While the experience of the builder or contractor, along with the actual project, will determine whether natural stone or manufactured stone should be chosen, natural stone would be the first preference for most people. The majority of architects and designers do prefer to use natural stone cladding both for exteriors and interiors as natural stone can improve the value of a home with natural stone having a higher perceived value than a manufactured product – it’s been said that when you use natural materials, projects look better and are more in tune with nature.
DecoR Stone’s Natural Stone products are all natural stone, made by nature, that is quarried and then turned into the required module sizes for convenience and regularity.
Manufactured Stone (also known as manmade stone or cultured stone) is a mixture of cement and other components that is poured into a mold and coloured to look like real stone; there is also faux veneer stone available which is a high-density polymer product. Manufactured stone gained popularity as it was previously thought that natural stone was a dearer product however the process for cutting thinner stone was developed which now decries that argument.
Installation is the same usually, as both come in panels for ease of application, and visually also there is not much difference when originally looking at them as both options come in a variety of shapes and colours however, when it comes time to purchase, most people will defer to the real stone as it can make a real impact, looking like it’s always been a part of the landscape or building.
Another important issue to consider is the cutting of cultured stone. Real stone can be cut whereas cutting cultured stone exposes the aggregate edge and then one needs to make an additional decision how to ‘hide’ this edge.
Colour fading can also be an issue with manufactured stone, poor durability due to natural elements such as water, sunlight and wind. Generally natural stone does not fade with sunlight or if it does, it is over generations, decades, hundreds and thousands of years where it ages in a natural, appealing style. With manufactured stone however, with mineral oxide colouring being applied to the surface of stone veneer during the manufacturing process, weathering can allow the colour to fade, changing the stone’s appearance. Regardless of the quality or brand of any product, concrete and paint will deteriorate over time due to the natural wear of elements. Natural stone has proved its endurance over time, civilisations have been using stone as their building material for thousands of years.
A consideration of environmentally – friendly buyers is that manufactured stone can be composed of harmful man-made chemicals and that manufactured or cultured stone, with its coloured cement coating, is also susceptible to staining due to the porosity of some of the applied finishes, natural stone will generally not support this fungal staining. Another concern is that it can also develop efflorescence which is the migration of a salt to the surface of a porous material, where it forms a coating and leaves scaly white deposits.
Natural stone will add real long term value to your home through the authenticity of real stone.
|Natural Stone||Manufactured Stone|
|100% stone – as one with nature||Combination of cement, aggregates, and mineral oxides heated in molds to resemble stone|
|Quality product gives a effortlessly natural look||Repetitive patterns give a precise, regular look|
|Limited colours of nature||Can have more colour options because it can be dyed on demand in the mold|
|Authentic and genuine. Better consistency||Must remain above ground.|