Natural Stone & Engineered Stone

We are often asked about the difference between granite countertops and engineered stone products.

The disparity between granite countertops and engineered stone lies in their origin and composition. Granite is a natural stone formed deep within the Earth, featuring unique variations, durability, and authenticity. In contrast, engineered stone, like quartz, is a composite of quartz particles, resins, and pigments, aiming to replicate natural stone aesthetics but lacking the geological processes that make granite enduring and genuinely unique.

Engineered vs Natural

The distinction between engineered quartz and natural stone can be confusing when quartz manufacturers label their products as “natural stone.” Despite marketing claims, manufactured quartz is not natural stone; true natural stone, like granite, limestone, quartzite, and marble, forms exclusively in nature without artificial processes. Geologically speaking, natural stones consist solely of minerals, lacking components like polyester resin found in engineered quartz. While the attempt to align the two is understandable, it’s essential to recognize their fundamental differences.

What’s In A Name

Companies cleverly name quartz countertops as “pure natural quartz,” but geologically, they are not entirely natural. Typically, 70-93% quartz is mixed with resin, styrene, pigments, and additives. Despite claims, these surfaces are not purely quartz; accurate proportions affect their properties. Some brands may not disclose the complete composition, raising questions about transparency.

Mont Blanc and Other Names

Navigating colour choices in construction or remodels can be overwhelming, with amusingly named options like Cloud White or Dune White for trim and Bleached Wood or Urban Putty for grout. 

Quartz companies often use identical names for genuine natural stones and their synthetic counterparts, such as Mont Blanc, creating customer confusion. This widespread practice extends to other names like Super White, Taj Mahal, and Statuario, further complicating decision-making.

Such intentional confusion challenges industry professionals to guide clients effectively amidst the array of options, emphasizing the importance of clear communication and education about product distinctions.

From the Earth

What distinguishes manufactured quartz from genuine natural stone like granite apart from naming? Granite, an igneous rock formed from molten magma deep within the Earth’s crust, undergoes slow cooling, creating dense, durable, and unique stones with varied colours and patterns. This geological history, spanning thousands to millions of years, imparts a distinctive character to each granite piece, making it a coveted choice for countertops. 

In contrast, manufactured products attempt to replicate granite’s appeal but lack the authentic geological processes that make natural stone enduring and unique.

Manmade Molds

Manufactured quartz slabs consist of mineral quartz particles, resins, and pigments. A polyester resin binds the minerals, and pigments add colour, mimicking natural stone patterns. 

The manufacturing process involves blending the ingredients, pouring the mixture into a mold, and employing techniques like vibration, compaction, heat, and vacuum to transform the slurry into a solid slab. 

Designs may vary, with some slabs exhibiting uniform colour and resin distribution. In contrast, others feature visible resin areas and diverse pigments for a natural stone aesthetic.


The claim that a specific quartz brand is “much harder than granite or marble” can be fact-checked using the Mohs scale, which assesses hardness based on scratch resistance. Quartz samples generally scored a hardness of 6 to 7, similar to or slightly softer than granite. 

Filler materials like polyester in composite slabs tend to be softer, influencing overall hardness values in specific slab areas. The test results do not substantiate the claim that quartz is “much harder” than granite.

DPD360 Natural and Engineered Stone Options

As a leading stone manufacturer based in Barrie, we specialize in designing, fabricating, and installing a range of stone products for both indoor and outdoor spaces. Our extensive portfolio includes countertops, vanities, fireplaces, tub and shower surrounds, and spas. 

With a state-of-the-art facility equipped with advanced CNC technology, our highly-trained team serves communities across southern and northern Ontario, offering a diverse selection from our in-house inventory of over 30,000 sqft.

Contact us to learn more about the stone we have available for your next residential or commercial project.

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