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Faux Stone vs. Real Stone

Sets of artificial acrylic stone samples for kitchen.

Real stone is made from natural stone quarried from our beautiful Earth. The large pieces of stone are then sliced into thin profiles to create smaller stones, usually to decorate. All-natural stone features imperfections, textures, and tonal variation that has formed over thousands of years.

On the other hand, manufactured faux stone is an artificial product specifically designed to resemble natural stone as close as possible. This product is typically made from different materials pressed into molds, allowed to be set and painted or sprayed.

Related: How to Install Faux Stone and Brick Veneer | What is Faux Marble | Faux Stone Panel Ideas | Faux Brick and Rock Panel Ideas | Types of Bricks | Kitchen Countertop Options

How are Faux Stone and Real Stone Different?


Faux stone

Faux stone comes in a wide variety of color options and is, in addition, made to match natural stone so closely that it can almost seem impossible to tell the difference with the naked eye. Faux stone also comes in different thicknesses, where real stones are thick and could be extremely heavy, depending on the size.

Real stone

Limited to its naturally occurring color palette, real stones in the Earth’s crust all have similar densities. Dense stones will offer superior durability and strength, and they have the ability to absorb liquids.


Man polishing the stone on a concrete table.

Faux stone

Some stone veneers are made from real stone, and they are referred to as natural stone veneers. Faux stone veneer, however, is manufactured from a precise mixture of concrete. Concrete is primarily cement mixed with lightweight aggregate blended with certain pigments to make it look like natural stone.

Real stone

Natural, also known as real stone, is a natural solid formation of one or several minerals. Through a lot of pressure, the Earth’s crust began to form, and heavy minerals were forced down to the core of the Earth, where they were trapped. As the Earth’s crust got thicker, it squeezed around the inner core, creating intense pressure and heat within the Earth, forming the stone.

Design features

Faux stone

Builders and architects take advantage of the versatility and lightweight of faux stone to use it in many unique ways that move far beyond chimneys and foundations. You can use the faux stone to install over metal and wood-framed walls and even over masonry CMU block or brick substrates. You can also use faux stone over poured concrete if you make use of proper installation methods.

Real stone

Real stone can be used for almost anything you can think of. This includes decoration purposes for both indoor and outdoor. Whether you are installing a new travertine patio or sealing an existing walkway, its uses are never-ending!


Stone path over an artificial river.

Faux stone

Faux stone requires regular maintenance and should be protected from impact. When faux stone loosens or cracks, it will not be expensive or problematic to fix, but it will, inevitably, shorten its overall lifespan. Because faux stone is more susceptible to damage than natural stone, it should only be cleaned with a mix of detergent and vinegar.

The framework ensures that your faux stone will last. It discourages the growth of mold or mildew and makes it far easier to maintain than natural stone.

Real stone

One advantage to real stone is its longevity. It can last for generations without showing signs of wear and without its colors fading. However, for real stone to be able to stay in good condition, it is necessary to do regular upkeep. This includes protecting it against harsh weather elements and proper cleaning methods.

If the real stone becomes loose or cracks, it is a much more expensive fix than faux stone. Real stone is both heavier and less porous than faux stone, making it difficult to work with and repair. Even though real stones can last for decades, it is time-consuming and costly to maintain correctly.

Cost differences

Faux stone

A small faux stone project can range between $250 and $500 per 20 square feet, which means you will be looking at approximately $12.5 to $25 per square foot. Individual stones may vary, but the price is approximate to ground covering or wall covering faux stones.

Real stone

You can expect to pay prices that range from $7 to $19 per square foot. You can expect to pay approximately $10 or more per square foot for a professional installation.


Stone samples in various shade and pattern.

Faux stone

Because of the brilliant advancements in technology, manufactured stone veneers can offer a realistic aesthetic, especially from a distance. There is also a huge variety of styles, colors, and patterns you can choose from, depending on whether you’re looking to match natural stone or embrace the manufactured product!

Another advantage of faux stone would be that it can be fixed to various substrates that don’t need to be structural. These are things like masonry or wood frames. This is because they are the lightest option between the two.

Faux stone also comes in several different thicknesses, giving it yet another advantage over real stone. Because of this, it makes it much easier to use faux stone in non-traditional applications.

Lastly, when it comes to building in the 21st century, one of the main and most important concerns is the environmental impact your material causes. Faux stone is more environmentally friendly solely because of how natural stone is harvested out of our Earth.

Real stone

Natural stone is known for its durability and ability to withstand the times. Natural stone is undoubtedly more durable than most other artificial products on the market, showing minimal wear and tear over time. It offers homeowners a sustainable and elegant option for both indoor and outdoor home design.

Real stone is also a great option for those who suffer from allergies. As an example, granite, slate, or marble floors offer a more hygienic option than faux stone and even carpets. Not only that, but the real stone is also naturally incombustible, waterproof, and mold-proof, making it an excellent choice for rooms in your hose that are more prone to water or fire damage.

Each natural stone has a unique set of colors, hues, textures, shapes, and sizes, making it one of the most versatile materials used in home reconstruction. While natural stone may initially cost you more, the high price is typically offset by relatively low long-term maintenance costs and longevity. Real stone requires little to no regular maintenance, and because of its durability, will last for years to come.


Pieces of natural stones including marble and granite.

Faux stone

Faux stone has a surprisingly long history. Initially manufactured in the late 19th century, the first artificial stone was made out of natural stone. Producers basically slice bigger pieces of natural stone into thick-cut slabs.

Faux stone manufactured out of cement did not become part of its composition until the 1950s. While cement is what gives the synthetic stone its stability and name, unlike thick-cut natural stone, it is unable to be used structurally or as a foundation.

Real stone

real stone is a natural and solid formation of one or several natural minerals out of our Earth. There are thousands of types of stone that have been quarried through the centuries. Quarries are located all around the world, but a majority of our natural stone comes from Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United States, Mexico, China, Taiwan, India, Greece, Canada, France, and Brazil.


Although there are both pros and cons of faux stone and real stone, the value you will get out of your choice solely depends on your requirements, time, and priorities. Faux stone has the advantage of being easier to install, as well as being easier to fix because of its lightweight properties. Aside from the fact that you have an endless variety of patterns, colors, and styles to choose from, it will never be quite as good as the real thing.

The authentic feel, look, and nature of real stone are uncompromised, and you will never find the exact same stone anywhere in the world, as each stone is uniquely beautiful to our Earth. It doesn’t matter how advanced technology is; manufactured or faux stone will never be able to compete when it comes to authenticity.

Suppose real stone is well installed and correctly maintained according to the recommendations of the supplier. In that case, a natural stone wall will never need to be repaired or even replaced, at least not in your or your offspring’s lifetime!


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