If you’re adding new counter tops as a part of your Plano home remodeling and design project, you might be wondering whether you should go with natural or engineered stone counter tops. As it turns out, there are pros and cons to both options. Here’s a breakdown of the costs and benefits of each so you can make the best choice for your Plano home remodel.
What is Each Comprised of?
Natural stone is just that — it comes from the earth. When people talk about natural stone in the context of renovation, they’re usually talking about granite, which is formed by molten rock deep within the earth’s crust. Natural minerals, such as quartz, tourmaline, topaz and garnet are what give this stone its stunning sparkle.
Engineered stone — in other words, man-made — is manufactured in a facility. It’s primarily made up of quartz, which is ground, blended and heated to make a smooth surface.
What are the Differences in Appearance?
Because granite is naturally made, it tends to come with flaws and inconsistencies that you won’t find in engineered stone. Each piece of granite is completely unique, so you’ll find variations in color, thickness and pattern. If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind stones, granite counter tops are the way to go.
Engineered stone is great for homeowners who desire a consistent, uniform look. Since it’s facility-made, there is a lot more control over the final appearance of each stone. If uniformity is your goal, then engineered stone is a good fit for your Plano home remodel.
Which is Stronger?
Both choices are relatively strong, durable and simple to maintain. However, because granite comes with natural inconsistencies, it can be more prone to cracking than its engineered counterpart. But if your counter tops are properly sealed, then you likely won’t have any problems.
How is Each Maintained?
Engineered stone and granite are both easy to maintain. A mild cleaner and damp cloth are usually sufficient to restore a sparkling appearance to both kinds of counter top. That being said, granite does tend to be more porous, which means it stains more easily than engineered stone does. Because engineered stone is entirely nonporous, it is more stain-resistant.
What are the Differences in Cost?
Neither engineered stone nor natural stone is cheap. These are high-quality materials built to last a lifetime, so if low cost is your priority, then you’re better off going with a laminate.
On the bright side, the differences in cost are marginal and vary by distributor, so price needn’t be a major consideration when you’re trying to decide between natural and engineered stone.
So, Which is Right for You?
That all depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re seeking a uniform look that will withstand even the most rigorous kitchen conditions, then engineered stone is a great option. On the other hand, if having a one-of-a-kind counter top is very important to you, and you’re willing to reseal it every few years, then you can’t go wrong with granite counter tops.