Antico Elements Blog

Best Brick Options

Posted on August 30, 2013

Great Alternative to Using Natural Brick.

Nobody can forget the classic design of brick. Brick has been used for centuries and it always gives the impression of traditional themes. Many houses use brick columns or walls in their home to give it a unique and cozy look. Many businesses also use brick in their spaces. Brick is a common way to create a traditional yet rustic look. For example, when someone walks into a pizza shop in Miami, Florida and they see classic brick design in the entrance and around the brick oven they feel as if they stepped into a Brooklyn, New York Pizzeria.

Low Quality Product

Unfortunately, brick has many limitations and it is expensive to install. The material cost is not only high but also the labor cost of installing it is exorbitant. In addition, brick  forms mildew over time which has to be maintained for the correct look.  The list of problems with real brick are extensive and I could bore you with the scientific details but I will save you the time and research since I already did the leg work. So what do we do if we don’t want to lose the great appeal that brick has but we don’t want the trouble that comes with it.

Well the best option is to use faux brick because it is durable, easy to install and more cost-time effective. Imitation brick has all of the benefits and none of the disadvantages associated with brick. It gives the appearance of real brick without any of the drawbacks. Imagine that blank old looking wall in dire need of some attention thankfully, veneer brick is extremely user friendly and quick to install.

Great faux brick installation

Great faux brick installation

Whether it is a restaurant or a home, polyurethane is the answer to creating that brick look you wanted without the headache.  There are various styles of imitation brick so that way there is no end to what they can be matched with. So when looking to redecorate don't worry you can still get that great brick look without all the disadvantages of brick.

Redesigning Means Redefining

Posted on August 29, 2013

Redesigning Your Home Or Business Just Got Easy

Redefine your life and work by redesigning your home or workplace. Designers love to put their own style into every project they take care of because it gives them a chance to explore the boundaries of our world. Interior designers see it all the time, it is the look people get when they walk into a room and they are vivified by what they are enjoying with their eyes. Our eyes represent the window to our soul and designers’ goals are to attract that soul to the beauty or unique elements of their design. After enjoying countless art shows and furniture exhibitions a person comes to the conclusion that art and function go hand in hand. Combining art and function flawlessly is the key to making a happy customer. Designers from all over the spectrum have realized that a direct line to their customer’s ears is important but most important is being able to cater to your clients desires.

American BedroomWhen deciding on a medium and mode with your clients it is essential to never use the words, “I can’t”. That phrase signifies a failure on the part of the designer for not being creative enough to give the client what they want therefore they may lose a client simply because they couldn't give them what they wanted. Realistically, there are limitations that just can’t be overcome but, for all of the other issues there is always a way to resolve them in order to make everyone happy. In the planning stage of a project it is important to make sure that you are using the correct medium for your design.

Happy Designs

Making people happy does not just mean giving somebody what they want but, also educating them on what is right for their project. Faux stone or brick bypasses a lot of these problems. For example, a client living in a penthouse who wants to build a fireplace may want to have a limestone or stone mantle and face for the fireplace. At this point the designer could step in with a complement on the idea while redirecting them back to reality.

In reality you would need a carpenter and a mason in their penthouse all day for about two or three days if everything goes as planned. They would have to cover the floor and hope that none of the workers destroy the priceless white marble floors. Then the amount of dust brought on from the construction would require the workers to put a plastic sheet around doors and vents to prevent the massive amounts of dust from flying around the house making a constant mess. Then you have the loud noise brought on by the workers which not only prevents the client from enjoying their penthouse but it bothers the neighbors as well. Here is the good part, clients and designers can avoid all of this with a simple application of the cure all remodeling tool which is faux stone or brick, even architectural elements can complement any project since the material is so versatile.

Trade Show Exhibit

Trade Show Exhibit

So for the next big project when the client asks for something that might seem impossible do not fret. Applying imitation stone or brick products do not look tacky or unprofessional when done right. Obviously, there are different grades of production and some companies may not produce the highest quality product as other companies but, do not let the bad apples ruin the batch because this is a great asset for designers in different fields. Polyurethane products come in hundreds of different forms and can be applied in many ways since it is waterproof and UV proof. This enables designers to cover up blank areas and make the project look great in a fraction of the time. Polyurethane once hardened is very durable and lightweight which makes it easy to handle which makes most designers happy to hear since they understand it is not labor intensive. Design for life, love, and luxury and enjoy your next project.

Porch Design Ideas using Column And Post Wraps

Posted on August 28, 2013

 The Staple For the All American Home Is The Porch.

Classic American Porch

Classic American Porch

The American dream is defined by that picturesque porch with its strong columns and beautiful facing. Now the homeowner who needs new ideas on how to bring that dead porch back to life has help. The help comes in the form of faux stone or brick. Faux or imitation stone and brick can drastically change and redefine that beautiful porch of yours. Now you can grab that great stone look for your columns or facing for less than half the price without the headache.

The porch defines the personality and character of the home. It can make a home look menacing and sinister or it can be bright and inviting. Either way the porch sets the mood and ambiance of the home. This is why many people like to paint or fix up their porch when they move into a new home or if they want to spruce up their home. The best way to do this is by using faux stone or brick to give you the look of a large construction project even though it only takes less than half a day. Take a look at the blank canvas of a porch shown below.

This blank porch example shows us the pitfall of having a porch that is not reaching its true potential. You walk into a house that is unexciting, blank, and lacking character this could mean the loss of a sale for the realtor or homeowner since nobody would feel like buying this house or will they even remember it as they search for houses. The goal of remodeling the porch is to redefine the  character of the house house. By utilizing faux stone or brick you can remodel your house quickly and at a low cost.

Adding faux stone also helps raise value to your house while saving you the large cost associated with natural stone implementation. Take a look at the house below and we can see the difference in the effect created and the way it can radically change the perception of a house.

Front Porch

Front Porch

Giving your porch a facelift has never been easier. With any idea and concept you can imagine imitation stone or brick can reach its full potential. Bringing your porch back to life never got easier with all the choices from sand style to brick style anything is possible which is why people are falling in love with these products.  For example, column wraps are great ways to cover unwanted blemishes or bad paint. The column wraps simply interlock with each other and can easily be cut to fit the size of the project. This is a great way to wrap up your porch with beautiful texture and color reviving the life in your porch.

New Trends In Interior & Exterior Design.

Posted on August 27, 2013

New Trends Means New  Opportunity.

New Trends In Interior & Exterior Design.

The conversation among designers in the furniture, architecture, and interior/exterior design industry have all recognized and felt the change. Perhaps due to a rough economy people have started to change their style by switching from expensive loud designs to more rustic utilitarian styles. In this day and age less is more and many people have recognized this. In some of the most beautiful hotels or resorts around the world they have switched from elaborate loud designs to more rustic elements with subtle hints of color. These designs emphasize quality and earthy tones such as these faux stone columns which were built in a fraction of the time of real stone and looks even better due to the even continuous flow of the pattern and grout lines. These multicolored stones reflect the landscape and highlight the beauty and tranquility of the setting by matching with nature instead of clashing with it.

white-chicago-brickMost urban hotels embrace the modern utilitarian style which has been thoroughly enhanced with the use of polyurethane products. For example, designers like Saccarro furniture inc., as well as others, have thoroughly embraced the use of faux stone or brick to create that rustic texture without sacrificing the utilitarian style.

In the picture below we can see how this product can be applied in many different styles. Businesses are a great way to reflect the direction interior and exterior design. With the rejuvenation of the economy a new generation of designers and builders have come to light. Various buildings are being built around the world that reflects the change in style towards a modern, sleek yet utilitarian style. These elements have been enhanced and complemented by the use of faux stone or brick. Designers have started to apply faux stone or brick to their designs to bring that rustic look to life in their projects.

Bar Design With Stone

Bar Design With Stone

Tips On Saving Money And Time On Your Next Renovation

Posted on August 26, 2013

The do it yourself project has a new helper in the home improvement world. This helper is called Polyurethane. It is a hardened resin that is the basis for faux or imitation stone. This product pushes the envelope furthering the reach of anyone who wants to improve their home. When trying to redesign your home imagine being able to create a stone fireplace or stone skirting around your house without the actual labor cost and time to use natural stone. Labor costs could run about 1000-1100 dollars per every 19.2 hours of labor (according to, homewyse updated January 2013). This does not include set up or clean up time. If you are having the project supervised by the contractor add about 12% to the total cost for their time. As you can see there many factors that come into play when using real stone and on top it you may not get the great uniform look you wanted.

With all the labor costs involved it is important to remember because you avoid the cost by doing the project yourself. Obviously, most people do not have masonry or advanced carpentry skills therefore making most projects impossible to do by themselves. The faux stone and brick products provide a different avenue for them by saving time and money. Plus it enables anybody to remodel their home.

Faux Sheet InstallationThe stacked or row panel design is simple to fit together and measure. It is easy to cut eliminating clean up and preparation work. This product is the best for anybody looking to spice up that boring basement or living room. Crafty people love to do projects that are easy and fun to do which is what makes this product a viable option not only for contractors and designers but for all kinds of people. People take pride in the work they do and the additions and unique modifications they make on their home.

Installing Faux Stone Sheets

Installing Faux Stone Sheets

All you have to do is glue and go after making your cuts. These panels provide an easy way for the homeowner to improve their home without it becoming an arduous process. Taking a look at the different options when remodeling your home may scare away even the most handy people. This usually happens when presented with the work and time that it takes but imitation panels take care of all these problems effectively. Any quick look on the internet can give the reader a multitude of ideas that are pertaining to the task at hand.

When using this specific product for your project remember if you like the brick style there are faux brick panels available. The great thing about using faux brick is that you won’t get any cracks developing in the brick over time. In addition, you will not spend hours laying down the brick in an even pattern all you have to do is glue and go. It is highly recommended to use drywall screws in order to secure the panel as a secondary measure. Now is the time for renovations because with this product you have a sidekick to rescue your home from disrepair and boredom. Enjoy and remember to have fun doing it yourself, saving money, and saving time.

Rescuing Your Renovation

Posted on August 24, 2013

Rescuing Your Renovation

Most people are daunted with the task of renovating their bathroom or kitchen because of the construction time and the cost. Imagine if there was a product that enabled to do a month’s worth of work in one day. Now imagine if that long clean-up process changed from hours to minutes. Now the once seemingly daunting mountain of a task turns into a simple day project. So do not fear when you look at your old bathrooms and kitchens because there is an answer to all your problems and concerns.

Patio bar and grill Faux Stone Example

Patio bar and grill Faux Stone Example

The answer lies in faux stone or brick.  Many designers have used this product to extend the reach of their creativity so why can’t homeowners have the same fun. The bathrooms and kitchens are the most heavily trafficked areas in the home. The designs of those areas reflect the personality of the homeowner. So it is important to take the design choices into your own hands. Once you have visualized what style or mood you want for the room you are working on take a picture. Use that picture as a before picture and then take one after to show you the drastic difference. Polyurethane products is waterproof so it could be applied in a bathroom with no problem and no damage. Plus it is easy to clean with simple soap, water and a rag.

Learning to use faux stone is simple and fun. Imitation stone is made for regular people to use and install. Plus there are hundreds of how to and help articles all over the internet. In the articles you will see the endless ways this material can be applied. Veneer stone or brick can be applied to flat and curved surfaces. This flexibility helps give room to the creativity of the project making the homeowner. With natural stone the heavy weight and character of the stones make it extremely difficult and time consuming to do. The kitchen and bathroom have many curves and corners.

Between a tub or a kitchen table and cabinets it would be a nightmare to fit the stone to fit the room.  The time and effort it would take to remodel you kitchen or bathroom with any stone is the reason most people don’t do it. For example check out this bar done on the patio complemented by the wall.

With the advent of faux stone you can renovate and remodel both the rooms in one day. Now this is the difference maker not only can you renovate and revolutionize your home but you can do it in one day. The durable and waterproof material of polyurethane enables you to put it in any position in any room. Just look again and imagine what you want to change. Make your boring bathroom into relaxing oasis in one day. Here is the panel used for this project. www.anticoelements.com/alpi-sand

Faux Stone Almond Bathroom ExampleFaux stone or brick can easily give you the modern and sophisticated look you are searching for or you can go with a rustic look and feel. The possibilities are the endless the main point is that this product saves the homeowner money and time. Plus it helps add value to your home without losing an arm and a leg.  Take a look at the example below.

This example shows us the wide range of uses that polyurethane products can provide. Before the bathroom was like a blank slate with so much potential now it looks like a luxurious bathroom you may find in a hotel or nice restaurant. So do not be afraid of tackling that renovation project because faux stone just made it possible for you to do it yourself, so you can have fun and get a new bathroom in the process.

Fireplace Makeover

Posted on August 23, 2013

The fireplace is usually a dominant characteristic of any home. Its central location in the home guarantees every guest will see it. The fireplace is iconic so using a unique design to make your home a little cozier is important.When most people buy a home they like to make it unique. Fireplaces represent the most common icon of any home because it usually is the first thing people see when they step into a home.

Before Faux stone fireplace:
Fireplace before faux stone installed around it

When considering changing or decorating your fireplace consider using faux stone if you plan to do it yourself. Any fireplace can be easily transformed in a day with the faux stone panels. The greatest advantage is the diversity of different colors and textures that you can apply. Paint will fade and create a mess and stress in the process. Replacing the whole fireplace set or columns etc. will be expensive, tedious, and messy. The best way to avoid this and save money and time is simply using faux stone or brick to accentuate and revolutionize your fireplace.

The durable material is called polyurethane. It should still be kept at least five to six inches from the heat source. There have been many people who had extra masonry done around their fireplace, yet they constantly complain about how long it takes and how much dust was bothering them. For any design purpose faux stone or brick could be applied to the fireplace. We could take a plain beige wall and white fireplace and transform it into one of the most appealing and unique fireplaces in any home.  Find your color theme then establish the mood you want to set. Then take your measurements and just apply it to the surfaces. Within one day you have a new fireplace. The best feeling is knowing that you did it yourself and saved money while beautifying your home and increasing its unique qualities and characteristics.

Remodeled Fireplace

Remodeled Fireplace

When redesigning your fireplace take a look at the edges and the furniture. Observe the colors you have in the room and the texture. If you want to change the color and texture faux stone or brick can do both. Redesigning is also redefining your living space and lifestyle. By creating your own version you are putting yourself in the designer’s seat so have fun and explore your options. Once enough research has been done the logical conclusion will be to use the faux stone if you want to contrast or accent the fireplace in your humble abode. Good luck and have fun with your project.  For more great ideas check out this link - http://www.anticoelements.com/blog/stone-fireplace-designs-and-remodel/.

What is Faux Stone?

Posted on August 23, 2013
Reusable faux stone panels for a bar

Reusable faux stone panels in a new bar

The Dawn of the "faux stone age" has arrived. It is a new trend has taken the home improvement and construction industry by storm which is the use of faux stone or imitation stone. Essentially the products are made from a durable material known as polyurethane. This material’s versatility is what makes it ideal for any stone project. The texture and color create an earthy yet sophisticated look that can be applied anywhere from restaurants to penthouses.  This product delivers an easy to install ready to go home or business make over.

Stone Below counterThe difference is the drastic change in textures and colors brought to any room for an incredibly lower price. People and customers in any country have found that you can apply this to any project. Why though are people so truly happy with this product? Because most people most people have fun doing a project on their own and they like saving money at the same time. If you think you have not seen it take a look at these pictures and decide because they are more common than most people think.

Since the applications are endless faux stone puts the homeowner in the driver seat of their own home makeover. This is exactly the success of faux stone products those two words “Home Makeover”. Home makeover shows have been flooded the television market. In every show we see a confused homeowner not sure of what they can and can’t do to revitalize their home.  With the onset of faux stone they can visualize the project they are working and then do it themselves for such a low cost that many people have flocked to this cure all for home transformation.

Not only have many people flocked to this product for its easy to use applications but, also because of the guarantee provided by the manufacturer. The manufacturer’s warranty guarantee reflects the quality of the product and the faith the manufacturer puts in it. Credibility and reliability are important in any project which is why it is important to see how much faith a manufacturer puts in its product. Faux stone is reliable and gives the customer the ability to be creative and save money at the same time. These are just a few of the main reason why faux stone is hitting the home improvement industry with a huge splash. Take a look around your home or apartment and imagine the possibilities because with this product anything is possible.

The Ultimate Interior and Exterior Design Makeover Product.

Posted on August 22, 2013
Example of faux stone fireplace.

Example of faux stone fireplace.

Faux stone has been in the home improvement market for about five to six years. Since then it has substantially increased in sales due to the fact that is the ultimate medium for decorating interior or exterior sections of your house without sacrificing time and labor cost. For any room in any size and shape faux stone can be applied. Some of the most amazing applications are the use of faux stone in a shower, yes even in a shower.

There are no ends to it application. Another great interior example is the use of it on a ceiling. This gives the occupant of the room the feeling that they are in a beautiful earthy cabin with stone walls and a stone ceiling, thereby transforming a dead and tired master bedroom into a luxurious oasis from the stress of the day.

Just above the text is a great picture of the different uses of faux stone to revitalize a boring looking fireplace into a luxurious cozy place to relax and socialize. A great example of the variety of interior uses was the application to a bar. The homeowner was tired of looking at a plain unappealing bar for his den. The bar itself was a curved surface with the span of ten feet. Faux stone can be slightly molded and bent in order to fit the curve of the bar. The homeowner was incredibly pleased with himself now boasting he had built his own beautiful bar. The faux stone gave not only gave it a modern look but also was easy to install. Interior design was revolutionized with this product. Interior designers or set designers can easily use and reuse faux stone to transform any room or set.

Some of the biggest projects are done on the exterior of the house. These projects help make the home unique and more pleasing to the eyes. Sometimes people hide chipped paint or faded areas of the house with faux stone giving it a durable and long lasting clean fresh look. Many people love the versatility of faux stone and the value and depth it adds to any home. From mobile home skirting to column wrapping just about anything on the exterior can be reshaped and transformed with the use of faux stone. With simple measurements a couple simple tools anybody can change their house into a home. The difference is the personalization and customization of the house thereby making it your unique home. So if you were thinking of renovating or simply adding value to your home faux stone provides the easiest, fastest, and best way to do that while saving money.

Stacked Stone Fireplace

Fireplace With Faux Stacked Stone Panels Facing

Do You Want To Cover Concrete Foundations With Faux Brick Or Stone? No Problem.

Posted on August 15, 2013

The use of formed concrete foundations or prefab and insulated walls are simply the standard in today’s construction world. After all, have you seen anyone build a foundation with stone or cinder blocks lately? We didn’t think so. Nobody today is willing to spend the money necessary to build the foundation with a material that provides a better finished look, right away.

Before Stone Cladding

Before Stone Cladding

Most of the homes you see today have an exposed concrete foundation that either looks like rough concrete or that has a brick pattern which undoubtedly looks fake.

What can you do in this situation?

Painting those walls is just going to make a very small cosmetic improvement. Many who are not aware of other solutions ahve also used vinyl siding, with the results we all see around us. What you really are left with is covering the concrete foundation with realistic faux stone, rocks or brick. You have already spent a considerable amount of money to build the house and the foundation so, most likely, you will want to find an affordable faux stone cladding solution.

Available stone cladding options.

1- Paint. As mentioned this provides a visually small improvement but it’s definitely affordable.

2- You could look into applying a layer of textured stucco. This wouldn’t clearly work where the foundation has a brick pattern. The stucco will follow those fake grout lines and show what is behind it. It is also not that affordable as the foundation has to be prepared and the stucco must be applied with a trowel, which is labor-intensive.

After Stone Cladding

After Stone Cladding

3- Some companies who normally install this type of cladding are used to cast stone, which is made of heavy concrete mixes. They say it is a lighter alternative to real stone or brick but it is still quite heavy nonetheless. Stucco cannot be applied directly to the concrete as well, particularly if it has been already painted. In most cases you will need to install a layer of plywood or flat boards on which to glue block by block.

4- Use a light weight faux stone that solves a wide range of hurdles. When using faux rock and stone panels you will bypass the biggest obstacle of the project; the preparation of the concrete wall.
This material will also remove the constant need to fix peeling and dark moldy spots.
Faux stone panels are usually less than two inches thick so they integrate well with siding materials above the foundation level. The size and look of the stones are very different so you are not stuck with just one pattern and color.
As you know, concrete is one of the worst insulating materials and it transmits the outside temperatures to the inside of the wall. This is mostly the reason why basements are so cold. Using a layer of faux stone, the one made of resins that provide an R4 or R5 insulation factor, will protect you for extreme temperatures.
Paint, stucco or cast stone will not do that therefore the saving in using faux rocks also shows up in your heating and cooling bills.

Stone below siding

Stone below siding

Another great article on how to use faux stone as siding is here:
http://www.anticoelements.com/blog/just-in-stacked-stone-panels-to-reface-a-home-facade/

Let's not forget one of the most important advantages and that is the savings in labor costs.

For an example of how easy it is to install these panels make sure to visit our Installation Pages.
http://www.anticoelements.com/blog/installation-pages/

One thing these faux stone panels are great for is the skirting of a mobile home or raised home. If you have an open space below the foundation of your home there is a very simple solution. House skirting with panels of stone. All you have to do is create a simple frame with vertical strips and glue/screw the faux stone on them. It will look like a real and solid stone wall.