When building the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams, the two most popular choices for countertops are granite and marble. No luxury household is complete without one of these natural stones. But which one is better to use and easier to maintain? No one can make the decision for you, but you can learn the facts about each so you can make an informed decision.
Marble results from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks such as limestone or dolomite, whereas granite is an igneous rock formed from magma. Marble comes in a variety of light to medium colors and patterns of veining. Granite is a composite of mica, quartz, silicon, feldspar, and other minerals and comes in a vast array of colors and patterns. It is found in the Earth’s continental crust and has a medium- to coarse-grained texture that is characteristic of the material. Due to their differences in composition and mineral make-up, marble is more porous and susceptible to scratching and etching from acidic foods and drinks when compared to granite. Also, granite can stand up to heat from cookware and marble will scald if exposed to high temperatures. Because of the porosity of these stones, they can both be susceptible to staining, though marble is more likely than granite to do so. slab zone
Sealants are recommended and applied to the surface upon installation to prevent staining of both granite and marble. Resealing your stone is a relatively straightforward process and should be done every 6 months to a year for marble, and every 1-3 years from granite. However, depending on the amount of use your stone gets and its color – lighter stones are less dense and more porous and darker stones are denser and less porous – resealing as often may not be necessary. Using proper cleaning agents specifically formulated for natural stone products will extend the life of your sealer and ensure your marble countertops and granite countertops will stay beautiful for many years to come. Harsh chemicals and abrasive cleansers should not be used to clean your marble or granite countertops.
If you’re considering marble or granite countertops in your kitchen, granite is a better choice if your countertops are used constantly for cooking and preparing food. If you’re more of a “take-out food” kind of family, marble shouldn’t be a problem, despite some of the disadvantages of the material. On the other hand, marble is an excellent choice for vanities and other bathroom applications.
In terms of cost, there are many factors that influence the price of natural stone countertops, such as color, finish, country of origin, and availability of the material. Contact or visit local suppliers of natural stone products, as well as fabricators and designers to better understand the selection of the material and process it will take to complete your project. It is not recommended to select natural stone through pictures or small samples. To truly appreciate the individuality and beauty of each slab, you need to see it in person. Since it is a product of nature, no two slabs will be exactly alike, but this is what makes natural stone so appealing.