Trying to get a natural look from man-made can be a big challenge. Whether it is highlights for your hair, faux-flower bouquets on your kitchen table, or fake fur coats the goals are always to be as close to the real thing as possible. In development of new hardscape products this is almost always the end goal to keep the products as natural as possible. Here are a few products that are made to mimic natural stone and their real counterparts. You be the judge.
Rivenstone and Yorkstone are a close replica to geometric flagstone made from concrete. They are made from the cast of actual stone pieces. The above picture is the bluestone color and below is the actual natural bluestone.
These random assortment of pavers are made to look like irregular flagstone. Below is a picture of how the different pieces come. There are several interlocking shapes that fit together.
Below is a real flagstone patio. In using real flagstone, larger pieces are better because smaller pieces can move out-of-place. This picture depicts the use of small and large pieces. I would encourage less small pieces in this case. The variable nature of flagstone is one reason the man-made versions can be easier to work with. They are all uniform thickness and fit together without larger gaps.
These very real looking outcropping pieces are actually made of concrete. One challenge in using real outcropping is that they are all various thicknesses. When using stone made to look natural it create the ability to work faster and lower labor costs.
Above is a stone wall and staircase using natural outcropping stone.
Rosetta Stone Belvedere Wall
Above is another Rosetta Stone product that much like drywall. Natural drywall are pieces of stone usually various lengths and around 3-4″ thick stacked on top of each other without any glue or mortar. The above stone is similarly laid, but does use glue to keep the wall together.
Above is a natural drywall product made from fondulac stone.
There are many more hardscape products made to look like natural stone. Checking out the websites for the various brick companies there are endless options. Sometimes the purpose is cost savings, sometimes the products themselves provide easier application and sometimes “there ain’t nothing like the real thing”.