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.
Consistency and Appearance
If you want a countertop with absolute consistency in pattern and color, engineered stone is a good choice. This is because it is designed in a lab to achieve a very specific uniform appearance without the unique patterns and colors of natural stone. If you appreciate a more natural beauty, granite or another type of natural stone may be the way to go. Every slab of granite is unique with its own irregularities, flaws, patterns, and colors.
With engineered stone, you can pick exactly what you want out of a catalog. When you choose natural stone, you can choose the exact slab you want, much like a work of art, with an appearance that is not found anywhere else.
In addition to knowing how to properly clean stone countertops, it’s also crucial to know how to seal natural stone. At Granite Gold®, we offer a wide array of specially formulated products that can help you maintain the beauty of granite, travertine, limestone, and other types of stone. When used correctly, our products will not damage your countertops, unlike common household cleaners. Learn more about our high-quality products by calling 1-800-475-STONE today.