Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Calling all Masons - here is your chance to shine - enter your project in this year’s competition and get the credit, notoriety and bragging rights you deserve. Instone the largest distributor of Cultured Stone Veneer in the US supports local masons and encourages their participation in this year’s competition. Good Luck to all area Masons.

Enter today!


With Manufactured Stone fast becoming one of the most requested wall coverings in new construction and renovation projects, contracting and design professionals are looking for innovative ways to incorporate its rugged, authentic, elegant looks and versatility.
Today, the Masonry Veneer Manufacturers Association (MVMA) announced its third annual MVMA Design Awards, a program created to recognize the work of industry professionals who are setting trends by featuring manufactured stone veneer in their projects.
“Our goal is to recognize leaders in the Manufactured Stone industry by highlighting their design successes,” said Mike Fischer, MVMA general manager. “This year‟s theme of „Natural Beauty Fashioned in Stone‟ aims to showcase the beauty and authenticity of Manufactured Stone.”
MVMA Design Awards Facts
All entries will be submitted online at by December 31, 2011
An independent judging panel will announce winners at the MVMA Design Awards in Orlando, FL, February 2012
There is no entry fee
Submissions require high-resolution images of the completed project
More information, including rules and entry can be found at

About the Masonry Veneer Manufacturers Association
Masonry Veneer Manufacturers Association (MVMA) was organized and officially began operation in April 2006 to represent the Manufactured Stone Veneer industry‟s manufacturing companies and their suppliers. MVMA is the only incorporated trade association organized specifically for the masonry veneer products industry. The mission of the organization is to advance the growth of the manufactured masonry veneer products industry through proactive technical, advocacy and awareness efforts.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Caring for Cultured Stone - no salt please

Cultured Stone® Tips
Summary: Cultured Stone® is basically concrete mixed with aggregate and color pigments and shaped in special, detailed, molds to produce a real stone look and feel. Quality stone veneer products are, therefore, durable and made with solid color to avoid discoloration over their long service span. Maintain and clean artificial stone with common sense and these tips, and your Cultured Stone® projects will outlast you.

Making the Stone
Cultured Stone® is nothing more than concrete. But for those who have seen this product up close and actually touched it, you know that it does not look or feel like concrete.
Some manufactured stone products cannot be distinguished from the real thing. The colors and textures of these artificial stone products are basically unbelievable.
These realistic results are achieved, in most instances, by using highly detailed rubber molds and special pigments to color the concrete mix. Some manufacturers apply additional pigments directly to the rubber molds for purposes of adding tones to the surface of the finished product. These additional pigments soak into the surface of the concrete so that they can't be easily washed off by the elements.
The key to the entire process is using small, light weight aggregates in the concrete mix. This keeps the weight of the artificial stone to a minimum. It is for this reason that no foundation is required to support these materials. They simply are glued onto the side of your structure, whether it be wood frame, masonry or a steel structure.
Long term durability should not be a concern of yours. This is due to the fact that these products are manufactured under controlled conditions. This allows the concrete mix to achieve maximum strength characteristics. Because the surface of the artificial stones is so realistic, water is not easily absorbed by many of these products.
Some people wonder about the long term effects of weathering on these products. That is a valid concern, as this material could easily have a service life on a building between 50 and 100 years. Just about every artificial stone product has solid color attributes. This means that the concrete mix is colored from the beginning. Secondary coloration achieved by applying pigments to the rubber molds should be the only area of concern. As long as the manufacturer uses high quality, non water soluble pigments, it should never be a problem.

Most manufacturers caution against the use of deicing salts near these products.
The salts can hurt the artificial stone and cause surface disintegration.
Manufacturers also caution against the use of harsh chemicals, cleaning solvents or paint thinners. Some of these products can stain the stone products and cause discoloration.

Simply use common sense.
The artificial stone products can be cleaned if they become dirty. You simply use a mild detergent and a stiff bristle brush. Never use a wire brush, as this may harm the surface.
"Long term durability should not be a concern of yours. This is due to the fact that these products are manufactured under controlled conditions."