Natural Stone or Manufactured Stone: Which Is Better for Your Project? Natural Stone or Manufactured Stone: Which Is Better for Your Project?

If you’re considering a project that requires stone, you will have a choice.  Do you want natural stone, or do you want manufactured stone?  A choice is good in almost everything, so before you decide, let’s examine which you should choose—whether you’re doing new construction, adding to a new structure, or something different.

Natural vs. Manufactured Stone

Manufactured stone does have some things going for it.  You can get just about any color of manufactured stone without shipping it—it can be made in some guys’ backyard.  Manufactured stone is lighter so many people believe labor costs will be less expensive—depending on the mason and how good they are.  The product itself is less expensive to purchase.  It costs less to buy some dye, a few bags of cement, and to make some stones (the process is a bit more technical, but these are still the basic steps).

Natural Stone Benefits

You save money and you can have any color.  These are all pluses for manufactured stone, right?  Why you would even consider using natural stone.  The answer is simple—natural stone is better.  Natural stone can be used structurally in building projects while manufactured stone cannot.  Manufactured stone will fade over time, natural stone will not.  Natural stone is real—it was “mixed” millions of years ago—there is no human error in the creation.  Manufactured stone was made by a human.  Maybe he or she did great, maybe not.  Most people don’t want to risk a maybe or maybe not on their building project.

Why Natural Stone Is Better

  • The installation process between natural stone and manufactured stone is about the same, but at the end of the day, or after a few years, the man-made stone doesn’t look as good. There are beautiful stone structures in Europe that are hundreds of years old, or even older.  There are structures made of man-made stone that begin to look faded and cheap after just a few years.  Most builders prefer to spend more on the front end and use real stone for longer-lasting beauty and greater satisfaction.
  • Manufactured stone veneer is more porous than natural stone veneer. This can be an issue over time with water and ice, and with exposure to heat.  There is more maintenance required with manufactured stone to ensure that it will last and that it is appropriately protected from the elements.  Natural stone needs little maintenance—it has been around a few million years without your help and will be here a few million more.

Most laborers who are responsible for installing rock and brickwork prefer natural stone.  They recognize that natural stone is better, lasts longer, and makes their own work stand out more.  If you’re considering starting a project, look at other projects.  You can probably spot the man-made stone because of its fading and how it begins to look shabby if not properly maintained.

Whether you’re building a fireplace, an outdoor flowerbed, a pizza oven, yard pavers or something else, natural stone is the best choice.  It will last longer, look better longer, and make you more satisfied with your project. If you would like to see choices of natural stone for your project, contact us for assistance.