What is the Difference Between Granite and Marble?
Updated: Jan 31, 2021
Granite is an igneous rock, formed from molten lava that has cooled and crystallized under immense pressure. Marble is a metamorphic rock, which starts out as a limestone mainly composed of calcium and dolomite, but has been transformed by immense heat and pressure over time.
Granite is a hard and non-porous material that is used in construction mainly as tile or slab format. It is the material of choice for countertops, since it is resistant to scratches, heat, etching and staining.
Marble is a medium-hardness and porous material, also used in construction as tile or slab format. It is a material that represents luxury and sophistication, and is used mainly as countertops, fireplaces and washroom applications. Due to its composition, marble is prone to surface scratches, etching from acids, and stains, meaning that it will wear over time with heavy use.
In terms of colour and look, granites tend to be more crystalline and can range from light to dark. Marbles also range from light to dark, but are more commonly recognized by their multi-coloured and striking veins.
Both these natural materials require sealing to help prevent any liquid absorption, however marble will require more frequent applications due to its porous nature. One way to tell if your stone is due for another coat of sealer, is to place a few water droplets on the surface. If the water forms a bubble, the sealer is still good. If the water droplets flatten and absorb into the stone, it is time to clean and re-seal your stone. Overall, a granite will require less maintenance than marble because of its non-porous nature
Pricing varies amongst these materials, depending on how common or how rare they are. Granites are typically more affordable than marbles, but are in the same price range when it comes to fabrication and installation.
Should you choose granite or marble for your countertop?
You can find both granite and marble at affordable prices, it mainly comes down to your level of care for the stone and the desired style. If you are looking for a hassle-free natural stone, granite is for you. If you don’t mind taking extra steps to help preserve your countertops, and understand that they will inevitably etch and damage over time, then marble could work for your project.
One alternative way to incorporate the beauty of these natural stones into your project without being overly concerned with their maintenance, is to use them in low-traffic areas such as a fireplace, feature wall, or furniture piece.