Inexpensive Alternatives to Expensive Rubber Corner Molds, for DIY Wall Installations
Rubber corner molds can be somewhat cost prohibitive for most homeowner and DIY projects due to their high cost, and the small quantity of cornerstones usually needed for the typical home project. Unless you have a very large project, or a very large wallet, alternate methods of corner treatment might be a worthwhile consideration. Below are alternate methods for covering corners.
After reviewing the suggested alternatives, you may want to visit our websites, if you haven't already done so. While there, keep in mind that none of the installations on our websites have used cornerstones made with cut-out rubber molds. See if you object to the look of any of those installations, and then decide if it's worth up the purchase price of up to $75.00 per rubber corner mold. :-)
If you find that you really want cornerstones for your project, you might be better off financially to purchase pre-made corner stones from a home supply store or distributor, and make the flat stone yourself for pennies per square foot to match the corners. Your savings would be in the neighborhood of about 80%... even when factoring in what you paid for the corner-stones you'll need.
Here are six alternative techniques to use on outside wall corners:
1 - Butt Similar Stones Against Each Other at Corners: The lack of outside corner molds should not really present ` methods proposed here. Our simple instructions suggest that you pretty much do what professional stone masons do--- butt similar stones up against each other at corners. Depending on the stone style, place them right ON the corners as they come out of the mold. This is what many professionals do when installing a real natural stone like a River Rock. Some other stone styles are thick enough to be able to do that with as well, and without any cutting at all. In the case of brick installations, it's even simpler. Since the color and material are integral in concrete tile and brick, it is really difficult to see any difference at the juncture. This is the least expensive way to go. You may want to consider rounding the corner with a file slightly to hide it even further from plain sight.
2.- The Picture Frame Method - Cut the Stone, Tile, or Brick Veneer at a 45 Degree Angle and Join: The best method for most styles of stone being installed where detection is likely, is to lay a piece of the veneer on its side, and cut it at a forty-five degree angle, as you would a picture frame. An inexpensive composite masonry blade can be used in a standard circular saw to accomplish this. Be sure to wear eye protection and other protections as cutting stone and bricks will result in a lot of dust. An appropriate face mask is suggested to prevent breathing the dust created during cutting. To install, join the two angles at the corners... again, as you would a picture frame. Rub some colored mortar into the tiny crack where the two pieces meet. It will be very difficult to find the joint - even close up. If you look at many one-piece corner veneers very closely, you can usually still tell that they are a veneer, since the corners are normally poured in two phases. One side is poured with concrete, laid down to set up, and once set the other side is poured joining the first side. There's usually a very thin line where the two sides meet, no matter what you do. This is the second least expensive way to go.
3 - DIY Two-Piece Picture Frame Corner Mold - We have come up with a new method to help those needing, or thinking they need, outside cornerstones for their installations. It was developed as an offshoot of the above technique. We plan to promote it extensively to our customers who want an alternative to expensive rubber molds. This method saves them money! We now offer a “wedge”--- or what we refer to as our Olde World Wedge. It is a plastic 45 degree angle piece made from the same ABS plastic as our molds. It is inserted into your mold at any place in the mold prior to pouring your concrete to separate the two halves. When the concrete is poured into both sides of the mold, the “wedge” automatically forms each half of the mold into a stone or brick with a 45 degree angle. When de-molded, both sides then have matching 45 degree angles. You then install each piece at the outside corner of you wall installation, fill in the tiny space between them with mortar of the same color as the stone, and you now have perfect corners for your stone, without spending up to $75.00 for each mold!
4 - Purchase Manufactured Stone, Tile, or Brick "Corner Pieces" from a Distributor: Depending on the size of your project, or more importantly, how many outside corners you need to cover, this alternative may be your best choice. Once you figure out about how many corners you will need, you can purchase them already made from a distributer. You can then contact your mold supplier that you plan to purchase your flat molds from and get assistance matching the colors to the corner pieces you've just purchased. You can then make the flat pieces of stone, brick or tile for a fraction of what the same pieces would have cost you to purchase. It is a good compromise if you feel you must have cut-out corner pieces for your outside corners.
5 - Purchase Corner Molds to Make Stone, Bricks, or Tile Along with the Flat Molds. This may not make financial sense for most homeowners and do-it-yourselfers unless they are doing a very large project, or plan to go into business making these concrete pieces for other homeowners, do-it-yourselfers, and trades people to purchase. At around $75.00 or so each, one could end up spending a lot of money on molds that could possibly get very little use.
6 - DIY Corner Mold - Make a Corner Mold Yourself for Your Installation: There are many companies on the Internet that sell products to make poured or build-up rubber molds. The first method consists of a two-part silicone rubber mix that is poured over the master to duplicate and make a mold. The second method involves using a liquid ammonia-based latex rubber that is brushed over the original in layers. It is left to dry and then additional coats are applied to build up a thicker rubber mold. These are very pliable, and usually require a backing to help hold the original form and shape of the mold during pouring the concrete. Complete instructions are available from most suppliers, and there are videos on YouTube as well. This method is great if you have time, patience, and a bit of talent. The rubber is still fairly expensive, and may only make sense for larger projects. These are the methods used to make the expensive molds that may be available at retail for making corner stones and bricks.
John Panagos founded Olde World Enterprises in 1992 to market his concept and system worldwide. As a pioneer in the concrete stone and tile mold industry, he is the recognized authority in the DIY stone and tile mold products segment of the concrete industry. He's written many training manuals and articles for this industry. Click http://www.TheMoldStore.com
for more information, photos, and instructions, or EMAIL: Info@oldeworld.com
If you find that you really want cornerstones with the cut-outs for your project, as suggested in #5 above... you might be better off financially to purchase manufactured corner stones from a home supply store or distributor, and make the flat stone using our molds for pennies per square foot to match the colors of those corners. Your savings would be in the neighborhood of about 80%... even when factoring in what you paid for the manufactured cornerstones you'll need.
We may be offering corner molds again by the end of this year, only because there is so much interest by customers lately, not realizing how expensive they are. There is one website by a company in Las Vegas that only makes rubber molds. He is pushing rubber molds on uTube... which is understandable. :-) Unfortunately, this has caused some customers to question the use of corner stone, and to request additional corner mold information. That was the main reason for my articles, and for us again posibly offering rubber molds. I doubt that we will sell many, but we try to give all of our customers what they either need, or think they need. :-) We have not had one customer take us up on our offer to custom make rubber corner molds for them... once they realized the cost involved. And that cost quote was much less than everyone else who is IN the rubber mold business is charging!
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