What Is Cultured Marble?
At Impression, it’s no surprise that we love marble. However, ever-popular marble is often extracted in slabs, which can limit the customizability of its form. Often, this isn’t a problem our experienced artisans run into when carving and shaping, but sometimes the home features homeowners seek require some adjustments. That’s where cultured marble comes in.
Cultured marble is a marble-based blend of stone particles and resins that can be cast in heated molds for uniform stone pieces. It’s not a synthetic nor totally manmade material, and 75% of it is still normal marble. Stones like granite and onyx also come in cultured forms, with every variant looking glossy and containing more subtle, uniform veins and coloration than pure forms. The culturing process has been around for about 40 years, but recent technology in the past decade or so has made cultured stone more durable and realistic in appearance.
How Is Cultured Marble Made?
Cultured marble is used for marble home features that are fully-made, without seams or grout. For instance, a combination sink and countertop made entirely of seamless marble would require cultured marble. Cultured marble is made by gathering the dust from real natural marble created during the manufacturing process, or from purposefully crushed marble dust. It is combined with liquid polyester resin, pigments for colors and realistic-looking patterns, and tinting materials if desired. From there, the mixture is poured into a pre-made mold. The mold is lined with a special gel coat that bonds to the poured mixture. The mold is heated to harden the cultured marble, and the piece is then coated in clear finish for a satin or high gloss look.
What Is Cultured Marble Used For?
Cultured marble is used for specific home feature pieces that are made in one singular piece. A custom mold must be made for the homeowner, and then cultured marble is created from there. It’s most commonly used for bathtubs, shower walls, shower pans, whirlpool tubs, sinks, countertops, backsplashes, molding, and trim.
What Are the Benefits of Cultured Marble?
There are many benefits to both normal marble and also cultured marble. Because they’re made of casts, cultured marble offers way more options and customizability with regards to size, shape, and edge treatments than traditional marble. It’s considered low maintenance due because it is non-porous, unlike normal marble. It’s durable and resistant to stains, mildew, and chips. There’s no need to ever seal it again, and easier to clean because there are no grout lines — though it does still require non-abrasive products. It’s a more economical option than marble, as it’s less expensive to fabricate but still improves home value just as much. While tough, if your cultured marble does become scratched, chipped, or otherwise blemished, it can be repaired far more easily using a gel compound. (With that said, a fully-broken piece cannot simply be rebuffed and replaced, because it was made in a mold.)
Choose Marble Home Features From Impression Stone
While some homeowners find cultured marble to be easier to work with, we at Impression will always favor natural marble! Our artisans work to create natural stone home features with minimal grout lines and advanced seamlessness through design, using our years of experience to craft a piece you and your family will love for generations to come. Get in contact with our impressive home feature craftsmen today to see how we can improve your space using all-natural marble, or one of our other stone materials!