Engineered Vs Natural Stone
When selecting materials for your home, the process should be deeply considered with overall aesthetic, longevity and sustainability, each playing a role in your decision making. The overall artistic goals for your home can be confirmed through the selection of high-quality materials that speak to the story you are telling through design. This is particularly relevant to homeowners when deciding which material to use for their wet area countertops and splashbacks.
Homeowners have two main choices when selecting stone surfaces. These selections include engineered stone, such as caesarstone quartz, and natural stone, such as granite and marble.
How do they differ?
Unlike natural stone, engineered stone is made of finely crushed stone mixed with an industrial resin or adhesive. Natural stone crystals are essentially compressed to simulate the look of natural marble or granite slabs. The price for engineered stone is reflective of its quality and is considerably less expensive than natural stone.
Advantages: a natural stone such as granite or marble is beautiful, sophisticated, and distinctive. These materials make stunning kitchen benchtops with natural tones and unique veining. This veining combined with their environmental imperfections cannot be recreated through manufactured, engineered stone – each piece is uniquely elegant.
Natural stone is heat-resistant, hardwearing, and acts as a focal point for any space within the home. Natural stone bench tops make a key selling point should you sell your home in the future they are a worthy investment.
Disadvantages: if you select a natural stone, such as granite or marble benchtops for your kitchen surfaces, these surfaces should be sealed. Natural stones are incredibly porous and sealing them will increase their resistance to scratches and surface damage from exposure to cooking, spillage, and harsh cleaning products. Regardless of sealing, however, engineered stone is more resilient to cracks and stains than natural stone.
Advantages: engineered stone is often similar in appearance to natural stone, as it is engineered specifically to mimic its characteristics. During production, dyes can be added to quartz components to create uniform colours for consistency throughout the home or space allowing for more flexibility in design. Engineered stone is extremely durable and long lasting in any environment.
Disadvantages: natural stone is widely considered more upscale for kitchen counters than engineered stone particularly by those in the design and real estate industries. Engineered stone benchtops, although extremely hardwearing, can still be damaged by heat and certain chemicals if used in the wrong way.
The manufacturing process of engineered stone also poses long term health risks. Long-term exposure to silica dust causes silicosis, a lung disease that usually occurs over many years of exposure. Silicosis has led many in the design industry to moderate their support of this type of stone manufacturing.
Here at Sukari Design, we endorse the use of high quality, natural stone as this sits in line with our goals for achieving high-end, luxurious interiors for our clients. We work with our clients to achieve a level of design that inspires and instils a sense of unique sensuality through thoughtfully crafted spaces. Working with natural stone allows us to curate a customised design as we embrace the exclusive nature of these stones and the sense of quality they bring to their designated space.
If you would like to explore the design opportunities we can create for you when designing your interior spaces, please view our portfolio here.