That’s a fight worth watching. The granite vs marble dilemma is ever-present when the task of remodeling a kitchen or bathroom reaches countertop selection point. Do you have a preference?
Well, both natural stones are gorgeous in their own way, and the choice between them is one of personal taste. But of course, it gets easier to choose a countertop material, that will most likely last for a lifetime when you’ve got all your facts rights.
In this article, we will break down all of the characteristics of granite and marble, so that you know exactly which countertop you will be going to bed with before making a commitment.
Granite vs Marble: Differences Explained
While both Granite and Marble are natural stones and carry similar characteristics like being unique in appearance, presenting complex patterns and lasting longer than human beings, there’s also plenty of traits able to make one or the other the right fit for you.
As we’ve already done in our other comparison posts, like Quartz vs Marble and Quartz vs Quartzite, we will lay down the differences between these two natural stones while talking about origination, appearance, color, maintenance, durability, usability and price.
We start our list explaining how these rocks were formed, and, of course, here lies the reason for their differences.
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbon, normally calcite or dolomite. It is formed out of limestone that is subjected to intense pressure and heat deep down the earth’s crust.
Granite is an igneous rock, which means it’s formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. It’s composed mainly of grains of quartz, feldspar, and mica.
Appearance and Colors
Both of these stones are sometimes found in unique exotic patterns, surprising even to specialists. However, there are plenty of common traits worth mentioning.
Granite normally presents its traditional freckled, granular pattern. Inside its complexity, a variety of hues can be found, grey, black, blue, orange, red, green and even pink. A slab of this stone is typically found in medium to dark tones.
Marble, on the other hand, tends to present a consistent color with contrasting veins running through it. It is commonly found in dazzling whites and hues of gray and brown. However, some unique color variations are possible.
As both of these materials are naturally originated, you should never choose yours through pictures or catalogs. Every slab is unique, and even the angle used to look at them will influence their color hue.
When selecting natural stones for your remodeling project, look for a trusted supplier, visit their stone yard, and if possible take samples of your cabinet and wall colors. Ensure it will look perfect in your home.
Natural stone countertops and vanities do last a lifetime, nevertheless, there are some cautions that need to be taken from time to time to ensure they look as amazing as ever.
Both granite and marble require frequent cleaning and periodic sealing. Like all natural stones, they are porous and if not sealed they can stain due to absorbing liquids.
That’s nothing to worry about since sealing is a simple process. The frequency will vary according to the quality of the sealant.
Granite is considered a low maintenance option, requiring yearly sealing on a common sealant, and it can go on for more than a decade on a premium sealant.
Marble is a lot more porous than granite, and thus presents a slightly higher maintenance requirement, periods in-between sealing ranging from every couple months to every couple of years depending on the selected sealant.
Granite is harder than marble and sets the bar pretty high for other natural stones in durability, being challenged mostly by quartzite.
The extra hardness makes it more resistant to chipping, cracking and scratching. Granite, for instance, shouldn’t be scratched by glass, and should resist knives pretty well.
Marble is a softer rock and also more porous (thus liquid absorbent), and although it’s still resistant enough to chipping and cracking, it requires extra caution not be scratched or stained.
While cutting something on an unprotected granite countertop is a “no but, ah, only this time” situation. The same on a marble countertop is a “no, God, no!”.
Aside from being more susceptible to any liquid stain, marble is also very sensitive to acids. Meaning prolonged contact with ketchup, tomato sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, and bleach will cause etching. Something like a dull spot on its pattern of lighter or darker color. The sealant can hold it for a while, but spills should be cleaned immediately.
Both materials are very heat resistant and can take hot cookware, although that’s never recommended.
When it comes to usability, at the granite vs marble fight, granite also takes the crown!
While day to day use looks similar in both granite and marble countertops, due to its improved durability granite is more versatile.
Even though both materials must be regularly cleaned with neutral soap or specific products (never clean with non-neutral cleaners), the owner of a granite countertop won’t have to worry so much about scratches, spills and even cleaning.
When it comes to usage outside, harder stones like granite are also our preferred choice, it definitely holds up looking great for longer.
Both stones are premium countertop materials and offer a luxurious yet durable look to your house. For that reason, they are priced similarly, with marble coming out a little more expensive than its rivals nowadays.
In general, the more exotic the appearance of your stone slab, the more expensive your project will be.
Choosing the right fit for your remodeling project
As you can see, overall, granite is a more countertop like material due to its increased durability and usability. However, that’s no reason to give up marble all together. If you love the way marble looks or were enchanted by a marble slab, with a little bit more care you can make it work in both your kitchen or bathroom.
As we reach the end of our granite vs marble debate, we argue that the important thing is that you will be making an informed choice, knowing what to do to make sure your countertops will be always as beautiful as new.
At Eagle Stones we are ready to support your remodeling projects in Florida, especially in Sarasota and Bradenton, and if you’re still not sure about which material to go with, why don’t you keep reading our blog? There’s plenty of resources for you here.
Alternately, you can also visit us or schedule a free in-home consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.