Granite vs Marble: 6 Key Differences & Comparison

Having a nice, durable, easy-to-maintain kitchen countertop material is something every homeowner desires when it comes to renovating a house. Granite and marble are usually the most popular options in San Jose houses because of their luxurious appearance and the value they add to a property.

Both of these natural stones are considered evergreen in construction and decoration and that’s why they remain dominant for kitchen surfaces where aesthetics and durability are must-haves.

Let’s overview this classic debate of the pros and cons of marble vs granite countertops once again and see which one is the best option for your kitchen or bathroom.

Overview of Marble Countertops

Marble is a geological metamorphic rock that’s created from limestone through the processes of heating and pressurization. This change promotes the crystallization of calcite and as a result, we receive marble stone. It’s important to note that the process of its crystallization is what makes it so beautiful and durable.

Since ancient times, marble has been the symbol of luxury and flexibility among natural stones. People have been using this stone to cover various parts of their homes, such as walls, floors, and even decorative items.

One of the main reasons that attracts people so much towards including marble objects in their houses is its color spectrum. Specifically, colors in marble range from white to black and sometimes even include greens, blues, and reds.

Other than this, marble comes with various practical features that make it ideal as a kitchen countertop. For example, thanks to their glossy surface and distinct veins, marble kitchen countertops are easy to maintain. This is not to mention its longevity, which makes marble a valuable investment for either residential or commercial spaces.

Overview of Granite

Granite is a hard, granular, igneous rock that is developed as the result of cooling magma in the earth’s crust. In simple terms, this process is called crystallization and that’s how we get as hard and durable as granite. But of course, the appeal of granite isn’t related only to its structure. One of the main reasons that makes it popular for home installations is its natural colors and patterns.

Considering that granite is an especially practical material, it’s a convenient option as a kitchen countertop. Naturally, it is both rough and polished. As an extra benefit, this material has heating and scratch resistance and strength against stains. That’s why it’s not surprising that granite is an integral part of the modern architectural and design industry in various countries around the world.

6 Key Differences Between Marble & Granite

Now you know that both granite and marble are the best and most luxurious choices for kitchen and bathroom countertops. But you’re renovating your house just once, so you need to understand the difference between marble and granite and choose the best natural stone among them.

The comparison of granite vs marble usually comes down to a few factors, such as visual appearance, durability, maintenance, and health risks. Let’s take a look at how these materials perform on each of these criteria.

1) Appearance

The attractiveness of a granite countertop is linked to its outstanding mineral composition. In fact, that’s exactly the thing that causes a mesmerizing spotted appearance. Another point to be made here is that granite is a mineral that contains feldspar, mica, and amphibole. Therefore, it has a very rich color spectrum.

Unlike the rougher and even texture of granite that creates a sense of solidity, marble countertops manifest themselves with a more refined and uniform surface decorated with different veining patterns. This results in an aesthetic look that radiates class.

The color of marble is one of the main reasons for its luxurious appearance. The colors of marble materials are diverse and usually range from peaceful undertones to a vivid spectrum. Other than white and black, the main colors include green, brown, yellow, or red.

2) Durability

Although both granite and marble stand out with their durability, most types of marble countertops are less durable than granite. Therefore, if a kitchen is a place where you spend a lot of time during the day, installing a marble kitchen might be a wiser option. In addition to the fact that it is durable, marble is also resistant to heat, scratches, and most types of damage.

We should also note that granite keeps its surface appearance for a long time. This means that you won’t have to polish it often.

Compared to granite, marble countertops have a softer composition, which makes them naturally fragile. This also means that they require regular sealing and delicate care. Otherwise, you won’t be able to maintain their initial beauty.

3) Aesthetics

Another significant difference that makes it hard for homeowners to choose between marble vs granite countertops is their overall aesthetics. If your home is focused on sleek, modern lines, granite might be a better choice for one simple reason: this stone has rich, deep colors and natural patterns that ideally complement modern designs and add earthy tones. Interestingly, this wide display of colors is a result of minerals it includes, such as mica, quartz, feldspar, and amphibole.

On the contrary, if you’re aiming for a more classic or elegant vibe, we suggest going for the marble countertop kitchen. Or at least, choosing a granite that looks like marble because marble is definitely a winner for elegant and colorful designs, because of its diverse color palette.

4) Maintenance

Granite and marble countertops are very different in their need for maintenance, which also makes them suitable for different applications. In general, lighter-colored stones are more porous than their darker counterparts.

You will have to seal granite less often (around every two years), depending on the intensity of usage or frequency of cleaning. Unlike this, marble, due to its pores, is prone to staining and scratching, and therefore, it requires more frequent sealing.

Another important factor for their maintenance is that marble requires chemical-free cleaning agents. Otherwise, you won’t be able to preserve its natural radiance and prevent damage. But this doesn’t apply to sealed granite countertops which can be washed with just soapy water and then rinsed properly to keep their glossy look.

5) Stain Removal

The importance of stain removal requires specific attention when comparing marble kitchen countertops and granite kitchen countertops.

For top-layer stains, removers are readily available. However, the problem lies with the deeper ones, especially in the case of natural marble. The thing is that the non-porous characteristic of composite marble prevents moisture from entering and avoids the formation of unsightly stains, which makes it a more favorable option.

To overcome the issue of staining, choose composite marble, which is manufactured in such a way that it does not stain. Note that engineered stones, which are non-porous, stop moisture from infiltrating and forming stains.

6) Health Risks

Finally, we can’t overlook potential health risks when selecting materials for your home. That’s because most countertop materials are associated with specific risks for you and your family members.

Since we’re considering the comparison of marble vs granite countertops, you should know that granite may contain a very small amount of naturally occurring radionuclides, such as thorium, uranium, and radium. While the levels are usually very low, it’s still worth mentioning that these elements involve a radioactive gas called radon that can be the cause of lung cancer.

Having that in mind, in terms of health risks, composite marble stones or engineered stones are a safer alternative to kitchen countertops.

Summary

Feature

Granite

Marble

Appearance

Wide range of colors and patterns

Distinctive veining, elegant aesthetics

Porous

Yes

Yes

Durability

Durable; more resistant to scratches

Less durable; prone to scratching and etching

Heat Resistance

Excellent

Good, but can be damaged by high heat

Stain Resistance

Good; requires occasional sealing to resist stains

Moderate; requires frequent sealing to prevent stains

Applications

Ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchens

More suitable for low-traffic zones

Cost

Generally more affordable than marble

More expensive

Environmental Impact

Requires less energy

Requires significant energy

Health Risks

Potential risk of radon emission over time

Lower risk of radon emission

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