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materials CHOICE Natural or manufactured, stone delivers great traditional looks BRIAN HAEFS For a taste oF old World charm, there’s nothing like a stone facade. stone can play a similarly key role in the aesthetics of a home’s interior, as well. From flooring to fireplaces, stone elements—particularly when indigenous to the home’s region—blur the line between the inside and outside, and add distinction and variation from typical wood and plaster construction. the cost of stone, however, can add up quickly. Not only is availability sometimes limited to certain regions and must be shipped to your site, working with stone often requires more labor than most other home building materials. many of today’s savvy homebuyers are taking advantage of the ingenuity and creativity of alternatives such as manufactured stone providers, who create cement products that look remarkably like most any type of stone found in nature—at a fraction of the price. although they may look like natural rock to the casual observer, these products are actually formed using a broad range of molds and pigments to capture the look of sandstone, streamstone, ledgestone—even brick. another option some manufacturers offer is thin stone and brick that, at an approximately half-inch depth, can be placed to appear at greater depth. also more affordable than full stone, these products can be cut to the desired shape without the need for custom molds. Beautiful, sturdy, and affordable, the products below provide a glimpse into the wide range of options that manufactured stone and stone veneer offer to beautify your home. ■ 20
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