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  • 3/24/2021 11:37 AM

Man-Made vs. Natural Marble: What’s the Difference?

When searching for new stone countertops, it may seem like your options are unlimited! Today, there are more countertop materials on the market than ever before; some coming from natural stone and some being man-made. 

When looking to renovate your kitchen or bathroom, real marble countertops are a great choice. Marble offers a variety of benefits far beyond its natural look. But when finalizing your decision, you might ask yourself whether you should buy real marble countertops or man-made marble. Here, we discuss the difference between the two to help you choose the right material for you! 

Natural Marble

Natural marble is quarried from the earth and is considered to be a high-end, luxury countertop material. Marble has been used in a variety of architectural ways for many years. 

Cultured Marble

Cultured marble on the other hand is a man-made material that typically costs less than its natural alternative. This material is developed as a combination of liquid polymer resin, coloring, and marble dust. Cultured marble is ultimately a mimic of natural marble. 

 

Colors and patterns

Natural marble actually comes in a variety of colors, including: white, black, red, brown, pink, yellow, green and grey! However, white is the most traditional and common color you see in kitchens and bathrooms. Natural marble also has unique veining, giving every slab a different and unique look. 

On the other hand, some will say cultured marble looks almost identical to real marble countertops. Man-made marble comes in pretty much every color as natural marble and has dyed veins added to make it look real. 

Hardness and durability

Both natural and cultured marble are durable, though not the most durable materials to choose from. Both are prone to scratching and chipping, which means regular maintenance is of great importance. 

Cleaning and maintenance

When it comes to maintaining your countertops, both natural and cultured marble require just about the same amount of care. Both of these materials can chip, crack, stain and scratch easily, which means you should only be using recommended cleaning products. To clean each material, use only non-abrasive, pH neutral cleaning products! Although they require the same amount of cleaning and care, there are different products that will work better depending on which material you have. 

For maintenance, you should regularly be sealing your real marble countertops. Doing so will help prevent stains that come from everyday life. On the other hand, cultured marble does not require sealing, as it is installed with a non-porous gel coat! Lastly, when it comes to heat in the kitchen, cultured marble tends to burn much quicker compared to natural marble. 

If you ever find yourself having to make a tough decision between natural and man-made marble countertops, use this guide to help you make the right decision!


At GMS Werks, we specialize in installing real marble countertops, as well as a variety of other natural stone materials. If you are renovating your kitchen or bathroom, we’d love to help! Give us a call or visit our website today to learn more about our great natural stone services!

We have been meeting the needs of both residential and commercial customers for over 90 years.