Engineered stone is a composite material that serves as a substitute for solid stone in creating kitchen countertops. Unlike terrazzo, which is manufactured in slabs by a factory, engineered stone is produced on-site. One advantage of using engineered stone is that it offers the durability and visual appeal of natural stone at a fraction of the cost, since it is not a single shaped and polished piece. The final product is a combination of crushed stone and polymer resin that hardens to form the finished surface. Although it has all the properties of solid stone, such as fire resistance and strength, it is less dense and therefore lighter.
Engineered stone is often confused with geopolymers and cast stone, but the differences between these three manufactured stone-like products are based on their base materials and functions. Only engineered stone is used for creating kitchen countertops. There are numerous varieties of engineered stone available, just as there are with natural stones.