Marble vs. Granite Countertops: A Complete Guide

Marble vs. Granite Countertops: A Complete Guide

Countertops play an important role in the functionality and appearance of a kitchen or bathroom. You have to pick the right material that suits your lifestyle and achieves the look you desire, all while fitting into your budget. Two of the most prominent and luxurious countertop materials on the market are marble and granite. Marble and granite are revered for their natural appearance, strength, value, and high desirability. While they share similarities, they have some fundamental differences that may influence you to choose one material over the other.

If you want to enhance your living space with a natural, high-end material, then consider either marble or granite for your next remodel. A lot of new homeowners might not know the key differences between these two popular countertop choices: That why we created this article to give you a breakdown of each material, along with their pros, cons, and associated costs. Continue reading to find out which material will best suit your home!

The BasicsWhat is Granite?

Granite is a 100% natural stone that is derived from quarries around the world. The stone is mined and taken to a manufacturer who cuts the stone pieces into thin slabs. After, it is polished and fabricated into countertops.

Granite: Pros

  • icon

    100 Percent Natural Stone

  • icon

    Quality Sealants can make granite highly water and stain-resistant

  • icon

    Works well outside, durable against weather

  • icon

    Granite typically comes in a wider variety of colors

  • icon

    Slightly less expensive compared to Marble

  • icon

    Less susceptible to heat and water damage, compared to marble

Granite: Cons

  • icon

    More commonplace compared to marble

  • icon

    Granite is porous, letting water and dirt seep in if not properly sealed

  • icon

    Rare colors retain less value

  • icon

    Granite has a lot of natural variation, some people love the differences in colors, some people hate it

  • icon

    If using for a countertop, grout lines can detract from the appearance

The BasicsWhat is Marble

Marble is a metamorphic rock formed from recrystallized carbon, derived typically from limestone (but sometimes dolomite). Over long periods of time—pressure, heat, and natural chemicals form limestone into the marble we know it today. Like granite, marble is a natural stone that usually consists of 100% earth product.

Marble: Pros

  • icon

    Usually considered more luxurious, timeless

  • icon

    Wider choice of colors and designs

  • icon

    Can result in higher resale value

  • icon

    Marble tiles are easier to DIY

  • icon

    100 percent natural stone

  • icon

    Long-lasting if properly maintained and sealed

  • icon

    It is subjective, but most people find marble to be more appealing

Marble: Cons

  • icon

    Softer than granite, more prone to chipping or scratching

  • icon

    Susceptible to acidic foods/drink, may cause a dull appearance

  • icon

    Slightly more upkeep necessary vs. granite, resealing 1-2 times a year

  • icon

    Slightly more susceptible to heat damage

  • icon

    Typically comes in a white shading or off white, other colors are slightly rarer

  • icon

    Slightly more expensive

AppearanceWhat does Granite Look Like?

What does granite look like

Each piece of granite is completely unique, never being quite the same as another. There are hundreds of shading and color schemes of granite slabs to choose from. These countertops are beautiful and impressive to look at; homeowners and interior designers consider the imperfections to be what makes granite so distinctive. Whether you’re looking for a subtle accent to complement your kitchen or a standout slab with unique mineral inclusions, there is an almost limitless selection to choose from. Colors come in a wide range of everything from earthy tones to more vivid blues and red hues.

Appearance What does Marble look like?

what does marble look like?

Like granite, marble is 100 percent natural stone, which means that each piece is unique. There are four main types of marble: carrara, calacatta, emperador, and crema marfil. Carrara is the most common and has a similar price to granite. Calacatta is more rare and has darker, larger veining. Emperador and crema marfil come from Spain and is usually brown, beige, or yellow. Marble is the staple of timelessness and opulence. From ancient Greece to modern estates, marble has been and will continue to remain the go-to choice for classy, luxurious homes.

DurabilityGranite Maintenance

granite maintenance

When you decide to go with granite, expect typical maintenance, usually less than marble. Granite should be cleaned with mild soap and water daily, or as often as you can. Both granite and marble are solid stone, meaning that it is naturally porous and contains inherent imperfections. These generally microscopic imperfections allow for water and dirt to seep, meaning that granite is subject to cracking or developing mold if left unattended. If you spill red wine, you should act quickly to clean up your granite countertops. Luckily, a professional can install a sealant to render your countertops essentially waterproof and highly stain resistant. You should have your countertops resealed every year or two. Granite is overall stronger than marble.

DurabilityMarble Maintenance

marble maintenance

Marble is generally considered a bit more difficult to maintain, compared to granite. But most homeowners do not find it challenging to upkeep. You have to be more careful with marble, particularly if you are preparing acidic foods. Acidic foods can etch the surface, a process that will eventually wear down and renders your glossy surface dull. Like granite, marble needs to be resealed yearly. Some experts suggest applying a new sealant twice a year, which is more often than granite. This will help moisture-proof your countertop, make cleaning easier, and extend its lifespan. Day to day cleaning is similar to granite; make sure you are cleaning with natural stone products and avoid abrasive cleaners at all costs. Use mild soap and water for regular cleaning.

$$ Pricing $$How much do Granite & Marbel coutnertops cost?

Both Granite and Marble are generally not the most economic option in terms of pricing. These are luxury materials, with even the lower-ended choices being pricey. Both countertops are very heavy, sometimes requiring engineering work to retrofit your kitchen or bathrooms to be able to withstand the weight. This all makes the installation work difficult, requiring the expertise of a professional, ultimately driving up the installation costs. **It’s important to note that installing either countertop material is extremely difficult, we highly advise against DIY unless you have the proper experience.**

It is generally understood that Granite countertops cost $80 to $175 per square foot, when installed by a professional. The price differences depend on the style chosen, in addition to the edging type requested. Marble countertops have a wider price range and depending on the quality and type of marble you purchase, you can expect to pay about $90 to $200 per square foot, installed. **One way to bring down the price of the material is to look for remnant stone. Remnant stone, which can be found at some hardware or stone yards, is extra marble or granite stone that is either recycled or lightly used, usually priced a fraction of normal pricing. ** Check out a local masonry yard or habitat for humanity store for remnant stone.

CREATE A MORE BEAUTIFUL HOME TODAYCONNECTING YOU WITH LOCAL SERVICE PROFESSIONALS YOU CAN TRUST!

PoweredByPros is a leading digital home services marketplace. We match homeowners from across the nation with screened remodel and repair professionals they can trust to successfully complete any type of home improvement or renovation project. For over a decade, homeowners have trusted us with providing them professional and quality services for their property. In order for us to connect you with a home expert in your area, our highly skilled customer service team will contact you to gather all your project information and pay special attention to your design and amenity requests. We make planning, budgeting, and hiring a local contractor easy and free! Save time and money, get started today!