Natural vs Man Made Stone.....which is best?

Its the burning question when thinking about tile or countertops, what is best?? Natural or man made??  Well I can't answer that question generically, so I will get into detail to help you understand the difference and what may be the best stone for you!

In this post, we are talking about tile, not countertops, so first things first, what is a natural stone?  

Natural Stone:

It can be anything from Travertine, Marble, Slate, or Quartzite!  A natural stone is for the lover the variation, because it comes from a mountain, its not something that can be altered.  It is what it is and it will always look different from one stone tile to the next!  To show you examples of what I mean, I have some images below that help depict each.

Marble: (Typically gray and white in color)


Travertine: (Typically brown and yellows)


Quartzite: (Can be any tone)

Slate: (Typically in the browns and golds as well as black)

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So that's most of your natural stones.  As you see they can vary in color and tone depending on the product.  So what else do you need to know about it?  We for starters, you should always use a sealant on the stone once it is installed.  The sealant will help protect the stone from stains, water marks, etc.  It will help keep it looking fresh for longer.  Especially if you have a marble tile as your backsplash and you like to cook a lot!  This helps against the splatter, but you should always wipe down your backsplash if you have splatter as anything can always stain if left on long enough.


Now for the other stones, the man made.  These are typically Porcelain or Ceramic when talking about a tile, but now a days there are soooo many more amazing tiles as well!  These include concrete, Glass, and Metal.  These stones typically look very much alike when talking about tone, meaning if its a colored glass tile, they are typically all the same color, so no variation in them.  These tiles are perfect for the person that is happy with a low maintenance stone and doesn't like the variated tones.  They can sometimes be cheaper than a natural stone too!  (added benefit).  Porcelain and Ceramic tiles are typically a ton of styles, colors, and looks.  You can have them look like wood, stone, marble, just about anything these days.  Metal tiles are just that, metal, so they will be shiny and easy to wipe down.  You can get them with texture look or smooth and in a variety of sizes.  These also add a nice wow factor to a space due to their sheen.  Glass tiles are typically back painted a color.  Again, these can come in a variety of sizes and shapes.  These are also very easy to keep clean and wipe down.  Concrete tiles are my new favorite addition to the tile family.  Okay, maybe they're not new, but people are really starting to like them.  These can be just about anything you can imagine.  The newest trend of these is to have a pattern to them.  If you want to see an example, go to our portfolio and check out our Newtown Square Bath! We used a concrete tile on the floor and a white porcelain tile on the shower walls!  They are both easy to clean and will withstand the heavy usage of being in a bathroom!


So, now that you know the difference between a natural stone and man made stone, you should know which is right for you!  And as always if you don't know and you need help, be sure to reach out to us!  We would love to help you with your projects!  And make sure you follow along to catch the latest and greatest that we are working on!