Manufactured Stone vs Natural Stone
Just what are the differences between and the relative benefits of manufactured stone and natural stone? Here are a few things to consider before making a decision about which is right for your project.
Manufactured stone can be substantially less expensive than natural stone. This cost differential varies according to several factors but is driven primarily by the expenses associated with the material itself, freight (natural stone is very heavy) and installation. The difference in installation expense lies mostly in the likely need for a mason with natural stone and the potential, because of greater predictability, for easier installation with manufactured stone.
Manufactured stone can look virtually identical to natural stone. It also has the advantage of being available in a range of consistent colours that natural stone cannot match. This is a significant benefit when one is looking for a stone appearance to match or complement an accompanying design feature. Also, because manufactured stone is generally lighter than natural stone it can be applied in places that cannot support the weight of natural stone.
Manufactured stone is permanently coloured with mineral oxide pigments. These retain their integrity for decades however, just like natural stone, may eventually change over long periods of time.
Natural stone is just that and, almost by definition, can be expected to retain its strength, durability and appearance for many decades. Manufactured stone, properly installed, comes so close to matching the longevity of natural stone that there really is no practical difference. This includes the stress and strain of seasonal freeze/thaw and wet/dry cycles.
The Decision is Yours
At the end of the day you must weigh the relative features and benefits of natural stone and manufactured stone to make a decision that is right for your project. Shouldice Designer Stone is happy to consult with you to ensure your satisfaction with your ultimate choice.