Granite vs. Marble Countertops: What’s Better for Your Home?

Natural stone countertops are quite popular in homes these days for a number of reasons. They look amazing, they are quite durable and will last for many years. If you are considering natural stone countertops, you will have two main choices: granite or marble. There are pros and cons of both materials, and you may find that one of them will be better for your home than the other. Only by learning more about these options will you be able to decide which countertop is right for your home.

The Appearance of Granite vs. Marble

One thing that you can compare when it comes to granite vs. marble is the appearance of the stone. If you look at granite, you will find that each piece is unique. Granite is made of a number of minerals, the most common being quartz and feldspar. Because each piece of granite has a different makeup, you will find a number of color differences in granite, as well.

There are two different types of granite that you will find, one called consistent granite, the other known as variegated. If you choose consistent granite, you will have a slab that is the same pattern throughout. Since this is a natural material, it will always have small inconsistencies, but for the most part, it is fairly consistent.

Variegated granite is much more unique and tends to have its own personality. Veining in these slabs are usually swirly and will typically be a different color than the rest of the slab.

When it comes to marble, there is more a mixed bag of choices. Technically, any stone that can be polished can be considered marble with the exception of granite. Most marble is made of onyx, travertine, limestone or serpentine. You will find a range of colors with marble, all with unique veining throughout the slab.

Durability of Granite vs. Marble

Granite and marble are both extremely durable. When it comes to granite, it is one of the most durable countertop materials on the market. It is well known for being resistant to cracking as well as chipping. You can place hot pots and dishes on granite without worry and you can cut on a granite surface without care. Spills wipe away very easily and it rarely stains, especially if properly sealed.

Marble is also quite durable, but there are some distinct differences. First of all, marble is softer than granite, so it may not hold up as well. You also need to make sure that you keep acids away from marble, including soda, citrus fruits and other acidic food or products.

Another thing to keep in mind about marble is that it will stain rather easily. Marble is a porous material and because of this, will easily stain, even when sealed. Most people will recommend marble for bathrooms over kitchens, but it can be used in the kitchen with care.

Price of Granite vs. Marble

Another point that is important to consider when looking for countertops is the price of granite vs. marble. Most of the time, the cost of marble and granite is comparable with prices running from about $40 a square foot to about $150 per square foot including installation.

You will find that costs will vary based on the manufacturer as well as the color and appearance. Keep in mind, however, that high-end marble does tend to look better than high-end granite for around the same price.

Maintenance of Granite vs. Marble

Another consideration you will have when choosing granite vs. marble countertops is the maintenance that goes into them.

With granite, you will want to make sure you use a sealant in order to protect it. You will need to reseal your granite about once every year or two. You should clean your granite with a damp cloth and you can use soapy water or water based cleaning product. Make sure to avoid any products that contain bleach, ammonia or products with caustic property. Though they will not harm the granite, they can remove the sealant which exposes the stone to possible damage.

With marble, even when sealed, you should still be extremely careful with water or any other spills as it stains very easily. Since marble is softer than granite, you also need to make sure that there is no sand, dirt or other particles that might work into the marble. This, of course, will permanently damage the stone. You can clean marble with a clean, damp cloth. Do not use bleach, any acid based cleaners, or any cleaner that is abrasive.

The above information is just some of the things that you should consider when looking into granite vs. marble for your countertops. For a more comprehensive comparison, it is recommended that you speak with a professional who can help you choose based on your lifestyle, home and budget.

 

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