Granite Versus Marble Countertops — Which Stone Is Right for Your Kitchen?

Having natural stone countertops can add to the home’s value and is one of the things some potential homebuyers are looking for when they visit homes for sale. Granite and marble are two of the more popular options.

Appearance

Granite is available in more colors than marble, which tends to be mainly black and white. Marble tends to look more elegant, but it really is up to the preferences of the homeowner as to which stone is better looking.

Durability and Maintenance

One of the features people look for in countertops is that they’re durable and relatively low maintenance. Both marble and granite countertops are durable, with granite being slightly harder than marble. This means that granite isn’t as easy to scratch or chip. These countertops are somewhat heat resistant, but it’s still a good idea to use a hot pad rather than setting a hot pot or pan directly on the countertop. The key to the durability of these two natural stones is making sure to keep up with the required maintenance. Both stones need to be sealed to avoid getting stains on them as they are porous stones. With marble, there’s a bit more maintenance because spills need to be wiped up right away and nothing acidic should be used on the countertop. Acidic items like vinegar, salad dressing, soda, coffee, tomato sauce and juice will actually etch the marble and make a light spot on the marble. The same is true with many common cleaners unless they’re especially marketed for cleaning marble. Because of this, marble tends to be better for bathrooms while granite tends to be better for kitchens.

Price Considerations

Granite countertops tend to be a little cheaper than marble countertops, ranging in price from around $75 to $175 per square foot compared to $100 to $200 per square foot for marble. The more complex the countertop design is, the higher the cost will be. Things like the number of corners and seams that are needed and the type of sink you choose can affect the cost, so it’s a good idea to get multiple price quotes. Using tiles instead of slabs of stone can make it less expensive to get a natural stone countertop.