Are you trying to decide between granite or marble countertops?
The choice can definitely be a tough one. On the other hand, a lot of people don’t see much of a difference between granite and marble and tend to go with what looks good. There are actually a lot of surprising similarities and differences between the two, especially when it comes to consistency, appearance, and lifespan. Read on to learn more about the relationship between granite and marble so that you can make an informed decision.
Granite and Marble: Similarities
Both of these stones have a lot in common worth noting, from how they arrive in stores to their durable nature. Get a sense of how they’re similar so that you’ll be informed when you stop by your natural stone company.
Both marble and granite stones are naturally sourced, culled from the earth through local and global quarries. You can be assured that whatever stone you do choose for your countertops, it will be sourced from a reputable quarry in a similar fashion. The United States, in particular, is home to vast sources of marble, particularly in northwestern states like Montana and Colorado. It is also the state rock of Alabama and found in Vermont and Texas. Granite is more plentiful in the world in general because it composes the majority of the earth’s crust. However, it is a popular product of European countries. Spain and Italy are among the world’s top granite extractors and producers in the world.
In general, marble and granite weigh about the same: about nineteen pounds per square foot. Both are harvested from the earth in the form of heavy slabs, which are then cut to appropriate sizes for countertops and architectural use. Both stones will need to be installed by professionals because of their weight.
Both marble and granite stones are incredibly versatile. You can find both stones in the form of countertops, decoration, and key aspects of architecture and design. In general, both rocks are opaque in color. Both rocks come in a variety of colors, patterns, sizes, and shapes. You’ll find them decorating the most luxurious resorts and lining the world’s monuments while also outfitting a comfortable home. Choosing a marble or granite countertop means choosing a durable and versatile substance to be the focal point of your home.
One of the biggest similarities between granite and marble is their relative resistance to damage and wear. Both of these rocks are resistant to water, scratching and gouging, and household stains. You’ll definitely not want to pour acid of any kind over either rock. For the most part, general kitchen use doesn’t involve the kinds of acid that can erode granite or marble. Granite and marble countertops give homeowners an excellent option for durable, reliable kitchen and office surfaces.
Granite and Marble: Differences
While marble and granite are similar in many ways, they also differ in others–including how they are formed, what they look like, and the kind of durability they offer.
Aesthetics & Formation
One of the biggest differences between these two rocks is the way they look. This is often the determining factor when it comes to deciding between the two for countertop use. Marble is a metamorphic rock, formed through high pressure and heat deep in the earth. The swirls and color streaks are the result of large mineral deposits, often in the form of silt, clay, iron, or chert. Granite is an igneous rock, meaning that it is essentially solidified lava. As a result of their different formations, marble and granite will differ in color and striation. Generally, marble tends to be full of swirls and streaks, while granite will have colorful flecks and geometric patterns.
Marble is highly porous, meaning that it’s susceptible to taking in moisture and liquids from its environment. The softness of marble makes it ideal for sculpting–which is why a lot of prominent sculptures are made from marble. As a result of this softness, however, it has to be sealed professionally to ensure that it keeps its color, look, and durability. Sealed marble won’t be susceptible to staining or scratching. Granite is also porous, but much less so than marble. It will also have to be sealed to ensure less susceptibility to scratching and staining.
Because granite rock is less porous than marble, it is often perceived as more durable. This is because the rock has a crystalline structure–it is essentially crystallized and hardened magma. Granite, in general, is stronger than most stones sourced from the earth, making it ideal for situations that require durability and resistance. While granite and marble are both resistant in general to abrasions and weathering, granite will have a longer lifespan in terms of durability.
Granite vs. Marble: Conclusion
So now that you know the similarities and differences between these two gorgeous rocks, it’s time to decide what’s right for your countertop. A lot of homeowners will make their decision based on looks. In many cases, they’ll opt for granite (or marble) because this may look nicer given the style and material they’ve chosen for kitchen cabinets, flooring, etc. This is definitely an important consideration–make sure you know exactly what your desired color scheme is so that you feel confident in the aesthetics. Also, make sure you have a good idea of the type of functionality and durability you’re seeking in your countertop choice. In general, granite or quartz countertops give you the best solution for durable and functional needs. Most importantly, have a conversation with your contractor or contact person at a local granite and natural stone company. They will be able to advise you on the best rock of choice given your needs as a homeowner and designer.
Marble and granite are both exquisite rocks, and either will look gorgeous in your home. They are surprisingly similar–both are natural stones harvested from the earth through local quarries. Both are heavy, generally resistant to wear and tear, and highly versatile. But their differences are worth considering. Granite and marble are different types of rock, formed in different ways in the earth. As a result, they will have different patterns and colors. While both are porous, marble is softer than granite and requires treatment to maintain durability. At International Granite and Stone, we love all things marble and granite. We can help you choose the best stone for your needs and would love to show you our extensive and beautiful selections of marble and granite at any of our locations.
Start a conversation today or drop by for a glimpse of gorgeous natural stone!