Granite or marble counter tops?

When choosing countertops for the kitchen or bathroom, many homeowners prefer the look of natural stone, which offers a nearly endless array of unique colors and patterns. Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials on the market and a popular choice for modern or traditional houses. Marble is synonymous with luxury and is a classic choice for high-end homes. Both have pros and cons to them so it’s important to know which material is best for you.

Appearance: As with any material, the aesthetic differences between granite and marble are a matter of taste. Some people prefer the natural look of granite, which comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. Others like the elegance and veining of marble, which is easily recognizable and most commonly available in black or white.

Durability: Granite is often cited as the most durable natural countertop material available, and is known for resisting cracks and chips well. Hot pots can be placed directly on the countertop, you can cut right on the surface without damage, and spills wipe away easily. Like granite, marble is very strong and resistant to damage. However, it is much more porous and will stain easier than granite.  Wine and lvil oils will leave stains if not quickly cleaned so granite is a better choice for the kitchen.  Marble is nice for the bathroom.  But, that’s a matter of opinion.

Maintenance/Repairs: With proper annual re-sealing, granite is very resistant to stains, though well-used kitchens may need to be sealed as often as monthly. Minor scratches or dings in granite can be filled in with color-matching epoxy or resin from the home improvement store, but professional installers should repair cracks larger than an ice cube. Minor damage to marble can be repaired similarly to granite, but bigger problems also require professional help.

Installation/Price: Both granite and marble should be installed by a professional. They are extremely heavy and difficult to handle. Also, cutting holes for a sink is no easy task. Granite prices have started to go down, making it quite a bit more affordable than marble. You can save money on marble if you choose tile squares but you loose a great deal of aesthetic beauty. Marble slabs are the way to go but they are pricey!

Quartz as an option:  Quartz is very popular now for kitchens as the trends change and the simple beauty of cleaner designs and styles have taken a hold.  Granite can be very colorful and beautiful but it’s also has a “busy” look to it.  Quartz is clean and subtle and often used in contemporary kitchens where distinct lines play to the design.  The downside to quartz is you can’t put anything hot on it or it will leave a mark.  The other downside is that’s it’s not any cheaper then granite.

James McCarthy