Cultured marble is a beautiful, durable material that has many household applications. Many homes in America contain countertops, shower surrounds or even windowsills made of this material. Typically manufactured in a factory, rather than cut from natural stone, cultured marble is an affordable and versatile material.
Preparing the Mold
Selecting the right mold is the first step manufacturers must take to create a beautiful piece of cultured marble. They wax the mold to make it as smooth as possible.
Manufacturers often apply a special gel coat to the mold after waxing. This coat gives a glossy finish to the cultured marble as well as acting as a release agent to assist in the demolding process. This gel coat must cure before you pour the materials into the mold. Some manufacturers may use a heat tunnel to speed this process.
Pouring the Mold
Cultured marble is a mixture of calcium carbonate, plastic resin and pigments. The ingredients go into a special blender, then into the prepared mold. Manufacturers then place the mold on a vibrating table to remove any air bubbles trapped in the mixture, then they store the filled mold until the cultured marble has cured.
After curing, manufacturers demold the product. They sand off any extra material, called flashing, which accumulates around the edges of the mold. Finally, they buff the cultured marble to bring out the glossy finish.