The stone market has evolved over the years. Manufacturers have come up with great alternatives to heavy natural stone. By mid-20th century, cultured stone was introduced in the market and it was lighter than real stone so it didn’t require special footing and support during construction. The difference between natural stone and manufactured stone lies in the cost, color options, weight and availability among other factors.
Properties of Manufactured Stone
If you live in an area where there are no local sources of quarried stone, your contractor may recommend investing in manufactured stone. With manufactured stone, you’ll spend less money compared to natural stone which is almost 3 times the cost. Since manufactured stone is very lightweight compared to real stone, installing it is cost effective. No need to invest in footings and ties to offer extra support.
Manufactured stone is also used in wood frame structures due to its lightweight nature. You also have to choose from a wide range of color options which makes it easier to find a design that fits any given space. Since this type of stone is usually available in many areas, you can find it at a more favorable price.
Most people will invest in real stone in order to get a classic or architectural style in their property. Natural stone offers a unique kind of simplicity that many people desire. The earthy natural colors of real stone can give any space an original appeal. The major drawback of natural stone is that it is not readily available, its cost can be extremely high and the weight can make the installation process difficult. Real stone is heavy so you’ll probably need to invest in additional reinforcement to support the wall. It can also be harder to work with natural stone especially in designs that require cuttings to be made in irregular shapes and sizes. Real stone comes in different grades and that is likely to determine its price.
When choosing between natural stone and manufactured stone, you’ll want to consider the cost, ease of installation and other factors. No need to buy manufactured stone if it’s similarly priced to natural stone. However, if you really want the uniqueness and classic look of stone without the high cost, manufactured stone would be a great idea. Choose a product that will not only look better but also last long and be a good return on your investment.