Advantages of Cast Stone vs Natural Stone for Your Fireplace

Modern fireplaces may not be the hardworking necessities they were for your colonial ancestors. During that era, European settlers sometimes constructed fireplaces large enough to walk into, while others were small and efficient. Whatever the style, the fireplace served multiple practical purposes and was truly the heart of the home.

Few modern homes rely on fireplaces for cooking or heating, but style is still an important factor. Both cast natural stone and natural stone fireplace surrounds are excellent options. Each material offers unique advantages.

Old World Stoneworks offers a dazzling variety of cast natural stone fireplace surrounds. Our experts are here to help you select a surround that complements your style and endures the test of time.

What Is Cast Stone?

You may think that cast stone is a modern invention, but this versatile building material was first used by the ancient Egyptians. Then, it was popular because it could be molded into intricate patterns without losing strength. Cast natural stone remains popular today for this same reason and a few more.

Cast stone is defined as a refined architectural concrete building material. Simply put, it’s a type of cement that looks like real stone when finished. Cast stone is made from:

  • Natural and manufactured sands
  • Crushed stone
  • Mineral pigments (for coloring)
  • Portland cement
  • Cementitious binder

The finished product closely resembles natural stone, and it is environmentally sustainable. Cast stone is produced by three different methods: semi-dry cast, wet cast, and fiber-reinforced. Whether it’s being produced to make a cast stone surround, a range hood, or something else, high industry standards are in place to ensure consistency and quality.

The Advantages of Cast Stone

Cast natural stone offers homeowners several benefits. Cost, versatility, and durability are three of the main considerations.


Because it is easy to manufacture, cast natural stone is more affordable than natural stone. Depending on the type of stone, part of the price includes the cost of overseas shipping. Cast stone surrounds from Old World Stoneworks are proudly manufactured in the USA and come to you directly from our factory.

Homeowners who want custom or ornate fireplace surrounds will be especially pleased with how much a cast stone surround can save them compared to natural stone.

Design Versatility

Modern designers and homeowners love using cast natural stone for the same reasons the ancient Egyptians did — its versatility. Cast stone can be molded into almost any shape or size, and color pigments can be added to emulate various types of stone.

Customers looking for unique and one-of-a-kind mantels are impressed by the design options available with cast stone.

What Is Natural Stone?

Natural stone is what it sounds like — stone that is harvested from quarried rock and cut into slabs or tiles. Some of the most commonly used materials for a natural stone fireplace include marble, granite, quartzite, and limestone.

Mining natural stone is a labor-intensive process that is reflected in the price of the material. To save money, some homeowners opt to use stone veneer vs. natural stone slabs for their fireplaces. However, buyers need to be aware that stone veneer is made from both natural and manufactured stone.

Comparing Cast Stone and Natural Stone

There’s no doubt that both cast stone and natural stone are excellent choices for your fireplace surround. However, cast stone offers advantages that natural stone cannot.

Appearance and Authenticity

Advanced manufacturing techniques have made it almost impossible to tell the difference between natural and cast stone. Old World Stoneworks carries a variety of natural-looking color options that will make your fireplace mantel the highlight of your home. We encourage customers to browse our website to appreciate the wide variety of cast stone options.

Installation Process and Time

Both cast and natural stone fireplace surrounds should be installed by a professional mason. However, cast stone is easier to work with than natural stone, which typically means a shorter and less expensive installation process.

Long-Term Value

There’s no question that stone is a durable material, but so is cast stone. Cast stone not only looks beautiful and is easy to care for, but it’s also just as durable as stone.

Why Choose Cast Stone for Your Fireplace?

Cast natural stone is an ancient building material that is well-suited for modern times. Not only is cast stone attractive and nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, it is also cost-effective. In the U.S., fewer new homes include a fireplace. While there are many causes for the decline, part of the reason lies in the extra costs involved in building a beautiful and durable fireplace.

Using cast stone makes it possible to create a visually stunning fireplace without breaking the bank. Cast stone is not only cost-effective, but it’s also versatile, allowing you to create a custom surround for any room.

Cast stone is easy to maintain. All it takes is occasional cleaning with warm, soapy water to keep your fireplace surround looking new.

Whether you’re building a new home, updating your existing fireplace, or considering adding a fireplace, cast stone from Old World Stoneworks is a superior alternative to other surround materials.