Update: Caring for natural and man-made stone slabs

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When you are looking to incorporate stone into your space, you are met with the decision of natural and man-made. You may be wondering what are the pros and cons of each and how you can even tell the difference between the two. It is pretty straightforward what makes them different - one is made by nature and one is made by people. The biggest difference between the two is price. 

The price of natural stone will be higher than that of man-made stone. That is because there is a lot more that goes into obtaining the stone than making it. One of the biggest factors you will want to consider when trying to choose what type of stone you want to go with is what type of maintenance it will need. 

So, what is the difference between caring for any natural stone slabs versus man-made slabs? Firenze International has everything you need to know!

Man-made versus natural stone 

Yes, there are two different types of stone that can be used in the design and installation of a project. Man-made stone, is also known as manufactured stone and molded concrete that is artificially colored with paint to resemble the look of natural stone. 

Natural stone is stone that is made in nature. There are several different types of natural stone such as metamorphic to sedimentary. Any natural stone slabs that are in a warehouse are created differently in nature dependent on the type of stone it is. Natural stone will always have a unique look that is different from other pieces of the same stone, that is what makes it so special! 

For example, Marble and Limestone are sedimentary stones. They form from deposits that accumulate on the Earth's surface

Why does it matter if a commercial, industrial or residential space understands the differences between if their stone is a natural stone slab or man-made slab? 

The critical reason is due to proper maintenance from these two different types of stones. This is how to care for your man-made and natural stone slabs. 

Man-made stone 

Since man-made stone is composed of several different types of materials such as concrete, cleaning and caring for your man-made stone will differ than caring for your man-made stone

  1. Mix granulated soap or laundry detergent with hot water in a bucket. You want at least half a bucket of water for the mixture. 
  2. Stir the mixture and use a bristle brush to scrub the surface. This helps to dissolve the granulated soap or laundry detergent from the stone. 
  3. If there is a stubborn stain, make sure to let the mixture soak.
  4. Rinse the countertop or floors off and grab a soft washcloth or towel to dry the surface. 

Natural Stone 

Natural stone needs a cleaning solution that does not contain any unnatural pH balances such as harsh chemicals or solutions. The laundry detergent used on the man-made stone will not be a good solution for any natural stone slabs. 

  1. Always use coasters, rugs or mats on the natural stone countertop or flooring. 
  2. Never wipe the area that has a spill! Grab a paper towel or napkins and let it soak into the towels or napkins. 
  3. Use a natural stone cleaner, a stone soap or a proper mixture of dishwashing soap with warm water provided by your natural stone distributor.
  4. Never use bleach, common household cleaning products or any with Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) due to overtime damage caused to the stone. 

Beyond just the cleaning, you want to be sure that you are frequently sealing your natural stone. How often this happens will depend on:

  • Hardness and density of the stone
  • Porosity
  • How often it will be in contact with staining agents
  • Where the stone is located
  • What type of maintenance it receives

While different types of natural stone can handle some harsher everyday cleaning chemicals, it is not recommended to use due to the overtime breakdown or films that will start to occur over the natural stone. 

At the end of the day, no matter if a space has a man-made or natural stone slab installed, the proper maintenance will differ! Need more information on the right stone for your commercial, industrial or residential project? Give Firenze International a call today! 

At Firenze International, we offer a wide selection of beautiful and durable natural stone! We also have an experienced board of advisers with over 100 years of experience in the natural stone industry. If you have clients in search of natural stone or looking to start a kitchen or home renovation project this summer, contact us and we would love to help you and your clients find the natural stone countertops, backsplashes, and hardscaping of their dreams!

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