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Question DetailsAsked on 3/2/2012

Natural stone vs. man-made countertops

What is the better material for bathroom countertops, shower stalls, and flooring?

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2 Answers


More or less it depends on your working budget, and manufacturer. In many instances man made materials will run more on cost then natural stone. There are so many options on the market these days, with pro's and con's to each item. I personally like natural stone. I would never put a solid surface material in a shower stall for walls, but would use a onyx collection shower pan. With the walls there is no sure way to protect it from water penetration in the corners, you will have to caulk the corners every six months. With bathroom countertops either way is ok, but certain chemicals will effect both surfaces in different ways. There again I personally think Italian porcelain is the only way to go with floors for bathroom and kitchen areas. There is not another material on the market that has a low absorbtion rate with the durability.

Answered 8 years ago by KP


Excellent answer "KP" and right on.

Natural stone is more porous than man made products. If you are good with maintanence and up keep you should have little trouble with it. Bear in mind that hard water will leave deposits in the natural stone if not sealed regularly. That being said there is no man mage product in my opinion that looks as nice as what mother nature has created.

Whenever I can get the customer to agree to the price difference for it I install Italian Porcelain on both the floor and shower walls. It's much harder and durable. You can buy it for around $2 per square foot and up. It's really not much more expensive if at all.

I agree with the caulking comment by "KP." Never grout the corners of a shower. The natural movement in the home will crack it and cause leaks. The caulking should be maintained regularly.

All materials have pros and cons. It really comes down to your ability to properly maintain the surfaces and clean them regularly.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Answered 8 years ago by Todd's Home Services

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