Manufactured stone vs natural stone: what to consider

Adding masonry to your home is a beautiful and feature appeal that can’t be found any other way. Stone is timeless and can be used in various ways to enhance your home, inside or out. But when it comes to manufactured vs natural stone, which is the right choice when both offer great benefits?

Europa Masonry in Calgary is a professional masonry company. They share the differences between manufactured and natural stone and what to consider to help you choose:

Manufactured stone

This is also known as a manmade or cultured stone and is a combination of Portland cement, aggregates, and iron oxides. This combination is what creates the realistic appearance of natural stone but with different benefits. Unlike natural stone, manufactured is much more lightweight and so easier to cut and install. Keep in mind that manufactured stone is different from faux stone, despite the two terms being used interchangeably. Faux stone is made of foam, and while it is just as easy to install, it is less robust against impact damage. Given time, the colour of the manufactured stone will fade, and it cannot be used in structural building.

Natural stone

As its name suggests, natural stone is quarried stone from the earth, so the types of stones vary. No pigments or materials are added to the stone, meaning every natural stone is unique in its appearance and design. Granite, marble, and travertine are a few of the more popular types of natural stone used in renovations. Unlike manufactured stone, natural stone is extremely durable and long-lasting and can be used in various ways. Walls, tiles, and flooring are all options with a natural stone inside the home. The downside, however, is that it is much heavier and so harder to cut. Because it is quarried as well, natural stone can be harder to source.

Use and installation

How you plan to use the stone will affect which type is the best choice. For structural renovations, like new flooring, backsplash, or feature walls, natural stone is the best choice. Its robust nature and natural beauty make it a value-boosting addition with long-lasting benefits.

Another factor is the installation process, which differs between the two. Manufactured stone can be used outside, such as stone veneer wrap on columns, but it must be waterproofed first. Unlike natural stone, manufactured tends to absorb moisture, which can cause damage. If experience is necessary for quality installation, then hiring a professional may be the best choice. With natural stone, in particular, a professional is typically always a recommendable choice.


Proper budgeting is key in any renovation, but especially when deciding between manufactured and natural stone. Natural stone tends to range in costs, depending on the type of stone, the amount, and whether a professional is installing it. Typically, hiring a skilled mason is the best choice to ensure a quality finish and installation. Manufactured stone costs can range just as much with higher-end qualities. Still, if a strict budget is a factor, then manufactured stone looks just as attractive and realistic as natural stone.

If you can’t decide between the two, talk to a professional for advice. They’ll let you know which one will be the best fit for your home or what options are available to get the right price for your budget. Either way, there aren’t any compromises when it comes to adding masonry to your home.

Masonry Contractors in Calgary

Europa Masonry prides itself on turning masonry dreams into reality with their skilled professionals and support. Every project is handled with the utmost quality, care, and attention to detail. Any questions or concerns are always resolved with absolute customer satisfaction. Whether you want natural stone or manufactured, Europa Masonry is the company to call.

Contact Europa Masonry today!

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