How to Spot Fake and Real Natural Stone
If you are reading this article about tips for spotting imitation natural stone, you are likely to be a smart shopper who likes to be well-informed. With the advancements in technology, some stone manufacturers are able to pull off quality knock-offs of granite, marble and other popular stone types, but nothing compares to the hardiness, scratch resistance, heat resistance and beauty of genuine natural stone for countertops and other interior applications.
Natural Stone—Fake vs Real
Here we offer six helpful tips to determine whether the marble or granite stone material you are looking at is fake or real.
Pricing of Fake vs Real Natural Stone
Engineered stone materials involve plenty of work and good-quality products. They are often more expensive than laminate, timber or stainless steel benchtops. However, man-made stone will never be as valuable as natural stone, which will be reflected in the price per meter. Engineered stone usually costs $350-$550 per square meter, whereas natural stone like granite or marble usually costs in excess of $500 per meter, with rarer stone slabs priced at over $1,200 per square meter. As such, pricing can be a quick indicator of whether you are looking at the fake or real stone.
The Sound of Authenticity
A good way to first analyse the material you are considering is to perform a quick ‘sound test’. Tap the back of the slab using a light hammer or piece of metal. Real natural stone will give a ringing feedback sound. This is produced by the natural rocks and minerals that reverberate as they are porous. Fake granite includes synthetic resins and quartz crystals that will give a clicking sound, duller and more muted than natural granite or marble stone.
Assess the Colour and Patterns for Natural Origin
One of the most desirable characteristics of natural stone slab is its one-of-a-kind patterning. No two pieces of marble or granite look identical, which adds to its appeal and value. While some natural granite or marble stones can be even in colour, there should be slight variations in the veins and texture, and these ‘imperfections’ are key for spotting genuine stone. Fake or engineered stone will commonly have repeating patterns and identically even colouring throughout. Be mindful that real granite and marble do not appear in a huge variety of colours, so unusually bright or bold colours will likely indicate a man-made stone.
Water Can Help Identify Natural Stone Authenticity
When you are selecting a raw stone material prior to sealing and customisation, you can determine whether it is a real natural stone by applying a few drops of water to the material. When wet, natural stone will momentarily darken in the specific area. Engineered granite stone is built to be non-porous, so the water test will show no absorption or change in colour.
Assess the Seams of Stone Countertops to Spot a Fake
If you are planning to buy a property with granite countertops, you can check the authenticity of the stone by looking closely at the seams. Real stone will show texture and pattern differences. Even if your installer is meticulous, there will still be visible differences along the seams on close inspection. Mad-made countertops will show consistency of pattern and no change in the nuances. With manufactured materials, there may even be no seams at all. While this may not bother you, it is important to know what you are buying to help you understand your stone fittings' quality and maintenance requirements moving forward.
Deal With a Reputable and Honest Supplier
Whether you are performing an online search to buy natural stone, or browsing showrooms in person, choosing a reputable supplier of natural stone is the best way to eliminate any doubt when shopping for your dream stone materials. The investment you will make in selecting natural stone materials like granite, travertine, marble, onyx and others will pay you back with longevity, aesthetic pleasure and the knowledge that your stone countertops, flooring, splashbacks or feature walls are genuinely unique.
Deluxe Stone is among the most trusted suppliers of authentic natural stone Melbourne. With a stunning range of products from all over the world, including America, Europe, South America, Asia and beyond, it is easy to find your favourite natural stone for interior or exterior applications. As a leader in the business, Deluxe Stone offers a variety of stone types to suit all budgets and applications, from premium natural stone to porcelain and ceramic and quality reconstituted stone.
Get in touch with the experts at Deluxe Stone to speak with one of our natural stone specialists, who will answer all your questions.