Clash of the Benchtops Natural Stone vs Man-Made
When it comes to natural stone vs man made, there are a few key differences to consider. Natural stone is found in nature and is extracted from quarries. Man-made stone, on the other hand, is manufactured in factories using a variety of materials. One of the most significant advantages of natural stone is that it is unique. Each piece has its own individual character, and no two are exactly alike. In contrast, man-made stone is often more uniform in appearance.
Aesthetic appeal is an important factor when selecting benchtops, but it’s not the only factor. Price, durability, and maintenance are all equally important factors.
When it comes to choosing materials for your home project, you have a lot of options. Natural stone has a timeless beauty that can add value to your home. However, it can be expensive. man-made materials, on the other hand, are often more affordable. While they may not have the same natural appeal, they can still provide a quality look.
When deciding between natural stone and man-made materials, it’s important to consider your budget and the look you’re trying to achieve.
Benchtops range dramatically in price depending on the material you choose. Some natural stones can cost the same amount as a man-made materials, whereas other exotic stones can be much more expensive.
Maintenance of Benchtops
Although both natural stone and man-made stone are beautiful and durable, there are some important differences to keep in mind when it comes to maintenance.
Natural stone is different to man-made products. Each type of stone has its own unique characteristics, some are very stain resistant while others need extra care. Modern day stone sealers are usually applied to natural stone allowing a benchtop that suits our modern life.
Stone is usually more heat resistant than man-made products and because the colour is the same all the way through the stone, damage such as chipping over time can always be repaired. It is also possible for a stonemason to completely restore an old stone benchtop to brand new.
Natural stone can be used externally but depending on the colour you can expect some fading over time.
Man-made products are resilient but can still stain and are often not heat resistant. Most man-made products have a graphic embedded onto the top layer of the material so any chips or scratches will show the underlying base colour. Over time as the bench ages, there is no option to restore it, if a refurbishment is required then benchtops must be replaced.
Most man-made benchtops contain resins which discolour or warp in strong sunlight so these materials are not suitable for external use.
Alternative man-made products such as Geoluxe are a good alternative if a totally stain resistant material is required. These pyrolytic surfaces can be used internally or externally and will not fade in sunlight.
Click here to find out more about Geoluxe.
It is important to decide on the type of edge you want on your countertop. With stone almost any style you can think of can be produced, with resin-based stones you can still have whatever edge you want but usually the colour is only on the surface so will not be seen on the edge of the stone.
Products like Geoluxe are like stone as the colour goes all the way through the stone.