Cast stone is similar in many ways to other concrete products, but its careful aggregate gradation and the processes used in its manufacture give it a dense, fine-grained texture. With the addition of pigments and various aggregates, cast stone can be produced in virtually any color. And because steel reinforcement can be cast into the units they can achieve higher tensile strength than natural stone. Following manufacturers' recommendations helps ensure that the stone elements can be made economically, transported safely, and installed successfully. The Cast Stone Institute, a manufacturers' group, publishes a technical manual (Ref. 1) and a series of bulletins (Ref. 2) that spell out many of these recommendations. In most respects, setting cast stone in mortar is comparable to laying brick or block, and installing larger cast stone panels is like placing natural dimension stone cladding. Certain techniques do differ, however, and masonry contractors preparing to build with cast stone should be aware of them.