Comparing Marble & Granite

Comparing Marble & Granite

Comparing Granite & Marble

Both granite and marble have been used in the construction of fascinating buildings. Both materials are processed in stone fabrication shops that make use of stone water treatment equipment and various dust collection machines. Monumental architecture is made up of these two natural stone materials. And yet they are so different from one another. Perhaps that is why each one has made its mark on the architectural landscape over the centuries. In this post, we will delve into comparing marble and granite. Along the way, we will consider what makes these materials different from one another. We will also look at the make up of each material. Finally, we will mention some of the use cases for each of these natural stones.

Elegance of Marble

When you begin researching marble, you soon find that there are a number of things that make it both unique and desirable. In fact, each stone is unique and differs from every other slab. Even two slabs cut from the same stone will be unique.

Marble is also desirable. The natural veining that marks many marble stones is a trait that buyers adore and are willing to pay to have. Marble consists of a significant amount of calcite and therefore has a glistening characteristic to it. This is because calcite is crystalline. That quality makes it sort of “shimmer” when light interacts with it. In fact, a polished marble slab could even be called “shiny”.

Marble’s Softer Side

As far as rock goes, marble is relatively soft; registering at 3 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This makes it easy to work with if the proper diamond tools are used to cut, grind, and drill this material.

The soft look of marble is also desirable. The lighter colors are considered the purest of the selection and white marble in particular is highly appreciated by buyers. So even in its coloring, you will find that many projects are made of light colored marble. Yet, there are some very notable and impressive designs that have been constructed using dark colored marble.

Granite is Sturdy & Durable

Granite, like marble, is a popular natural stone. It too has a reputation for being unique and desirable. It is also a very popular stone for use in architectural projects and statues. This natural stone’s unique qualities feature rich, deep coloring and it too is available in a variety of colors ranging from light to dark.

Granite is made up mainly of quartz and feldspar. Like marble it can be polished to a high shine that is very appealing to the eyes and people desire it for use in a number of design styles.

Since granite contains a high amount of quartz it is hard stone that registers from 5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. However, it is used for statues, flooring, wall cladding, and kitchen countertops. In fact, its hardness and mineral content make it a popular choice for many natural stone projects.

Granite Compared to Marble

So, how does marble compare to granite? Well, there are some similarities and there are some differences between the two. As we have already mentioned marble has a “hardness” of 3 whereas granite has a “hardness” ranging from 5 to 7. So granite is much harder than marble if you compare them. The appearance is different too. Granite has a more “granular” look to it than does marble. Additionally, the colors within granite stone tend to have higher “contrast” among them whereas the color variations in a marble slab are “gentler” and do not vary as much.

The mineral content makes them different in another important way. They resist different substances. For example, the calcite in marble reacts with acids and is dissolved by it. This means that marble requires additional care when it is used as a kitchen countertop. That is not to say that marble cannot be use in this way, it just means that added care is needed. For instance, marble kitchen and bathroom countertops need to have sealer applied regularly to protect against not only stains, but also etching. If marble is etched, it requires a high quality etch remover. Additionally, they must be cleaned using a daily cleaner that has a neutral pH so it does not break down the sealer.

Stone Sealer Doesn’t Make Stone “Stain Proof”

Marble sealer doesn’t make the stone impervious to acids. Rather, it adds a barrier that helps the stone resist longer by slowing the rate at which the stone absorbs surface liquids. This means that acids will dissolve marble even if the marble stone is sealed. But sealed marble gives the owner more time to clean up the spill by slowing down the absorption of liquids.

Granite, on the other hand is not made up of “calcareous” stone, so it is not as susceptible to acids as is marble. Yet it will stain from household liquids. These stains can be removed, but sealing helps to prevent them from occurring. Again, the sealer needs to be added periodically and acidic cleaners will erode the sealer and make the granite susceptible to stains.

Uses for Granite & Marble

There are many uses in which either granite or marble would suffice. In these situations, it is a manner of personal preference. The design may play a role or the color palette could influence the type of stone you select. In either case, it would come down to the choice of the designer. Some of these uses include:

  • Tiles
  • Statues
  • Flooring
  • Tabletops
  • Hand Rails
  • Staircases
  • Wall Panels
  • Countertops
  • Architecture

The above list of use cases does not mean that it neither is better than the other in certain situations. Indeed, you may have a design or an application that one of these material works better in than the other. But for the most part either material can be used in the situations mentioned above; with the understanding that proper care and maintenance needs to be used.

In conclusion, we have seen that comparing granite and marble reveals they have some things in common. Additionally, we have seen that they differ in composition and as a result they are susceptible to various substances that could discolor the material. Yet as we have seen, each of these materials can be used for a number of projects. The question then is, “What stone do you prefer?”