The centuries-old tradition of beautiful dry stacked stone walls is being revived, thanks to new technology available from Amber .
Once the sole domain of highly skilled craftsmen, dry stacked stone walls require the painstaking placement of one thin slice of stone on top of another – the entire wall being held in place by nothing more than friction and gravity. The method was tedious and time consuming but the results were always a combination of classic elegance and unrivalled simplicity.
Leading tile supplier, Amber, has gained exclusive rights to an architectural stone veneer walling system that, quite simply, is the most accurate replication of a natural stone wall imaginable. Colour, texture, an infinite variety of shapes and profiles – this man-made stacked stone wall perfectly reproduces the real thing.
Called Eldorado Stone, the product is a simple modular panel system that can be installed quickly and easily by both DIYers and professionals. Cast from technologically advanced moulds that in turn have been made from thousands of hand-selected stones, each mould is painstakingly coloured by hand to accurately reflect the true colours of stone and to ensure that no two stones in the wall system are ever exactly the same.
The stone itself is made from Portland cement, lightweight natural aggregates and iron oxide pigments – all of which are the basic components of natural stone.
The iron oxide dyes are absorbed by the stone when it is cast, so the colour is an integral part of the stone and never fades.
Eldorado Stone comes in modular components measuring approximately 300 x 200mm. Each panel is deliberately slightly different in size so there are no regular joins. The stone panels are simply glued in place and can be installed over concrete masonry, sheathing, rigid insulation and open stud framing. The entire wall system is extremely lightweight so, unlike natural stone, higher walls require no pinning.
This product, while giving an exceedingly authentic result, is significantly more cost effective than a real stone equivalent – installed, it would be 30 to 50 per cent less expensive than the original and has a mere two per cent waste factor compared to the 10 per cent of natural stone.
Eldorado Stone dry stacked stone walls are suitable for both walls and column fascias – walls can be capped with stone, and corners are sold separately.
The range comprises a wide variety of stone sizes and shapes plus a huge range of colours – from the flinty greys of slate to the russet browns and golden umbers of sandstone. It retails for $149.95 a square metre.