We have received tons of inquiries about the difference between rubber concrete stone veneer molds and plastic concrete stone veneer molds. There are companies pushing the opinion that plastic molds will create the exact same stones as rubber molds at half the cost. This is absolutely NOT true.
The difference between plastic and rubber molds is very simple to understand:
Rubber Molds start out as a LIQUID that hardens and forms to EVERY detail, grain and undercut of the natural stone they were made from.
Plastic Molds starts out as a SOLID that is heated and warped, via a vacuum, into the MUTED SHAPE of a natural stones surface.
Due to the fact that plastic molds do not start out as a liquid, it is IMPOSSIBLE to make an exact replica of a natural stones grain, detail and texture. If you want to copy 100% of a natural stones detail you will have to use Rubber Molds. Try it for yourself.
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Stone Square footage or Stone Pieces?
In an attempt to make rubber molds seem more expensive than plastic molds, some competitors sell their molds based on how many stones a mold makes. Selling molds or making stone veneer based on the amount of individual stones a mold makes is not logical and does not apply to standard stone veneer.
For instance, a mold kit that makes 1 square foot of stone veneer may make 20 unique stones, or may make 5 unique stones. The main point is that the stones will still cover the same amount of space, 1 square foot. You will always measure your project in square footage and not in "Pieces".
Another obvious reason why you should make sure to ask for the amount of square footage a mold kit makes is simply because square footage is the standard measurement for stone veneer.
Try this...go down to your local stone veneer supplier and ask them if you can purchase 200 pieces of ledgestone. You will be asked to convert your request into square footage. Pieces are useless when referring to stone veneer unless all the stones are the exact same size.