Real natural stone versus marble look - about the lack of quality and transparency in the furniture market
In today's furniture market, customers are faced with a seemingly endless choice of styles, designs and materials. Marble has become very popular again in recent years, especially for dining tables and coffee tables, because more and more consumers are turning to natural and sustainable materials.
But not everything that looks like marble is marble. In this article, we would like to shed light on the growing practice of using “marble look” and “fake marble” in the furniture trade. A number of companies, even in the premium brand sector, sell their customers tables with a “marble look” for expensive money. It is not uncommon for consumers to be unable to immediately tell the difference between real natural stone and imitation stone and fall for the marketing scam.
The MAGNA Atelier takes a critical look at the differences in quality between real natural stone and its imitations and discusses the lack of transparency in the industry.
Natural stone and marble – the icons of interior design
Marble is a natural stone that has been valued for centuries for its amazing beauty and durability. Natural stones were already used for furniture in Ancient Egypt and antiquity and have always been considered a high-quality and elegant material.
The timeless beauty of marble and other natural stones makes them a popular choice for tables and other furniture, not least because of their unique grain patterns.
But this popularity has led to a flood of marble imitations, particularly in recent years, which are sold under the term “marble look”. This name is often only very small in the product text or is mentioned casually, while the piece of furniture is otherwise succinctly advertised with the words “marble”. This confuses consumers who are looking for real marble tables and are referred to, let’s call it by its name, “fake marble.”
In addition, the tables with a marble look are often not even much cheaper than real marble tables. This makes it particularly annoying for customers when they receive their table and realize that it is not real marble.
But what exactly is this marble look?
What is marble look?
Marble look refers to materials that mimic the look of marble and other natural stones, but are made from different, often much less expensive, substrates.
These imitations are often made from ceramic, plastic or melamine and have a surface layer or film that looks like marble. While marble-look furniture can look convincing and real at first glance, especially in online shops or on 3D renderings, its appearance up close is quite sobering.
There are fundamental and important differences to real marble that are of great importance to consumers.
Marble look and fake marble – the wolf in sheep’s clothing
The biggest disadvantages of marble look tables are that they do not offer the longevity, quality and durability of marble and real natural stones.
We would therefore like to go into this in more detail:
Durability & Sustainability
Real marble is a natural stone that has a long lifespan and can last for several centuries. In contrast, the surface coating of marble-look furniture can easily chip, scratch or fade. Fake marble is not made to stand the test of time and the materials are usually neither natural nor sustainable.
Preservation of value
The piece of furniture loses its attractiveness over time and the value retention is also not comparable to marble. Real marble furniture and natural stone tables can regularly be found in antique shops and at Christie's & Co. auctions. When have you ever seen a "fake marble" table in an antique shop or at an auction? Never? We neither.
Real marble is heavy, which gives it stability and value. Marble-look furniture is often made of lighter materials such as plastics, which can affect its stability and stability.
Marble is known for its excellent heat resistance. This makes it an ideal material for dining tables and kitchen counters where hot pots and pans are placed. Marble-look materials can be damaged in heat as they do not offer the same heat resistance. Some of the plastic coatings simply melt when they come into contact with heat.
If you buy cheap, you buy twice - the price difference between marble and marble look
A decisive factor that often makes buyers choose marble-look furniture is the price. Real natural stones and marble can be a little expensive, while marble-look products are usually a little more affordable. But as grandma said: “If you buy cheap, you buy twice”. And this is exactly where the catch lies: the price difference often reflects the quality and longevity of the products. In addition, fake marble is even sold by more reputable brands, which ultimately sell it at a price for which you can also get real marble tables.
When purchasing furniture, especially high-quality tables, buyers should consider that it is a long-term investment. A real marble table from the MAGNA studio can last for generations and remains beautiful throughout this time.
In contrast, marble-look tables can be replaced after a relatively short period of time, leading to higher costs in the long run and also limiting the emotional and actual value of the piece of furniture.
Lack of transparency in the furniture industry
Lack of transparency and clever marketing is a problem in today’s furniture industry. The materials used to make furniture are diluted by Google keywords and confusing marketing, and consumers often barely notice the stark difference between real marble and the marble look.
The use of terms like “marble look” or “marble finish” is vague and leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Customers may accidentally believe that they are purchasing real marble when in reality they are not. This lack of transparency is problematic and leads to dissatisfied customers who rightly feel cheated.
Customers often have unclear information about whether a product is real marble or an imitation. The MAGNA Atelier only uses real natural stones and real marble, some of which we process into unique pieces by hand in our German factory.
The importance of education
It is crucial that customers are better educated about what to expect when purchasing furniture. Furniture manufacturers should be honest and transparent about the materials they use. This is not only ethically correct, but also in the interest of the customer relationship in the long term.
MAGNA Atelier – quality and authenticity
For customers who value quality and authenticity, real marble remains the best and most sustainable choice. Real natural stones offer timeless elegance and lifelong durability. It's worth investing in high-quality pieces of furniture that will be enjoyed for generations and are not just passing fads to be replaced by the next trend and contribute to the throwaway culture.
We as consumers can control our purchasing behavior an important contribution to environmental protection and the sustainable use of resources contribute.
The allure of marble-look furniture can be strong at first glance, especially when price is a factor. Still, buyers should consider the long-term costs and differences in quality. Real marble offers timeless beauty and durability that marble-look products simply cannot match.
It's time for the furniture industry to become more transparent and provide customers with the information they need to make informed decisions.
When it comes to high-quality furniture, quality and authenticity should be a top priority. Real natural stone will always have a special place in hearts and living spaces - even for the next 100 years.
Feel free to browse through our range of real and sustainable natural stone and marble tables, which we produce locally in Saxony-Anhalt.