Do you know the difference between manufactured and natural stone? For instance, are the prices different? Which will last longer, and which has the most options for your home?

In this article, we’ll review a few of the biggest differences between natural and manufactured stone veneer.

Natural stone landscaping in home garden with stairs

Natural Stone vs Manufactured

What’s the difference? Which one is right for your project?

To keep it simple, natural stone is the real deal. It’s cut light enough so you can move it, but it comes from nature.

Manufactured stone, on the other hand, is usually dyed concrete that looks like the natural stuff but weighs less. Quality manufactured stone can be designed to look and feel (at least on the exterior) like most types of natural stone.

Here are three of the biggest differences between the two that you should consider:

Manufactured Stone Costs Less

If you have a tight budget for your stone remodeling project, you may consider manufactured stone over natural stone.

Besides the reduced cost of transporting a lighter material, manufactured stone also has the benefit of creating less waste. All the pieces come pre-designed to fit together, so you will have to dispose of less natural stone when it isn’t used in your project by the end.

Natural Stone Lasts Longer

If budget matters less than getting the job done right the first time, then natural stone is probably the way to go.

You can expect the real material to last beautifully for hundreds of years. On the other hand, manufactured products may only last about 50 years, and any cracks in the surface will expose the obvious synthetic material underneath.

Manufactured Stone Has More Options

“Manufactured stone is available in almost any texture, shape and color you can think of,” says Leslie Rouda Smith, 2016 chairwoman of Texas Association of REALTORS.

In the link above, Leslie also walks through the staggering statistics for ROI and increased property value on stone that matches one’s home. For example, Austin, TX reported increases of over 160%!

With manufactured stone, a company can easily customize the design of your material to complement the aesthetic qualities of your home or backyard. You will have many more options to choose from than its natural counterpart.

However, don’t think natural stone only comes in one size or shape. This article walks you through the cut and color options available to you if the manufactured route isn’t your choice.

Which Is Best For You?

Now that you see some of the differences, take a moment to consider what’s best for your project. For instance:

  • If your budget matters most, manufactured product is probably the way to go.
  • If you’re focused on the long-term, natural stone will last longer and look better even if it’s damaged.

And depending on the project you’re picturing, both types of stone offer plenty of customization options. Manufactured stone certainly has more, but natural stone isn’t one size fits all, either.

If you’re in the market for new stone, or simply have questions about how to approach a project, we’re happy to help. Simply fill out this contact form, and we’ll be in touch soon!