Choosing your countertops: marble or granite?

When you are considering what material to choose for your kitchen countertops, many facets need to be carefully considered and weighed before making a decision. After all, when it comes to granite and marble, neither of the two are inexpensive options. And if you are going to spend a penny on materials to furnish your home, you must make the right decision. So, let’s see what are the characteristics of both granite and marble. Along the way, we’ll mention how those traits translate into practical benefits.

The characteristics of granite

This igneous rock is generally made up of quartz and feldspar which give granite its amazing colorful appearance. Since these minerals come in a variety of colors, it is no wonder that you can find granite countertops in almost every color. Gray, pink, black, green and the list goes on and on. This diverse selection of colors is one of the traits that make granite such a popular surface. And although it is not a modest option, it is a tough material. Which brings us to another sought-after quality when it comes to finding a good countertop for your home, durability.

The strength of granite is another key aspect of what makes people choose it as a countertop. On the Mohs scale (a scale to measure the hardness of a substance), which ranges from 1 to 10, granites are in the range of 6 to 7. Therefore, they are considered hard. This feature comes to the fore when selected as a countertop because it means that a granite countertop will hold up well in regular events that can put a surface under the “attack” of daily use. For example, imagine a hungry teenager trying to separate two pieces of frozen meat. Your solution may be to firmly bounce the frozen balloon against a rigid surface to separate them. So for its diverse beauty and sturdy strength, granite countertops are the choice of many people like you who are choosing new countertops.

Noble qualities of marble

The elegance of marble truly shines through in its soft and delicate tones that vary in color. Compared to granite, marble needs a bit more maintenance. It weighs on the Mohs scale around 5 and is considered a softer stone than granite. The mineral calcite is a key part of the luster and even the luster that marble is known for. Because calcite is a small crystalline formation, it adds a distinctive shine to a marble countertop. However, that key mineral also triggers caution, a reaction known as etching.

The glossy surface of a marble countertop can sometimes be etched. Some people refer to these etch marks as “smudges” or “dull spots.” In reality, this etching is the result of the shine that causes the calcite to be eaten up by acidic liquids that can be found in the home, such as citrus juices, soft drinks or vinegar, among others. When these acids come in contact with calcite, they eat it up and the result is a “tarnished” marble. It can be dealt with commercial products, but this is something to consider when choosing new countertops.

The bottom line is that granite or marble can stain and there are some necessary maintenance treatments that all natural stones require. These include sealing and using a PHP neutral cleaner that will not dissolve the sealer. But no matter which granite or marble you choose, you will have a beautiful and durable natural stone to serve in the “heart of your home”, the kitchen.

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