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  • Shropshire Brick and Stone UK

Can Cast Stone Be Used as a Load Bearing Structure?


Cast stone items are beautiful and add an element of luxury and grandeur to your home, but can they be used as a structural component? The answer varies depending on where and how you are using the cast stone. Cast stone lintels, for example, cannot be used as a load-bearing structure whereas concrete lintels can be.


To answer your question, we’ve put together this blog to explain load-bearing regulations to make sure any cast stone products are used safely in your home.


Is cast stone load bearing?


Cast stone is usually built into load-bearing masonry wall systems and used as an architectural feature, trim, ornament or veneer. It is often specified as a replacement for full bed-depth dressed dimensional limestone.

 

Cast stone items are often made to be decorative units and not load-bearing in window heads and openings. However, you can add steel support lintels below the decorative head to support the head itself and the masonry load above. In some cases, you may need to install the supporting lintel above the decorative head so that it is self-supporting while the lintel carries only the load of the masonry from above, although you would need to first consult a UKCSA manufacturer.


Are cast stone lintels load-bearing?


As mentioned above, cast-stone lintels themselves are not load-bearing; although they do offer strength and durability, they still need the support of steel lintels in a load-bearing environment. In places where large openings are required, cast stone lintels over 600mm in length should contain one or more reinforcing bars for handling purposes only.


Cast stone lintels vs concrete lintels


Many homeowners opt for concrete lintels in order to provide a load-bearing material. They offer tensile strength, as wet-cast concrete can be poured onto the steel frame to provide the required tension. The only problem with concrete lintels is that they won’t look as attractive as cast stone lintels, which is why you may choose to use steel lintels with cast stone in front.

 

If you’re looking for quality cast stone lintels for windows or other decorative cast stone, the team at Shropshire Brick & Stone are here to help you find the right units. From cast stone lintels to pier caps and copings, we can do it all. Get in touch today to learn more.

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