Flexible stone, which is the most successful attempt to recreate a natural material, despite its relatively recent appearance on the construction market, continues to gain its well-deserved popularity. Flexible stone attracts the attention of not only builders, but also designers who prefer exquisite building materials of natural origin, attracting attention not only by quality, but also by price. The material, which is a cut of sandstone, by means of a polymer connected to a textile base, is not only characterized by visual similarity to natural stone, but also in terms of wear resistance is in no way inferior to its original prototype. There is no point in mentioning decorative qualities, they are in many ways superior to natural stone, which is also of no small importance in the growing popularity of the material. So let’s talk about flexible stone. Its advantages and disadvantages, as well as the features of installing a flexible stone at home – all this will be discussed in detail in this article, after reading which you will get answers to all existing questions about a flexible stone.
The uniqueness of a flexible stone begins with the technology of its manufacture. The production of a unique material is carried out by hand, directly at the place of extraction of sandstone, which is the initial raw material for its manufacture. Usually these are quarries, or a locality, not far from them. Flexible stone specialists select suitable cuts of the original mineral of the appropriate texture, and then grind them until they reach their ideal smoothness..
Further, in the process of work, an acrylic dispersion is used, which is applied to a previously prepared base, and a textile material is glued. Small particles of sandstone adhere to it, leaving an imprint of the natural texture of sandstone on the textile base. After waiting for the acrylic dispersion to solidify, the base is removed and dried in the sun. The use of acrylic dispersion allows not only to firmly glue the sandstone particles, but also to achieve ideal strength, flexibility and wear resistance of the newest building material – flexible stone. The manufacturer prefers to produce newfangled material in the form of tiles or wallpaper, the length of which varies from 2 to 2.8 meters.
All of the above qualities, complemented by natural naturalness and high decorative characteristics of the material, make it possible to expand the scope of its use. It is actively used for architectural decoration of building facades, cladding of interior walls in rooms for any purpose, including those with high humidity, as well as in the process of cladding decorative arches and columns, decorating stair steps, fireplaces and bar counters..
- A flexible stone, which a builder of any social level can afford to buy, is considered an absolutely harmless material in view of the fact that it does not emit harmful volatile substances during its operation;
- Flexible stone is characterized by ease of installation and low water permeability. Despite this, its porous structure allows flexible stone to be one of the most vapor-permeable materials and has a low tendency to burn;
- Lightness (3−4 kg / m2), recognized as one of the main advantages of flexible stone, allows it to be used in the process of finishing the facades of residential buildings and premises, as well as to protect load-bearing structures;
- Antistatic properties also cannot be ignored, since they provide the material with ease of care and the absence of the need for specialized care measures;
- Long operational life and acceptable price level achieved by increasing the number of companies engaged in the production and supply of flexible stone to the construction market;
- High plasticity, which can be verified in the process of exposure to the stone, even at low temperatures, during which it will demonstrate the ability to accept various configurations;
- Light transmission, which provides the material with unique decorative characteristics, thanks to which flexible stone can be used in the process of creating interiors with unique lighting design.
Flexible stone photo
Flexible stone is supplied in the form of slabs or wall-papers, characterized by different widths and lengths. The most common are the following parameters for length: 5 × 60, 20 × 30, 60 × 30, 80 × 40 and 260 × 130 cm, in addition, individual companies are engaged in the production of material to individual sizes. To cut the stone, it is enough to use a simple construction knife or scissors, during the cutting process of which cracks do not form. In addition, using this method, you can achieve any material configuration you need..
Main technical characteristics of flexible stone
- Elasticity, natural texture and flexibility;
- Ease, as evidenced by its performance – 3−4 kg / m2;
- Absolute non-toxicity and non-flammability;
- A wide range of operating temperatures – from – 45 to 650 degrees;
- High frost resistance;
- Installation on a surface of any nature;
- Installing a flexible stone is a lot like gluing wallpaper. In the process, you will need a notched trowel, a hair dryer and a rubber roller. Directly for mounting on the wall, specialized mixtures based on glue are used, as well as mortar mixtures offered by specialized hardware stores and manufacturing firms. Before proceeding with the installation of the material, you must make sure that the surface to be mounted is absolutely flat, without any flaws and roughness. If the surface does not meet the specified requirements, it is necessary to pay due attention to its preliminary preparation, which consists in the following:
- The surface to be installed is thoroughly cleaned of all existing dirt and moisture. If it is characterized by the presence of various irregularities, then before direct installation, in addition to cleaning it, it is necessary to level it, for which special leveling mixtures are used;
- The adhesives are applied to the wall or tile surface with a notched trowel. If the adhesive needs to be applied to a larger surface, experts advise using an even trowel, and then apply additional grooves with a notched trowel. Irregularities of the textured mixture used provide additional adhesion of the material to the wall surface.
- Installation of flexible stone tiles or wallpaper can be carried out both end-to-end and overlapping. The first method of installation allows you to obtain a seamless surface. In this case, the excess material is removed using a sharp knife, and the priming and processing of the joints is carried out using a piece of flexible stone. If the fixing of the tiles is carried out in the second way, then one of the stages of the installation work should be the sealing of the joints, carried out after the adhesive mixture has completely dried. To do this, experts recommend using moldings, which are decorative molded parts in the form of cast strips, and fill the remaining gaps with adhesive.
- It should be noted that the most advantageous is the “seamless” way of laying flexible stone with your own hands, which has the most effective decorative characteristics. In the process of its installation, it is necessary to use a building hair dryer, which is necessary to warm up the edges of the flexible stone. In the process of this event, you can easily change the configuration of the tiles, as a result of which flexible stone can be used to decorate columns, arches, as well as surfaces that have a complex geometric configuration
- Experts advise to start laying tiles from the top corner, which is due to the need to trim tiles, which is later better used in the most inconspicuous places..
- The tile is applied to the wall surface, after which the next tile is pressed tightly and laid, and this continues until the entire surface is lined with a flexible stone. If necessary, the tiles are knocked down with a hammer to give them more adhesion to the surface..
- In order to carry out high-quality facing of the corners, you will need a building hair dryer, with the help of which the canvas is heated at the corner of the tile fold. After that, it is wrapped and pressed tightly with a wooden spatula, which ensures the most tight fit of the material.
- If in the process of these works cracks have formed, they can be repaired using a colorless acrylic primer intended for mineral surfaces of various origins and penetrating deep into the crack. After applying the primer, the hall can be cleaned with a flexible stone, and if necessary, re-apply the primer.
- After completing the installation activities and waiting for the glue to dry completely, the tile surface is treated with a specially designed hydrophobic compound designed to protect the surface from aggressive environmental influences and excessive moisture. The composition is applied to the surface with a roller or wide brush..
The surface, decorated with flexible stone, is characterized by high aesthetics and excellent decorative characteristics, which will create an atmosphere of home comfort and harmony in the room..
Flexible stone video
In the interior of the apartment, flexible stone, the price of which is justified by its highest quality, can be used in various directions, due to its high performance characteristics. It is able to completely replace the usual tiles, which have long been boring and have ceased to impress particularly demanding consumers. Its most successful application has become for finishing surfaces that are characterized by the absence of deformations and a more or less simplified configuration, whether it is plastered walls, metal, plastic or surfaces of any other nature. High vapor permeability of flexible stone, due to which a comfortable microclimate is created in a room trimmed with flexible stone, makes its use appropriate for decorating bedrooms and nurseries. The presence of acrylic binders in the structure of a flexible stone ensures the resistance of the material to aggressive external influences without disturbing the original configuration. This leads to its frequent use in the process of finishing kitchens and other rooms, the microclimate of which is characterized by high humidity..
The absolute incombustibility of the material and the absence of vapors harmful to the human body determines its widespread use in facing fireplaces, as well as for decorating rooms that have high fire safety requirements..
The light-penetrating ability of flexible stone is another advantage of the material, thanks to which, using all the charms of the latest technologies, you can bring to life the most daring design decisions. For example, placing a lamp under a flexible stone will create an indescribable intimate and relaxing atmosphere in the room..
Pleasant news for lovers of consistency will be the long service life of a flexible stone, choosing which, you can forget about repairs for at least 30-35 years.
For those who are interested in using flexible stone in the interior, watching the following video will be especially relevant..