Category Archives: For Interior Designers

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.

Rothchild kitchen range hood design.

Recirculating Range Hood vs. Vented: Which Suits Your Kitchen Best?

Whether you’re a passionate home chef or someone who simply enjoys a warm, home-cooked meal, the choice between a recirculating range hood and a vented one can make a world of difference in your kitchen. Join us as we explore the pros and cons of recirculating range hoods vs. vented hoods to ensure your kitchen remains a place of culinary delight and comfort.

Ventilation in Today’s Kitchens

In the ever-evolving world of modern kitchen design, the quest for the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics has never been more pronounced. Kitchens have transformed from mere cooking spaces into dynamic hubs for culinary experimentation, entertaining, and warming aesthetics. And as such, the significance of effective kitchen ventilation has risen to new heights.

With the rise of open-plan designs, where kitchens seamlessly merge with living spaces, the need for effective ventilation has become even more apparent. These expansive kitchen areas, often devoid of walls or partitions, demand a robust system to whisk away culinary aromas, steam, and grease that would otherwise permeate the entire living space. So how do you choose between a recirculating range hood vs. vented options?

It only makes sense that Old World Stoneworks, a company known for its proficient cast stone fireplace mantels and overmantels, would enter into the landscape of range hoods. At Old World Stoneworks we have perfected the art of marrying function with beauty.

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Decoding Range Hood Types

Let’s “get under the hood” and take a closer look at vented vs. recirculating range hoods.

How Recirculating Range Hoods Operate

The concept of kitchen ventilation dates back centuries, with ancient kitchens utilizing chimneys and fireplaces to disperse smoke and odors. Over time, the invention of the modern range hood with its exhaust fan and filters revolutionized kitchen air quality. Recirculating hoods were a later addition, making it feasible to provide ventilation in kitchens without easy access to exterior walls or roofs.

The process is quite straightforward. Recirculating range hoods are equipped with multiple layers of filters designed to capture and neutralize the various particles and odors that are produced during cooking. This filtration system typically includes grease filters, charcoal filters, and sometimes even HEPA filters, depending on the model’s sophistication. The grease filters capture oil and grease particles, while the charcoal filters absorb odors and smoke. In more advanced models, HEPA filters can even remove allergens and tiny particles, ensuring that the air is not only free of odors but also allergens like pollen, mold, dust, and bacteria.

Pros and Cons of Recirculating Range Hoods

Recirculating range hoods come with their own set of advantages and drawbacks.

  • Easier Installation: One of the most significant advantages is their ease of installation. Since they don’t require ductwork leading outside, they can be placed almost anywhere in the kitchen, offering more flexibility in design and placement. This means you can have a range hood without the constraints of kitchen layout or wall positioning.
  • Flexibility in Placement: Recirculating hoods can be installed on interior walls or islands, wherever you need them. This flexibility can enhance kitchen aesthetics and functionality.
  • Potential Limitations: While recirculating hoods effectively capture and filter odors, grease, and some smoke, they don’t evacuate these substances from your home entirely. This may result in a warmer kitchen and the need for additional ventilation strategies to control humidity and heat, especially during intense cooking sessions.

Understanding Vented Range Hoods

Vented range hoods work on a different principle. Their main purpose is to channel fumes, particles, and odors directly outside of the home. Vented hoods are connected to ductwork that leads to the exterior of the building. When you cook, the range hood’s exhaust fan draws in the cooking byproducts—such as smoke, steam, and odors—and expels them outside, preventing them from reentering the kitchen.

For a sleek, modern kitchen design, some homeowners choose to install vented hoods without upper cabinets. This approach emphasizes clean lines and open spaces, allowing the range hood to become a focal point in the kitchen’s visual aesthetics.

Find the Perfect Range Hood for Your KItchen

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Pros and Cons of Vented Range Hoods

Vented range hoods are renowned for their superior efficacy in removing contaminants from the kitchen environment. They excel at evacuating heat, moisture, and odors directly outside. However, this efficacy comes with its own set of considerations:

  • Superior Efficacy: Vented hoods are the gold standard when it comes to eliminating cooking byproducts. They prevent heat and moisture buildup in the kitchen, ensuring a more comfortable and odor-free cooking environment.
  • Potentially More Challenging Installation: Installing a vented hood typically requires more complex ductwork, which can be challenging in kitchens without direct access to exterior walls. The installation may also require more significant modifications to the kitchen layout and could potentially increase the overall cost.

Tackling the Central Question: Are Recirculating Range Hoods Effective?

So, just how effective are recirculating range hoods? Let’s take a closer look:

Efficiency in Filtration and Circulation

When it comes to maintaining a healthy and comfortable kitchen environment, understanding the science behind air filtration and circulation is essential. Proper ventilation, specifically through the use of range hoods, can significantly impact the air quality in your home.

Cooking, while a delightful experience, generates various byproducts, including visible elements such as grease and smoke, as well as less obvious but equally significant pollutants.

Several studies and expert opinions highlight the importance of efficient kitchen ventilation. For example, research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that cooking activities can release not only visible particulate matter like smoke and grease but also ultrafine particles that can linger in the air. These ultrafine particles can contribute to indoor air pollution, potentially leading to respiratory issues and a less-than-pleasant living environment.

Efficient range hoods are designed to address these concerns. They use various filters to capture and eliminate both large and small particles, as well as odors.

Upgrading Your Kitchen with a Recirculating Range Hood

To upgrade your kitchen with a range hood that provides optimal filtration and circulation, consider the following steps:

  1. Assess Your Cooking Habits: Think about your cooking style and the types of dishes you frequently prepare. Do you often sear meat at high temperatures or indulge in flavorful, aromatic cooking techniques? Understanding your culinary preferences will help you select a range hood that can handle the specific challenges of your kitchen.
  2. Choose the Right Type: Determine whether a recirculating or vented range hood is better suited for your kitchen. Recirculating hoods filter and recirculate the air, while vented hoods expel pollutants directly outside. Consider your kitchen layout, the feasibility of ductwork, and the extent to which you need to remove heat, moisture, and odors from the kitchen.
  3. Select Quality Filters: Ensure that the range hood you choose includes high-quality filters. HEPA filters are excellent at removing fine particles and allergens, while charcoal filters excel at eliminating odors. Investing in filters that suit your specific needs will enhance the efficiency of your range hood.
  4. Regular Maintenance: Maintain your range hood and its filters regularly. Clean or replace filters as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure continued performance.

Do Recirculating Range Hoods Work?

Recirculating range hoods are typically not as effective as vented ones. But for kitchens with limited access to exterior walls for venting, they are often the best choice. For optimal effectiveness, it’s crucial to choose a high-quality recirculating range hood with sophisticated filters and regularly maintain it. Ultimately, their performance can be quite impressive, making them a viable option for many kitchens.

Testimonials from Satisfied Customers

The true value of any product lies in the experiences of those who have used it. Old World Stoneworks has garnered a wealth of positive testimonials from satisfied customers whose kitchens have been transformed by our range hoods. Customers often praise not only the exceptional craftsmanship and beauty of the hoods but also the dedication and expertise of the Old World Stoneworks team.

Choose a Range Hood to Enhance Your Kitchen!

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Making the Informed Choice for Your Kitchen

In the dynamic world of kitchen design and ventilation, the choice between recirculating and vented range hoods remains a pivotal decision, offering distinct merits and potential limitations. Regardless of your choice, one thing is certain: a well-chosen range hood has a lasting impact on both the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your kitchen. It’s not just an appliance; it’s an architectural masterpiece that enhances your daily culinary experiences.

Old World Stoneworks, with our exceptional cast stone range hoods, has mastered the art of uniting beauty and functionality. Our hoods are not merely ventilation solutions; they are timeless pieces of craftsmanship, capable of transforming your kitchen into a work of art. The durability, customization options, and aesthetic brilliance of Old World Stoneworks’ range hoods set them apart as a remarkable choice for your kitchen.

Ready to elevate your kitchen’s ambiance and utility? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Old World Stoneworks and discover the vast selection of cast stone range hoods today!

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Tips for Taking Care of Your Fireplace During the Off-Season

Tips for Taking Care of Your Fireplace During the Off-Season

A fireplace is excellent for warming the home’s aesthetics and indoor temperatures. That last attribute makes fireplaces a common amenity for homeowners to use during the cold winter months. However, this doesn’t mean you should neglect your chimney during the warm summer months. Read below to find three helpful tips for taking care of your fireplace during the off-season so you can have a cozy, healthy experience using it.

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Home Improvement Projects That Can Increase Your Home Value

Home Improvement Projects That Can Increase Your Home Value

Finding ways to increase a home’s value isn’t always easy because it often requires thinking of what potential buyers want. The right interior and exterior renovations around the house can have a major impact on how buyers perceive your property. Let’s explore the best home improvement projects that can increase your home value. Continue reading

Ways To Create a Fireplace Focal Point With Your Overmantel

Ways To Create a Fireplace Focal Point With Your Overmantel

The overmantel is only one part of a fireplace setup, but it’s a part that you can use to your advantage in a big way. The aesthetic benefits of the overmantel are so effective that you can create a focal point using the overmantel alone. Update your home today using these effective ways to create a fireplace focal point with your overmantel.

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3 Reasons To Install a Fireplace in Your Home

3 Reasons To Install a Fireplace in Your Home

Fireplaces are commonplace in homes. However, you shouldn’t install a fireplace solely because you see it in another house. First, consider what it brings to the space so you can learn how it will help you. A fireplace will make a big impact on your home, and that impact can be for the better. Browse these reasons to install a fireplace in your home to see why it may be the perfect upgrade for your property.

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Precast vs. Cast Stone: What’s the Difference?

Precast vs. Cast Stone: What’s the Difference?

Fireplaces warm up a home, but you can make certain design choices that influence their aesthetics. You can lean into a natural stone texture, or you can move in a different direction. Knowing which path to take to meet specific preferences requires learning what separates the available options. For example, you can install fireplaces using cast or precast building materials. So, when comparing precast vs. cast stone, what’s the difference? Let’s look at what makes each method unique and worth using in your home.

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3 Ways To Make Your Living Room Look More Luxurious

3 Ways To Make Your Living Room Look More Luxurious

Your home may look nice, but does it lack the level of luxury you want? Every homeowner has their own personal taste. That said, everyone can still follow the same steps to convey elegance in the living room. A luxurious living room is particularly powerful because it’s a space for socializing and relaxation. Try these ways to make your living room more luxurious if you want your creativity and personality to shine through.

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factory-built fireplace old world stoneworks

Your Comprehensive Guide to Masonry vs Prefab Fireplace

Usually you can tell at a glance whether a fireplace is masonry or prefab. While traditionalists prefer the aged look of a masonry fireplace, not every house is blessed with one. That’s when a prefabricated fireplace may be the best solution. Both can add that wonderful fire element to your home, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Continue reading

Corner Fireplace Design

Corner fireplaces mantels flummox many people. It’s just not that easy to plan how to lay out your furniture with a corner fireplace. These days, most people wouldn’t deliberately build one into their home. But if you buy or rent a new abode with a corner fireplace, these design tips will help. Continue reading

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Introducing Our New Architectural Cast Stone Capabilities

We are happy to announce that Old World Stoneworks is now a full-scale manufacturer of architectural cast stone products

Over the past 20 years, we have been a full-service manufacturer for both custom cast stone and custom stone products that are used in residential and commercial properties alike. Now we are expanding! Our new cast stone production facility allows us to offer a full range of architectural services for our customers.

Old World Stoneworks has manufactured beautiful fireplace mantels, range hoods,  accessories and more for our customers. Now we are able to provide even more services and products with our improved architectural cast stone capabilities.

Why Cast Stone Is a Popular Choice for Builders

Architectural cast stone, which is a man-made limestone, is a cost-effective alternative to natural limestone because it maintains the inherent characteristics and appearance of real stone. It is popular with home builders because it can be used to create stunning and unique features without breaking the bank.

The budget-friendly nature of cast stone also makes it desirable to commercial builders because they are able to use it for large projects that would be prohibitively expensive otherwise.

Of course, choosing cast stone is about more than just saving money on a building or renovation project. It also is beautiful, fully customizable and durable. Cast stone can be used inside and outside and in any part of a building project. It is used in kitchens, entryways, living rooms, windows, archways, columns and much more.

Cast stone can be utilized well in private homes, apartment complexes, high-end condos, restaurants, office buildings, public gardens, government facilities and more.

Our Cast Stone Services

We are proud that our man-made limestone emulates Indiana limestone, also known as Bedford limestone, which is the highest quality quarried limestone in the United States.

Our new cast stone production facility provides us with the capabilities to provide all of the following cast stone products:

  • Facades
  • Columns
  • Pedestals
  • Window Surrounds
  • Door Surrounds
  • Arches
  • Finials
  • Entries
  • Stairs
  • Banding
  • Signage
  • Wall Caps
  • Balustrades
  • Urns
  • Corbels
  • Pavers
  • Fountains
  • Ornaments
  • Tables
  • Fireplace Mantels
  • And More

Our New Facility

Check out our new production facility!

GIF showing various cast stone products from Old World Stoneworks.

We are able to continue to craft the highest quality indoor and outdoor cast stone pieces, regardless of the size of the project. Our customers range from those who are working on small-scale projects in an individual residential home to those working on significant, large-scale commercial properties.

We also are capable of producing materials at a higher volume than ever before, thanks to the capacity of our new facility.

We are located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which means we are perfectly situated to quickly ship our cast stone products nationwide to wherever you are building.

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Take a Look at What We Have to Offer

We are here to help you find the right cast stone product for your new build or retrofit project. We can assist you with specifying, measuring and planning. We also look forward to answering any questions you have about our cast stone products.

In the meantime, we invite you to look at testimonials from our satisfied customers as well as the photo gallery of our work with six La Madeleine Country French Cafe locations. A video of our Normandy fireplace mantel in the dining room of La Madeleine can be seen on our YouTube page.

Contact us through our website or give us a call at 800-600-8336 to talk about how we can help you find the perfect cast stone product for your build.

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range hood

10 Kitchen Range Hoods That Make a Statement

At Old World Stoneworks, we think a big, bold kitchen range hood makes a powerful statement. Here are 10 of our favorite kitchen range hood styles – some made by us, some by other artisans. Continue reading

Rothton | Cast Stone Fireplace

Types of Stone Hearths

While the word “hearth” is often used interchangeably with “fireplace,” and is a great metaphor for family life, technically it means the floor of the fireplace that often extends into the room.

Choosing a type of stone hearth is not as exciting as selecting a mantel, and may be an afterthought in your purchase process.

But at Old World Stoneworks, we know that the smaller details are all important to the overall look of your room. This week we’ll take a peek at the four different types of stone hearths we offer. Continue reading

kitched range hood

Range Hood Styles For Your Kitchen

Depending on the setup of your kitchen, one style of a kitchen range hood will probably work better than another. Whichever kind of kitchen range hood you install, your kitchen air quality and atmosphere will improve dramatically! Range hoods for kitchens help to remove excess heat, provide additional lighting, make the air cleaner and generally improve your property value. Check out the main styles you will find when looking for the right range hood style to fit your kitchen.

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Upgrade Your Kitchen

Make Your Kitchen the Heart of the Home

You can quickly make your kitchen the inviting heart of your home with some décor tips that are as beautiful as they are easy to adopt. It’s important to understand what an inviting kitchen actually means to you. To some, it might mean clean surfaces while to others it means accessibility. Why not combine the two by bringing together high-end furnishings, design, and architecture with a clean look and feel that’s still organized and welcoming without it looking too polished. A kitchen is meant to make a mess in after all! Continue reading

Amhurst fireplace with extended stone wall design

Featured Walls: Ideas for the Wall Behind your Fireplace Mantel

Creating a featured wall is an easy way to give a room a makeover. In a room with a focal feature, such as an ornate headboard in a bedroom or a gorgeous mantel in a living room, you can make the wall an extension of that special feature. Here are a few ideas of how to use color, contrast, and texture to showcase your mantel and take a wall in your home from ordinary to extraordinary. Continue reading

capri cast stone fireplace mantel

5 Fireplace Seating Ideas for Your Living Room

Now is the perfect time to look ahead towards fall and plan your most important home lounging space: fireside seating. At Old World Stoneworks, we’re connoisseurs of ways to curl up with a book, entertain, or cuddle our favorite canine close to the hearth. Your ideal fireplace seating depends on your personality and passions. Here are five ideas for the upcoming cool nights of autumn, to help you find your fireside personality: Continue reading