You are beginning to remodel your kitchen or bathroom but find yourself swamped with choices for every countertop, floor, and other surfaces. Everywhere you turn, there are images of gorgeous kitchens and bathrooms in homes with customized counters and cabinets and flooring. You might find yourself pondering what kind of stone the countertops are made of or which type of stone is best for your kitchen.
There are three commonly used stones for countertops: marble, granite, and quartz. Which one is best for you, though? And how can you tell the difference between these materials?
Here is a breakdown of differences between granite, quartz, and marble for you to consider. This will help you narrow down the choices.
Characteristics of Marble, Granite, and Quartz
Marble is mined and comes to your home 100 percent natural. A classic choice for architecture, marble has been used in everything from statues to bathrooms. Marble oftentimes comes in various colors with gorgeous veining. When marble is free of impurities or other stone, it will almost be a pristine white. However, it is rather porous and will need frequent maintenance, making it less resilient to damage than other stones on the market.
Granite comes straight from the earth and doesn’t need much processing before it is fit to be purchased and installed in your home. A countertop made out of granite is one of the strongest, most beautiful surfaces you can find on this planet. There is an endless rainbow of colors to choose from, including tans, grays, golds, browns, peach, blues, whites, and more. Granite is durable, stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, and heat resistant.
Unlike marble and granite, which can be mined, polished, and sold, a quartz countertop has to be manufactured. The reason is that the quartz used for countertops is about 90 percent natural quartz stone that has been ground up and mixed with around 10 percent polyresin. Since these countertops are made, the appearance can be customized to mimic marble or granite or any other color.
Granite vs. Marble
Most people often have to ask what’s the difference between granite and marble? Compared to the rainbow of colors granite comes available in, marble is almost always white. When other minerals are present in the stone, however, it may take on streaks, also called veining, or have a tint of black, yellow, pink, blue, or gray. Marble is also more glossy than granite. Now available in today’s market are synthetic variants that include marble, glass, and other materials to make marble stronger, but it is still less resilient than granite.
Quartz vs. Marble
Many quartz countertops are a mixture of granite, marble, and other stones, along with quartz, giving it the name “engineered stone.” Where marble is natural and has few variations in appearance, quartz can mimic granite and marble or have a completely different look. Quartz comes in a wide array of colors and patterns.
The main difference between quartz and marble would be a weakness. Marble is a soft stone that can be damaged easily, making it less common in high traffic kitchen areas and more appealing in bathrooms. Quartz does not get damaged as easily and is less porous than marble, so it will not stain as quickly.
Granite vs. Quartz
No two sections of granite are the same, just like quartz. Both have endless color options. However, the main difference when it comes to the uniqueness of both granite and quartz is that granite comes from nature and requires no processing. Quartz is designed in a factory, even though it does come from quarried stone. Quartz can be made to look like granite, but if you truly want something straight from the earth, it is best to go with granite.
Both stones are durable, scratch and stain-resistant. That said, the only disadvantage of granite to quartz is that granite requires sealing every year to ensure it doesn’t stain or get damaged. Quartz doesn’t need to be sealed. On the other hand, if quartz is left in direct sunlight, the colors may fade over time and will require routine maintenance to enhance the shine.
Now, let’s have a look at how these materials compare when used as countertops. When you compare quartz to granite countertops, you will find that quartz is extremely hard and durable, stain-resistant and also chip resistant. Just like granite. However, quartz is not as resistant to heat as granite. Unlike granite, you should never place a hot pan or pot directly onto a quartz counter. If you do that, you could cause irreparable damages or discoloration.
On the other hand, looking at granite and marble, you will find that marble is by far the softest of the three stones for countertops. Marble is not usually put in kitchens because it can chip, get stained, and is prone to scratching. However, if you have areas in your kitchen that are not high traffic or places where you want a brilliant accent, the smooth appeal of marble is a great choice.
Granite, Quartz or Marble: Which Do You Choose?
Countertops are an important component of the kitchen. If you want stone countertops that come in a variety of colors and patterns, is low maintenance and very durable, then granite is a great choice. If you want a countertop that may require a bit more upkeep but looks incredible in any light, marble may work for you. Lastly, if you want low maintenance and does not require sealing like granite, then quartz is ideal.
Regardless of which stone you choose, you are bound to have a beautiful kitchen that you will love to show off to friends and family.
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