When remodeling your home, consider a natural stone material for your bathroom and kitchen countertops. Whether you use marble or granite depends on your design preference. Both materials offer you various color and texture options. Use this guide to determine whether you should install granite or marble countertops.
Pros and Cons of Granite
Granite is more versatile than marble countertops. You can use granite to design your outdoor countertops. Granite countertops will look brand-new even after years of wear and tear. Here are some other benefits of granite countertops:
- Heat resistance: You can take a piping hot pan off the stove and put it on your granite countertops.
- Scratch resistance: The main difference between granite and marble is granite’s resistance to scratches. While it’s still possible for granite to etch or scratch, it’s less likely than on marble surfaces.
- Easy to maintain: After each use, you can wipe down your granite countertops with warm water and a clean cloth. You can use any household cleaner on granite. You can even make a natural homemade cleaner for your countertops with water and mild detergent.
When considering granite countertops, keep in mind these factors to take care of them:
- Mismatched design: No two slabs of granite will feature the same appearance. Since it’s a natural stone, it has organic patterns that are unique from each other. If you want a more uniform appearance in your kitchen, you should choose a manufactured material.
- Possibility of stains: Granite is a porous material and, while uncommon, can stain under the right circumstances. Seal your granite countertops every two years to maintain their moisture resistance.
Pros and Cons of Marble
For a historic feel, go with marble countertops. Here are some reasons for choosing marble for your bathroom or kitchen countertops:
- Metamorphic appearance: Over time, the material develops a worn-out look called a patina. It has an intricate pattern of mineral veins embedded in the stone.
- Traditional yet versatile design: While marble is a luxurious material, it doesn’t only work in a traditional-style home. It can be the focal point of any design aesthetic. This natural stone has patterns and variations that make each marble countertop unique. Choose a color to complement the cabinetry and flooring of your kitchen or bathroom.
- Heat resistance: All natural stone, including marble, is heat resistant up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You can lay a hot pan or dish on your marble countertops without a trivet.
While marble is an excellent choice for a countertop material, here are some of its drawbacks:
- Mismatched design: The veining and variations in marble slabs are what make marble countertops unique. If you’re looking for uniform design, you could invest in a manufactured stone countertop.
- Sensitivity to scratching or bruising: Since marble is a softer stone, it’s prone to scratches. When cutting food, always use a cutting board to prevent etching. A heavy weight impacting the material could also cause the marble to bruise. Over time, these bruises could turn into the patina design that makes each slab of marble unique.
- Sensitivity to Acid: Marble countertops are calcium-based and therefore easily harmed by acids. This damage is called etching. Make sure when cleaning your marble to use a pH neutral or slightly basic cleaner to prevent etching. Also, try to avoid contact between the stone and acidic things like lemons, tomatoes, and wine as these can etch your marble.
- Possibility of Stains: Like granite, marble is a porous material and can stain if not sealed. We recommend that you seal your marble countertops at least once a year. Sealing will not protect your marble against etching, clean up acidic spills right away to avoid permanent damage.
Marble vs. Granite Countertop Cost
Choose a countertop that fits within your budget. Countertop manufacturers charge per square foot. Generally, granite is about three-fifths the cost of marble. The following factors affect the price of marble vs. granite countertop:
- Maintenance: Granite requires less maintenance over time, so you’ll save money with granite countertops. You can make a granite cleaner from household materials. Marble countertops need a particular type of detergent to remove stains. You have more flexibility in your budget to clean granite than to clean marble.
- Labor costs: Both materials are heavy, so they are challenging to install. Creating spaces in stone slabs also needs the expertise of a professional. The complexity of the remodeling project and the amount of labor also affect the price.
- Type of stone: High-quality marble or granite also costs more money. Exotic countertops, like blue granite, are more expensive than a standard granite countertop. You can find a type of marble or granite that fits with your budget.
- Additional treatments: Some manufacturers treat marble or granite countertops. This particular treatment increases these material’s resistance to stains. If you want granite or marble that you won’t need seal as often, you will pay more upfront. Lesher Natural Stone, Quartz & Tile now offers a service that prevents damage caused by acidic liquids and foods on your marble surfaces. MORE™ AntiEtch™ gives your marble surfaces a crystal-clear finish. While this service comes at an additional cost, it provides you with high-quality marble that’s easier to maintain.
Should You Choose Granite or Marble Countertops?
The choice of marble vs. granite depends on your design preference. Since marble and granite are both natural stones, they will serve the same purpose in your home.
Either type of stone would work well in the bathroom. Seal bathroom countertops about once a year to maintain their resistance to moisture. Granite is better in the kitchen because of its resistance to etching from acidic spills. You can use marble as an accent table for a traditional, high-class 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 countertops installed outdoors.
- You want the option of choosing from a more extensive selection of colors.
You should choose marble countertops if:
- You prefer a more luxurious aesthetic.
- You have the time to give marble the maintenance it deserves.
- You like the patina look that marble will develop over time.
- You can upgrade to a marble countertop with a treatment that improves its stain resistance.
Explore Our Granite and Marble Countertops at Lesher Natural Stone, Quartz, & Tile in Central Pennsylvania
Whether you prefer marble or granite, you’ll get what you want at Lesher Natural Stone, Quartz, & Tile. We have a wide selection of both marble and granite countertops. Contact us online for a free quote, or call 717-944-4431 to speak with one of our professionals.