Marble and granite are among the most popular choices when it comes to kitchen counter tops. They are both naturally occurring stones and have a set of pros and cons you should consider while choosing them for the kitchen. They differ very much in the areas of hardness, porosity, aesthetics, durability, longevity, scratch and stain resistance. Before you make your final decision, you must consider the life style and needs of your family.
Resistance to scratches and stains
Granite is highly resistant to scratches and stains as it is naturally non porous and hard. This quality makes it the most suitable material to be used on counter tops. Knifes or other gadgets cannot scratch or damage granite. Thanks to its non porous nature, food or liquid spilled on it will leave no stains.
Marble on the other hand is softer and more porous as compared to granite. Objects used daily in the kitchen like the kitchen knife will easily leave a scratch. You will have to apply a sealant on marble counter tops to protect it from any spilled food, oils and liquids.
Damages due to heat or chemicals
Granite is resistant to chemicals, acidic food or heat. Marble is heat resistant to an extent but you may have to use a mat or trivet to avoid any discoloration. Acidic food like ketchup, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and alcohol tend to leave a mark on marble counter tops. The mark will look etched, dull and lackluster. It cannot be reversed or prevented by the application of a sealant.
Cracks or chip offs
Both granite and marble are made of crystalline structure. Both can potentially crack or chip if put under blows from a hard or sharp object. Daily usage in the kitchen will rarely cause such kind of damage to granite as it is hard and more durable. Marble is much softer and tends to chip and crack more easily in comparison to granite.
Despite its disadvantages marble is still preferred over granite if you take looks into consideration. Every thing about marble exudes luxury and class. Granite too can lend an air of sophistication and the fact that it has more than 2500 colors and textures to choose from is a plus point.
Even though granite is a tough stone, you can add an extra layer of protection by sealing the counter top. But with the marble counter top, it is important that you seal it and handle it with care. Both must be cleaned with a damp cloth. Soapy water may be used for
removal of any stubborn debris. Cleaning agents like ammonia and bleach must be avoided. If you have a marble counter top, it is important that you dry it if it gets wet.
Granite is well suited for rough use while marble will be more suited if you rarely cook or are ready to give your counter tops some tender care.