How is Cantera different and better than faux stone? This is a commonly asked question that we receive at Rustico Tile and Stone. I like to think about it in terms of comparing gems and precious stones. In a nutshell, engineered and fabricated stones are less valuable. In many cases, they are also less beautiful than the genuine article. A brilliantly cut diamond found and mined naturally cannot be replicated. Well, the same is true of pure cantera stone architecture features when compared with faux stone features.
One of the most common applications for the use of cantera is as stone columns. A faux stone column is made by combining many very small pieces of stone and concrete (basically, it’s the leftover trimmings of stone) mixed into wet cement. This is all poured and harded in a mold that will eventually become a piece of the column cylinder. The column is primarily made from concrete that holds chippings of stone together.
With a pure cantera column, the structure is through and through solid stone. The stone is carved from the earth and natural speckles of deposits and minerals are shown throughout the column. This is natural beauty. An added benefit to not being something that fabricated of pieces is that fixtures like columns made from pure cantera are quite strong. Most installations of columns are still done with hollow columns (centered around steel columns to bear weight). As cuts are made to columns in order to fit the pices and cylinders together, an installer doesn’t need to worry about the piece chipping apart as it is cut and carved. With faux stone, this is something that is an area of concern.
All in all, you cannot go wrong in purchasing pure cantera over any type of faux. It’s added value, strength, and most importantly, it’s added beauty.