Our list of FAQs on stone coverings is a collection gathered over years of work-based experience. Further information can be found on the website.
Manufactured stone or natural stone?
We believe so. It is produced according to strict principles of safety and respect for the environment, by recovering and purifying waste water, shredding and recycling waste, controlling energy consumption and using alternative energy sources. Murogeopietra® looks the same as natural stone when finished, and uses a small amount of quarried product. Nowadays, the use of cut natural stone generates a lot of waste with respect to loadbearing pieces, consuming a considerable amount of material and spoiling the landscape.
While continuing to provide us with a benchmark, natural stone used as a wall covering has many 'defects', which have been eliminated in our stone due to manufacturing characteristics. Significant weight, varying levels of water absorption and resistance to frost, poor breathability, high heat conductivity, low heat resistance and sourcing issues are some of the disadvantages of natural stone in new sustainable building projects. These particular characteristics may cause new constructions to have issues over time, such as in the case of timber houses, with installation on external insulation. However, even though Geopietra® manufactured stone veneer is natural, it has been designed to meet the new technical requirements of sustainable construction.
The idea of natural is often associated with safeguarding the environment, but on many occasions it's not strictly correct. The loadbearing function of stone is no longer needed for the survival of the human race. In fact, using slim profiles of natural stone spoils the environment and produces a large amount of waste. Manufactured stone veneer of high quality, such as the products made by Geopietra®, is a valid replacement both technically and aesthetically. Thanks to the characteristics of manufactured stone veneer the limitations of natural stone have been eliminated, making it sustainable as a result.
The first tangible advantage relates to aesthetics and the wide range that is always available. Geopietra® manufactured stone veneer is available in a range of shapes and colours to meet any requirements. The possibility of reproducing traditional styles means it can meet the requirements of many building renovation projects. Being able to mix the various models and colours available lets customers create unique, customised solutions. Other benefits not associated with natural stone include its lightweight characteristics, breathability, colour fastness, ability to withstand frost and its guaranteed murogeopietra® system.
Our exclusive models of manufactured stone for quality wall designs are made using moulds for hundreds of different natural stones. The possibility of copies is low and is reduced further thanks to colours being applied by hand, making every stone unique.
Geopietra® and Murogeopietra®: definitions and descriptions
Geopietra® is the name of the company that since 1993 has brought the reconstructed stone of high technical and aesthetics quality in Europe. Geopietra® manufactured stone is the new sustainable stone, composed of Portland cement, light aggregates and colors based on permanent mineral oxides. Geopietra® reconstructed stone is light, breathable, frost-resistant with an excellent balance between resistance and thermal inertia which makes it optimal for laying on external thermal insulation. Geopietra® is the modern alternative to the natural stone, that protects the environment by limiting excavations.Today the name Geopietra® is often used in generic way to identify products of low quality or that have nothing to do with our product. Geopietra® with Murogeopietra® is the only system tested and guaranteed in Europe to have passed the anti-seismic and fire non-propagation test on external thermal insulation.
Murogeopietra® is a guaranteed system of technically-balanced materials, consisting of Geopietra® natural manufactured stone veneer, GeoColl® adhesive, and GeoBi grouting mortar by Geopietra®.
Technically speaking, Murogeopietra® is the only stone wall solution with a slim profile that has been endorsed for installation on external insulation, having passed tests relating to earthquake resistance, safety in the event of a fire, and healthy humidity levels.
Benefits of the guaranteed Murogeopietra® system include an on-site specialist assembly service, installation training, and an instruction manual and video with numerous concrete solutions for reproducing authentic, stunning wall designs.
Geopietra® is our company's brand under which manufactured stone veneer is sold. Geopietra® brand is now synonymous with manufactured stone veneer throughout Europe, and is often used inappropriately or incorrectly in common parlance to identify products that have nothing to do with our company or level of quality, often even to identify natural stone with a slim profile.
Murogeopietra® is the name of our installation solution with advanced materials in one integrated system, combining GeoColl® adhesive, our manufactured stone veneer, and GeoBI mortar in a professional installation in accordance with the guidelines in the Geopietra® technical manual.
Murogeopietra® is an installation system with advanced materials in one integrated system. Murogeopietra® combines quality technical materials and an installation concept that aims to recreate the static authenticity of old, loadbearing walls.
Unfortunately the manufactured stone produced in Italy and Europe does not have a construction technology background. The best manufactured stone veneer in the world is made in the USA, and the method is strictly confidential. However, Italy has a stone construction tradition spanning millennia which they don't have. Geopietra® has imported this expertise and the two cultures combined are providing the industry with the world's best. As a result, the connection between our longstanding tradition, the inspirational beauty of our landscape, and a passion for innovative ideas is wrapped up in Geopietra® coverings.
Geopietra® has always used quality materials, such as Portland cement, a mix of lightweight volcanic rock, and iron oxide minerals for the colour.
Compliance with existing legislation
To comply with existing safety legislation in Europe, external cladding must have very specific characteristics. Geopietra® natural manufactured stone veneer solution has been designed to meet these requirements, which cannot be achieved with natural stone.
Resistance to fire and vapour transmission, in addition to thermal inertia, are values that Geopietra® studied in detail to resolve issues that transpire with natural stone. Some issues are not always immediately visible. For example, condensation behind cladding can make it loose or buckle over time, or in the case of installations on external insulation, can make the insulation properties ineffective. Weight can jeopardise the integrity of the cladding during an earthquake or fire. Click here for more information.
Atmospheric agents and manufactured stone veneer
Its characteristics make it an ideal solution for such constructions. It was invented 80 years ago in America, where nearly all buildings are made of timber, and has been fully optimised and tested. The only significant factor to consider is the different structural construction system. In America elastic reticular frames are used, and there is little expansion due to changes in humidity, whereas in Europe we may have frames with significant solid blocks. Changes in humidity can lead to significant changes in dimensions that cause breakage in cladding, especially at corners. With these points in mind, it is the ideal product.
Usually only the building's structural expansion joints should be observed. In dry installations the stones are not jointed and have room to move naturally. In jointed installations the two-component GeoBi mortar compensates for the minimum movement required. It is however natural and unavoidable for large structures to settle over time, which could also lead to breakage in stone coverings.
No. The covering is to be installed on weather-resistant bases i.e. where water cannot penetrate. Geopietra® product results in a finish that has no waterproofing characteristics.
Breakages could be caused by accidental hard, external impact. If this occurs contact an expert installer, as it may be possible to replace broken stones and regrout.
Saltpetre is caused by water penetrating from the base and migrating to the outside, producing calcium carbonate on the surface which corrodes the stone over time.
The first step is to look for the origin of the water penetration, doing whatever is possible to find a solution to prevent it. If this is difficult or impossible, one option is to apply regular anti-saline treatments. In the case of broken or corroded stone, however, it will have to be replaced.
In 1996 the company Geopietra® was the first to design and install manufactured stone veneer coverings on external insulation. Over the years we have improved and optimised our technique, creating the first Abitasistema® installation system in 2010, and establishing a partnership with Fassa srl in 2013 for the Mastrosistema® project. This is currently the only guaranteed system to pass important tests regarding resistance against earthquakes and the suitability of the installation on external EPS insulation in the event of fire, in accordance with EU standards.
Installation and technical characteristics of manufactured stone veneer
Even though there are excellent adhesives on the market, at the beginning (1993) there were issues due to unsuitable mechanical characteristics of tile adhesives. The requirements of the innovative solution we were offering failed to be met by any adhesives on the market. This resulted in us researching and producing a special adhesive that has been tried and tested numerous times over the years.
The installation is of major importance for achieving a successful outcome with manufactured stone veneer walls, and in the case of cladding stone. An unsuitable installation can ruin the final effect and authenticity of a stone wall. For this reason at Geopietra® we provide installation courses and on-site consultation services. Just selling a product isn't enough - we want the satisfaction that comes with a professionally completed job, and full customer satisfaction to make us proud of what we do.
Yes, definitely. An incorrect installation can lead to numerous issues, and the most serious and dangerous is when the stone loosens from the base over time.
Yes, definitely. Geopietra® provides a specific service for CREATING YOUR OWN WALL SOLUTIONS, with support in realising unique, customised designs. The wide range of models available, and colours that can be mixed together, enable the creation of numerous variations
Yes, definitely. Similar results can be obtained, which are sometimes even more stunning. In the case of renovations or restorations requiring specific colours or shapes, these can be obtained with Geopietra® manufactured stone veneer, which is very difficult with cut natural stone.
The base and its preparation are very important for the long-term integrity of the cladding. Thanks to various techniques outlined in our technical manual, we can provide the reassurance that our stone can be installed on almost any base found in new building projects.
It is now rare for us not to advise on a specialist installation team or provide on-site training for customers using our manufactured stone veneer coverings for the first time. However, anyone who has the relevant skills can rely on the technical manual we provide with every purchase, which can also be consulted on our website at www.geopietra.com in the technical section.
Yes, definitely. We know many specialist teams and installers throughout Europe who have attended our courses and have been working with us for many years.
Our natural manufactured stone comes packaged in convenient boxes measuring approximately 1m2 for the flat panels and 2-2.5 m for corners. The weight never exceeds 50 kg, meaning packs can be easily moved by two people.
We always advise allowing for a certain amount of waste, and this amount may vary depending on the application technique.
Mould and allergies are triggered in certain climatic conditions. A high level of humidity without being able to change air that could dry surfaces quickly does not constitute ideal conditions. A breathable material, with even minimum water absorption such as the geopietra® stone, has no possibility of being free from it however in the aforementioned conditions. It isn't correct to say that applying stone can resolve the issue if the original cause is not addressed. It is however possible to prevent the formation of mould on the surface using specific treatments, which vary depending on the cause of the dampness.
In nature the colour of rock changes over time. Premium quality enhanced iron oxides are used in the production of geopietra® manufactured stone veneer, and they are fixed into cement through a very slow, natural carbonation procedure that ensures they last over time. We can say that the duration of colours is the same as, if not better than, that of natural stone.
A wall is akin to a picture - as far as we're concerned the colours and stones are the means of creation, the artist creates. Even though there are standard implementation rules, a quality stone wall can only be created with individual stones. The evocative aspect comes from the unique, skilled hand of the installer. A design with panels already made up removes this aspect which is variable, producing a standard, uniform result. Furthermore, these models have technical shortcomings, such as the difficulty in concealing joins and their integrity over time.
The material is taken from moulds when still wet and placed in boxes immediately. Drying has to take place very slowly through a carbonation process to fix the colour with the product installed on the wall. This is why the colour is darker when it is installed, and is nothing other than the fact that the manufactured stone veneer is still damp, and will dry in a few days once exposed to the air.
Products that completely prevent the formation of dust have not been tested. They should not alter the look of the stone, by creating a wet look for example, or obstruct pores completely and hinder breathability. Using water-based fixatives sprayed onto and penetrating the finished, dry surface have produced good results.
Geopietra® has more than 20 years' experience in installing manufactured stone veneer coverings on external EPS insulation. In the interests of product integrity, the base upon which a covering is applied is of fundamental importance. With the Abitasistema® or Mastrosistema® system we use, heights of more than 20 m have been reached, even in the High Alps. All laboratory tests requested and performed to date reach a height of 15 m.
Structurally, a corner stone constitutes the most important element in a stone wall. Corner pieces are extremely important for making the covering look authentic, because it gives the wall three-dimensionality. Revealing the thickness of the covering at corners, jambs and end points would make the design look unreal and highlight its aesthetic artificiality.
Manufactured stone veneer and architecture
Stone's charm is eternal, and many architects want our covering for the very purpose of creating stunning contracts with materials such as weathered steel, timber and glass.
Customisation. Our consultation service to create unique, bespoke walls made of manufactured stone veneer is increasingly in demand. Nowadays, a house should be viewed as a made-to-measure garment, evoking emotion and expressing the personality of those inside. Stone is often chosen as a character-defining element that unites human beings and nature.
Stone has been part of our history in Italy for millennia, in the form of stone constructions such as mountain chalets, medieval villages, farms, castles and cathedrals to name but a few. The charm of stone stirs our emotions. Often we can gaze at a wall that captivates us and not fully understand what it is that we're struck by. After years of research and experience we have come to the conclusion that what attracts us is the enduring aspect of a stone wall that has witnessed so much. Its irregularity represents the time that has passed, and this imperfection is transformed into emotive perfection in the entire ensemble. We feel that time is the real significance of our manufactured stone veneer.
Yes, definitely. Murogeopietra® system has been used for years due to its technical qualities in energy efficient constructions, with Klimahouse certification for timber and dry constructions that have many types of external cladding as part of sustainable architectural design.
Yes, it is definitely one of its main uses. Using the right techniques, Geopietra® natural manufactured stone veneer can easily be applied to lots of existing bases, and can even be used to renovate, hotels, spa facilities, residential complexes, blocks of flats, hamlets, private houses, and even high-end business properties.
Heat does not present any issues for our manufactured stone veneer. There are potential limitations with the GeoColl® adhesive, which can withstand temperatures up to approximately 180 C°. This limit is sufficient for an external chimney covering, but not for direct contact with flames.
Even though it has excellent thermal inertia characteristics, manufactured stone veneer cannot be classed as insulation material.
Installation training courses
The company has always felt that the quality of the installation of Geopietra® products is very important, and as a result holds installation courses on site and throughout Europe. Consult the training section on our website.