Solid Slate vs. Lightweight Slate – What is the difference?

When people think of fountains they don’t often consider wall fountains, but these are actually among one of the most frequent varieties used. These can be a single panel of metal, stone, glass, or acrylic, or they can take up an entire wall. They don’t usually require special plumbing or electrical service, though many owners have a hidden wall plug installed (behind the fountain) along with the fixture. The main consideration of their use and installation, however, tends to be their weight.

All wall mounted fountains will contain the pump system, the water used to feed the fountain, the framing, and whatever materials the owner desires. This might mean that they have a copper frame, an acrylic backdrop, and even some special materials such as stones resting in the base to give the falling water an added tinkle or splash. This all adds up to heavier and heavier weights which might put a great deal of stress or strain on the wall studs or overall structure. Although as long as the fountain is hung with the proper hardware and the installer utilizes the wall studs for anchors there is usually no problem hanging most of the solid slate and marble wall fountains.  Proper installation is key to years of enjoyment of any wall fountain no matter the weight or size.

The primary reason that many people who want slate wall fountains will rely on the lightweight slate rather than the solid slate slabs is the weight of the solid slabs in comparison of the lightweight counterparts.   Known commonly as veneers, the lightweight pieces of slate incorporate a thin layer of the actual stone which is then securely mounted to a durable slab of composite material. This eliminates a vast majority of the weight created by the stone, but still allows the owner to enjoy the beauty and effects of the “real thing”.

This makes wall mounted fountains far more accessible to a wider audience or consumer market which might have avoided their use due to the higher average weights. It also means that some of the nice extra materials that a buyer may have eliminated due to concerns about the weight of the stone slab can be incorporated back into the design scheme. For example, those lovely river stones at the bottom of the fountain or a decorative copper element or sculpture positioned in the frame could be once again added to the design when the veneer is used.

Anyone who decides to hang wall fountains in their home or office is going to have to consider the placement quite seriously. The fixture must be hung only from a sturdy wall stud or support, and it should be in a location within close proximity to an approved electrical outlet. (Remember that the presence of water in such close proximity to an outlet will often require the owner to have a fixture that will prevent circuitry problems in the event of a leak or splash.)

Even though there are some special concerns associated with the use of wall mounted fountains, they continue to be a very popular option due to their many styles and great looks.

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