What is cultured marble and granite?
Cultured marble and granite are both mixtures of fiberglass resin and crushed limestone. They belong to the family of cast polymers. Cast polymers are a mixture of an unsaturated polyester resin, highly filled with inorganic particulates and pigments. Fillers used are engineered calcium carbonates (for cultured marble), and aluminum tri-hydrate with a suspension of specially formulated color chips (for cultured granite).
Cultured marble and granite have a precise blend of polyester resin, catalyst, fillers and pigments thoroughly mixed and placed into open molds which are coated with a clear gel coat. The gel coat is especially formulated to produce a tough, durable, non-porous and shiny surface that is very stain resistant and easy to maintain.
The shape of the products depends on the molds that are used and the colors and veining of the finished product depends on the specific formulation and the techniques of the manufacturer.
The catalyst used will cause a chemical reaction and make the resin polymerize and harden, bonding the matrix together in a hard strong mass. After some hours of chemical curing, the products are removed from their molds, trimmed, grounded, polished and inspected before going out to be installed or picked up.
What are the advantages of cultured marble and granite products?
Cultured marble and granite products are generally coated in the mold with a clear gel coat. This outer layer provides the ultimate strength to the bonded matrix. It also makes the final product water proof, durable and resistant to chipping. The gel coat also provides the shiny surface that adds luster to the final product.
Because the final objects are cast in a mold, the installed product has minimal seams and when installed using mildew resistant 100% silicone, it becomes virtually leak proof. Vanity tops can have the bowl cast as an integral part of the vanity top, avoiding potentially unsightly seams between bowl and vanity top. Cultured marble and granite shower panels are only seamed where the panels meet.
Cultured marble and granite products are very versatile and are used in residential construction, multi-family housing units and commercial dwellings. Contact us today for more information about our cultured marble and granite products.