Real Marble Vs. Man-made: is real marble the right choice?

Real Marble Vs. Man-made: is real marble the right choice?

This is such a popular question we thought it be best to start our first blog post with..

We are Woodhouse Kitchens and Cupboard Makers. We design, manufacture and install beautiful kitchens, cupboards, bars, wine cellars, bathroom vanities, studies, wall units and one-off pieces of furniture. We operate both in Gauteng and The Cape.

Now that the formalities are over, let’s get down to business. Is real marble the right choice for your kitchen or are the man-made alternatives, like quartz, the way to go? To answer this frequently asked question we first need to understand what these two products are, their pros and cons, and then it’s up to you to decide.


Marble is the real deal. Popular for thousands of years throughout the Mediterranean, marble has been used as a building material, for exquisite sculptures, temples and more recently, your future kitchen and bathroom counter tops and splash backs. Mined out of the Earth all over the world, marble has varying  patterns dependent on the region it is mined from.

Calcatta Marble

Marble being mined in Turkey.

Marble will last forever

Marble is a very strong, durable and tough material that can take a large amount of use. This stylish and hard-wearing stone will allow you to use a natural material to its full potential, whether it be as a worktop, kitchen sink  or even a splashback and hob panel. The charm of marble is not just its visual impact but that its highly versatile in your crusade to include the beauty of the Earth into the design of your kitchen.

Bianco Carra Marble

Marble cannot be reproduced

While current man-made alternatives are very close to marble, the beauty and feel of marble is unmatched. The cool, natural surface and distinct patterns that marble comes out of the quarry with cannot be totally replicated. What this means is that each piece is different to the next. This may not appeal to you, and your turn is coming next in the man-made section, but we believe that this fact creates a certain sense of excitement and a “once-off” quality to our kitchens.

If you’re a baker, marble is the choice for you.

The cool, soft stone surface that marble offers is ideal for rolling doughs for freshly baked bread, pastry or fresh pasta, with minimal sticking and need for extra flour. Marble is not a conductor, so the surface remains cool.

Marble changes and ages with time and use.

A spilt glass of red wine that’s not cleaned fairly quickly, the little scratch marks left when mischievously cutting a piece of cheese without a bread board in the middle of the night or slight etchings from the bottom of a plate without a place mat around the island. All of these things could give your marble tops “character”. The reality is that marble will start to take on the quirks of your kitchen, so little marks and spots are something to live with. However, you can mitigate this somewhat by opting for a polished finish. The polishing process ads a layer of protection to your surface.

Bianco Gioia Marble

Man-made alternatives.

Ceaserstone, Silestone, Technistone and Neolith. These are just some of the many quartz options we have available to us in South Africa. The alternatives are typically made to emulate natural stones like marble and granite as well plain non patterned tops and offer a large amount of choices that can cater to your own specific vision for your kitchen tops. So, what are they made out of if they’re not natural? Generally the make-up of these products is 90% natural material, like quartz, and the rest will be unnatural products such as resins, chemicals and pigments that create a non-porous material that can withstand a certain amount of heat and a huge amount of wear.

There is a large amount of choice with man-made alternatives.

The variety of options in this category is vast. From a speckled finish, or a monochrome colors, to an option that looks almost as if it were pulled from the ground, the choice is yours. The ease of these choices is also very beneficial, as these products are man-made and not largely reliant on mining or extraction, so you won’t be waiting for your sourced marble being shipped from Turkey.

Nobel Grey Ceasarstone

If you’re a perfectionist, this may be the choice.

The man-made option will stand the test of time, without changing or developing that “character” previously mentioned. These products are designed to remain the same through spills, breaks, scratches or scuffs. The hardiness of this option is a sensible choice for the customer who enjoys their kitchen and wants the tops to look as if they were just installed.

Mont Blanc Ceasarstone

We hope this has shed some light on which option you may want to go for.

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