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Natural Vs. Manufactured Stone

Natural stone vs manufactured stone. This has been one of the most debated topics in the construction industry for a while now. Ask masonry repair specialists around Tulsa and they might provide you with varying answers. Brick 1 Masonry aims to shed light on this topic to give clients the clarity that they deserve. Exactly which of the two is superior? Well, let’s dig deeper.

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

You may already know this, but it's worth pointing out that both the flow and the cost of a masonry job can be completely different depending on the construction materials used. On that note, you can never expect all stoneworks in places like Tulsa to be exactly similar to one another. Just because they’re all stones doesn’t mean that the structures had been built the same way.

This is definitely true when it comes to the two most commonly used types of stones in the world today: natural and manufactured stones. Although they may seem similar at first glance, they have significant attributes that separate them entirely. In fact, their distinction from one another is simply too huge to disregard.

So with that, here are the differences between natural stones and artificial stones (also known as manufactured or cultured stones):

 

Definition

First off, what exactly are they? It’s pretty self-explanatory to be fair. But in any case, natural stones are the solid blocks of materials “harvested” from a quarry or directly from the earth. Man didn’t make this sort of material, but we can subject them to many different processes to make them usable as building materials. On the other hand, manufactured stone is the type of material that’s been produced in the factory using a mixture of concrete and aggregates. They are then solidified in molds that would make them look just like true natural stones, at least on the outside.

 

Appearance

Depending on what you’re after for your next masonry installation project, you might want to stop and think twice before swiping your card. See, although man-made stones are designed to mirror that of real ones, there are certain features that give them away. For one, the tell-tale sign of faux stones is that they look too symmetrical. This is to accommodate the convenience of installation during masonry work.

Natural stone veneers are easily identifiable by their generally irregular shape. And although some natural stone pavers usually cut or chip off the rocks before actually installing them into position, coming up with a perfectly symmetrical shape is difficult. Cultured stone installations are proportionate enough that stone masonry service providers would simply install them based on the desired pattern of the client and bypass the whole shaping process altogether.

This might not be much of a design issue when it comes to paving stone projects, but it can be quite profound when it comes to projects such as retaining wall construction. The more stacked stone there is, the more apparent the pattern becomes. And for some, nothing beats the beauty of irregularly stacked stone. So if you’re opting for a more organic look to your property, cultured stone veneer might not be the way to go.

 

Sturdiness

There’s also the question of which one is stronger and more long-lasting. Well, despite closely resembling each other in appearance, their difference in this aspect is more clear-cut. See, we already know that natural stones are gathered from quarries as solid, hard earth chunks. Hence, contractors don’t ever try to “build” bigger stones by binding smaller shards and pieces together.

And to produce smaller pieces would mean either looking for tinier materials from the quarries or breaking the bigger pieces apart. The point is that a single natural stone will always be one solid piece; not a fusion of many. Meanwhile manufactured stones are produced out of a mixture of concrete and aggregates.

So, which one is more long-lasting?

By individual pieces, natural stone definitely wins. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that structures made of manufactured stones are any less well-built. This is because even if a single piece of manufactured stone can more easily crack, that’s also how much more effortlessly they can be replaced. This is in comparison to heavy natural stones that contractors would have to first shape appropriately in order to fit the area that needs fixing or replacing.

 

Cost

Ask any stone masonry contractor near your area in Tulsa and the answer would be a profound “it depends”. Building a retaining wall, for example, would demand material that’s more suited to retain the soil in place. Although, you might be looking at higher construction costs. The same goes with added home value. Believe it or not, investing in natural stone would garner your property more value when sold as compared to man-made stone materials. So with all this in mind, it all depends on the situation, your desired outcome, and your budget.

Stones by Steve Snodgrass under Commercial Use license

Although all of these points hold true, it all boils down to the quality of service from the company you hired. Of course, you should always consider the fact that if you want what’s best for your property, there is a need to look for a reliable service provider who can make it happen. And if you happen to be living in the city of Tulsa, then we are the right company for the job.

Here at Brick 1 Masonry, we are the leading figures for both manufactured stone veneer installation projects and natural stone construction! As the leading masonry contractor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we specialize in various stonework and masonry projects that give the most out of our client’s investments. Whether it’s masonry repair or full-on decorative masonry works, you are guaranteed results that are definitely worth your time and budget. For more information about our services, feel free to head to our SERVICES tab.

If you have any inquiries, you can reach us by calling 918-698-3573 or emailing us at Info@brick1masonry.com. You can also leave us a message by filling out the form provided on our CONTACT page. The next time you’re in need of veneer installation services or masonry repair near your area, make sure to partner with the best in the business, hire Brick 1 Masonry today!

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