When you’re shopping for stone and marble additions for the home, this isn’t like a game of rock-paper-scissors. One doesn’t always automatically beat the other. Instead, it’s more about considering your preferences, what you’ll be doing on that slab of stone (frequent soda spills? Just for decoration?), and how much maintenance work you’re up for. All natural stones are gorgeous options for countertops, but granite and marble remain at the top. Which one should you choose? |
Unlike engineered materials like quartz silestone, granite and marble are “natural”—which means they’re naturally more vulnerable to staining and chipping. However, at a side by side comparison, granite trumps marble in the durability department. It’s less likely to stain and scratch, which is why it’s so commonly found in luxury kitchens. Marble, on the other hand, is often preferred in bathrooms where that Zen experience means less odds of damage.
Of course, if you add a protective sealant to either surface (as you should!), you level the playing field.
Going Head to Head (or Counter to Counter)
When it comes down to it, marble isn’t resistant to acidic foods. However, both “may” be damaged by certain dish soaps, which is why only gentle solutions should be used. Both are porous, too—basically, any natural stone needs a sealant in order to stay damage-free. In terms of price, granite and marble are neck and neck, although there will be some variables like general appearance and color that dictate price fluctuations.
With maintenance, the darker the granite the easier it is to clean. You should wipe up any spills immediately. Marble isn’t quite as easy to keep clean as granite, but it’s a solid choice for non-kitchen areas where those PB&J sandwiches, marinades and juices aren’t a constant threat.
Aside from durability and maintenance, appearance is one of the top factors when choosing between marble and granite, and they look very different. Granite features specks of colors since it’s created from melded stones such as quartz (the real thing), biotite and feldspar. There are endless tones and shades to select from. However, marble is most often a neutral cream, gray or white with “veins” throughout it (there’s a reason they call some raw meats “marbled”) and is formed from mineral impurities such as iron oxides and silt. Rarer marbles might be a pastel pink or green.
Granite is usually glossy (although you can get it matte by polishing it to a 500 grit polish – generally called a Honed finish) while marble is comes directly from quarries with a polish finish on it. A matte finish is achieved in the same way it is with granite. You’ll find beautiful examples of both stones around the world—India’s Taj Mahal is completely white marble.
Once More, from the Beginning…
Both marble and granite are mined and cut into slabs. Usually, granite is cut larger since it’s sturdier. However, both are capable of being cut into slabs more than large enough for even the most outlandish or luxury-minded homeowner. Both materials easily last a lifetime with proper care. In the end, only you can decide which material is best for which area and project of your home. Granite or marble? Either way, you’ve picked a winner.
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