Scagliola: An Affordable Limestone Alternative

Scagliola: An Affordable Limestone Alternative

Annie Werbler
Dec 17, 2010

Store History

  • Founded: 1997
  • Founded by: Thierry François
  • Headquarters: Atlanta

I've been putting some hours into a loft renovation project in Tribeca lately, and when the question of what to do with the fireplace arose, the lead designer really wanted to install a vintage limestone mantle. But solid limestone is astronomically expensive, and the extreme weight of the solid stone makes installation very challenging.

The ancient artform of scagliola was discovered in the 17th century by Italian monks who needed an affordable way to restore decorative details in their monastery. They combined powdered travertine, marble, and limestone with less expensive pigments and binders to form a substance that resembled real stone. Intricately-designed molds gave the scagliola what seemed like hand-carved intricacy. Artisans sanded and polished the pieces to add additional detail or smoothness.

Our vendor is François & Co., and they offer finishes that closely resemble many different types of limestone and travertine. They also have the real deal limestone mantles, and do beautiful custom work in mosaics, flooring, and range hoods.

Images: François & Co.

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