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FAQsWhat is Cultured Marble?
Cultured Marble is a pour molded mix of Polyester Resin and a granulate filler, usually Calcium Carbonate, commonly called Limestone. Limestone is the same mineral that has become natural marble in some areas of the world. It is covered with a layer of clear, high grade of polyester resin called gelcoat, which provides the smooth, easily maintainable and polished surface. It is manufactured locally in our San Diego factory in the shapes, colors and sizes that you may need.
The process is much like baking a cake, only we put the glazing on first. The molds are first assembled as needed, then waxed and sprayed with clear gelcoat. When the gelcoat hardens, a mixture of polyester resin, aggregate fillers, hardeners and pigments are poured into the upside down mold and let cure. After de-molding the product is trimmed and polished before being shipped and installed to your bathroom.What is the difference between Cultured Marble, Onyx and Granite?
The most obvious difference is appearance. Cultured Onyx, by using Alumina Trihydrate as filler instead of Limestone, is made to be slightly translucent giving its appearance a certain depth, which cultured marble, does not show. Cultured Granite has a speckled look archived by using very coarse aggregate of different colors suspended in an Onyx type of mixture.
All three are gel-coated products and therefore they all polish and wear the same. They can all be cast using any of our molds.What are the benefits of Cultured Marble over other products?
The main benefit of Cultured Marble is the ability to eliminate all but a few seams. Therefore there are fewer areas for mildew to grow, and leaks to start. Cultured Marble baths are not totally seamless but compare 247 inches of smooth 25-year silicon to the 4000 inches of rough and porous grout line found in the average tub-shower walls.
Sinks and countertops can be one piece doing away with the always hard to clean lip around china bowls. Unlike tile, where the porous grout is not waterproof, or natural marble were the stone itself will leak and stain without constant maintenance, Cultured Marble with silicone seams is absolutely watertight.
Silicone is the same sealant that is keeping the water inside all glass aquariums all around the world. Fiberglass units are watertight, however they constantly flex and therefore are prone to cracking over years of use. Additionally, they are not customizable and since their surface compound is pigmented, it is softer and wears faster than the clear gelcoat that covers our colored products.
But aside from the technical aspect, Cultured Marble gives you, unlike any other product, the ability to coordinate your bathroom the way you want to. Choose items in matching or contrasting colors from the sink to tub or shower and surrounding walls, all sized and shaped to fit your particular needs. We have over 14 shower pan molds, 14 tub- molds and 16 different sink styles in over 200 colors.Where can I use Cultured Marble?
Cultured Marble can be used just about anywhere inside a building. It is primarily designed for use in residential bathrooms as counters and wall linings. It can be used as decorative fireplace facing on non-wood burning units.
Cultured marble has been used, as flooring in some bathrooms but is not really suited for frequent foot traffic. It is not really designed for kitchen counters either.
It is frequently used as allow cost alternative to solid surface products for wet bars, where it is not as heavily abused as a Kitchen countertop. The 20-mil thick gelcoat coating would not survive the daily banging and sliding of pots and pans. In those areas, sold surface products are better suited.How do I care for Cultured Marble?
Cultured Marble takes very little maintenance. No regular stripping and resealing like stone, no scrubbing of grout lines, just a little wiping. However there are some things to keep in mind…No abrasive cleaners, and never use a scouring pad. Powdered cleaners should not be used. Avoid prolonged exposure to solvents, acids and lye. Wipe down regularly using spray or aerosol household cleaners for the tub and tile, windows, dishes or appliances. Ammonia based cleaners also work well. Hardware stores also sell products that are specially made to care for gel coated products and fiberglass.
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