Italian Imported Marble in chandigarh, marble dealer in india, Marble Dealer in Rajasthan
Italian Marble Manufacturers in India, Italian Marble Price in Gujarat
Best Marble in Delhi, Italian Marble List

Natural vs Man-made Stone

The debate between Natural and manmade has being going on for decades (or more?) now. And like every good, old fashioned debate, nobody has arrived at a solid conclusion till date. If one ponders over why, he must give in to the thought that each material has its different properties and offers suitability to a close range of situations, hence coming to a general decision would be highly inappropriate. It all boils down to case-basis requirements, which mostly is personal.

Let us therefore, before moving on, understand what is what.

Natural Stone is what the name suggests- nature made pieces of minerals condensed over millions of years that are quarried, cut to shape, polished and sold to consumers.

Man-made Stone(also known as Cultured or Manufactured stone)is a mixture of components like cement, quartz, stone dust, polymers and chemicals in a specific ratio that is cast as per requirement, colored and polished to look like natural stone.  It is often subjected to treatments and tempering to inculcate strength and heat, dirt and germ resistance.

Now, let us do a comparative analysis of both the options.

Natural Stone:

  1. Extremely heat resistant, better that engineered options.
  2. Certain stones like Granite are durable and shock-resistant, however, natural stones are known to be brittle.
  3. Cracks can be repaired almost always without the repair becoming visually prominent.
  4. Offers a wide variety of textures and granules to choose from.
  5. Is highly associated to status and visual statement.

Engineered Stones:

  1. Not all options provide equal heat resistance as compared to its natural counterparts.
  2. Very durable and shock resistant, making it the choice in intensive usage situations like restaurants.
  3. Scratch resistant.
  4. Certain varieties provide germ, fungus, oil and muck resistance after specific additional treatments.
  5. Once broken or damaged, repairing isn’t possible for most varieties.
  6. Offers a lesser palette of choice and is generally looked down upon when pitched against natural stone.

Having established the pros and cons, it is quite evident that the choice will differ from case to case. Domestic households will more likely steer towards natural options as home is almost always a symbolic of pride, status and fulfilment of personal dreams. The humble man will opt for a modest granite, whereas the man of means will take his choices to the options of exquisite range of exported products.  Establishments like eateries and restaurants where the kitchen is off-bounds for the customers will more likely be inclined to use engineered stones that are better resistant for heavy and intensive usage.

Now that we have established both the options, let us have a look at the factors to consider before settling in on natural stones or engineered ones.

  1. Project application: One should consider the usage before deciding- personal or commercial, indoor or outdoor and so on. While natural stones integrate wonderfully with landscaping and will give your outdoor patio cooktop an extra edge, engineered ones always should be installed at least four feet above soil.
  2. Costing: For most, the cost of material and installation is an issue that majorly drives (or limits) their choice of material. For example, one might really like the back granite with golden veins, but decides to purchase the affordable red-white granular option that is within budget. While the cost of cultured marble countertopsis typically less than natural stone, there are exceptions. A high-end engineered stone is likely to be comparable in price to a low-end natural stone.
  3. Finished look: While the present range offered by both natural and engineered varieties makes it confusing to choose from, it is really hard to disagree with the grandeur and exclusivity of natural stones polished to perfection. One difference that may impact the buyer’s decision has to do with the properties of the material itself. True stone can be cut, and then the edge can be artistically chiseled and carved by a mason to retain its natural appearance. Cutting cultured stone, however, exposes the aggregate edge, which can’t be chiseled away to look natural.

Regardless of the choice, the buyer must get the installation done by certified professionals as these stones come in heavy apart from being expensive. When properly installed, engineered stones hold just as good as natural ones against the effect of usage and time. However, the man made stones might not retain their original look and feel which is not an issue with natural stones. In the end, the choice is always personal and depends on the necessity. Both are great options; in a case where natural stone might be perfect, engineered stone can be the apt solution for another project! In retrospect, the debate never holds up!