In the last decade, both granite and marble have become popular materials for kitchen and bathroom installations. Consequently, homeowners who don’t know how to tell them apart are curious to know the differences between marble and granite.
Homeowners want to know which one is best for their kitchen countertops. Which one is good for bathroom vanity tops? Are they good for outdoor kitchens, and so forth? So, what is the difference between marble and granite? In this article, we present to you some of the most prominent differences between marble and granite.
Origin of Granite and Marble
Granite is the result of the solidification and cooling of Magma deep in the Earth’s crust for millions of years. As a result, it is categorised as igneous rock. Granite gets its extremely hard and solid characteristic due to the process of heating and then cooling down slowly. Granite also gets its solidity from Feldspar and Quartz, which are extremely hard minerals.
On the other hand, Marble is categorised as a metamorphic stone as it is made from the transformation of a stone known as a sedimentary stone. Sedimentary rocks are formed when sediments in the earth mix with the buried plants under the Earth for a very long period of time. Under intense heat and pressure, these rocks transform into Marble. This process also mixes other minerals into the Marble, which is why it has such attractive colours.
As mentioned above, granite and marble are two different stones and yet they look slightly similar. So, how to tell the difference between marble and granite? You can differentiate between them with their colour variations. Granite’s colour variations fleck throughout the stone, whereas marble colour variations swirl through the stone.
Strength and Durability
The natural processes that make granite and marble directly affect these two materials’ overall durability and strength. Although both materials can last for many years and keep your house looking beautiful, it is important to choose the right one for a location.
On the Mohs scale—which measures the hardness of minerals— granite’s hardness gets a score of 6 to 7. Granite can easily withstand scratches and damage from heat. This makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor kitchen countertops. Even with heavy usage, granite counters do not scuff or discolour.
On the Mohs scale, marble gets a score of 3 to 5, which means it is not as durable as granite. It will take damage from regular kitchen tasks such as cutting. Even contact with hot pans might cause damage to the marble countertop. For surfaces that are low-traffic such as bathroom vanities and decorative accents, marble is the more suitable choice.
The metamorphic characteristics of marble lead to a more porous material, which means marble can absorb a few materials upon contact. Liquids such as wine, lemon juice, tomato sauce, and vinegar can be absorbed by marble and can cause permanent staining.
On the contrary, granite has high density, which makes it resistant to almost all stains. Even acidic liquids such as vinegar cannot get through granite as long as you maintain a good sealant barrier on it.
Both granite and marble require sealing to keep them looking beautiful for a long period of time. Before or after installation, a professional will apply a sealant to both granite and marble to protect them from damage.
Granite countertops are very thick and thus, naturally stain resistant. Therefore, they don’t need frequent sealer applications. However, applying sealant once in three years is recommended depending on the type of sealer you use.
Marble needs frequent resealing to protect its porous surface. If you still choose to go with marble, you have to reseal it twice a year.
To see if granite or marble needs fresh sealant, put some water on their surfaces and see if the pool of water stays there or is absorbed by the surface. If it stays, the existing sealant is effective, and if not then it needs fresh sealant.
Another difference between marble and granite is that granite can be cleaned with soapy water every day to keep the surfaces clean. Marble, on the other hand, needs more careful cleaning because it can damage the porous stone. To avoid discoloring the marble, use a cleaning product with neutral pH. Also, don’t use an abrasive cleaner on marble.
According to the differences between marble and granite laid out in this article, granite seems to be the clear winner. It is much harder, denser, and more durable than marble. Additionally, the cost difference between marble and granite is also huge as marble is the more expensive of the two. So, for both indoor and outdoor usage, granite is a clear choice.