Marble vs. granite: Discover the differences and pros and cons between the two natural stones.
Marble or granite? Which is more suitable for kitchen countertops, floors and bathrooms?
One of the most frequent questions we are asked to answer is the “marble or granite” dilemma. What are their similarities and differences and which is best suited to each project?
The short answer is that both marble and granite, as precious natural stones, have a special aesthetic value and many construction advantages that make them reliable and extremely popular with builders, architects and decorators. But let’s look at their characteristics in more detail to give our own answer to the question “marble vs. granite?”
What are marble and granite, and how are they formed?
Both granite and marble are created by natural processes deep in the earth’s crust.
What is granite and how is it formed?
Granite is a light-colored igneous rock with grains large enough to be visible to the naked eye. Granite forms from the slow crystallization of magma below the earth’s surface and consists mainly of quartz and feldspar, with small amounts of mica and other minerals. It is often preferred by decorators and architects because it is a beautiful, durable material that withstands the test of time.
What is marble and how is it formed?
Marble, on the other hand, is a metamorphic rock that is formed when limestone is subjected to conditions of intense pressure and high temperatures. The calcite contained in the limestone during the transformation process recrystallizes, changing the structure and form of the natural stone. Among all natural stones, marble is undoubtedly the most elegant and luxurious material, with a diversity that makes it suitable for floors, bathrooms and bathroom vanities, fireplaces, kitchen countertops, wall coverings, etc.
What is the difference between marble and granite?
Marble and granite do, in fact, have several similarities, as well as several differences. As natural, real stones, their similarities and differences stem from the way they are created and logically influence the way and form of their application in various projects.
What are the pros and cons of marble and granite?
Let’s take a look at their basic characteristics one by one and get more specific by analyzing the pros and cons of each natural stone.
Marble and granite “look”
A strong point of both two materials is their incredible beauty, but also their uniqueness. After all, when we talk about absolutely natural and real stone, we can never find slabs with an identical appearance. This is how granite slabs or marble slabs are very different from each other. This uniqueness is more evident among marble slabs, as you won’t find any pattern repeating itself anywhere. Granite traditionally identifies with a speckled pattern and usually a glossy polished finish. Marble, on the other hand, usually appears with veins running across its surfaces, due to its metamorphic attributes, which create patterns that can match any installation.
Variety of colors of marble and granite
Depending on the mining area of the two stones, the appearance and color of each slab varies, ensuring that you will find the ideal material for you, whatever the aesthetic of your project. The most common shades of granite range between black and dark gray, making it the ideal choice for high end granite creations, such as for a bathroom and fireplace. The elegant appearances of marble result, to a large extent, from the pure white or cream color, to the stately green or dark marbles that add a luxury feel to every space. You will find marble available in many more colors than granite.
Durability of marble and granite
Both marble and granite have great durability and longevity, as long as proper maintenance is carried out. However, equally durable marbles are available on the market and steadily gaining ground in heavy traffic projects, even, if until now, they were considered by many to be suitable for less traffic projects only. Nonetheless, for the selection of the appropriate marble, it is necessary to take into account the technical characteristics of the material that best meets the requirements of the project. Absorbency, resistance to abrasion, pressure and frost are just some of the points we should pay attention to in order to make the best choice.
Heat resistant marble and granite
Both marble and granite demonstrate similar heat resistance behavior. Despite their considerable durability at high temperatures, it is suggested to avoid intense heat on the surface of the materials. It is not recommended to place hot cookware and hot pans directly on the surfaces; the use of trivets or hot pads will protect the material and extend their life time.
Marble and granite: Stain resistant, scratch resistant and proper maintenance
Due to their porous surface, both granite and marble are prone to stains from liquids. Marble, generally softer than granite, needs caution when in contact with sharp surfaces that can scratch and gouge its surface. To prevent staining and scratching, careful maintenance of natural stone with appropriate sealing and insulation materials that will increase their natural durability is essential. Unfortunately, there is no irreversible process for accidents. But there is proper care and maintenance so that your marble or granite will be with you for a long time!
Porosity and waterproofing of marble and granite
As we mentioned above, the porous nature of these materials makes them prone to damage or stains from acidic foods and liquids such as lemon juice or wine. The good news is that with the correct sealing process and certified products, the surfaces are properly shielded so that the kitchen countertop, bathroom or outdoor areas are not threatened by accidents.
Resale value of property
Natural stones, such as marble and granite, in addition to their aesthetic value, also provide a high resale value, as many buyers prefer them. Investing in these natural stones dramatically increases the overall value of a property, especially if they have been properly maintained and cared for during their lifetime.
What are the uses of marble?
The unique properties of marble are found in applications in architecture, sculpture, pharmacology, and even in agriculture and painting. Marble is extremely popular in interior applications, since its noble and clean appearance exudes light and luxury. Floor tiles, wall cladding, marble countertops, bathrooms, fireplaces, interior columns, stairs, furniture and accessories are just some of the uses for marble.
What are the uses of granite?
Granite’s ability to resist abrasion and corrosion, to withstand heavy weight and of course its natural beauty make it a favorite choice in construction and decoration. It has been one of the most widely used materials for thousands of years and we see it very often, especially in the urban landscape, from large-scale projects such as bridges, buildings and monuments, to interior projects such as tiles, kitchen countertops, bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes.
Marble or granite? Which is more suitable for kitchen countertops, floors and bathrooms?
Among the most popular interior applications that use marble and granite, are marble countertops and granite countertops, marble and granite floors and bathrooms. Both marble and granite exhibit great resistance and durability over time, always with appropriate maintenance and sealing to avoid damage and stains from heat, acidic liquids and sharp surfaces. The beauty of the two stones is undeniable and the choice depends on the aesthetic effect that you want to achieve.
Marble, granite or quartz countertop for your kitchen design?
Very often you ask us about quartz and more specifically about its use on kitchen countertops. But are quartz countertops just as suitable as marble countertops or granite countertops? Unlike granite and marble, quartz is a man-made material, with the result being that it can be found in many different forms and is significantly less porous. Thus, no treatment is needed to protect its surface and the care requirements are less. The minimal resistance of quartz countertops at high temperatures, however, makes the material an unsuitable choice for demanding applications, such as counters and kitchen islands.
Are you ready to design the next new countertops for your customers?
Finally, is marble a suitable material for a kitchen countertop? What are the differences between a marble countertop, a granite countertop and a quartz countertop?
Marble vs granite. Which natural stone do we ultimately prefer and why?
Marble and granite have their own special characteristics and their value as pure natural stones is undeniable. However, at Stone Group International we cannot hide our timeless love for marble, its luxury, its special character, its wide range of patterns and the reliability it gives to every application to which it is applied.
From mining to processing and shipping the materials, with state-of-the-art machinery and know-how, specialized staff and strict quality control procedures, we are an innovative vertically integrated marble company that can guide you through all the stages of your project, but also ensure that the material you choose is the best choice for your project.