Cast stone textures
Below are our standard Textures,
"Wait for a moment after clicking, for texture chip to change"
Ancient technique of hand forming material into moldings.
Popular in Italian neoclassical building in the 17th century.
Copyright © 2002 Ventura Cast Stone.
Ventura Cast Stone
Cast stone colors
Ventura cast stone colors are integral, the pigments are added to the cast stone or precast concrete mix as the aggregates are being mixed. this means the product can be cut or carved and the cut surface will be the same color as the rest of the product. With cast stone, the color and also the texture of the product will be very similar to the rest of the product. We use white cement which produces clean, bright colors
Color is one of the most important aspects of architectural precast concrete and cast stone. At Ventura cast stone we can design mixes to match items such as existing precast concrete and weather-stained limestone. We can also develop mixes with the correct color tone to match closely, existing cast stone or precast. This means we can reproduce almost any cast stone product, even 200 year old stone, limestone or sandstone. The color chips on this page represent just a small sampling of the colors we can achieve with our standard materials and pigments. We do not charge extra for standard colors or texture. Non-earthtone colors that require special pigments (such as blue and green) or non-stock aggregates do cost extra. Whether the goal is to match existing materials or to simply complement new stucco color, we are the company to turn to whenever high quality architectural precast concrete or cast stone items are required
|White Portland cement used in our
product. It has essentially the same properties as gray cement, except for
color, which is a very important quality control issue in the industry.
The color of white cement depends on raw materials and the manufacturing process. It is the metal oxides (primarily iron and manganese) that influence the whiteness and undertone of the material. White cement is manufactured to conform to ASTM C 150, Specification for Portland Cement. Although Types I, II, III, and V white cements are produced, Types I and III are the most common.
White cements produce clean, bright colors, especially for light pastels. Many different colors can be created by adding pigments to concrete made with white portland cement. Two or more pigments can be combined to achieve a wide range of colors. White cement (or a mixture of white and gray cement) can be specified to provide a consistent color of choice. An even greater variety of decorative looks can be achieved by using colored aggregates and varying the surface finish treatment or texture.
Mix designs for white or colored concrete are formulated based on each ingredient's effect on cast stone and precast concrete color:
For every architectural project, once a mix design has been developed, sample panels should be built at the job site. These mockups serve as references for color and overall surface appearance.
White High-Performance Concrete (White HPC)
High-performance white concrete (such as high-strength or very low permeability concrete) adds high-tech appeal by incorporating materials like calcined clay (such as metakaolin), slag, or white silica fume into white cement concrete. Applications for HPC may include high-rise buildings, bridges, and parking structures.
Supplementary cementing materials may slightly alter the color of hardened concrete. Color effects are related to the color and amount of the material used in concrete. Many supplementary cementing materials resemble the color of Portland cement and therefore have little effect on color of the hardened concrete. Some silica fumes may give concrete a slightly bluish or dark gray tint and tan fly ash may impart a tan color to concrete when used in large quantities. Ground slag and metakaolin can make concrete whiter. Ground slag can initially impart a bluish or greenish undertone.
Natural and synthetic materials are used to color concrete for aesthetic and safety reasons (Fig. 6-19). Red concrete is often used around buried electrical or gas lines as a warning to anyone near these facilities. Yellow concrete safety curbs are used in paving applications. Generally, the amount of pigments used in concrete should not exceed 10% by mass of the cement. Pigments used in amounts less than 6% generally do not affect concrete properties.
Unmodified carbon black substantially reduces air content. Most carbon black for coloring concrete contains an admixture to offset the effect on air. Before a coloring admixture is used at a project, it should be tested for color fastness in sunlight and autoclaving, chemical stability in cementing materials and effects on concrete properties. Calcium chloride should not be used with pigments to avoid color distortions. Pigments should conform to ASTM C 979.
As anyone in the construction business surely knows, cement has not yet stopped evolving. The science of cement manufacture and production is continuing to make great strides, enabling new and imaginative processes to be invented.
Decorative concrete is on the forefront of this growth. With such techniques as dry pack cast stone, homeowners and designers can create an unlimited array of outdoor and textured surfaces and flooring options. These all enable the designers to escape the one flaw seen with concrete: as a finish material, its starkness can be downright plain. For instance, the durability of concrete makes it perfect for a driveway, patio, sidewalk or floor, so a means to "dress up" or disguise concrete without sacrificing any of the versatility is the goal of many of these manufacturers.
One of the first ways to transform concrete is through integral coloring. This is where pigment, usually iron oxides, is added directly to the mixer. The mix is then poured normally, producing a colored slab of concrete that will not fade because the color is literally a part of the mix. These colors can range from subtle pinks and browns to deep blues and greens.
This is usually done by adding a precisely measured bag of pigment to the concrete, taking into consideration the amount of cement, total yardage of the truck and individual properties of the chosen pigment. The drawback of this dry add-mix is apparent when trying to attain the same color for different amounts of cement. Because the pigment attaches to the cement, the same pigment added to a five-sack mix will be much darker than that of an eight-sack mix.
"By using four distinct liquid pigments, added together in the correct ratio (similar to a four-color printing process), a huge variety of color is available," then we measure and test the resulting pigment for accuracy.
Integral color has many uses for the concrete industry. Concrete roof tiles, garden accessories and pre-fab concrete pipe are all starting to use integral coloring.
Other methods of coloring concrete are more appropriate for different applications. For instance, many companies make both dry and liquid color hardeners that can be scattered or sprayed on top of newly poured concrete, and once worked into the surface, strengthen the concrete while allowing the use of any color.
One of the most popular methods for decorating concrete today is with the use of acid staining. Many residential and commercial customers are using this method for obtaining a durable, beautiful and relatively inexpensive way to decorate their floors.
While this concept is not new (Frank Lloyd Wright used some acid stains), innovative ideas are expanding the range of the acid stained look. Multiple stains may be used to enhance the depth of the color, grout lines may be cut into the concrete to resemble tile, or highly detailed murals or rosettes may be stained for any surface outside or inside the home.
Coupled with staining and stamping, a number of options are available for designing decorative concrete. Indeed, all of the processes described here can be mixed and experimented with, limiting designers to only what they can imagine. There are a few places for the curious designer to experiment with these options.
Master Builders (www.masterbuilders.com) may be widely known for manufacturing concrete materials, but they have recently helped produce an interactive online test grounds (www.concretelifestyles.com). The site allows the user to swap patterns and colors to see different styles.
The most impressive thing in outdoor and indoor concrete today may be what has yet to be constructed.
Because lightweight cast stone is made from fiberglass strand mixed with real limestone which gives it that stone look, it is suitable for fireplace mantle treatments.
About Ventura Cast Stone
We now offer concrete molds for precast concrete and cast stone to the public.
These are not "Garden Ornament" concrete molds, but are professional architectural concrete molds, the same molds we use in our own production.
We at Ventura cast stone are pleased to introduce this lightweight GFRC cast stone or lightweight precast concrete if you will, into our line of precast concrete and cast stone. Because lightweight cast stone is made from fiberglass strand mixed with real limestone which gives it that stone look, it is suitable for fireplace mantle treatments.
Lightweight precast concrete
Lightweight precast concrete is usually called GFRC or glass fiber reinforced concrete, and is manufactured by Ventura cast stone and installed in the Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Precast concrete usually weights 100 lbs per cubic foot. Gfrc usually weights 10 lbs per lin foot. Precast concrete is a lower end product and does not simulate limestone as does cast stone. Precast concrete resembles finished concrete and the surface looks like your garage floor. Cast stone resembles limestone or sandstone. Lightweight GFRC precast concrete is not a new product but has been used for years, but not in architectural uses.
The "Dry Cast" method is a two part process, a face material to give you the similar finish to natural stone. Mechanically compacted to the rear of this is the backing mix to give the units strength in the terms of handling ability
Dry cast units are immediately demoulded after casting and are hand finished to a very high standard.
Wet Cast as the name suggests produces structural products like heads and sills but is also used for slabs, beams and other similar products, that are for high exposure or structural situations where greater loads are required on the finished unit. The Wet Cast also has the added advantage of specialist finishes with the use of special sand aggregates, a massive spectrum of colors can be achieved.
Cast Stone is known by a variety of other names including art stone, reconstructed stone, reconstituted stone, artificial stone and manufactured stone. This defines cast stone as any material manufactured with aggregate and cementicious binder and intended to resemble in appearance, and be used in a similar way to, natural stone. Cast stone is either homogenous through out or consists of a facing material and backing concrete.
The majority of cast stone manufactures use the semi-dry method of production. And is the more commonly widely used method of manufacture. Early consultation with us is advisable to ascertain the correct method of production for your project.
Sizes: Components produced using the semidry method are limited in size with face dimensions of Ashlar units normally no greater than 1200x600mm. This is mainly because of the fact a semi dry mix is used, which require rapid and rigorous compaction with hand held pneumatic tampers. The semidry method of production is best suited to traditionally sized ashlars quoins, sills, copings, door and window surrounds, etc.
Structural requirements: Components requiring reinforcement which is more complex than a few straight bars or a layer of fabric reinforcement, must be produced using the wet cast method of production. This is because it is difficult to achieve thorough compaction of semidry mixes around congested reinforcement.
Appearance: Cast stone can replicate a variety of stone colors and finishes. The semidry method of production is used to simulate limestones and sandstones. Where a component has a particularly intricate pattern or profile including slender projections, precast concrete may have to be used in preference to the 'semidry' method. Good color matching between components can be achieved by both methods, although textural differences become apparent at close range.
Economics: Rapid production rates with frequent reuse of moulds are possible with cast stone produced using semidry mixes. Where as with the Wet Cast process a higher number of concrete molds is required to achieve the same casting program, but careful thought a planning stages of the contract can minimize the number of concrete molds. In Fact an additional 2-3 weeks extra lead-time for standard or semi standard products can sometimes be all that is needed to achieve the same casting program.
The production of cast stone using semidry mixes differs from that of wet method in several ways.
Semi Dry ~ De-molding takes place immediately after compaction. This allows a rapid casting cycle with e.g. up to 100 or more basic components (sills, copings, etc.) a day from a single mould.
Wet Cast ~ Where as to manufacture the equivalent in wet cast it would not only take longer but you would require 1 mould per cast per day i.e. to produce 100 units a day you would need 100 moulds.
Semi Dry ~Compaction is carried out by pneumatic tampers rather than by vibration.
Wet Cast ~ Compaction is carried out by vibration.
Semi Dry ~ *Separate facing and backing mixes are often used for components like ashlars, sills, heads and jambs, where the backing mix is concealed from view. Separate facing and backing mixes are used primarily to economize on the facing mix. BS1 217 requires a separate facing mix to be not less than 20 mm thick at any point, with semidry cement sand facing mixes and concrete backing mixes each mix is placed and compacted in immediate succession to ensure that they are effectively monolithic.
Wet Cast ~ Wet Cast units are manufactured from a through colored homogenous mix.
Semi Dry ~ Water repellent admixtures are invariably used in facing mixes to reduce permeability. Giving a water absorption of Grade B. All constituents are accurately weigh batched with the moisture content monitored regularly. Mix batches are necessarily small to prevent any premature drying of the mix. Thorough mixing and compaction are critical to ensure that the cast stone achieves the required density (typically between 1850-2100kg/m2), compressive strength and permeability.
Wet Cast ~ superplasticisers and accelerators are used to ensure good flow of the mix during vibration and compaction to achieve a smooth, compact and blow hole free finish (where ever possible finish smooth after dressing) also to give good early strength. Typical cube tests at 7-10 Days are that of the equivalent of that of a semi dry unit at 28 Days
Standard - Cast stone items that are manufactured in accordance with our Technical specification sheets. These items could be stock items or units, which are ready to cast at the first available production slot, with no moulds to produce. Products like standard head, sills or pier caps and copings. The cost of establishing the moulds is not same, thus for small production runs costs can be kept to the minimum. Also not forgetting lead times can be much shorter by not having to detail, obtain approval and then construct moulds.
Semi Standard - Cast stone items, which are similar to details within our Technical specification sheets. But say vary in length or require slight mould adaptation or modification.
Purpose Made - Cast Stone items which are manufactured in accordance with the contract documents. These units are made from new purpose made concrete molds. These would probably be specialized units, which are not contained in our brochure. We have our own in house design department, who will assist you in the process of your design advising you in Careful thought must be given in the planning process for purpose made products. Please consider the following.
This process can some times take any thing from 2 10 days, dependant on how long it takes to get details approved.
Remember adequate time must be allowed for production of concrete molds.
Natural stone colors are achieved either by reliance on the color of crushed rock and sands and aggregates or by the addition of pigments. White cement gray cement and a combination are often used. The use of pigments can give the cast stone greater scope in the selection of suitably graded aggregates, which permit good compaction and achieve a strong, dense mix. Iron oxides based pigments are normally used in small quantities (e.g. 0.2%-1% yellow iron oxide by weight of cement for yellow sandstone's and up to 5% red iron oxide for red sandstone). High proportions of pigment powder (above say 6 - 8% by weight of cement) are used sometimes to achieve unusual colors like blues and browns but generally these should be avoided.
A variety of traditional ashlar finishes can be replicated with cast stone, including plain, boasted, tooled, rockfaced, vermiculated. The other ashlar finishes are normally produced from latex:sand or concrete mold liners.
Here is where specialist aggregates can be used to achieve some wonderful and varied finishes and colors.
Dependant on the situation all cast stone both Wet and Dry Cast can be used. But there are limitations in the Dry Cast process as opposed to Wet Cast: -
Precast concrete is usually used in lower end track homes where budget is a concern, cast stone is usually used in higher end homes where budget is not a major concern. The difference between cast stone and precast concrete is easily seen, and even the novice can appreciate the high quality limestone like finish on a cast stone product. Fireplace mantels or as some call them fireplace mantles look beautiful when constructed from cast stone. Cast stone fireplace mantels are used in any situation. The fireplace mantels are both strong and fireproof. Fireplace mantels are a thing of beauty when made from cast stone or precast concrete. Fireplace mantels are also made from wood. Fireplace mantels or fireplace chimneys are the main feature in any room and a fireplace mantel made from cast stone or precast concrete is a sight to behold.
Cast stone by Ventura Cast Stone installed in California city's such as Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Ventura or Santa Barbara has to be mechanically fastened to the wood frame of a building usually with stainless steel or galvanized attachments, this because of earthquake codes. There are many historical buildings in California with cast stone as part of their facade. Cast stone in Los Angeles, Beverly hills, Bel Air, Ventura and Santa Barbara was at it's most popular in the 1900's. In Santa Barbara, cast stone was used extensively in the downtown district and also in a primitive form at the Santa Barbara mission in the form of adobe, a mixture of mud and straw or horsehair mixed with water and hand shaped into molds. Cast stone in the City of Ventura was used mainly on churches in the downtown area. Cast stone in Los Angeles was used in many important buildings including the famous Los Angeles City hall. In Santa Barbara cast stone and Santa Barbara stone were used in conjunction in many historical buildings. Santa Barbara stone also called Santa Barbara sandstone, is found mainly in Santa Barbara county, is removed from the ground in loose form, the Santa Barbara stone is then cut and shaped by a stonemason into useable blocks. Cast stone in Beverly Hills was used in the Beverly Hills City hall and is now used on many residential buildings. We also supply and install granite and CDI precast caststone and concrete design product, CDI columns, Sierra stone caststone columns and balustrade, California precast products, CDI precast, CDI precast granite moldings and stairs. We also supply and install CDI precast granite concrete window and door trim, CDI GFRC columns, Sierra stone products, concrete design, full weight precast and granite or limestone products, California precast columns, CDI precast pool coping, CDI precast or limestone moldings and CDI fireplace mantles.
We also install the products exclusively manufactured by other company's including, Sierra concrete design, Sierra stone and Dura art stone, Stone legends, Moonlight molds, Fineline precast, Concrete design inc. Studio cast design, Concrete design inc, CDI, Architectural products, Haddonstone.
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