Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
So, you’ve got the questions, and hopefully we’ve got the answers!
We appreciate you’re taking the time to learn more about how our products can fit into your project, and we hope you’ll find what you’re looking for right here.
If not, please click here to view our contact details and submit your inquiry online or phone 0800-000-094 now.
1. I’ve never heard of “manufactured stone / stone overlay”. Is this a new product?
Actually, this product has been around for several decades.
Despite this fact, it is surprising just how few people—even builders—realize that this product exists and that it makes a wonderful alternative to the real thing.
Recent advances in the manufacturing process have improved both the quality and the appearance of manufactured stone, along with lowering the cost.
It can be used in just about any sort of building project—commercial / residential, new construction / remodeling, interior / exterior, and landscaping.
2. What are some of the more common uses for manufactured stone?
Most people use it to enhance the exterior appearance of their home, office, or commercial building.
But we provide stone for a lot of other kinds of projects too, like interior fireplaces, interior bar fronts, outdoor kitchens, retaining walls, wine cellars, and so forth.
3. Why is Alpine Stone a good option?
Just about everybody loves the look of natural stone. But real stone is extremely heavy (you will need very strong foundations to hold the stone), expensive, and time consuming to build with.
Our stone gets around all of these limitations. Plus, since we make the stone in our Bay of Plenty factory, you can get styles that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
Alpine Stone is not an imported product. You can also use it in places where natural stone just won’t work, particularly in interior applications like kitchens, decorative walls, or against pre-finished surfaces.
4. What form does the finished product take do I get individual stones or is it pre-formed into some sort of panel?
Some of our stone styles are delivered as individual stones, just as if you had purchased natural stone and the other stone styles are delivered in our unique ‘z’ shaped modules (see products Ledgestone and Modular Schist).
The only difference to natural stone, is that our stone feature’s a flat back surface that simplifies installation.
The popular stone module varieties are formed into modular panels that may have as many as 8 stones or as few as 2 incorporated into an easy lay panel system that can be laid quickly and efficiently by DIY handymen or tradesmen alike.
5. Where can I go to see how your stone is being used?
We suggest that your first stop should be to contact us so we can discusst your project and how you are planning to create your stone feature. You can also visit our showroom and manufacturing facility (119 Oropi Road, Tauranga) where you can see the full range of stone on display and photos of projects we’ve done.
Please have handy any items that you’ve already selected for your project, such as brick, tile, shingles, and so forth.
We can help you identify the stone styles that will best complement your selected project materials.
If you have photos of stone projects that you like, bring them in as well so we can help you find a close match.
Once we’ve narrowed down your options a bit, we can direct you to nearby homes or offices that have used the product(s) you are considering.
Please call us on 0800-000-094 for a list of completed jobs with Alpine Stone in your area, where you can drive to view the ‘real-life’ application.
6. How long does it take to install?
Alpine Stone install is as fast as stone can get. Individual patterns ie Bluestone, Riverstone and Otago Schist laid by a competent tradesmen can exceed 4 -5 square metres in a day.
Modular patterns can double this amount on most jobs. Columns and intricate work with a lot of cutting or intricate details can however slow this.
However for most Installations our installers are able to complete the job quickly with very little waste and mess. You will be surprised how quick and easy it is!
7. Can Alpine Stone be installed to a concrete block wall?
Certainly. We have completed many applications to concrete block walls.
Once the concrete blocks are firmly set in place, the application adhesive is spread over the stone module then firmly placed straight onto the concrete block’s side.
Repeat the same procedure until the wall / application is complete.
8. How far out from the substrate does the completed stone surface extend?
Our stones veneer is on average 50mm, it ranges from 35mm – 70mm and is dependant on stone style.
By the time you get the mortar, and the stones attached, the total thickness of the completed stone surface is about 45mm to 80mm deep, depending on the pattern chosen.
9. Can Alpine Stone be used as a water feature?
Alpine Stone can be used on a water feature but it will need to be sealed first, please contact us or more advice on this.
10. What exactly is manufactured stone, and how do you make it?
Manufactured stone is a cast cement product that is designed to look and feel like the real thing.
The process begins with our skilled design team who create moulds to the specific dimensions and variety of textures required for each range.
The moulds replicate the texture and detail of the original stone.
This is a detailed technical & time-consuming process as each finished piece must interlock with all the others to present an authentic whole, whilst minimizing the possibility of repeat patterns.
The stone pieces are formed from a special mix of lightweight aggregate, cement, coloring oxides and other specialized ingredients. This mix is poured into the special mould where the color variations are generated by selective chemical reactions in the aggregate mix. We use a variety of different additives and techniques to achieve the coloring and shade variations that each batch requires.
After a hardening period the individual pieces are de-moulded and cured before shipping out.
11. Are there any special maintenance requirements?
No, you would maintain them the same way you maintain brick or stone, with an occasional wash to remove surface dust and debris.
Please ready our maintenance instructions and warranty details.
Natural aging will take place just as with natural stone, developing a more distinguished look over time.
12. Can I use your products on wall areas adjacent to swimming pools?
Our products will hold up at least as well as any other high quality, lightweight concrete material in this application.
If you wish to use our products in this type of application, we recommend that you apply a breathable masonry sealer to the finished surface.
It is recommended that harsh chemicals(chlorine etc.) are kept away.
13. Do I need extra corners when I am using an interlocking stone?
No, the interlocking stone is made to suit your easy installation requirements!
Meaning that the interlocking stone styles; Ledgestone, Schist 90, Schist 150, are manufactured in a ‘Z’ shape, therefore interlock together from each direction when applying to corners on a pillar or wall. Hence, this has eliminated the need for extra corner pieces, reducing the money you spend and your time to install.