Granite vs Marble: Which Countertop Has Better Quality
Modified: August 5, 2022
Searching for the best countertop? Granite and marble are the obvious choice, but we're here to settle which reigns supreme in this granite vs marble guide.
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In the countertop world, there are two reigning materials: granite and marble. The two have been on top of kitchen islands, bathroom vanities, outdoor furniture, and more, providing a beautiful and functional landing for all your daily tasks. They also don’t just add a refined touch but also boost your home’s resale value! But which is ultimately better? In this article, we’ll delve into the granite vs marble debate to weigh their durability, appearance, installation, and cost. If you’re looking for the best natural stone for your countertops, keep on reading!
What is Granite?
Granite is considered the most common igneous rock. It is popularly used for items people encounter in their day to day lives. You may have recognized this material in building veneers, cemetery statues and kitchen countertops. Granite is composed of feldspars and quartz, formed by the gradual crystallization of magma under the earth’s surface. This process is what gives the material its signature granular look and texture.
When you look closely, granite offers a vibrant explosion of earth’s natural colors. They can range from light to dark or showcase a mix of both. If you want a natural and rustic look in your home, granite can offer a warm and unique combination of colors that can breathe life into your room.
Best Granite Products
Pros and Cons of Granite
Granite is one of the best materials that will provide your interior and exterior space with a natural edge. However, no matter how strong its pros, there are still some weaknesses to consider. If you’re choosing granite for renovations, here are the strengths and weaknesses that you should know.
- Available in a variety of styles and colors
- Cost-effective and affordable
- Highly durable
- Good resistance to heat
- Easy to clean and low maintenance
- Tends to retain stains
- Susceptible to dents and etches
- Appearance and composition vary in each granite slab
What is Marble?
Marble is another popular natural stone that gives a sultry and elegant touch to any space. Feeling luxurious even when you’re just slicing and dicing carrots is not difficult with marble. Marble is a product of limestone that has been exposed to extreme heat and pressure. This process recrystallizes the calcite in the limestone and gives it a brand new texture and its classic veins.
Out of all the natural stones, marble is regarded as one of the most luxurious and opulent. It usually comes in variations of black and white, but you can still get this material in a variety of colors. Not only is it pretty, but it’s also highly versatile. Marble can be used as flooring, furniture, exquisite fireplaces, ornaments, and of course, countertops.
Best Marble Products
Pros and Cons of Marble
If you want luxury on display, going for a marble countertop would be quite the spread. But before you invest, it’s best to know the benefits and disadvantages that come with it.
- An intricate and beautiful pattern
- Available in other styles and colors
- Excellent heat resistance
- Likely to increase the resale value
- Not as resilient compared to other natural stones
- Porous and prone to staining
- Can be high maintenance
Granite vs Marble: Which is a Better Countertop?
With the basics laid down, you should understand now why marble and granite are considered some of the best countertops. But which is the best out of the two? If you’re still on the rocks about which stone to go for— we got you! To settle the score, we prepared a quick granite vs marble guide.
At its core, natural stones are strong and durable materials. They are resilient against time and weathering, which granite and marble confirm. Both of these natural stones are heat resistant, making them the ideal countertop materials for your kitchen, a literal hotspot of boiling pots and pans. However, when compared to each other, granite wins the versus battle with marble. This is because granite’s natural composition of non-porous minerals makes it impervious to absorbing liquids that cause stains. It’s also harder compared to marble, so it can endure scratches and dents better.
Marble, on the other hand, is made of a porous mineral called calcite. This makes it vulnerable to staining and etches that damage the surface over time. If you’re going for marble, you would need to seal it at least twice a year to retain its shine and make it more durable.
Granite and marble have a distinct appearance from each other, but both provide an elegant flair to your kitchen. If you want to go for a contemporary style, marble will help take you there. It can either be quartz-based or serpentine in composition, which gives you that smooth, silky finish with classic veining. In short, marble will add a modern and sophisticated look to your space that is sure to impress your guests.
Now, if you’re looking for a warm and cozy look in your kitchen, granite is the one for you. It has a granular surface that is speckled with an array of warm natural colors. Granite is composed of different minerals and rocks, so you get a unique variety of freckles and veins.
All-natural stones require different levels of maintenance. If you want your countertop to last, you need to do proper care and cleaning. Granite is generally more lasting and low-maintenance compared to marble. Sealing it properly upon installation will protect your granite for two years or more. You just need a trusty stone cleaner and disinfectant that isn’t too harsh on its natural composition.
For marble, you need to seal it regularly so that it won’t stain because of spills. Avoid acidic substances and bleach, and always wipe off any spills soon as possible! You also need to use a dedicated cleaning kit, specially made for marble, to better preserve its shine and keep it protected from etches.
Keep in mind that both granite and marble are natural stones. Therefore, each countertop slab is not a total replica of the other. The patterns and composition will still depend on their natural origin and cut proportions.
Granite and Marble Cleaners
Application and Installation
When it comes to installation, the granite vs marble battle is a draw. They are both installed the same way and would both need the hands of a professional. Though you can still DIY, we highly discourage it. When it comes to delicate natural stones, you need all the help you can get to avoid damaging your precious countertop.
During installation, a template is made out of your counter. It will then be transferred to a slab of granite or marble, which will be cut and fitted for your home. Both will require a silicone adhesive to secure the material in place.
While natural stone is definitely not a cheap option for a countertop, its durability and elegant look make it worth it. Granite is the more affordable option as its prices range from $40 to $70 a square foot, with higher-end granite costing around $100. On the marble corner, the prices for each square foot costs about $60 to over $200 a square foot.
However, do note that these prices are not final because you have to take labor and installation costs into account.
Where to Use Granite and Marble
Marble is a beautiful textile that can be used in various areas of your home. Now, if you’re looking to get the most out of your money, marble is best used for bathroom countertops. It won’t come into contact with acidic substances as often as it would in the kitchen. Just make sure to keep it properly sealed because it will be exposed to a lot of moisture. Marble will give your bathroom vanity a posh and luxurious feel, which is perfect for when you do your skincare routine. You can also utilize it as a marble coffee table, but be careful with spilling food and drinks.
Granite is a versatile material, which also goes with almost every room in the house. Its ability to sustain wear and tear makes it perfect for kitchen countertops and kitchen islands. You don’t only have an elegant surface but a heat-resistant and stain-resistant area that won’t be a pain to clean in your kitchen. Granite is also a great material for tables and outdoor furniture.
Granite and Marble Alternatives
We understand that granite and marble are difficult to come by, especially if you’re on a budget. So, if you still want to get that natural stone look for your countertops, there are innovative ways to get that finish without breaking the bank. Thanks to technology, you can now make use of peel and stick contact papers and countertop paint kits that perfectly mimic the look of granite and marble. If you’re not ready to invest in a natural stone yet, you can just peel and stick a trial period!
The Top Countertop: Granite vs Marble
After much deliberation, we have concluded that the top countertop is — whatever you make it! Granite and marble have unique qualities that can suit your personal countertop needs. However, in terms of which is better, it all boils down to your aesthetics and the function of your surface. Both natural stone materials have their own pros and cons, and we hope this guide helps you decide on the best one for you. If you don’t mind doing a little maintenance from time to time and want an elegant design, go for marble. Do you want a charming natural look with more durability? Granite is your best option.
If you want more options for countertop materials, check out our quick guide on slate countertops for your kitchen.