Granite Vs Onyx Countertops: Which Should You Choose?

Granite Vs. Onyx Countertops: Which Should You Choose?
Woodland hotel – interior of a contemporary bar with onyx countertop

Are you in the process of renovating or building a kitchen?

While starting a kitchen project can be a lot of fun, it’s also a stressful process. There are many decisions to be made such as the type of countertops.

If you’re on the fence between granite vs. onyx countertops, you came to the right place. Keep reading this post for more information.

Granite Vs Onyx: The Overview

If you’re trying to decide between granite or onyx countertops, then you need to know the specifics of each type.


For those who like to cook, and do it for a lot of people, then they must know granite is capable of withstanding a busy kitchen. Granite can resist knives and hot pots on its surface.

Due to its durability, granite has been a popular building material for centuries. Nowadays, granite can be found in luxury homes and commercial buildings due to its beauty and durability.

Granite is a hard, coarse-grain, igneous rock and it’s made up of mostly orthoclase, quartz, mica, and orthoclase or microcline. These components are what makes granite so resistant.


Onyx is a type of marble but it’s mostly made up of calcite. Since onyx is a derivative of marble, it’s a lot more translucent.

Homeowners can get creative with the lighting. Light it from behind to show the unique colors and patterns.

Also, onyx is quite unique, so no two pieces will be exactly alike. This is good news for homeowners who want to have a unique kitchen.

Onyx comes in smaller slabs, but they’re not as big as granite slabs. Because the slabs are a lot smaller, onyx tends to be a lot more fragile than granite.

Onyx countertops often can get scratched or stained if people aren’t careful. The biggest things to watch out for are hot pots and pans, and acid liquids such as vinegar and lemon juice.

Since this material is natural, it’s also rare to find.

Care Instructions

Before deciding between Onyx and Granite, the care instructions are something that should be considered.

Homeowners should decide how much time they’re willing to spend taking care of either one of these surfaces.


If you want to prolong the life of your granite countertops, it’s recommended you seal it before you start making use of it. Make sure you get a high-quality sealer.

Granite can be quite dense, and depending on the type, it might not need any sealing at all.

Keep in mind granite can be quite absorbent, so if you spill any liquid such as red wine, vinegar, or a harsh chemical, you should clean the spill right away to prevent stains.

Also, avoid placing food or meat products on the granite countertops to prevent the spread of bacteria.

You can get away with cleaning granite countertops with soap and water. Harsh cleaning solutions can strip the sealant and leave the granite exposed.


We already mentioned onyx is a lot more fragile than granite, so you’ll need to take extra care of it. Onyx will last longer in a kitchen that does not see a lot of traffic.

Before you start using your onyx countertops, you should seal it with a food resistant sealant. This is not the type of job you should do yourself, so it’s recommended you leave it to a professional.

It’s important to clean spills right after they happen to prevent damaging the onyx. Spills such as red wine or fruit juice will leave a stain. Also, try to keep acidic liquids off the onyx to prevent dullness and etching.

Always use a soft cloth when cleaning the countertops. Make sure use a non-acidic cleaning solution and don’t spray it directly on the surface, spray it on the cloth instead.

Appearance of Onyx Vs Granite

When deciding between granite and onyx, appearance plays an important factor. Some homeowners have a specific look in mind and they want the countertops to match the cabinets and the appliances.


The colors of granite can vary between subtle and earthy to really wild in appearance. Most granite countertops have hints of black, green, red, and even blue.

All these different colors at embedded in the veins of the stone. Another factor to the appearance of granite is the area where it comes from.

Of course, not all pieces of granite look exactly alike. So don’t expect to get the exact same pattern as the photo you saw in the magazine.


We already mentioned that onyx is translucent. And while it’s already a beautiful stone, with the proper backlighting, you can enhance its beauty.

The typical range of colors in onyx countertops range from golden yellow, red, earthy green, blue, and even pink. You might be able to get all colors in a single slab or only get a few. Plus no two slabs of onyx are alike.

The Cost

For many homeowners, the decision between granite and onyx countertops might come down to price. Of course, even if you spend a little more on countertops, you might be adding to your home’s real estate value.

What is the cost of granite vs. onyx countertops?


If you decide to get granite countertops, then you must be aware it won’t be cheap.

Depending on the region and the type of granite, it will set you back between $80 to $175 per square foot.

Some companies might also charge an installation fee or extra depending on the type of edging you want.


Onyx is a rare material, so if you want beautiful countertops, be prepared to spend up to $250 per square foot.

Although some prices can be as low as $40 per square foot, top-quality onyx is on the higher side.

Granite Vs. Onyx Countertops: The Bottom Line

Although granite and onyx countertops both have their pros and cons, it all depends on your style and the type of kitchen countertops you want.

Granite countertops are more resistant, but some might argue that onyx is a more beautiful stone.

Are you ready to start your kitchen renovation project? Contact the International Granite and Stone for a quote.