When choosing countertops for the kitchen or bathroom, many homeowners prefer the overall look and durability of natural stone. Another advantage of natural stone is that it offers an infinite array of unique patterns and colors to fit in with the color scheme of your kitchen or bathroom. Yet, the debate between granite and marble countertops has homeowners feeling stumped and confused. Granite is one of the most popular materials chosen for countertops for homes with a more traditional or modern feel while marble is synonymous with classy homes with a luxurious edge. Follow this simple guide to discover whether granite or marble is best for you and your home.
Appearance: Just like any other material that can be found on the market, the aesthetic differences between marble and granite materials are a matter of personal taste. Many people prefer the natural look that granite provides and the way that it consists of many different colors due to the fact that it is composed of various colored crystals. Others prefer the elegance and veining of marble countertops, which is only available in more basic colors such as black, white and gray.
Properties: Marble and granite are both porous materials, this means there are spaces between the crystals that make up these surfaces. When alcohol, oils or other various liquids spill on these surfaces and are not cleaned immediately, they tend to percolate into the space between the crystals which causes staining.
Marble is softer and more porous which means it scratches and stains easier. Polishing and a good sealant increases its resistance to scratches and stains. While granite is also susceptible to stains, it is less so compared with most marble.
Durability: Granite holds the reputation of being the most durable countertop material available. It is also known for being able to resist chips and cracks. Homeowners can easily place a hot pan fresh out of the oven directly onto their granite countertop without worrying about it causing any damage or heat stains. Similar to granite, marble is very durable and resistant to damage. However, as previously stated, marble is much more porous and is more likely to stain
Maintenance/Repairs: Any form of countertop is going to require regular maintenance, but marble and granite are especially needy. Granite will remain resistant to stains as long as an annual re-sealing is performed. Kitchens that are used more often than others may require a regular monthly sealing. If minor scratches or chips occur to a granite countertop, they can be easily fixed with a resin or a color-matching epoxy from your local home improvement store.
Marble needs to be sealed as well, but it needs to be done twice per year. Keep in mind, the more you use your kitchen, the more often you will need to stain your countertop. Minor damages can be fixed using the same products that would be used on a granite countertop, but more major damage would need to be repaired by a professional.
Installation/Price: Both granite and marble are difficult to install and should be done by a professional in order to ensure it is done in a safe manner. These materials are extremely difficult to handle and very heavy. Cutting the materials to fit into around the corners and sinks of your kitchen is not an easy task and is best left to professionals.
Granite and marble both typically cost $50 to $100 per square foot. More high-end marble tends to be more expensive than higher-end granite. To save money on marble, opt for tiles rather than slabs.
Ultimately, the choice between granite and marble countertop is your own. Both of these elegant stones have their pros and cons but they also both offer limitless interior design possibilities.