More and more homeowners, do-it-yourselfers, builders, and landscapers are making their own manufactured stone today. They can now make stone, tile, brick, and pavers for a fraction of what they had been buying them for, thanks to companies that manufacture and market concrete molds directly to consumers and trades people through the Internet. And now they can make these building products right in their garage, basement, or a shed for pennies each!
Here is some general information about rubber and plastic moulds to make stone, tile, bricks and pavers at home---
First, most of the molds, or moulds, available for the homeowner and do-it-yourselfer are made with some form of semi-rigid plastic to make them affordable, easy to use and readily available. The plastics normally used are ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and polystyrene. Rather than go into the chemical analysis of the various plastic substances used, suffice to say that they all work well, and at a much lower cost than the rubber mold category.
Cost, availability, and the number of different looking items needed for a project, or the yield, are usually the determining factors in using either rubber molds or plastic moulds. The term MOLDS and MOULDS can be used interchangeably and either spelling are acceptable by the way.
Rubber or Plastic? Use The Right Tool For the Job. There are a number of companies marketing various plastic molds made with various materials. As an example, TheMoldStore.com has made molds with .060 or .080 H.I. polystyrene and Industrial ABS plastic for many years. They switched to ABS as their primary plastic a few years ago. These ABS moulds are designed to yield 100 or more pours or pieces each. Some manufacturing companies still use polystyrene exclusively, but polystyrene does not hold up to UV as well as ABS does, thus shortening the useful shelf life
Plastic moulds are an excellent and inexpensive alternative to high cost rubber molds, which are designed and priced mainly for high-volume commercial production of the same design over and over. So if you need a single design, style, texture, or size, that you will need hundreds of, consider the extra initial cost of a rubber mold. For lighter-textured items like bricks, pavers, some stone, and most tiles, plastic is the way to go. Their low initial cost should make them your primary consideration.
One big advantage to rubber molds is that they offer the benefit of duplicating items with an undercut, such as statuary and very heavily textured masters, due to their flexibility when de-molding. There are varying opinions regarding plastic molds and rubber molds ability to duplicate a texture consistently though. There is no question that a rubber mold will do a better job if you want to duplicate a stone that offers a very high or deep texture. One school of thought feels that while rubber offers a much more textured design initially, the question comes up--- will the rubber wear off since it is softer than plastic? Will it eventually give less and less duplication of the original model as the concrete wears the softer rubber away? What of designs with smooth textures to start out with? Is the extra cost of rubber worth it if you only need a hundred or so of the same item? And since a stone style like River Rock starts out so smooth… should you spend the extra money on a rubber mold, when plastic will do fine--- and at a fraction of the cost per square foot of a rubber mould? These are legitimate questions you need to ask yourself.
One of the biggest benefits of using ABS molds or moulds is that they offer a very competitive "cost per piece made" when compared to rubber molds. The marketing logic and rationale of most plastic mold companies is, "why pay the high cost for one rubber mold designed to make 500 pieces of the same design, when you can have five to ten or more different mold designs that can make 100+ pieces each for the same cost? It basically breaks down to how many pieces of each design or style of mold you need for your project.
The main consideration with rubber molds is the cost factor. Materials and labor costs put rubber corner molds, and even flat rubber molds, out of the reach of what most do-it-yourselfers, homeowners, and anyone but high-volume commercial producers of stone and pavers would be willing to pay. When you consider that one rubber mold to make one lineal foot of corner stone can cost as much as $75.00, you can understand why most DIYers with a stone project, are looking for an inexpensive alternative to corner and flat stone molds made of rubber.
The issue is basically a matter of cost efficiencies. Mold companies like Olde World Molds and other large mold companies that manufacture plastic molds are offering consumers an inexpensive way to make their own stone veneer, tile, brick, pavers, etc., for pennies instead of paying dollars a square foot. But they are limited to somewhat flat or slightly curved surfaces to cover for the most part… not corners. If mold companies included corner molds with their inexpensive flat stone, tile, and brick mold sets, the prices for those mold sets would no longer be so reasonable. And there's no need! There are easy ways that the typical do-it-yourselfer can get around the corner mold problem when making their own stone, bricks, or tiles for an installation.
In another article--- WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU NEED STONE CORNERS, we address a number of different ways of getting around the corner mold problem. For consumers making and installing their own stone, brick, and tile, when corners are part of the project, there are inexpensive alternatives that virtually anyone can use. Where there's a will--- there's a way
The Best Molds for Manufactured Stone, Tile, and Bricks--- Plastic or Rubber?
John McKenzie Panagos founded Olde World Stone and Tile Molds in 1992. As a pioneer, he is an authority in the DIY stone and tile mold products segment of the concrete industry. He's written numerous training manuals and articles for the manufactured stone industry.
Should you need... molds or moulds, colorant, concrete sealer, stains, or other concrete, cement, or plaster supplies for your handyman or home improvement project, please visit our catalogue website at www.TheMoldStore.com or our shopping cart website at http://www.TheMoldStore.us to get ideas. If you are interested in starting a concrete stone and veneer, or concrete and cement paver, brick or tile business, visit our Olde World Stone & Tile Business Opportunity website at www.Oldeworld.com for full details, instructions and various stone making and other concrete product making packages. We also offer D-I-Y Packages in our catalogue and on our shopping cart websites.
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