With the wide range of stone selections on the market today, the differences can be overwhelming when deciding on a stone product that matches your application. As technology has progressed, stone manufacturers have continuously developed new and improved ranges of stone slabs to meet the consumers functional yet aesthetic requirements. Now, with endless options of quartz engineered stone available, a relative newcomer has joined the market; porcelain stoneware.
What does it mean for a material to be natural, engineered or porcelain?
Most stone materials can be classified into three main groups:
1. Natural Stone. This means that large blocks of raw stone are cut from a mountain or quarry, processed into slabs and sold to stone fabricators as natural marble, granite or quartzite slabs.
2. Engineered Stone. For engineered surfaces, the same natural materials such as quartz are processed by compressing the material into a denser and less porous slab improving the durability and consistency of the slabs.
3. Porcelain Stoneware. To produce porcelain involves an even more technologically advanced production process as raw clays and materials are compressed then subjected to a firing process at over 1100 °C. Although the process is more advanced, the resulting surface is incredibly resistant to wear, mechanical stress and thermal stress.
So, what are the main differences?