Marble or Granite Countertops? What’s the Right Choice for Your Project

Anyone who has ever seen the ancient ruins in Greece can tell you that marble is classic and made to last. In today’s busy homes we love to bring beautiful elements of nature indoors and out to add to the functionality and visual impact of our living spaces.  Choosing natural stone in marble or granite for countertops is one way we use them and the investment can be substantial. Knowing the properties of each can make that decision more comfortable.

Marble is a metamorphic rock, formed out of limestone.  Granite is an igneous rock composed of quartz, feldspar, mica and other types of materials.  While both stones are porous and must be sealed to enhance durability, granite is harder at 7 on the Mohs scale versus marble, a 4 on the Mohs scale. Because of this, marble will scratch more easily.  Both are heat resistant and come in a range of colors based on where they are quarried. Marble tends to be more subtly patterned due to its white base and more consistently colored veining while granite can be many hues and have sparkle based on which elements are present.

  Juan Hernandez, owner of H&S Stone in Toms River, NJ helped me to lay out this granite slab to take advantage of patterning for a large kitchen project for my client.  Note the grease pencil lines. The chunky area near the center is being used to give an island more impact. The colors and textures of this beautiful stone truly make it one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces!

Juan Hernandez, owner of H&S Stone in Toms River, NJ helped me to lay out this granite slab to take advantage of patterning for a large kitchen project for my client.  Note the grease pencil lines. The chunky area near the center is being used to give an island more impact. The colors and textures of this beautiful stone truly make it one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces!

Sealing stone can add some protection but marble is susceptible to pitting from both acidic and base substances.  Staining is also common with marble so spills must be wiped up quickly to avoid damage. Both stones can chip so care must be paid to things that are dropped on it. Marble will not look the same 10 years after installation. Etching and scratching will create a patina that some people find very beautiful.  If you do not, it can be resurfaced but it is messy and expensive to do this. Also even if you have only 1 area that is affected, it is advisable to do the entire countertop because it is very difficult to duplicate the polished effect. Both granite and marble can be damaged by using the wrong cleaning materials.  It is important to choose cleansers specially formulated for granite and marble. Ask your professional supplier or designer to recommend one if you are unsure. Granite and marble generally fall within similar price point ranges at $40-$175/sq ft installed. In choosing a counter top it is very important to view the entire slab that you are considering.  There can be wide distribution of pattern and color in all natural stone. Your design professional and your stone supplier can help to determine the best layout to bring maximum impact to your project.

If you would like any other information about this or any other design areas please contact me at liz@chrysalizdesign.com or call the office at 732 270-4546.

Liz Balogh   Chrysaliz Design,LLC