Lightweight Stone

A unique type of lightweight stone known as cultured stone could be a new trend in home and business design in our area.

Scott and T.O. are hard at work cooking up another batch of stone. It is actually a mixture of clay and cement, but it weighs one-fifth the amount of natural stone and it's slowly making an appearance in our area.

Edgar Ter-Oganessian of S&T Specialty Store says, "We're going to be putting them up on some businesses and homes. A lot of homes are newly built homes around this area that are going up."

So how is it made? Six to seven gallons of water are added to a cement mixer. The clay-cement mixture is tossed in with the water. A small amount of chemical is then poured to help reduce the weight of the stone.
Scott flowers adds, "It's a liquid, we use very little of it, about three quarters of an ounce in a batch of rock, and the air entrainment goes in, and while the concrete agitates, there's a chemical reaction and it makes microscopic bubbles of air inside the stone."

Those bubbles help the stone to expand and contract, which reduces its weight. When completed, the mixture is placed into a mold. After running a pick to create room for the adhesive, the stone cures for about 24 hours. Then, voila, the stone is born!

That stone might just come in handy for the fireplace that's getting such a workout these days.

The lightweight stone is durable and weather resistant. It also can save on homeowners insurance if at least 60 percent of your home is covered in stone.