Natural Stone Vs Man-Made: The Great Debate
As you plan your latest custom build or renovation project, it can be difficult to know which stone tile is for you. Here I have compared natural stone with some popular man-made materials such as porcelain and ceramics to help you make the right choice.
Whitchurch Autumn Sandstone
For homes and businesses, beautiful hand-crafted natural stone has been a paragon of luxury for thousands of years.
Found in bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, fireplaces and outdoor spaces, natural stones such as Limestone, Marble, Sandstone and Quartzite make for breath-taking wall or floor tiles with greater longevity and of the highest quality.
If looked after correctly, Natural stone tiles can stand the test of time, looking as impressive on the first day as the last day proving exceptional value for money and a true investment for life. Buy once, buy well!
Natural stone tiles have their restrictions, particularly when it comes to colour. Even though the shades and veined patterns can be extremely varying, the core colours of natural stone are predominantly within a palette of greys, browns and yellows.
In terms of moisture resistance, natural stones tend to be porous and moisture-sensitive due to the material’s inherent quirks, such as the inclusion of tiny fissures. Although we believe this adds to their authentic beauty, this can make the stone more susceptible to staining.
As a result, natural stone tiles require regular maintenance in order to prevent against and protect its durability thou sealing the natural stone is a long-term solution and make it almost maintenance free.
Often manufactured to look like natural stone, man-made stone such as porcelain or ceramic are available in a much wider variety of colours to their natural counterparts, giving greater scope in design and colour palettes.
Porcelain and ceramic have hardly any pores available for moisture to infiltrate, requiring very little maintenance at all. Ideal if you are time poor.
Quite often, man-made stone is cheaper to natural stone. Great if you’re on a super-tight budget.
Even to the untrained eye it’s easy to spot that porcelain and ceramic tiles are not individually unique and in some cases the colours can appear dull or flat due to their manufactured nature.
The materials’ lack of pores also makes installation a less forgiving process as it’s difficult for adhesives to bond to the tile. So, fitting and installation can be tricky, especially if you’re doing it yourself.
As the saying goes “buy cheap, buy twice”. A good deal isn’t always the best idea for a long-term solution. Where cracks and scratches add to the aesthetic of natural stone, man-made doesn’t have the same effect.
So, which should you choose?
Any type of stone comes with their desirable, and perhaps not-so-desirable characteristics. For us, no machine can match something so pure born from nature. Natural stone comes with far more advantages as even wear, scuffs and scratches adds to the aesthetic and ageless beauty. Like anything worth having in life, natural stone needs to be given enough love and attention to get the best out of it so provided you’re willing to put in the time and effort then the rewards you will reap are endless.
At Strata Stones Flooring we will always endeavour to advise and educate you on the right choice of stone for your needs, no matter how bespoke your project requirements may be. Get in touch to discuss your specific requirements.