Countertop Guides: Marble vs. Granite
Marble vs. Granite :
Marble and granite are often compared as similar stones, both in price and durability. How are these two types of natural stone different? Let’s take a look at the makeup of these materials. Both of these stones are natural materials, and both of these stone types are porous. Marble is a metamorphic rock and granite is igneous. This means that marble is formed from crystallized carbon and limestone which has been subjected to extreme pressure under ground, whereas granite is composed of grains of compressed quartz, feldspar, mica and similar materials. All this is to say that this makes granite slightly harder and more durable than marble.
Looks of Marble vs. Granite:
Both of these natural stones are beautiful to look at. Each piece of natural material is unique and no two countertops made of these materials are the same. Granite has a very fine pattern of flecks and spots, created by the composite of materials that make up this stone. This means granite can vary in color and looks quite a bit. The flecks range from black to white, pink to green, blue to red. Another common pattern in granite is the veined pattern, which looks like colored veins running over a multicolored background, forming a complex and beautiful pattern.
Marble is often lighter in color than granite and has more of a mild and understated pattern. Marble will not have the same speckled patterns as we can see in granite, but it will have a swirl pattern, as if different colors of paints have been lightly mixed together over a light colored surface. Another common marble pattern is the veined pattern. Common colors in marble are whites, beiges, pinks and greens. Marble has a very classic and stately look to it.
Durability of Marble vs. Granite:
There is some distinction between marble and granite when it comes to durability. As we mentioned before, granite is harder than marble. This means that granite is slightly less susceptible to chipping and scratching with everyday use. Both of these natural stones are heat resistant, but caution should always be used when placing hot pots and pans directly on the stone. Both marble and granite are porous which means liquids will be absorbed into the stone and will leave stains. This means that both marble and granite need to be properly stained every one to two years in order to make the material water proof and stain resistant. This is a job best left to the professionals.
Cleaning and Maintenance of Marble vs. Granite:
With both marble and granite, you are committing to maintaining and cleaning these materials. The biggest part of natural stone maintenance is the sealing of the stone. This needs to be done every one to two years, or upon the direction of a professional. Marble is very susceptible to acidic materials (such as wine and juice), so contact with these types of common kitchen items should be limited or avoided. If you spill anything on your countertops, it is always best to wipe the spills up immediately to avoid the risk of staining. Wipe down your granite and marble countertops with mild and non-acidic kitchen cleaners every day. Both marble and granite can also be buffed up to bring out their natural shine. This can be done by rubbing the stone in a circular motion with a microfiber cloth. If the shine is nowhere to be seen, it is probably time to reseal your countertops to keep them looking like new for many years to come.
Cost of Marble vs. Granite Countertops:
Granite countertop prices are slightly lower than marble countertop prices. Granite begins at about $75 per square foot installed. Marble starts at closer to $100 per square foot installed. The best granite countertops can cost $175 per square foot installed, while marble can range all the way to $200 per square foot installed. The model of your kitchen, the number of seams and corners, as well as the sink style you select will have an impact on the total installation cost of the countertops. The cost is a consideration for most homeowners, however, marble has a very unique look and so does granite. So for some homeowners it has been a dream to make marble or granite a part of their home, making the price less of an issue. This stone is more expensive than most countertop materials to install up front, however in durability and functionality it is a good investment. Natural stones are long lasting with a pattern that never goes out of style.
Conclusion: Marble vs. Granite
You now have the tools to choose between marble and granite countertops for your kitchen remodel. If you are a homeowner who loves the look of natural stone and is not afraid of the extra maintenance involved in keeping your marble or granite counters sealed and buffed, then a marble or granite countertop if for you. Choosing either one of these beautiful natural stones will elevate your kitchen to new levels of style and luxury.
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