What’s the Difference Between Granite and Marble?
Granite is formed by volcanic activity and tends to be much harder than both marble and limestone, It is an ideal choice for kitchen worktops and fireplace hearths, as it is hard to mark or damage. Granite is more resilient to acids although we would still strongly recommend the use of a sealer. Some granites are more porous, normally the lighter colours, whilst others have a more open, fissured surface and sealing in these cases is essential. Whilst most granites are only available in polished form, other methods of finishing are gradually becoming more popular across a larger variety of materials.
Marble is limestone modified by heat and pressure within the earth and is relatively soft and porous. As a natural stone, sliced into thin pieces, most coloured marbles are inherently unsound. Surface fissures, open pores and extensive brecciation are not uncommon. Generally the more patterned or veined a marble is the greater the need for reinforcement or surface filling of one form or another. Such modifications, or making good, are an inherent part of the masonry process and should not be regarded negatively. As a quarry is worked, large variations can occur in the colour and veining of the marble extracted. Uniformity in colour and veining is therefore unlikely and should not be expected. The imperfections in marble are inherent and are regarded as one of their beautiful features. Clients requiring consistent uniformity are likely to be disappointed with most natural marbles.
There are lots of questions that people tend to ask when they are shopping for marble and granite. We hope to be able to answer some of them for you here with some of the differences between the two:
Colour – Marble and granite are both available in a variety of different colours. Marble tends to be veined whilst granite has a speckled appearance. There are countless varieties of slabs you can choose from with Granite, and no two pieces of stone will ever be the same. It is much easier to match flecked granite pieces that the more variable random swirls of marble.
- Durability – Granite tends to be much less porous and resistant to chips and cracks. You can place hot pans onto a Granite worktop without fear of damage, but marble can discolour and stain more easily. For this reason we recommend granite be used for more high-traffic areas in the house, whilst marble is more suited to fire surrounds or more formal areas.
Cost – Granite can be sourced slightly cheaper than marble, but the costs come mostly from the expertise involved in handling both granite and marble. You will require a professional to properly cut and install any granite or marble in your home.
- Usability – as we have said above, granite tends to be a more common material to use for kitchens as it is generally more durable and stain resistant due to it being less porous than marble. However marble produces a beautiful finish and if looked after properly can be used in kitchens.
Maintenance – you have to ensure than you don’t get abrasive substances on your marble such as vinegars and citrus, and you will need specialist-cleaning products. You should also look after your Granite even though it can sustain more use, it also needs some maintenance to ensure it is kept looking as good as the day you bought it.