When you’re looking for the best materials for your countertops and bench tops, there are two main options you’ll come across: engineered stones and natural stones. So, the first thing you’ll seek to find out is the difference between the two. This article looks at the differences between engineered and natural stones to help you make an informed choice.
What’s an Engineered Stone?
An engineered stone is a composite material made of crushed stones bound together with an adhesive to form a solid slab that can be used as a countertop or a benchtop. Most engineered stones are bound together using a polymer resin or s cement mix. The most common categories of engineered stones include quartz (SiO2), polymer concrete, and marble stones.
Although there are many applications for engineered stones, each application depends on the type of stones used. For instance, engineered marble stones are commonly used in indoor décors like flooring and wall decorations, while quartz stones are suitable for kitchen countertops and bench tops. Quartz stones are an excellent alternative to granites and laminates.
Unlike natural stones, engineered stones are factory-made blocks and slabs. They’re cut to the desired sizes and polished by fabricators to suit different décor needs. Engineered stones usually use water jet cutters or diamond blades.
What’s a Natural Stone?
A natural stone is an organic rock mined from the earth and processed for building and décor purposes. It was formed thousands of years ago during the formation of planet earth. The appearance of natural rocks came after mineral gases filled the earth, and these mineral gases cooled over time and condensed to form a solid mineral core and crust.
Once the natural stone is mined from the quarry, it may undergo sizing and shaping at the factory, or it’s delivered directly to the site, customized according to the desired application. Natural stones can be molded and customized at the factory into flooring, wall, paving, and countertops.
Natural stones do not undergo numerous industrial processes, unlike engineered stones, making them readily available and inexpensive. They also add an element of individuality to your house because they come with unique natural patterns. Natural rocks also offer more longevity because they’re not bound together by an adhesive.