Natural Stone Worktops Vs Man-made Stone | Shaw Stone

One of the most important decisions you will face when renovating your kitchen, is what type of worktop to choose. Man made kitchen worktops are certainly a viable option, but there is simply no substitute for natural stone worktops. Ask any architect or home designer what they would put in their own home, and natural stone will be the unanimous answer. Countertops are the focal point of your kitchen or bathroom, so you want something pleasing to the eye. But renovating your home is also a long-term investment, so you need a countertop that will last. To understand why natural stone worktops are the best choice, it makes sense to look at the differences between both options.

Natural Stone

Hand-crafted natural stone has always been considered a sign of luxury. It adds value to your home and can transform any room into a work of art, and natural stone has a unique appearance that simply cannot be imitated. No two slabs of stone are the same, so you are guaranteed to have a product that is one of a kind. While soapstone, limestone slate, sandstone, and marble, are common choices for floors and fireplaces, the most common choices for countertops are usually marble, quartzite, and granite. Marble offers a unique pattern that works well for countertops, while the natural minerals found in granite create natural irregularities that make for beautiful surfaces. While at first glance, man made stone may look like natural stone, there are many differences between them.

Man-Made Stone

Man made stone is designed to look like natural stone, but is often made from lower-quality materials. In some circumstances, it can be difficult to tell them apart, but there are some important differences to note. The biggest difference is that natural stone can be cut and the edge will still look natural. Man made stone does not afford the same luxury, so you will need to hide the edges. Veins in man made countertops can also look artificial and the design is often repetitive. Once you see a repetitive pattern, it takes away from the beauty of your countertop. They are also not as durable as their natural counterparts, and can easily scratch and stain over time.


Renovating your home is a major investment, and ideally, we want to use materials that will last. While manufactured stone can last many years with careful maintenance, natural stone can last forever. Man made countertops are also more vulnerable to heat, dents, and scratches, whereas natural stone is much harder. If you have children, countertop spills are an everyday occurrence, so ease of cleaning is an important consideration. Man made stone can often stain easily whereas natural stone is usually easier to keep clean.

Heat Damage

While you would expect your countertop to be heat resistant, it is advisable to protect man made stone countertops from hot cookware like pots and pans. The resin in man made stone is quite susceptible to temperature changes, and this can cause it to expand or contract, leading to permanent damage to your countertop. Conversely, natural stone has a higher heat resistance and reacts better to temperature changes.


There is not a huge difference between the cost of natural stone and manufactured stone when you take into consideration how long it will last. While natural stone may seem more expensive at first, it is important to remember that it will last much longer. Natural stone can last the lifetime of your home, whereas man made countertops will likely need to be replaced. Natural stone also holds its value better, so if you decide to sell your house, you will receive a better return on your investment. Granite ranks very high on a buyer’s wish list, but man made countertops may not be as appealing to some buyers.

Finding the Best Natural Stone Worktops

When it comes to the finished product, nothing can match the beauty of natural stone. Some man made kitchen worktops can appear like natural stone, but the materials are just not of the same quality. Not only is natural stone a higher-end choice, but it’s also a more practical choice in the long run. It offers a higher return on your investment over time and adds more value to your home. Shaw Stone has worktops available in several colours and materials to suit every style and taste. If you are looking for a high-quality kitchen worktop provider, look no further than Shaw Stone.