Engineered versus Natural Stone

When you’re choosing a new countertop, it’s important to make an educated decision. Your countertops will be in your kitchen for years, and choosing wisely will mean that you have a kitchen that will serve you well. One of the biggest decisions is whether to go with engineered or natural stone. 

When you’re looking at natural stone options, you have a lot of variety from which to choose.

  • Granite is strong, durable, and versatile. It’s one of the oldest, hardest, and strongest stones you’ll find, more resistant to acids found in some foods and cleaning products than marble, and it’s heat-resistant and virtually scratch-proof.
  • Marble is elegant and timelessly beautiful. It’s highly reactive to acid, so substances like vinegar, orange juice, lemons, and some cleaners can etch the stone, leaving dull marks or rings. You can’t cut directly on marble as you can on granite, and it’s best used where it won’t face much abuse.
  • Limestone gives a look of subtle sophistication. Highly reactive to acids, which can cause it to etch or dull, limestone varies in hardness. The softest varieties can be scratched by things like coins, keys, and knives, and harder pieces can be finished to a high-gloss surface. Limestone must be sealed so it won’t stain. It requires care but will last for many years, aging beautifully.
  • Travertine is a soft, delicate stone. A form of limestone, it’s highly reactive to acids and varies in hardness, density, and porosity. Travertine has small pits and holes that can be filled with epoxy, or the stone can be left in its natural state, giving it a warmer, aged look that will eventually acquire a beautiful patina but will be less durable.
  • Soapstone is soft, smooth, and warm. It’s rustic but rich looking, which makes it work for many different décor styles. Unaffected by acids, nonporous and heat resistant, it doesn’t require special cleaners, but it’s so soft it can be scratched with a fingernail.

While natural stone is beautiful, engineered stone has advantages, too. A “green product” that’s comparable to granite in almost every way, engineered stone is made of quartz, which is extremely hard and durable. Engineered stone products are non-porous as well as stain and bacteria-resistant. They have the appearance of natural stone, except they’re more uniform in color and pattern because they’re manmade.

At United Granite, we have an extensive inventory of both natural and engineered stone. A well-established natural and engineered stone fabricator and installer, United Granite has been serving Virginia, Maryland, DC, and New Jersey for 22 years. Our 4 fabrication shops, 4 slab yards and 1 showroom allow United Granite to produce the highest quality countertops, with the most natural stone color selections combined with the shortest lead time in the industry. If you’re looking for professional service, quality workmanship, and the highest level of customer satisfaction, visit our website, email us for more information, or visit us in Chantilly, Alexandria, or Fredericksburg, Virginia.