What Are the Differences Between Natural and Engineered Stone?
Some homeowners aren't aware they are buying a lab-made stone when they buy new countertops. While granite countertops are created from slabs of quarried granite rock, engineered stone products like quartz countertops are created in a lab using both natural and man-made ingredients. Both natural and engineered stone offer beauty and durability, but there are important differences to note between these two options.
Natural Versus Engineered Stone
Granite and other natural-stone products like marble, limestone, and travertine are produced from stone quarries found deep in the earth where they are formed by molten rock and a combination of minerals over time. For example, granite contains mostly quartz and feldspar but also has a mix of other minerals like titanite, topaz, garnet, and tourmaline that add color, texture, and patterns. Engineered stone like quartz does contain mostly natural stone, but it's manufactured by combining ground stone crystals with resin and pigments to mimic the appearance of a natural slab.
Both natural-stone and engineered stone offer excellent durability and strength, although engineered stone products are heavier and harder. In a real-world scenario, both natural-stone and engineered stone are on equal footing in terms of strength and durability. Even though stone products are durable, they still need to be maintained properly to continue looking as good as new, and cleaning is one of the most crucial steps. Instead of using common household cleaners, which can break down the protective seal and damage the stone, purchase a specially formulated granite countertop cleaner.