What is Man-Made Stone? – All You Need to Know
- January 07, 2020
Stones are always in demand in the construction industry. Apart from natural stones, the Man-made stones also have created a charm in the market and the size of a big pie of it. World of Stones USA is going to introduce the world of engineered stones or manufactured stones in a nutshell.
Natural stone pavers are an unbeatable option when you think of construction material for your next project. However, marketers in the construction industry were often misleading customers on the name of natural stones and their different types.
Man-made stone is the prime product where natural stone buyers trapped in the confusion and seek expert opinion to pick the right products. World of Stones USA is selling pure natural stone products and wish to guide its patrons to identify Man-made stones from the natural stone products in a scientific manner right before making a buying decision for their next project.
What Is Man-Made Stone? – A First Question to Ask.
Man-made stones are creating using technologies, which are mimicking the natural rock formation process in nature. Crushed rock particles and other materials, including resins and pigments, are applied to simulate natural stone appearance on the surfaces of man-made stones.
What Are Different Types of Engineered Stones Use in the Industry?
Man-made stone often termed as engineered stone or manufacturing stone. Some trendy products are:
Engineered quartz is the most used manufactured stone product in the man-made stone market.
It roughly constitutes
- 74% quartz or silica in the form of sand or sandstone particles, as well as recycled glass.
- 13% polyester
- 9% styrene
- 2.2% of pigment additives
Remember, Man-made quartz is an altogether different thing than natural quartzite stone in many respects.
The sintered stone manufacturing process almost mimics the natural stone formation process in nature without any binding material like synthetic resin. The natural rock particles used to place under the heat and pressure to meld and bind together like natural stones are formatting underneath the surfaces of the earth or water.
Of course, porcelain follows the same manufacturing process, but it is designed for tiles or thin slabs.
Manufactured Granite or Marble Stone
When a manufactured stone is constituted granite as chief natural rock aggregates, usually up to 95% during the manufacturing process, the resulting man-made stone becomes manufactured granite stone.
The same is true for marble or other natural stones while creating different manufactured stone types based on natural stone aggregates.
What Are the Costs of Man-made Stone Materials in the Market?
In comparison to natural stone materials, man-made stone types are cheaper, and the following are approximate price tags in the USA market.
- Manufactured Quartz – $125 per square foot
- Sintered Stone – $60-95/Sq. Ft.
- Engineered Granite – $50-100/Sq. Ft.
However, the natural stone supply is suffering from uncertainty, and the distance of quarries can influence the cost of shipping. Moreover, surface treatments and installation costs are high and varying in the case of natural stones across the globe.
Cost of Engineered Quartz when used in countertops
The cost of engineered quartz is varying according to the quality. For instance,
- High-quality – $75 to $150+/square foot
- Mid-quality – $65 to $75/square foot
- Low-quality – $50 to $65/square foot
The installation cost adds more to the purchase cost and on average, it goes to $125/square foot. The installation process has the following steps
- Leveling of cabinet tops – By using down or raising it or filling sands in-between areas.
- Additional supports – If needed, where cabinetry is not present.
- Fabrication – By experts to fit slabs into design and areas.
- Seam joining – By filling epoxy or other solutions.
However, the types of edges you need in your design can add some to the total costs. In most cases, bullnose and bevel are the choices for countertops while waterfall and eased are standard edging choices for horizontal applications.
What Are the Properties of Man-made Stone?
We already learned the merits and demerits of natural stone vs. manufactured stone materials used in the concurrent construction industry. Thereby, I am not going to depict all in detail. Let’s have a bird-eye view according to facts available on Wikipedia.
- You can typically work with man-made stone material in the same way as you deal with natural stone material. It means you need a diamond blade or water jet cutter, and regular saws may not work well.
- Engineered stone material available in 12mm, 20mm, or 30mm thickness.
- Manufactured stone slabs have standard sizes, including 3040mm X 1440mm for quartz & 3050mm X 1240mm for engineered marble
- Man-made stone is a non-porous material. It means it differs a lot from natural stone material in terms of porosity-based properties like water absorption and withstanding capacities against environmental factors, including heat and vapor related issues.
- Of course, it is a flexible and harder material against some kinds of natural stones.
- Engineered quartz & granite are the best choices for interior applications like kitchen countertops and cabinet tops. Wall backsplash, bathroom, and other vanity tops are some areas where man-made quartz is an appropriate choice.
- Sintered stones are befitting for exterior applications like patio or deck paving, paths, veneer for wall cladding, and stepping stone. It is due to the absence of resin-like synthetic glue material and mimics of natural stone processes.
- Engineered granite & marble are equally applicable for internal as well as external applications.
- Man-made stones are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, styles, and designs to be creative, but an absence of natural beauty and the presence of repetition in the design are the biggest drawbacks of manufactured stone materials.
- Engineered stone is easily affected by the direct application of heat and frequent free-thaw cycles.
- Fading of color and overall appearance takes place quickly compared to natural stones in the case of manufactured stone materials.
- The durability of engineered stone is next to natural stone if it is not at par.
- Of course, maintenance of man-made stone is easy due to the fast cleaning of surfaces and the absence of additional surface treatments, but replacement becomes compulsory when a piece of engineered stone damaged.
- If low-quality adhesive material is used in the manufacturing process of engineered stone, wear and tear occur rapidly.
- Health issues arise in the case of man-made stone applications due to the presence of siliceous materials and synthetic adhesives used in it.
- The sintered stone manufacturing process eliminates the use of synthetic chemicals at all. It means it is a more eco-friendly material than engineered quartz and granite stone material with synthetic resins.
The hardness of man-made stone vs. natural stone
- White Feldspar-Hardness: 6-6.5
- Quartz-Hardness: 7.0
- Hornblende-Hardness: 6-6.5
- Green Matrix-Hardness: 6-7
- Dark Matrix-Hardness: 5-6
- Resin-rich Areas-Hardness: 5-6
- Quartz Particles-Hardness: 7
Recent studies have proved that engineered quartz is not behind the natural stone-granite in terms of hardness. It means you can replace natural stones with manufactured stones in many applications, if not all.
Known Brands Producing Man-made Stone
Most of the leading manufacturers of engineered stone types have registered the patent for their products, and some of those are:
- Cambria, CaesarStone
- Cosentino (Silestone)
- DuPont (Zodiaq)
Apart from these global players, local manufacturers also have sized a big portion of the national and regional market of manufactured stones. The major concerns of manufactured stone are the use of petroleum by-products like acrylic resin, which contains Alumina Trihydrate fillers made from bauxite ore.
The process of mining is under toxic conditions, which banned in developed countries, and industry has to rely on developing countries. However, globally certified companies have overcome it using environmentally-friendly technologies.
Applications of Man-made Stone in the Present Market
Manufactured stone types have both interior and exterior applications. Let’s see some with visual cues.
Man-made Stone for Kitchen Countertops
Engineered stones are highly used in the kitchen as countertops. Thanks to its unique properties like resistance to cracking and chipping, which are surpassing the natural stones including granite, quartzite, and slate. Moreover, manufactured stones are non-porous and save us from regular sealing and many other maintenance activities.
Here, Quartz is the best choice among engineered stone types. Due to the similar appearance of quartz to natural stones, it also used in wall backsplash in the kitchen and other areas.
Man-made Stone in Wall Cladding
Artificial stone veneer is a highly used product in the market to decorate various kinds of walls in different areas of interior and exterior places. It can bring beauty in façade decoration including exterior walls, columns, trims, and stair steps.
Engineered Stone in Window Sill
Window sill provides a great opportunity to decorate the exterior look of your home. A variety of engineered stone types available in various colors and designs can allow the right purchase for sumptuous design.
Engineered Stone in Façade Column & Cover Construction
The latest technologies have made it possible to create the entire column from the engineered stone material and mold it is desired shapes and designs.
Engineered Stone in Dormer Construction
If you look for elegance and strength, manufactured stone is a viable option to explore, and the use of engineered stone or sintered stone in dormer design proves it right.
Manufactured Stone in Stone Pillar for Fence
When you are looking for a natural stone substitute for your exterior applications, the man-made stone could be a great selection to match and augmentation of overall appearance. You may apply stone capital on pillars to match the design of fence capitals.
Man-made Stone in Wall Coping
Garden enclosure wall coping is giving adorn look and superb utility when used with integrated planters using man-made stone selection.
Where to Find the Right Inventory for Man-made Stone?
World of Stones USA is the right place to find the best quality man-made stone inventory, such as porcelain pavers and other manufactured stone types. You will have the best quality of engineered stone tiles and slabs for a variety of interior and exterior applications. We apply a standard manufacturing process using the best quality raw materials in the industry.
Would you like to push the inquiry button or shoot us an email describing your needs? We surely respond on a call or instant messenger app to justify your query.