Aug 142015

Our fake columns look like the real thing – but how do they work?

Fake columns flank the entrance to this home's large front porch.

Fake columns added the look of real stone to this porch without the headaches.

One question we’re frequently asked about our fake columns is: How do you install them?

The answer depends on the specific type of column you purchase – and we have detailed installation instructions for all of them on our website.

But some aspects are the same throughout – the most fundamental of these being that our beams are installed on wooden posts. We recommend a 4″ or 5″ post, cemented into the ground.

This takes a little bit of handiwork, but isn’t beyond the skills of most focused homeowners.

Once the post is installed, different columns install in different ways.

Supporting wooden post within the column

Supporting wooden post within the column

Our Ashford models, for example, have stack sections inside which you cut to size with a carpentry jigsaw.

Then the columns are simply slotted over the installation post, and filled with a few inches of concrete for a totally secure foundation.

Norwich columns, in contrast, are referred to as ‘wraps’.

These are polyurethane corner panels which slot together to form a column.

Norwich fake column wraps install onto a framework built around the installation post.

Norwich wraps install onto a framework built around the installation post.

These need to be installed on a wooden base frame, which requires slightly more work because you’ll have to frame out the foundation first.

Carlton sleeves slip directly over a 6"x6" post.

Carlton sleeves slip directly over a 6″x6″ post.

Carlton sleeves work in a similar way, except you attach them directly to a 6″x6″ installation post – installing them with regular wood screws and caulk.

Because they slot together like jigsaw pieces, the finished look is totally seamless; and it’s difficult to tell they’re not made from real carefully stacked stone.

Whichever style of column you choose, just know that we’re here to help make sure it works for you. Our website features complete and detailed instructions on installing all these products – and we’re never more than a telephone call or email away if you need further support.

May 292015

Before purchasing, our customers always tend to have a number of questions about faux decorative columns.  They want to make sure the decision they make is the right one for their property, and that they’ll be staying within their budget while getting a valuable product.  Below, you’ll see the top five questions our customers ask.

1. What are the columns made of?

Most of the columns are made of high density polyurethane. This is a safe, lightweight and reliable material known for its extreme durability, environmental friendliness, and budget-friendly cost.  Columns from the Ashford line are made out of medium density polyethylene (MDPE), which is another very durable, lightweight material.

Ashford Ledgestone Polyethylene Columns

Polyethylene: Ashford Ledgestone

Wellington Drystack Polyurethane Columns are eye-catching porch accents

Polyurethane: Wellington Drystack

2. Are they easy to install?

Yes! All you have to do is follow the simple installation directions.  If you don’t wish to install them on your own, any carpenter in the phone book will be able to install the columns easily.

Installing faux columns is as easy as fitting the wraps around a post.

Installing faux columns is a breeze.

3. Where can they be used?

Our columns can be used anywhere you’d like the look of brick or stone.  They are a great design complement for any residential or commercial application, indoors and out.  Use them as driveway columns, fence posts, on your porch or deck, in your retail store, and more.

Faux decorative columns are great as driveway accents.

Faux decorative columns looking stunning on the driveway

Fake stone columns make wonderful deck accents.

The columns accent this home deck beautifully

Our Windsor columns are  perfect as mailbox posts.

Windsor mailbox post in Kentucky Gray

Our Wellington faux decorative columns enhance retail store design beautifully.

Wellington Drystack columns add rugged style to the Peter Glenn store.

4. How long do they last?

A very long time.  In fact,™ guarantees that all columns will effectively withstand normal outdoor conditions for fifteen years.  The material will not crack, peel, split, or rot.  All of the products are also treated with a coating of U.V.-resistant finish that will slow down fading from sun exposure.  (Like anything left in the sun, however, some slight fading could occur over time.™ does not warranty against fading from the sun.  For more information, please see our Warranty page.)

The columns are also waterproof, specially made to resist moisture.  They’re great for all climates.

5. What do customers say?

Our customers love how the columns add to the décor of their properties, indoors and out.  Here are a few of the most recent testimonials:

I just wanted to share the before and after pictures of our home after using your products. We can’t believe the difference it has made, we are so happy with it. We have received so many compliments. Most people don’t even know that it isn’t real stone. Great job and a great product!
–Thomas P., Brockway, PA

We used your product to cheer up our hair salon, we are nestled in the Canadian Rockies and your faux stacked panels and columns fits in beautiful with our rocky surroundings! We used the door trim on the corners and really love the contrast it created. -Elli’s Hair West, Canmore, Canada

Hair salon remodeled with faux stone decorative columns

As with anything, we were concerned ordering off the internet without seeing the product. But we wanted a unique look for our house that we are building ourselves. Our friends think we installed stone on our columns! Love the look and it was easy to install. –Sami Jo, Texas

Sami Jo's home interior is revitalized with Norwich Colorado Stacked Stone column.

Sami Jo’s home interior is revitalized with a Norwich Colorado Stacked Stone column

Want to know more? Find answers to other questions about Faux Columns™ at our FAQ page.




Apr 162015

Easy to install, Windsor polyurethane foam columns can be used in a wide variety of ways to upgrade your property.  The Windsor line features one-piece post covers, column wraps and mailboxes.  Each will suit any exterior design beautifully.  The three styles of drystack, random rock and slatestone each come in attractive, earthy color choices that transform the visual appeal of any property.

Polyurethane foam columns make great mailboxes.

Easy to install, polyurethane foam columns make great mailboxes.

The mailbox also makes for an impressive accent to your home’s property.  In addition to its practicality and eye-catching look of genuine stone, it’s very durable. The wraps also make a very stylish design statement thanks to their realistic imitation of real stone. You can use them to decorate posts on your porch, patio, entrance way, deck and more.

Use polyurethane foam columns to enhance your home's interior.

Use polyurethane columns to enhance your home’s interior.

The ultra-realistic appearance of our columns is achieved by molding the material from real stone and rock. As genuine as they look, they’re extremely lightweight and can be assembled by any DIYer.  They are so easy to install, they can be up in an afternoon. Made of high-density polyurethane, they are carefully built to withstand weather extremes such as snow, rain, moisture, heat and more.  They also will never fade or deteriorate over time.  Years will go by and they will look as good as new.

Polyurethane foam columns withstand even the harshest weather.

The columns are made to withstand even the harshest weather.

The video below shows step-by-step instructions on how to install the Windsor Mailbox Column.  You’ll see how simple the installation process is.  The DIYer in the video assembled his mailbox in just one hour and 20 minutes.

If you’d like to see more impressive images of our columns, be sure to check out our Windsor photo gallery.

Apr 032015

Many customers are extremely satisfied with how easy it is to install our columns.  Using just some simple tools, they are able to get them up in no time at all.  Below, we’ll show you how to install a faux stacked stone column wrap over an existing support post.

Installing a faux stacked stone column wrap is easy.

Installing a faux stacked stone column wrap over an existing support post is easy.

Before we begin, here is the list of simple tools you’ll need:

  1. Exterior Grade Screws — use screws that are long enough to go through the column. We

recommend a narrow head screw (such as a #1 Roberson head trim head screw) to make touchup

easier and less noticeable.

  1. Construction Adhesive/Glue — we recommend either PL® Premium Construction Adhesive, PL®

Premium Advanced 8X Construction Adhesive (which has 4X faster bonding), or Great Stuff Pro.

  1. A saw for cutting columns – a circular saw, jig saw, band saw, table saw, or hand saw, it is your

preference.  Any woodcutting blade used with these saws work great and cut smooth and easy.

  1. Tape Measure
  2. Level
  3. Caulking gun for applying the Adhesive/Glue and Caulk.
  4. FauxColumns color coordinated textured caulk.
  5. 2″ x 4″ lumber as needed
  6. Exterior grade plywood as needed

Installation Instructions:

Make sure the column wrap is clean before you being installation.

  1. Be sure that the columns, the column cap and posts are clean and dry before you begin. Approximately 24 hours before the installation, expose the post, the column wrap, the lumber and the plywood to the same general humidity and temperature. Make sure not to expose any of these materials to direct sunlight, or in close proximity to heat.

Construct a sub frame for your faux stacked stone column wrap next.

  1. To get a secure and sturdy base for the column wraps, you’ll want to construct a sub frame. Make sure that this sub frame, along with the plywood, fits within the wrap’s dimensions.  To maintain a steady, upright connection to the existing wood post, this frame needs to be securely centered on the support post.

Apply the exterior grade plywood to the wood sub frame.

  1. Next, apply the plywood to the wood sub frame. This will serve as the surface that you’ll attach the column wraps to.  For proper sizing, make sure to dry fit the wraps to the structure.

Hint: leave a little extra room for the thickness that will be added by the glue that’s between the plywood and the column wraps.

Apply a bead of glue to the perimeter of one of the column wrap pieces.

  1. On the back of one of the wrap panels, apply small beads of adhesive along the perimeter, about one inch from the edge. Then, in a zigzagging pattern, apply a little more adhesive to the back of the panel.  Make sure the beads of adhesive are no more than 4 inches apart.  Add a little bit of glue inside the fingers of the panel, which interlock.  Then apply a little bit of the textured caulk along the edges of the interlocking fingers, where they’ll join with the next section of the column wrap.

Apply the wrap panel to the plywood.

  1. Apply the column wrap to your exterior grade plywood. Gently press and twist the wrap panel onto the plywood, to ensure secure contact with the adhesive.  The PL® Premium Advanced 8X Construction Adhesive will help to keep the wrap panels in place on the plywood, giving you some time to get the other ones up.

Fit the interlocking fingers together.

  1. Repeat step 4 and 5 for every other section of the wrap. Be sure that the fingers securely interlock.

Make sure the wrap is level and the fingers fit together nicely.

  1. Make sure the interlocking fingers of the panels all fit together securely, and that the column wraps are level. Begin to fasten the wraps to the plywood all along the perimeter with screws, spacing them at approximately a foot apart.  In the middle sections of each panel, place additional screws about 1 per square foot apart.  It’s best if every screw is slightly recessed below the surface of the panels.  Make sure not to tighten the screws more than needed.Hint: Concealing screws in crevices, beneath protruding rocks, or grout lines will help to give the column panels a cleaner, more realistic look.

Wipe off excess caulk with a damp rag before it dries.

  1. Before the caulk dries, use a damp rag to wipe off any excess caulk that might have been pushed out between the two wrap panels. You can also use the textured caulk to hide the screw heads.

Stacked stone column wraps installed on a front porch.

  1. If you are installing multiple rows of columns, you can now start the next row up. Repeat steps 4-8 for the next row of column wraps to be installed.

The cut out in each of the two cap halves allow them to sit around an existing support post.

  1. A “Two-Piece” Column Cap is featured with Norwich columns. This cap comes as two diagonal halves, which are split through the center, so as to help hide the seam.  The cut out parts in the halves of each cap allow them to be placed around existing support posts.  PLEASE NOTE: depending on the post size, additional cutting or shimming and caulking may be required.  The opening in the cap center is 6″ X 6″.  Proceed to Step 12.

If using a solid cap, no opening/no post, just proceed to Step 12.

  1. If you’re using a solid cap with no opening or post, continue to Step 12.

Apply glue to the tops of the column wrap sections and to the wood sub-structure to secure the column cap in place.

  1. To secure the column cap in place, apply adhesive to the top sections of the column wraps and to the wood sub frame. Set the cap in place, pressing down firmly. If using the two piece cap, glue the two halves together around the existing post. Then follow up with screws to hold the cap piece to the panels and sub-structure (toe-nailing through the bottom on a diagonal).

  1. Lastly, using the paint from the Touch-up Kit, paint the wraps, screw heads, and textured caulk as needed. Click here for more details on Touching Up Panels. Stand back and admire your handiwork. (In this project shown, additional wood was added to the structural support post to create a dramatic tapered look.)

When installing your columns, be sure to follow and obey all safety rules and recommendations set forth by tool manufacturers.  Always follow any, and all, local, state, and federal building codes.

Always comply with any specified clearances set forth by the manufactures of stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, and any other heat sources, as well.

Mar 132015

While polyurethane columns require very little maintenance, there may be a few instances when they need a bit of paint – to conceal caulking, cover cut marks that exposed the raw polyurethane or touch up other small areas.

Touch-Up paint kits ensure that you'll have a consistent color style for your whole column.

Touch-Up paint kits ensure your column’s color stays consistent

For this kind of project, you’ll need the touch-up paint that is made for Carlton columns.  You’ll find this paint in the tab on the product page for each column that says “Needed For Install.”  Before touching up your column with paint, we recommend practicing this on a scrap piece first.  A paper plate is a perfect place to practice.

Touch-Up kits are available for all our lines, colors and styles.

A touch-up paint kit is available for every column style and color

  1. Depending on the color of your Carlton column or post covers, there may be multiple colors in the touch up paint kit.
Polyurethane columns can sometimes have spots that require touch-up paint.

The columns can sometimes have spots that require touch-up paint.

  1. Additional factors in determining which paint colors to use include the size of the affected area, the surrounding color, and the depth of the scuff or scratch that needs touching up.
Dilute the touch-up paint before painting your polyurethane column.

Dilute the paint with water before painting your columns.

  1. Dilute the touch-up paint with water before you start painting on the column. This way, you’ll have a workable consistency.
Blend touch-up paints for best results on your polyurethane columns.

Blend the paints for best results

  1. Mix the colors as needed, so as to achieve different shades. For a more transparent appearance, add a little water and dab off excess paint. Apply a small amount of the diluted paint to a moist cloth, sponge, small brush, or Q‐tip.
Dab paint on to the affected area of your polyurethane columns.

Dab paint on to the affected area

  1. Begin painting the column using the lighter colors first. After doing that, wait 10 to 15 minutes for the paint to dry before applying the darker shades. Dab paint into your desired areas.  Make sure to quickly wipe up any paint in undamaged areas with a clean, damp cloth.
Dab paints with a damp cloth to blend surroundings on polyurethane columns.

Dab paints with a damp cloth to blend

  1. Make sure to wipe off any excess paint immediately. Applying thin coats of paint in translucent shades is usually best. You can then gradually darken the area to blend it in.  As needed, use a clean, damp cloth to dab the paint until the repaired area blends in with its surroundings.
When repairs are completed, the affected area blends in perfectly with the surrounding area.

When repairs are completed, the affected area is no longer visible

  1. Now, just let the paint dry and you’re done!
Nov 262014

Installing a faux column isn’t as tough as it looks.  In fact, it’s quite easy.  With the simple, step-by-step instructions that are included with these orders, you’ll be able to install them on your own in no time.

As with all of our products, there’s no need to hire a mason at all.  By following the instructions below, your column will be up and in place before you know it.

Cut out the top and bottom of your artificial ledgestone columns.

Start your stone column installation by making the necessary starting cuts.

1. Begin the installation of your stone veneer column by cutting out the top and bottom of the column/stack section.






Attached stack and column sections together as needed

Ledgestone columns and stack sections allow you to create taller columns

2. When using a stack section, turn the column upside down and place the stack section on top of the column. Drill holes in the corners and then bolt the column section together.






With a shovel or post hole digger, make a hole for your structural post

A properly set structural post will enhance the durability and lifetime of the column.

3. Dig a post hole for the structural wood portion of your faux ledgestone column. Set the post and then fill the hole with the right amount of concrete.






Fill with required amount of concrete to solidify the base of the installation.

Added concrete to the base of the ledgestone columns strengthens the construction.

4. Set your column over the structural post.







Slide your ledgestone columns over their set structural post.

The structural post gives added support to your faux stone column installation.

5. Fill the column with at least 10″ of concrete.







Level your columns and sure the cap to the top.

Your faux stone column installation is now complete!

6. Finally, level your column and then secure the cap with screws.






You now have a beautiful artificial stone column that resembles the work of a professional mason.  The look will enhance your property’s visual appeal, no doubt.