When designing or upgrading a kitchen, one of the primary considerations for the interior design is the countertops. When picking the materials for a kitchen countertop, there are several different options available, with two of the most common and popular materials being granite and marble for those who prefer stone surfaces.
They each make for a beautiful natural surface and have their benefits and characteristics. Whichever you choose will make for a beautiful kitchen aesthetic, but in case you are having trouble deciding between the two, here are some differences between granite and marble.
Marble features a smooth surface typically marked with veins of minerals, giving it its characteristic look. Some marble is quartz based, while others consist of serpentine—a greenish material—or in variations of black and white. On the other hand, granite is an igneous material made of silica, mica, feldspar, and quartz and features a granular surface that appears more dense.
Where marble often has a more consistent surface look across different homes, granite can vary widely in colors, patterns, and veins that mark the surface of the stone, adding a greater level of variety. Although both offer a natural stone surface, they do differ in appearance, and it will ultimately be up to your personal taste as to which you prefer.
Granite is widely considered the toughest natural countertop material currently available, being exceptionally resistant to cracking and chipping. With granite countertops, you could even cut on the surface of the stone without a cutting board and place hot pans on the surface without damaging it, making it an ideal material for any who values durability over all else.
Like granite, marble is also an exceptionally strong and resistant material. However, it is more porous and prone to staining than granite and is susceptible to etching from acidic substances like vinegar and lemon juice. Both granite and marble surfaces need proper sealing to maintain their durability and reduce the effects of any natural wear that will occur over time.
Despite their durability and resistance to wear and tear, both granite and marble still require maintenance to varying degrees. Generally speaking, granite is extremely durable, stain resistant, and needs less maintenance than marble; however, it still needs to be sealed properly after installation, or else water will stain the surface. For further maintenance, any scratches or small chips are repairable with stone epoxy, and routine resealing every year will ensure a solid and efficient countertop.
Like granite, marble also needs resealing every year to maintain its appearance and function, but it requires a sealant specifically designed for porous stone surfaces. Because marble is naturally prone to stain, it is important that you clean up any spills when they occur, as being negligent will lead to stained surfaces, even if you have been diligent about routinely resealing it.
When it comes to installation, granite and marble have a similar process, beginning with a template that is sent to a slab to be cut, fit, and finished to match specifications. The slab is then placed directly onto a cabinet or plywood substrates and secured with silicone adhesives, with holes cut for any sinks and faucets.
Because of the difficulty and precision required when handling these stone surfaces, a professional should always perform the installation. Where the materials do differ is in costs. Granite tends to be less expensive, although prices vary from region to region, so be sure to use local suppliers for accurate pricing.
Stone surfaces are heavy and require precision during installation, which is why you should work with professionals when fitting your kitchen with stone countertops. Tops Kitchen Cabinets specializes in high-quality granite countertops, featuring a wide selection of finishes and colors to ensure you can find what you need. Get in touch with our team today so they can help you pick the right material for your kitchen countertops.