If you’re in the market for a nice marble countertop, you may get asked about your preference between cultured and natural marble. In this blog, kitchen cabinets and remodeling specialist Harbour View Kitchen & Bath discusses the difference between the two options.
Natural Vs. Cultured
Natural marble is a naturally-occurring rock that’s quarried domestically, though the most beautiful natural marble is sourced in Italy. The term “marble” is used to describe a number of types of rock with similar qualities, but the type that’s used for construction is composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine, and can be polished. Given the labor required to source, cut, and polish natural marble, natural marble is easily the more expensive option of the two. It is also the more attractive-looking option.
Cultured marble, on the other hand, can be considered as a “synthetic” option. It is made from a blend of stone particles and resins. The mixture is swirled with color to create natural-looking marbling. Unlike quarried marble, cultured marble is cast in molds to create: bathtubs, sinks, countertops, even components of bathroom cabinets. It is possible to have a custom cultured marble countertop built to specification.
Factors to Consider
The biggest difference between the two is cost. As we described above, natural marble requires more labor, from quarrying to transporting to cutting it in shape. Costs also vary depending on where the marble was quarried. Italian marble, particularly Calacatta and Carrara marble, is one of the most prized natural marble options. Cultured marble, as a manufactured material, is less expensive. Depending on the manufacturer, it is possible to find cultured marble that’s virtually indistinguishable from its natural counterpart.
As a porous material, natural marble requires maintenance and can be stained and chipped. A natural marble countertop, therefore, will require resealing every six months to a year. Cultured marble, on the other hand, is coated during manufacture, which makes it suitable as a work space and prep area.
Harbour View Kitchen & Bath is your leading provider of marble and granite countertops, as well as other interior remodeling services. Give us a call at (757) 644-0848 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Chesapeake, VA, and surrounding areas.