Whether you’re planning to buy a new property or do a house remodeling, one important aspect to consider is your choice of materials. Building materials largely contribute to your home interior and outdoor design as well as the functionality. Without careful analysis and selection, it can be hard to achieve your goals and project requirements.
Granite and marble are two of the most popular materials that homeowners use in some areas of the house, particularly in kitchen spaces. Both are natural stones used in home improvement projects.
Before you choose the best stone material for your project, it’s best to know the advantages and disadvantages of the two.
The Difference Between Granite and Marble
Granite is a light-colored, igneous rock which is granular in texture. It has fleck-like appearance composed of pale-colored crystals known as quarts and feldspars. Granite is believed to be the strongest of all natural stones.
Marble, on the other hand, is a type of calcareous stone made up of calcite crystals. Slightly opposed to granite, marble appears to be the most elegant among other natural stones such as onyx and travertine.
Although they differ in some properties and composition, they are both hard and heavy and can vary in colors and patterns. Take a look at how they differ in terms of:
Both granite and marble are naturally beautiful stones that have different texture variations. You can easily distinguish the two through a simple visual inspection.
Granite is a coarse-grained rock that comes in grey and black variations. On one hand, marble has veins throughout the surface which is a result of impurities. It usually depicts a light-colored appearance (white and cream), making it look aesthetically pleasing.
Both can be rough or smooth textured, depending on its usage and surface finish. If you want a rough surface, these stones go through flamed or sand-blasting procedures to achieve your expected outcome. On another note, you can have them polished if you prefer them to appear glossy and smooth.
When it comes to sturdiness and longevity, granite is more durable. Not only does it resist breaks, scratches, and abrasion but it’s also able to carry a heavy load and thrive in excessive heat exposure. For instance, placing a hot cooking pan on granite countertops won’t affect the durability of the material.
Granite also works well and stands the test of time in places outside the comforts of your home. Famous sculptures like the Mount Rushmore is an iconic example of a granite-made, built-to-last monument in South Dakota. Another classic attraction that displays steep granite cliffs is the Yosemite Valley in California. It simply shows the genuine proof of its timeless beauty and durability.
Although granite wins over marble when it comes to durability, marble is also heat resistant. Marble fireplace surrounds, for example, can withstand a decent amount of heat without worrying about acquiring yellow marks on some parts. But proper care and maintenance are still necessary to remove any surface dust from the marble or any form of stains on it.
You can use granite and marble in different areas around your home. If you want to upgrade your countertop and staircase or install sturdy floor tiles, granite is the best choice for the project. On another note, marble can be used in pavements and in less traffic areas such as bathrooms.
Simply put, granite is more effective in frequently disturbed spots. Marble, on the other hand, is utilized in rarely disturbed surfaces but gives a unique look when used.
Granite and marble typically cost around $40 to $70. The cost varies depending on the project specifics such as the style, size, texture, color, type of materials and installation. For instance, the price of average granite countertops ranges from $45 to $200 per square foot installed, from $175 for high-end ones. Marble countertops, however, vary from $50 to $250 and can increase if you prefer a higher quality material.
Choosing between a slab or a tile also contributes to determining the cost. Marble tiles are cheaper than slabs so be careful to know what suits your interest and your home design.
Both require expert assistance to install the slabs or tiles. Someone has to have enough skills and experience to successfully complete the task.
Granite is more versatile than marble when it comes to maintaining its strong appearance and durability. Stains on surfaces won’t easily affect its quality, as compared to marble, which requires constant cleaning after use. This is because marble is more porous than granite.
Sealants are used to prevent corrosion or any form of damage. Granite and marble both require the process of sealing but differ in the frequency of application. For granite, once every two years is enough, but for marble, once every six months is recommended. However, you also have to consider the degree of care done when it comes to maintaining them. It’s safe to have a regular cleaning and resealing to avoid costly repairs and sustain the product’s longevity.
Which is Best to Use: Granite or Marble?
Using granite and marble as structural walls or foundation may be doable depending on the project requirements. However, if you’re planning to build a new house or renovate your existing home, it’s better to use bricks and blocks for guaranteed durability.
Here’s how you can use these beautiful stones around your home.
1. Kitchen Remodel
Most homeowners think of granite or marble when planning to renovate a kitchen countertop. While there’s a myth that discourages people to use these both materials for kitchens, you can count on their durability and beauty as time passes. Adding granite or marble countertops will surely add to your kitchen remodel costs, but it’s worth the investment.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), kitchen upgrades, including countertops, are what most buyers consider when buying a house. It’s best to use natural stones to follow the trend and give your dining area a lasting appeal.
You also have to consider your choice of stone when designing an outdoor kitchen. Granite is less porous and has a higher crack resistance among other stones, but marble is sensitive to acidic pollutants as well as vinegar and citrus food stains. For instance, a marble countertop won’t work well for outdoor kitchens due to the possibility of getting exposed to external elements.
On the other hand, granite countertops require less maintenance as opposed to marble countertops. Despite the differences, the best practice is to make time for constant maintenance and avoid what mars their beautiful finish.
2. Bathroom Upgrades
Whether it’s a bathroom renovation or extension, one perfect way to increase your home’s value is to add a granite vanity top. Granite can also be an option when buying under-mount sinks as well as toiletry holders and wall arts. It gives you the freedom to choose among the different types and patterns suitable for your bathroom design.
Another fascinating part about using granite is that it offers an ideal way to display a natural glamour and create a statement without adding extra features to beautify the structure. For homeowners with little time to clean or reseal the vanity tops along with other fittings can expect to have a highly maintained structure. Cleaning the surface using a damp cloth and mild soap can work even without the need for constant resealing.
On another note, marble is typically used in bathroom walls and floor tiles. Its popularity also influences other features such as shower recesses. Choosing among a wide choice of patterns and colors, marble can also be used when upgrading your traditional bathtubs.
Granite flooring is one of the most popular choices for bathrooms and living rooms. It comes in a range of texture, colors, and designs to add a sophisticated beauty to one’s home. When doing a floor plan, it’s good to consider this natural stone as it forms a strong and stylish surface covering which creates a warm and inviting ambiance. You also have nothing to worry about installing granite floor tiles as they are resistant to water and moisture.
Homeowners get to choose what type of finishes to apply. It can be honed or matte, polished or shined, brushed or silky, and flamed or textured. For instance, a matte finish depicts a low level of reflectivity and is ideal for high traffic areas around your home. A rough-surfaced granite, however, is often used in outdoor project applications.
Opting for marble floor tiles also has advantages similar to granite flooring. It has a uniquely defined appearance that’s hard to replicate. Marble is available in varying colors and sizes depending on the need. As opposed to granite, it depicts a very high polish and shimmer, especially when properly maintained. Although its resistance to scratches and cracks is undeniably lower than granite, marble is known for its ability to conduct heat.
4. Stair Treads
The uses of granite are effective in both indoor and outdoor projects but are more apparent in monuments, pavers, and bridge. However, it can also be used when reconstructing your step treads. It’s best to consider the type and texture when planning a staircase design to ensure the safety of your house members when elevated surfaces are involved.
Using marble in your home’s facade is a great way to entice your guests with a welcoming look. Marble stair treads also add to your property value in case you want to sell your home in the future.
Granite is also a common building material used for outdoor paving projects such as patios, pool coping and edging, and driveways. Granite patios, for instance, are weather-resistant and perfect for homeowners who want to renovate their outdoor spaces. Likewise, granite driveways can keep the structure from acquiring damage because of the stone’s endurance and hardness when dealing with heavyweight objects or vehicles.
For increased safety, a rough-surfaced texture is more applicable as it is highly susceptible to rain and other environmental elements. If you’re planning to add or renovate a pool in your backyard, you can rely on the durability of granite. Non-slip resistant surfaces can give you peace of mind especially if you have kids who play around your swimming pool and its surrounding areas.
Marble patios are also popular in some instance. Property owners who prefer a more luxurious look for their outdoor walkways and pool decks choose marble tiles for aesthetic purposes.
How to Choose the Best Stone for Your Home
It all boils down to what you highly prioritize. As mentioned, granite is highly efficient than marble when durability is a top concern. For others, marble is a desirable solution to meet their aesthetic needs.
Do you value functionality more than the visual aspect, or vice versa?
It’s important to finalize your project to carefully determine what elements will suit your property, budget, and lifestyle. If you’re looking to have a more durable stone to use, you can go for granite. But if you prefer to increase your home’s aesthetic appeal, marble can be the perfect option.
Find a Trusted Granite and Marble Contractor
When it comes to building and design aspects, it’s best to find a business that provides a service that meets your expectations. With the help of the professionals, you can make the process smooth-sailing from choosing the appropriate stone materials to installation procedures.
Some essential factors to consider when deciding who to hire are a contractor’s license, liability insurance, and completed works. Getting relevant feedback from previous clients is also beneficial to get an overview of their expertise and reliability. The team’s credentials and experience level are good to verify to expect a high-quality service.
Reliable tradesmen can suggest what type of natural stone to use for every part of the house. As you meet with your prospective contractor, you can prepare a specified list of project requirements describing the overall design plan including your desired outcome for a home remodel. That way, you can freely express your concerns with someone who values your property as much as you do. You can also learn how to better maintain its efficiency in the years to come while getting the best value for your investments.