Know The Difference Between Natural Stone And Artificial StoneNatural Stone - As the name suggests, natural stone is formed by nature over thousands of years. The stone is quarried from the earth at different locations. The location of a natural stone determines its type, colour, and texture. Natural stone is identified by its varying uniqueness in colour and veining, and natural imperfections that set it apart.
Artificial Stone - Artificial stone is a man-made product that was introduced in the market in the 1980s. The demand for more consistency and uniformity in the look of the finished product was the driving factor behind this invention. Typically, an artificial stone is composed of concrete and aggregate materials that are pressed and moulded for the final product. Further, the product is artificially coloured and polished to resemble its appearance with natural stones. If you look at the products from a distance, it might be difficult to distinguish between both the stones. However, if you have a closer look you can notice the difference.
Top 4 Driving Factors That Distinguish Between Natural And Artificial Stone
1. The LookAs technology is advancing, artificial stone claims to offer more of a realistic and aesthetic look. They are manufactured to offer a wide range of colours and styles that can meet different requirements.
But, of course, when it comes to authenticity, a man-made product cannot compete with a natural product. Natural stone takes many thousands of years to form and in that process, its appearance keeps flowing with time and nature. In other words, each natural stone slab varies in its looks - no two slabs resemble each other. Enter any natural stone market and you will find rich variations in colour, texture, veining, and speckles which add a unique appearance to each stone.
Now when you look at the artificial stone, you will find repetition and consistency in colour and style. As they are manufactured by humans, all the slabs have an identical look. You can also notice a hand-painted finish in the case of artificial cladding which is often done to provide a unique look. Hence, people who prefer natural appearance may have problems with the unnatural and unrealistic design of artificial stones.
2. The CostIt is commonly believed that artificial stone is more affordable than natural stone. Artificial stone is 20-30% lighter than natural stone while each slab is identical in design. This makes the installation process easier and affordable.
In addition, the overall cost may depend on things like the design and its application. For instance, the orientation of your kitchen can play a major role in determining the resulting waste and overall cost.
3. DurabilityDurability is one of the main factors that decide which type will stand the test of time. Natural stone will always win the competition when it comes to durability and maintenance. Think of the ancient civilisations that favoured natural stone for building iconic monuments that are still standing high, even after centuries.
Most of the natural stones are less porous in nature which increases their durability. Moreover, the maintenance of natural stone can be done easily with a pressure wash. Whereas, maintenance of artificial stone is labour-intensive as it will not be able to withstand pressure washing or manual scrubbing.
Furthermore, the natural stone is more durable in an outdoor application such as cladding. It can endure all the seasons and natural elements including rain, sunlight, wind, and dirt.
4. VersatilityOne of the primary benefits artificial stone offers is that it can be installed on different substrates that are not structural such as a wood frame or masonry.
But if you need a stone material for cladding, an artificial one is not preferable due to the limitations explained above. Artificial stone may also not be the ideal option for application in or around swimming pools. Because it could impact the structural integrity of the substrate it is attached to.
How Both The Options Perform on Kitchen Countertops And Flooring?
The artificial stone will not have that rich and unique look like natural stone such as granite - as the percentage of stone mixed is less. One advantage is that the man-made stone does not require sealing like the natural one. But it can get permanently discoloured when chemicals are subjected to them.
On the other side, there are dark-coloured varieties of granite that do not require sealing either. So, decision-making responsibility comes down to you. You need to choose it as per your taste and requirements.
Now in the case of flooring, artificial stone takes just 1.5 working days for installation in a standard-size room. Also, they are available in stores in ready-to-install condition. But, natural stones are usually not available as such. You need to place your order. Then, the stone is carved according to your requirements. Moreover, the installation procedure is comparatively time-consuming.
When we talk about longevity, it will last for about 15-20 years - when maintained well. It is also susceptible to breakage if not handled properly. Whilst, natural flooring is more durable and will not break easily. All the more, it can last for at least a lifetime, if well-maintained.
Quality Marble Exports (India) Can Help You With Your Final DecisionBoth artificial and natural stones have advantages and disadvantages. Hence, which one is ideal for you solely depends on your space location, budget requirement, and design vision. Find out your needs and imagine how you want your home to look and feel.
The quality of artificial stones is controlled while the natural stone is known for its authenticity. If you want an environmentally friendly product then the natural stone is the choice. As artificial ones are composed of harmful chemicals.
Choosing the right product can be a strenuous process. Hence, you can share your design vision and requirements with us so that Quality Marble Exports (India) experts can help you to make the right investment. In fact, you will gain loads of knowledge that will aid you in deciding the best one for your space.