One of the questions I’m most commonly asked is; what’s better, natural stone or engineered stone? And more importantly, which one should I use and why? It is important to declare early on that neither product is better or worse than the other; they simply are different, and your selection should be based on your individual needs and wants.
Romancing the stone
Miriam Terry, Director State28 Interiors | The West Australian
Sunday, 18 February 2018 11:43PM
One of the questions I’m most commonly asked is; what’s better, natural stone or engineered stone?
And more importantly, which one should I use and why?
It is important to declare early on that neither product is better or worse than the other; they simply are different, and your selection should be based on your individual needs and wants.
Stone often forms the centrepiece of our kitchen, so considered research should support this decision.
We’re often led to believe that natural stone is more expensive than engineered, and thus we narrow our search; this is indeed a myth and they’re both offered in a range of costs. Engineered stone is less porous, has more flexibility and is harder on average than many types of natural stone.
Measure of hardness (MOH) sounds like some sort of Roman gladiator tournament, however the MOH scale is a measure of stones and their hardness and resistance.
The harder the stone is, the more resistant it is to abrasion.
Porosity is something worth noting as its ability to not be penetrated makes for an easier surface to clean.
Leaders in the engineered market provide options for polished and honed finish so the likeness to a natural stone product is becoming harder to detect.
Engineered stones, such as Essastone or Caesarstone, are a man-made product comprised predominately of quartz (granite).
Ingredients vary between manufacturers, however a composition of approximately 93 per cent quartz stone aggregates and seven per cent polyester resin is pressed into slabs.
Costs of engineering stone can range between $300 per sqm for an entry-level product all the way up to $700 per sqm installed.
The quality of these products is the same; it’s the variation of the quartz material used and the level detail in manufacturing that dictates the cost.
The regularity of an engineered stone enables it to have consistency that its natural counterpart does not.
For many this uniformity is a necessity as they desire a truly consistent finish and texture throughout, which an engineered stone will deliver every time.
Natural stone’s distinctive beauty resides with its exotic colours and patterns delivering design impact all of its own.
No two pieces are alike and this in essence is what makes it so remarkable.
There can be trepidation in utilising natural stone as it will present onerous maintenance, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
Like its engineered counterpart stone starts at approximately $300 per sqm and the sky’s the limit with rare stones as high as $1500 per sqm.
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