Stonework has a natural beauty that is hard to beat. It is imposing and beautiful and has been in the natural landscape forever. It is also incredibly durable. But nowadays natural stone is generally expensive and not that easy to find. It is also very difficult to work with because it is extremely heavy and requires special equipment to both cut and lay.
Stonemasons specialize in shaping natural stone into usable shapes and then using the stone pieces to build walls and other structures. Their craft is an ancient one, and the tools, skills, and methods they use stem from antiquity. While there are contemporary courses for stonemasonry, there are also much easier ways to achieve what looks like exactly the same results. In fact today even DIYers can achieve stonework finishes that look just like the real thing!
How to Create a Stone Finish Without Using Stone
As stone has become less accessible for building and for decorative finishes, and its cost has continued to increase, a growing number of entrepreneurial companies have been producing faux stone products to achieve the same type of look.
There are a number of different types of faux stone including so-called reconstituted stone made the same way as concrete but with a very fine aggregate (rather than coarse stone). There are many versions, all of which are considerably easier to work with than solid stone. They are all also colored to look like the real thing.
A leading US manufacturer of faux stone products, Native Custom Stone has a totally unique rubber-based product that is even easier for DIY enthusiasts to use. Called Go-Stone, it is made from recycled tires and it is incredibly realistic, and quick and easy to install. Because no form of foundation or concrete base is needed, the veneer is perfect for both new construction and remodeling projects.
Go-Stone is a patented product that is sold in panel form. It is lightweight and doesn’t require any specialist masonry tools to install. You don’t even need mortar to keep the panels together. While a stonemason will don protective gloves and goggles and will need a variety of hammers, mallets, chisels, and various bricklaying tools, all you need to install Go-Stone panels is a measuring tape, a spirit level (even just a small torpedo level), a suitable saw, and a notched trowel to apply the adhesive.
There are three different colors and styles to choose from:
- Go-Stone Coastal Blend that looks as if different types of stone have been used together. The colors range from a dull beige to sandstone and a dark muddy brown. The effect is random and the sizes of individual stones are varied.
- Go-Stone Cherokee, a more rugged looking stone face that is also lighter overall in tone than the Coastal Blend. Sizes are even more varied.
- Go-Stone Cedar Creek, a traditional split stone finish that looks as if the masons have been really hard at work! The colors are reminiscent of sandstone.
Whichever Go-Stone finish you opt for you can be sure that unless your friends know about Native Custom Stone they are going to be convinced you employed a stone mason to do the work for you.