Cultured Stone

cabogirlNovember 4, 2011

Has anybody used cultured stone in or around their pool? We are trying to bring down the cost since we have a lot of facing to cover. The pool will be 24 inches elevated in the front and a 3 foot bond beam in the back (acting as a retaining wall) to help offset the slope of our yard. One pool builder discouraged cultured stone saying it doesn't last and looks "cheap".

We are on rock and have a 3-1 slope so we already know that the cost in excavation is going to be horrendous. So, we are trying to cut back wherever possible but not in quality. Basically, it will be a pretty simple pool without a lot of extra features but I don't want to skimp on what matters/quality (if that makes sense). Thanks for any opinions, Janine

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To me, cultured stone is a lava rock type material, like pumice or jet puffed glass, that floats, looks real but if you hit it with a hammer, the hammer makes a permanent and significant impression, like you were hitting a piece of balsa wood.

I find it unsuitable for waterfalls in my neck of the woods, where safety covers are the norm and winterizing is a must.

When using these cultured boulders for waterfalls, a safety cover anchor for raised walls will NOT hold.

Walking on them can leave dents. Hurts your feet too.

If you mean the fascia rock made of dyed concrete, such as those made by Dow Corning, because they are mortared in place, if attaching wall anchors, for a safety cover, be sure the raised surface they are attached to is gunite, not cinder blocks. Drill between the fascia stones into the gunite and use longer eye bolts. Drilling it the fascia stones alone will result in the stone getting pulled off it's mortar bond once a snow load hit the cover and increases the tension on the cover.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 4:10PM
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Thanks Scott for the info. Luckily, I don't have to worry about snow (So. Calif). Just have to worry about exhorbitant prices. I found another thread here from a few years ago. It seems most are against cultured stone anywhere near water regardless of salt or chlorine. So I guess I need to look at some alternatives that will last and also meet our budget! UGH....Janine

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 5:10PM
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They are ok to use if they will not be wet. But in a wet location i would use the real thing. If you every need to clean them real hard you will remove the color variations from the cultured stone which is what gives it the stone like look. This won't happen to real stone

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 8:32AM
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We used cultured stone on our outdoor kitchen and around our columns. Its close to the pool. Splashed pool water doesn't seem to have an affect on it as very little gets splashed onto it. I was told not to use it in the pool. I noticed after a few years, certain areas on the outdoor kitchen were getting dirty. I decided to clean it and didn't know I was taking the color out of it. What a disaster! Owens Corning sent me a free touch up kit. It was very time consuming. But looked great when I was done. I found out the hard way how delicate this type of surface really is. Regular stone would have been fine to scrub with a cleaner and brush, even power wash. Since life gets dirty, I recommend real stone for outdoor use. Recently we had some work done on our lanai. They used a wet saw and splattered cement water all over my cultured stone. I couldn't get it off, had to scrub it with a toothbrush and of course I removed some color, so once again I broke out my touch up kit and re stained the stones. I wish it was real stone! I know it costs a lot more but in my case would have been well worth it. I had no idea it was this delicate. I also think the culture stone fades a little over time in the hot florida sun.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 2:23PM
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Don't use it....had it on my last pool on a 24 inch raised bondbeam, and around 24 inch raised spa. Under the spillway of spa would start flaking off and turning an ugly
washed white color. On the bondbeam some white wash and alot of flaking. Learned my lesson for new pool, stayed away from Cultred Stone , and went with a manufactored stacked flagstone with zero problems so far.
Good luck on your decision.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 5:26PM
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thanks so much for the updated comments. we have definitely decided against cultured stone and also the pool builder that insists it is fine to use on a pool!!!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 1:33PM
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