Rock and stone have long been the go-to materials for building ponds and waterfalls in yards and gardens. But as the trend for more and larger outdoor living spaces accelerates, many contractors are finding a way to avoid the hassle and expense of working with 1-ton boulders and rock that doesn’t fit. They’ve become members of the faux-rock fan club.
Modified Concrete and Rebar-Reinforced Artificial Rocks
With today’s concrete choices, artificial rocks can be molded, textured, and colored to match the look of real rock. It’s typically less expensive, lighter weight and easier to work with, and large rocks and boulders can be made on location, eliminating the cost and trouble of getting them to the job site.
Faux rock can be made of many different materials including fiberglass, rubber, and plaster. But concrete modified with polymers or fiber reinforcement is stronger, more realistic-looking, and can be shaped and cut onsite to fit. Larger rocks can be reinforced with mesh or rebar making them even stronger than the natural rock they replace. And since they’re often made onsite, ugly plumbing and electrical runs can be hidden without the need to cut or drill through tough stone.
Cast vs. Sculpted Concrete Rocks
Concrete rocks are typically made one of two ways—cast or sculpted. Casting gives authentic-looking rocks because molds are made from real rock and then filled with an appropriate concrete mix. Sculpted rocks are made by applying layers of shotcrete reinforced by metal bars or lath and shaping and texturing the mixture with hand tools to achieve the desired look. This technique is commonly used to produce large boulders or for rock used in tall or cantilevered structures. It’s extremely strong while remaining relatively lightweight.
Faux Rock Finishing and Sealing
Faux rock can be textured with brushes and hand tools, or it can be pressed with rubber or foil stamps. They can be integrally colored or stained to look authentic. The faux rock is then sealed to prevent fading. Properly sealed, faux rock can last a lifetime.
Create Outdoor Landscape Drama on a Budget
Artificial rocks made of concrete are an economical, efficient way to build dramatic water features, gardens, and landscapes. For a look at how they can be used in water features, view this gallery of concrete water features at ConcreteNetwork.com.
Outdoor living spaces enhanced with ponds, waterfalls, and fire pits are one of the fastest-growing items on homeowners’ must-have lists. Using the right tools ensure results you’ll be proud to show off. Whatever your concrete cutting and coring requirements may be, equipment and tools from Ace Cutting Equipment are your choice for top-quality results.
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