For hundreds of years, natural stone has been considered the standard of luxury and respectability. In the digital age, nothing has changed: natural stone is still held in high esteem, only humanity was able to create an artificial analogue. It costs less, weighs less, and even surpasses natural stone in some characteristics. Artificial stone began to be widely used in finishing works, incl. and to create window sills. We figure out how to choose an artificial stone window sill, and what is important to pay attention to in the first place.
Advantages and disadvantages
Windowsills are usually made of plastic. It is inexpensive, relatively aesthetically pleasing, but not very durable and already somehow boring. A natural stone window sill will look much more elegant, will last for decades, but you will have to pay a large sum. A compromise solution is artificial stone window sills. The material is made from a mineral filler, polymer, dyes and various additives. The result is a product that is difficult to distinguish in appearance from natural stone. Interestingly, the technology was created in 1967 and was originally needed for bone prosthetics, and only then it began to be used in construction.
Advantages of artificial stone window sills:
- the cost is much lower than that of natural stone;
- durability up to 50 years with appropriate care;
- high strength and resistance to stress;
- moisture resistance, since there are no pores in artificial stone (unlike many natural rocks). Such a window sill can be safely used even in the bathroom. Mold and mildew will not live on it;
- fairly simple restoration when defects appear;
- wide choice – the technology allows you to copy the structure of any stone;
- low weight simplifies installation and reduces the load on the supports;
- the ability to order a window sill of any configuration and size. The technology allows you to create large enough products without seams;
- easy care.
- artificial stone is more expensive than plastic, ceramic tiles, wood and many other materials used to organize the windowsill. But the appearance is completely different;
- some types of artificial stone are afraid of high temperatures, therefore it is better not to put hot on them (it is important when organizing a kitchen space).
Artificial stone is made using different technologies. For the manufacture of window sills, quartz agglomerate, acrylic stone, cast marble and polyester stone are used. Each of these materials has its own pros and cons.
Acrylic stone window sill
It was with acrylic stone that the era of artificial stone production began. Since its introduction in the 60s, the technology has certainly changed, but the principle has remained the same. Stone chips (60-70%) are mixed with aluminum hydroxide, acrylic resins and dye. The resulting viscous mixture is poured into a mold, followed by cooling and shaping the material.
- the ability to get a stone of any shape and size, and even large window sills will not have seams;
- the ability to get an intricate curved window sill;
- variety of designs;
- high moisture resistance, strength, durability;
- resistance to temperature extremes;
- durability, and over time the color of the product does not change;
- a warm surface, so that, if desired, the window sill can be used as a seat;
- high maintainability.
Although acrylic stone is highly durable and resistant to mechanical stress, scratches may remain on it over time. Therefore, even when leaving, it is not recommended to use abrasive detergents. But all scratches and other defects can be easily removed during the repair process. Acrylic stone is fire resistant, but constant heat can lead to yellowing.
Polyester stone window sill
Polyester stone is rarely used. This is a cheaper analogue of acrylic stone, in the production of which polyester resins are used instead of acrylic resins. Durability and moisture resistance remain high, but there are some limitations. The material does not allow the creation of curved window sills, and in the first days after installation, the product will emit a specific odor that will soon disappear.
Quartz stone window sill
Quartz stone is as close as possible to natural stone in properties, and even surpasses it in some parameters. It contains almost the same components as acrylic / polyester stone – the only difference is their quantity. As a mineral filler, quartz chips are taken, its part reaches 92-94%. Everything else is polyester resins (or other polymer binders), dyes, additives. The product is formed under the influence of high temperatures and vibration. The production is carried out in a vacuum environment to avoid the ingress of impurities. The result is an artificial stone that surpasses natural counterparts in many respects.
- highest strength. Quartz stone is superior not only to acrylic stone, but also granite;
- it is almost impossible to leave scratches on the material, therefore washing can be done by any means, incl. abrasive;
- moisture resistance due to the absence of pores;
- resistance to high and low temperatures. A hot frying pan or saucepan will not leave a trace, and this is very important for the windowsill in the kitchen. Acrylic stone from some manufacturers is damaged when exposed to high temperatures;
- high durability;
There are also disadvantages. It is more difficult to damage a quartz stone than an acrylic one, but if a defect appears, it is almost impossible to make a restoration. The surface of the material turns out to be cold, which makes it as similar as possible to natural stone, but with constant use it can cause discomfort.
Cast marble window sill
Natural marble is a beautiful stone, but fragile and porous. In the production of cast marble, it is possible to get rid of some disadvantages. The material is made on the basis of marble chips (up to 80%), polymer binder and various additives. The result is an agglomerate that is stronger than natural marble in terms of strength. In addition, it is devoid of pores, therefore it will better tolerate moisture. Such a stone can withstand temperatures up to + 800C, therefore, objects that are too hot cannot be placed on it. Casting stone is cheaper than acrylic, but has not become widespread.
Artificial stone manufacturers
Artificial stone window sills are made to order. As a result, you get a unique product that most closely matches your requirements (size, shape, color, etc.). Companies, as a rule, use ready-made artificial stone from which they make window sills. There are not so many artificial stone manufacturers, and there are even fewer good manufacturers.
The largest and most time-tested manufacturers of artificial stone include:
Corian (USA) is a stone produced by DuPont, which once created the first artificial stone. Makes acrylic stone of the highest quality, in a huge variety of colors and textures;
Montelli (USA / China) – acrylic and quartz stone with excellent strength characteristics, but limited model range. But the prices from the manufacturer are excellent. The stone is produced by DuPont;
Sansung (South Korea) produces Staron acrylic stone, the composition of the material, among other components, includes white clay. Products are presented in several collections for easy selection. The price / quality ratio is one of the best on the market, which ensured the popularity of the products;
Akrilika (Germany) produces high-quality and inexpensive products, supplies materials of non-standard sizes. Some people complain that the company’s stone is too fragile, but when it comes to the windowsill, this is not such a significant drawback;
LG (South Korea) produces Hi-Macs stone, which is notable for its reasonable price and quite good quality;
Tristone (South Korea) offers a wide range of stones in several collections;
Hanwha (South Korea) produces Hanex stone. The assortment is sufficient, the operational qualities are also at their best.
KamenPro company manufactures artificial stone window sillsusing materials from the world’s leading manufacturers. More than 1200 samples of stone in various shades are available. In 3 days the company will make a window sill of any shape, it is possible to manufacture products with complex shapes and intricate edges.
Window sill shape
From the material provided by the manufacturer, companies that manufacture artificial stone window sills can obtain products of almost any shape:
a rectangular window sill – a classic of the genre, appropriate in any room;
bay window sill is great for decorating bay windows. The product has a semicircular cut;
half-window with a slight bend looks good in the corner of the room;
the figured window sill has a complex shape with numerous bends.
If necessary, convection slots can be cut on the stone so as not to impede the movement of warm air masses. It is especially important to provide for them when the heating radiator is completely or partially hidden by the finish.
The end of the window sill can be simply smooth or have curly processing – the choice depends on the characteristics of the interior. If desired, you can even engrave on the end.
Window sill dimensions
The length and depth of the sill depends on the window opening and your own preferences. You can take out the window sill by 10 cm, or you can – by 30 cm, turning it into an additional tabletop. The width depends on the width of the window opening. With thickness, everything is somewhat more complicated. Stone window sills with a thickness of 12 mm are popular, but many experts argue that this is not always enough. To make the product strong, durable, able to withstand loads and be used as a table top, it is better to order a window sill 30 mm thick. Naturally, the greater the thickness, the more durable the product will be.
Color and design
Manufacturers offer artificial stone in different shades – from white to almost black. Which to choose? Depends on the interior and personal preference. Remember that shades that are too dark and saturated are not suitable for small rooms. You can combine the color of the window sill with another element in the room. In the kitchen, for example, the worktop and window sill can be made of the same material. The same goes for the bathroom. In the living room, you can focus on the color of the furniture. Stone window sills go well with both plastic and wooden windows.
Artificial stone window sills look great in any room and fit into any interior style. And most importantly, they will serve for a long time.