Cultured Marble is a pour molded mix of Polyester Resin and a granulate filler, usually Calcium Carbonate, commonly called Limestone. Limestone is the same mineral that has become natural marble in some areas of the world. It is covered with a layer of clear, high grade of polyester resin called gelcoat, which provides the smooth, easily maintainable, and polished surface.
The process is much like baking a cake, only we put the glazing on first. The molds are first assembled as needed, then waxed and sprayed with clear gelcoat. When the gelcoat hardens, a mixture of polyester resin, aggregate fillers, hardeners, and pigments are poured into the upside-down mold and let cure. After de-molding, the product is trimmed and polished before being shipped and installed to your bathroom.
The main benefit of Cultured Marble is the ability to eliminate all but a few seams. Therefore, there are fewer areas for mildew to grow, and leaks to start. Cultured Marble baths are not totally seamless but compare 247 inches of smooth 25-year silicon to the 4000 inches of rough and porous grout line found in the average tub shower walls.
Unlike tile, where the porous grout is not waterproof, or natural marble were the stone itself will leak and stain without constant maintenance, Cultured Marble with silicone seams is watertight.
Silicone is the same sealant that is keeping the water inside all glass aquariums all around the world. Fiberglass units are watertight, however they constantly ex and therefore are prone to cracking over years of use. Additionally, they are not customizable and since their surface compound is pigmented, it is softer and wears faster than the clear gelcoat that covers our colored products.
But aside from the technical aspect, Cultured Marble gives you, unlike any other product, the ability to coordinate your bathroom the way you want to. Choose items in matching or contrasting colors from the sink to tub or shower and surrounding walls, all sized and shaped to fit your needs.
Cultured marble/granite panels and shower pans are solid pieces with no grout lines to clean or keep sealed. The seams are sealed with a mildew resistant 100% silicone caulk that requires little in the way of maintenance. Also, building structures will shift with the change of temperatures, this may cause grout lines to crack and crumble. This problem is avoided with the use of cultured marble/granite.
Cultured Marble takes very little maintenance. No regular stripping and resealing like stone, no scrubbing of grout lines, just a little wiping. However, there are some things to keep in mind…No abrasive cleaners, and never use a scouring pad. Powdered cleaners should not be used. Avoid prolonged exposure to solvents, acids, and lye. Wipe down regularly, using spray or aerosol household cleaners for the tub and tile, windows, dishes, or appliances. Ammonia based cleaners also work well. Hardware stores also sell products that are specially made to care for gel coated products and fiberglass.
Gloss Finish, Yes. Fine scratches can be removed with automotive paint buffing compound and a handheld polisher. A company technician should take care of deeper scratches. Matte Finish, these textures will not show minor scratches.
Cultured marble/granite is thoroughly tested to resist stains from ink, hair dye, shoe polish, iodine, crayons, bleach, drain cleaners, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and many other products commonly found in bathrooms.