Marble vs Granite Countertops: How to Choose in Design?

June 7, 2023

The chemical physical properties that characterize the difference between marble and granite also explain the use of these two materials in the design. Granite’s water absorption and weak acid resistance are not strong, and it is mainly used to make countertops.

A fairly common controversy in interior design is definitely the choice between marble vs granite countertops. We don’t think there is a better choice between these two materials, however, beyond their geological and chemical differences, there are many aspects to consider when it comes to marble vs granite countertops.

Regarding durability, both materials are highly wear-resistant. However, granite is harder and less porous than marble, making it more difficult to cut, heat damage, and stain. Additionally, both materials require regular sealing, but marble surfaces require more careful cleaning than granite to avoid damaging the porous stone.

Finally, when it comes to looks, marble is unanimously considered the most versatile of the two. Designers often consider marble textures to be more elegant, and the infinite variety that marble offers makes it easier for this material to combine with styles that are very different from each other, from rustic and traditional to luxurious and ultra-modern spaces.

I. Pros and Cons of Marble Countertops

Pros

For a touch of history, choose marble countertops. Here are some reasons to choose marble for kitchen countertops or bathroom countertops:

  • Decayed Appearance: Over time, the material develops a worn appearance known as a patina. It has intricate patterns of veins embedded in the stone.
  • Traditional and Versatile Design: While marble is a luxurious material, it’s not just for traditional-style homes. It can be the focal point of any design aesthetic. The patterns and variations of this natural stone make each marble laminate countertop Choose a color to match kitchen or bathroom cabinets and floors.
  • Heat Resistance: All natural stone, including marble, is heat resistant up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You can place hot pans or dishes on the marble countertop without a tripod.

Cons

While marble is an excellent choice as a countertop material, it has some disadvantages:

  • Mismatched designs: The texture and variation of marble slabs make marble countertops unique. If you are looking for a uniform design, you can purchase engineered stone countertops.
  • Sensitivity to scratches or scuffs: Because marble is a softer stone, it can scratch easily. Always use a cutting board when cutting food to prevent etching. Heavy objects hitting the material can also cause marbles to be scratched. Over time, these bruises may turn into a bronzed design, making each marble slab unique.
  • Acid sensitivity: Marble countertops are calcium-based, so they can be easily damaged by acids. This damage is called etching. Make sure to use a pH neutral or slightly alkaline cleaner when cleaning your marble to prevent etching. Also, try to keep the stone out of contact with acids such as lemons, tomatoes, and wine, as they can corrode the marble.
  • Likelihood of staining: Like granite, marble is a porous material and will stain if not sealed. We recommend that you seal your marble countertops at least once a year. Sealing will not protect your marble from etching, clean up acid spills immediately to avoid permanent damage.

II. Pros and Cons of Marble Countertops

Pros

Granite is more versatile than marble countertops. You can use granite to design outdoor countertops. Even after years of wear and tear, granite kitchen countertops will look new again. Here are some other benefits of granite countertops:

  • Heat resistance: You can remove the hot pan from the stove and place it on the granite countertop.
  • Scratch Resistance: The main difference between granite and marble is the scratch resistance of granite. While it is still possible for granite to be etched or scratched, it is less likely than a marble surface.
  • Easy Maintenance: You can wipe the granite countertops with warm water and a clean cloth after each use. You can use any household cleaner on granite. You can even make a natural homemade cleaner for your countertops with water and a mild detergent.

Cons

When considering granite countertops, take care of them by keeping the following factors in mind:

  • Mismatched Designs: No two granite slabs have the same look. Since it is a natural stone, it has an organic pattern unique to each other. If you want a more uniform look in your kitchen, you should opt for man-made materials.
  • Likelihood of Staining: Granite is a porous material that, while uncommon, will stain under the right circumstances. Seal your granite countertops every two years to keep them moisture-resistant.

III. Marble Countertops vs Granite Countertops

Appearances of Marble vs Granite

As with any material, the aesthetic differences between granite and marble are a matter of taste.

Marble Countertops: Some choose marble for its elegance and texture, for easy identification, most often in black or white. Marble countertops generally have a more consistent pattern than granite countertops.

Granite Countertops: Some people prefer the natural look of granite, which comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. Granite countertops often feature flecks or veins in hues like black, pink, gold, red, or green.

Durability of Marble vs Granite

Both marble and granite countertops need to be properly sealed to maintain their long-term durability.

Marble Countertops: Like granite, marble is very strong and resistant to damage. However, it is much more porous and will stain more easily than granite. Marble is particularly susceptible to etching from acidic liquids like vinegar or lemon juice.

Granite Countertops: Granite is often cited as the most durable natural countertop material available, and it’s known for resisting cracks and chips well. With granite countertops, you can typically cut right on the surface without damaging it, place hot pans directly on the countertop, and wipe away spills easily.

Maintenance and Repairs for Marble and Granite Countertops

Both marble and granite countertops require routine maintenance and upkeep.

Marble Countertops: Re-sealing marble countertops should be done roughly every six months (sooner for high-contact surfaces). Similar to granite, marble may be repaired for minor damage; but, major issues also call for professional assistance.

Granite Countertops: Granite is fairly stain-resistant with adequate annual resealing, but well-used kitchens may require sealing every few months. Granite that has little dents or scratches can be repaired by hiring a professional installer, but cracks larger than an ice cube should be repaired with epoxy or resin that matches the granite’s color.

IV. Marble Countertops Cost vs Granite Countertops Cost

Choose a countertop that fits your budget. Countertop builders charge by the square foot. Generally speaking, the cost of granite is about three-fifths of that of marble.

Granite countertops cost slightly less than marble countertops. Installing granite starts at about $75 per square foot. Marble starts at close to $100 per square foot installed. The best granite countertops cost $175 per square foot to install, while marble can run as high as $200.

The complexity of workmanship, which is the number of seams and corners and the style of sink you choose, can also have an impact on marble countertop cost. Getting at least three written estimates from a countertop contractor will allow you to find the best countertop prices and most experienced installers in your area!

The following factors affect the price of marble countertops vs granite countertops:

1. Maintenance

Granite requires less maintenance over time, so you can save money with granite countertops. You can make granite cleaner from household materials. Marble countertops require a special type of cleaner to remove stains. Cleaning granite is more budget-friendly than cleaning marble.

2. Labor costs

Both materials are heavy, making them difficult to install. Creating spaces on slate also requires the expertise of professionals. The complexity of the remodeling project and the amount of labor involved can also affect the price.

3. Stone Type

High-quality marble or granite is also more expensive. Exotic countertops, such as blue granite, are more expensive than standard granite countertops. You can find marble or granite to suit your budget.

4. Additional Treatments

Some manufacturers treat marble or granite countertops. This special treatment increases the stain resistance of these materials. If you want granite or marble that doesn’t need to be sealed as often, you’ll need to pay more upfront. George Stone now offers a service to prevent damage to your marble surface from acidic liquids and food. MORE AntiEtch™ brings a crystal clear finish to your marble surfaces. While this service comes at an additional cost, it gives you high-quality marble that is easier to maintain.

V. Should You Choose Granite or Marble Countertops?

The choice of marble versus granite depends on your design preferences. Since both marble and granite are natural stones, they serve the same purpose in your home.

Both types of stone work well in a bathroom. Seal your bathroom countertop about once a year to keep it moisture-resistant. Granite is better in the kitchen because it resists acidic spills. You can use marble as a decorative table for a traditional, upscale look.

You should choose granite countertops if:

  • You prefer a more modern aesthetic.
  • You want a countertop material that will shine for years to come.
  • You want a natural look without worrying about etching.
  • You want to install countertops outdoors.

The option you want to choose from a wider selection of colors.. You should choose marble countertops if:

  • You prefer a more luxurious aesthetic.
  • You have time to give your marble the care it deserves.
  • You like the patina that marble will develop over time.
  • You can upgrade to treated marble countertops for improved stain resistance.

VI. Conclusion

If you’re willing to offer more maintenance in exchange for the elegant, long-lasting beauty of natural stone, then consider marble or granite. Either one will elevate your kitchen or bathroom and your luxury living to the next level.

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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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