becoming increasingly popular, bringing the ambience of stone, of the highest quality, into any space with ease.”

Eldorado Stone

Industry: “Industry leaders like Eldorado Stone will continue to offer a highly superior facing, with key benefits of authenticity and attainability at prices less than natural stone,” says Brent Spann, vice president of marketing, Eldorado Stone.

Product offering: “Eldorado Stone offers a wide selection of stone and brick profiles, in addition to highly attainable solutions – all interior and exterior applications that can transform a space into something memorable and personal.  One of Eldorado Stone’s most recent product launches was the highly contemporary, yet textural, LedgeCut33. The linear-style profile installs with a clean, dry-stack application that creates instant visual appeal. The profile is 3 in. high and comes in three different lengths: 24, 18 and 12 in.  It also comes in three colors – sage, birch and dune – all natural, earth tones,” Spann says.

“In recent months, Eldorado has also expanded its product offerings by launching a line of nine fireplace surrounds that are lightweight, easy to install and emulate natural limestone. The Eldorado Fireplace Surrounds are available in two finishes and two different color palettes,” he adds.

Where it is going? “There is a general movement toward more linear style profiles, which provide a more contemporary feel, yet still provide a highly textured look and feel for a natural stone appearance,” Spann says.

Ply Gem

Industry: “According to the Principia Partners Masonry Veneer Report 2010, the most current report, there’s been an increased demand in the residential R&R market for manufactured stone since 2008,” says Jerry Blais, vice president, marketing, Ply Gem siding group.

Product offering: “Ply Gem Stone’s nine styles, from popular Ledgestone and Cobblestone to a unique Tuscan Fieldstone, are available in numerous colors and are molded from real stone casts. They are then handpainted with mineral oxide colors by professional colorists. This technique differs from dusting on the color, which is used by many manufacturers and creates spotty colors that don’t hold up well,” Blais says. “For a seamless look with application, Ply Gem Stone has a 90-degree corner piece that’s not often seen in the industry, in addition to a complete accessory offering to finish the design.”

Where it is going: “Because manufactured stone is such a versatile product, is lighter weight, more cost effective and easier to install than real stone, we anticipate continued usage in commercial and residential applications. Beyond the exterior façade, we’ve also seen a trend of manufactured stone being incorporated into both interior and outdoor space applications such as kitchen backsplashes and fireplaces,” Blais says. “We’re continuing to see more applications in residential new construction, mixed with other exterior cladding products such as vinyl siding, shingle siding and architecturally styled windows.”