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When looking around for new countertops for your home, there are many options to choose from. One of the most sought after materials is marble, for many great reasons. Marble is a luxurious stone that offers true beauty on top of a variety of benefits. But when looking at marble countertops for your home, you may run into man-made marble materials as well? How do these countertops compare to the natural marble stone?
At GMS Werks, we installed a number of countertops and stone floors across many projects over the years. Our team understands natural stone to its fullest, and is happy to help anyone in their next project. As we get asked many questions about the difference between natural and man-made marble, we decided to dig into it below.
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.
Man-made, or cultured marble, on the other hand, is a 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. It looks similar in color and design, but is not in fact made of natural stone.
Natural marble actually comes in a variety of colors, including: white, black, red, brown, pink, yellow, green and gray! However, white is the most traditional and common color you see in kitchens and bathrooms. Natural marble also contains beautiful veining, giving every slab a unique look.
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.
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.
Another huge difference between cultured and natural marble is the price that each is worth. Natural marble, as well as any natural stone, is going to be much more expensive than the cultured alternative. Although paying less for something that looks like the real deal may be enticing, natural marble will increase your home’s value much more than man-made materials.
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 natural 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.
When it comes to quality, natural marble is much better. But with quality comes a higher price and more maintenance. If you have any questions about which stone to use for your next project, give our team a call today!