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The Natural Stone Look: The History of Engineered Stone

Many people have sought the natural stone look in order to resolve the lack of uniform consistency, quality, and adequate supply of quality stone surfaces. Manufacturers started to solve this problem by creating synthetic stone, but the prototypes, though attractive and sturdy, were lacking a truly authentic look. As the popularity of stone surfaces skyrocketed and spread from Europe to the United States, the demand for durable, low-maintenance, and versatile countertops was ever increasing. Not until the advent of our PHI technology has synthetic stone tricked our eyes, having the viewer no longer sure if the stone is real or man-made. Using the science and mathematics of nature’s PHI ratio, we have made our stone imitate natural beauty. Today, to fully appreciate the leaps and bounds made in the engineered stone industry, we need to take a look back at its origins.

It All Started in Italy

Engineered stone originated in Italy by an Italian company, Breton S.p.A. In the early 1960’s, Marcello Toncelli was the first to explore and implement the idea of engineered stone for kitchen countertops. He sought to mimic quartz, one of the hardest materials and the second most abundant material on earth. Toncelli also made engineered quartz look like other stones like granite, marble, and limestone. This opened up the possibilities for creativity in home design, enabling infinite supply of uniform quality stone that could be cut into unique shapes and sizes. For example, customers could now have curves, circles, zig-zags, or ovals in any size they desired. Anything their imagination could think of, the company could produce.

The European Phenomenon Reaches America

The trend of engineered stone took off in Italy and spread throughout Europe. Its popularity,however, remained relatively contained in the old continent for about thirty years until America finally caught on. During this time, Americans preferred old-fashioned laminate countertops. Then, in the 1990s, the United States started to benefit from the sturdiness and elegance of stone surfaces. Then, In 2004, the sales for stone counter tops increased to a staggering 60%. The topography of home design was never left the same. Now, in 2016, if a home doesn’t have an upgraded kitchen with stone countertops, the owners will have a tough time selling.

Meeting the Home Buyer’s Demand

With stone counter tops booming with popularity, meeting the demand for such surfaces was going to be difficult. Suppliers struggled to meet the wide demand for beautiful, uniform, and cost-effective stone, but to find large quantities of natural stone was not easy. However, taking on the example of Toncelli, companies grabbed onto the idea of engineered stone to make their countertops more marketable and accessible to the average homeowner. They experimented with different combinations of stone, resin, and pigments to produce surfaces that looked as natural as possible. The results enabled more homeowners to afford beautiful surfaces for their homes, yet there was still something missing: an element of natural beauty that got lost in the manufactured look. We sought to remedy this issue.

Phi Technology Mimics Natural Beauty

Then came our Phi Technology. Compared to all other types of stone, ours look the most authentic because we implement the PHI ratios found in nature and apply its mathematics to our stone’s look. Our stone is even stronger than what occurs in nature and more stain resistant yet looks like it is from nature. We have accomplished what no one else has been able to do! Our stone is not porous meaning it is highly resistant to bacteria and tough stains like wine and dyes. The sturdiness, unparalleled beauty, and resilience of our stone make it a worthy investment to increase your home’s value.

Engineered Stone’s Bright Future

Appreciating how far we have come, from engineered stone being a small phenomenon to its popularity exploding in America, we now have opened the doors to limitless creativity and potential in home design. Our PHI technology takes the work of engineered stone’s predecessors and catapults surfaces into a new area of naturalness that tricks even the most trained of eyes. Engineered stone has endless potential for beautifying and upgrading the interiors of homes and businesses worldwide. Because we manufacture it, its supply is also infinite.