In today’s market you have to be extremely cautious when purchasing virtually anything. Fireplaces are high-value item where most customers have little or no knowledge, and are certainly no exception to the rule.
How to identify a false or fake marble or stone fireplace
1. The most important rule to begin with is to clearly read the description of the item you are purchasing prior to placing an order. The majority of retailers will not risk passing on false information in writing. When visiting showrooms is often trickier as the majority of conversation is by verbal means rather than a written verification of what you are purchasing. It is important to always ask for a brochure (or any type of literature) relating to the fireplace which are about to purchase. If the showroom does do have any brochure is available for the fire surround that you’re interested in, then always ask for a written quote prior to placing an order.
2. All stone fireplaces are cold to touch and this is often a clever means to test the material that the fire surround is made up of. If the product you are touching is warm then there is a strong chance that it is made from an MDF background with a cleverly concealed paint which emulates the look and feel of a genuine marble fireplace.
3. Stone fireplaces on average weigh 23 stone and are certainly not made up of a lightweight material. It is a good idea to always check the weight of the fireplace before placing an order, this is a good indication of the quality of material that is used to manufacture fire surround.
Cheap alternative man made marble and stone fireplaces
1. With the advancement of technology, replica marble and stone fireplaces can often made using a resin-based mixture which is not 100% genuine marble. Micro marble is a man made material which comprises of 80% crushed up marble powder with 20% resin. Although Micro marble fireplaces look almost identical to 100% not natural marble fireplaces, there are distinctively different. Micro marble is essentially a man made material and should not cost as much as a natural fireplace. It is also possible to purchase stone fireplaces, which are made using an amalgamation of crushed natural stone mixed with resin.
By using a resin based fire surround such as a Micro marble fireplace or an artificial stone fireplace, your fireplace will have less resistance to heat and for that reason is frequently not suitable for solid fuel wood burning fires. These types of fireplaces are only suitable for gas or electric inset fires.
2. Jura stone fireplaces are manufactured using an aesthetically pleasing marble, and applying a visually appealing coat of paint on the surface of the marble. By doing this, the manufacturer is able to retain the look and feel of a marble fireplace without incurring the cost. The main disadvantage of Jura stone marble fireplaces is that there is only a thin layer (usually 3 mm) of aesthetically pleasing material, which essentially reduces the overall hardware in nature of the fireplace.
It is very important to not mistake Micro marble fireplaces with Jura stone fireplaces or 100% natural marble fireplaces, as there is a distinct difference between all three products.