The Right Stone
The use of stone as an essential component of design is nothing new; in fact, stonemasons have been crafting structures with stone since time immemorial. When designing your home, stone is a viable material for use in the kitchen, bathrooms, and even the bedrooms. You can rely on stone for the construction of wall surfaces, countertops, chimneys, balustrades, and decorative finishes such as mosaics. However, not all stone is created equal and being able to choose the right stone for the job is a crucial decision. Even though today’s market offers a plethora of choice, and selecting a quality stone has never been easier, one question remains that evades a simple answer. What is best, natural stone, or engineered stone?
Natural or Engineered
You might be quick to think that there is nothing to debate; after all, if the artificial stone is made to look like natural stone, natural has to be the right choice. To say that, however, would be to oversimplify the issue. As with everything else in life, each side of the natural vs. artificial debate has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Natural stone, as the name implies, has an entirely natural origin. Natural stone is cut directly from the mountainside or quarry and sold as is.
- Engineered stone is made by putting natural stone material through various manufacturing processes with the aim of improving its various qualities such as durability and permeability.
While natural stone can be beautiful on its own, the aesthetics of a given piece will be left entirely to chance. Remember that natural stone is cut and sold as is. Engineered stone, on the other hand, gives you complete control over colour patterns and provides aesthetic consistency throughout the design; which, to be fair, makes it harder to repair and damage more immediately noticeable.
Engineered stone surfaces also offer a higher degree of durability. Engineered stone is nonporous, which makes it highly resistant to staining, scratching, and etching. The nonporous quality of engineered stone also makes it very easy to clean, which further extends its lifespan. However, engineered surfaces can be susceptible to damage if exposed to extreme temperatures so extra care should be taken if used in the kitchen.
Natural stone tends to be on the heavier side, and as such, some structural reinforcement might be required before installation on certain surfaces. One important fact to note is that when it comes to resale value, nothing beats natural stone. If you plan on renovating or reselling your home, natural stone will add significantly more value to your property.
When it comes time to decide between using a natural stone surface and engineered stone, the choice will ultimately come down to your inclinations and personal circumstances. Hopefully, we have provided you with enough food for thought so that after careful consideration of all factors you can make a more informed decision.