Natural Stone vs. Manufactured Stone: Which is Better?

A new home design project can be both exciting and challenging as you weigh your options and find the best materials. Stone can lend a sophisticated touch to your space, whether you redo your home’s facade, add your dream kitchen, or enhance your fireplace. When choosing between manufactured stone or natural stone, the selection process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. This article will help you figure out your needs and find the most appropriate type of stone for your project.

What is Natural Stone?

Natural stone, a beautiful material known for its durability, is quarried from the earth and used for interior and exterior applications to provide a warm and natural appearance that complements many decorating styles. Natural stone has been used for centuries to create stunning architecture, from castles to gardens and everything in-between. The durability of natural stone means that buildings last for generations, even with little or no maintenance.

London Fog Ledgestone by Avaani

What is Manufactured Stone?

Manufactured stone, also known as cultured stone, is a man-made product moulded and coloured to resemble natural stone. The primary use of manufactured stone is for architectural purposes, such as creating exterior facades and unique statement walls.

Manufactured stone is the first choice in the interior design industry due to its light weight and easy-to-use characteristics. Homeowners also don’t have to pay for fasteners or footings during installation, saving money and time.

The Difference Between Manufactured Stone and Natural Stone

Manufactured stone and natural stone differ in the following ways:

  • Natural stone is heavier in weight, making it difficult to transport
  • Manufactured stone requires less installation time while also being cost-effective
  • Manufactured stone creates less waste than natural stone
  • Manufactured stone adheres to multiple surfaces
  • You can customize manufactured stone colours according to your house colour theme

Silver Lining Stacked Stone by Eldorado Stone

How to Choose the Best Stone Type for You?

The stone type you should choose depends on many reasons, such as:

Visual Appeal
Manufactured stone helps you achieve the desired look if you have a specific colour theme for your house. Natural stone only comes in distinct colours depending on its base mineral. Yet, you can find any colour in manufactured stone.

Manufactured stone is long-lasting and low maintenance like natural stone. Manufactured stone also performs well in all weather situations and withstands freezing temperatures, harsh sunlight, and strong winds.

Natural stone is generally more expensive than manufactured stone. Before buying a stone type, check the total labour cost, material, waste, and product guarantee.

Installation Place
Selecting a stone type also depends on where you are installing it. Manufactured stone is best as a decorative product inside and outside the house. Living rooms, fireplaces, kitchens, bathrooms, stairways, and wine cellars are indoor spaces for installing manufactured stone. You can also place manufactured stone in exterior entryways, landscape walls, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and create entire facades.

Installation Process
Builders use two methods to install natural stone, the wet method (using cement mixture) and the dry method (fastening stone with clips and screws). In comparison, manufactured stone is easy to install and sized to fit. There are two types of materials used in any stone installation: flat stones and 90-degree corner stones. Using both of them together will create a beautiful stone installation.

Care and Maintenance
To maintain natural stone in pristine condition, clean it with mild soap, then rinse it with clean water before drying it immediately. Manufactured stone needs little maintenance after installation; you only have to clean it with a soft bristle brush to remove dust and debris. Applying a protective treatment to safeguard the manufactured stone from moisture is also better. Avoid tight sealing products as they do not allow trapped water to come out.

Which Stone is Right for You?

It’s important to factor in your budget and time constraints when deciding between natural stone and manufactured stone. Manufactured stone is usually more cost-effective and easier to install. Those who favour quality and durability will not be disappointed with natural stone. Before making your final decision, order samples of each style to get a more detailed look at both surfaces’ visual and material aesthetic.

Click here to view our stone collection and find the right look for your home.

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