Here at Amanzi, one of our specialties is marble countertops and other marble features for your home and garden. Marble is an incredibly versatile material, as well as being durable and stunningly attractive. A less well-known option is cultured marble. This alternative sometimes causes confusion when it comes to knowing the difference, so we’re here to clear up any misunderstanding when it comes to marble vs. cultured marble.
What is cultured marble?
Cultured marble is a man-made material that utilizes real marble. The natural stone is essentially pulverized into dust and then combined with synthetic resins, colored with dyes, and then coated with a clear gel to add a protective layer. Cultured marble typically contains around 75% natural marble. Like marble, it can be used for kitchen countertops, backsplashes, bathroom vanities, and more.
The differences between marble and cultured marble
Cultured marble is designed to look like marble and to have similar properties to it, but with a lower price tag. They are both durable but with some vulnerabilities to becoming scratched and stained. And both marble and cultured marble are easy to clean and care for in a similar way.
However, there are still some differences that distinguish the natural stone from its man-made counterpart. While cultured marble does a good job of replicating the appearance of marble, it is not perfect. Like most types of natural stone, each slab of marble is unique with slightly different shades and patterns. Cultured marble is made to replicate this, but it does lack some of the depth, character, and uniqueness of real marble. You may be able to tell the difference between the two just by sight, particularly up close.
One aesthetic difference that some may consider a benefit of choosing cultured marble is that it can be used to craft and install countertops without seams, unlike natural marble that will have seams for larger countertops. Cultured marble also has the advantage that it doesn’t need sealing because its manufacturing process makes it much less porous than natural marble.
Cultured marble vs. engineered marble
Another option is engineered marble, which begins to confuse things even further as this is slightly different from both cultured marble and the natural material itself. You may see these terms used interchangeably as both engineered and cultured marble are made from real marble blended with dyes and resins.
However, there are a couple of key differences between cultured and engineered marble. As mentioned above, cultured marble contains around 75% natural marble dust. Engineered marble contains a higher proportion of natural marble at around 95%. It also uses larger pieces of marble rather than pulverizing it into a kind of dust. As a result, engineered marble tends to look a little more natural and aesthetically pleasing than cultured marble.
Are you looking for marble countertops or backsplashes for your home? Then contact Amanzi Granite for our services and natural stone products around Kernersville, Winston Salem, Greensboro, and High Point.