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Marble vs. Granite: Myths, Tips and How to Tell the Difference

Photo credit: Colonial Marble

Photo credit: Colonial Marble

Whether tackling a newly constructed kitchen or renovating an old master bath, discerning homeowners know the struggles that come with choosing natural stone materials for their home projects. From the back and forth over which style to choose—granite or marble, marble or granite—to the little voice in your head questioning if you should go the natural stone route at all—it’s too expensive, the upkeep is too labor intensive—you may want to throw in the towel before you even get started.

Deep breath. We are here to dispel some of the myths surrounding natural stone to simplify your purchases and find the right option for your home.

A quick primer on granite and marble

Before we delve into the myths surrounding, a quick primer on the distinguishing features of both styles:

  • Granite is a type of igneous rock that is naturally white, pink or gray in color with a shiny, glossy appearance. Wildly popular, granite countertops are praised for their durability and for the classic, elegant look it can give a room. It is stronger and harder than marble.
  • Marble is a type of metamorphic rock, formed from limestone and superheated to achieve a crystalline structure, and is typically light and matte. Marble can provide a room with a cool, timeless beauty.

Busting myths and giving tips

Myth: Marble and granite stain easily.

The most common myth natural stone is that it can stain beyond repair. While few surfaces are completely stain-proof, tricky stains like red wine or coffee spills can be removed from granite and marble with ease. Just use soapy, warm water on a washcloth and dry with a soft towel. (Avoid any bleach or acidic cleaners!) Use cutting boards and coasters when preparing food if possible. Sealing stones can prevent most minor and major accidents.

TIP: Granite can take more of a beating than marble. Consider granite for high-traffic areas like the kitchen or a child’s room, while marble is more fit for a master bath.

 Myth: Marble and granite are too expensive.

Marble and granite have a reputation for being pricey partially because of their association with old world beauty and historical structures (think Taj Mahal). But their growing popularity in modern homes has made the stones more affordable than ever. It’s now possible to have the renovation of your dreams without breaking the bank or blowing your budget.

TIP: Don’t write marble off! While high-end marble can be a bit pricier than granite, it’s often possible to get an equal amount of marble and granite for the same price. 

Myth: Marble and granite will go out of style.

Many colors or finishes can become dated, but natural stone is essentially timeless. Granite adds texture and dimension to a small space, while marble offers a cool, clean look to a bathroom oasis. It’s been used in structures and designs for centuries as a tasteful finish to any room.

TIP: To avoid dating, choose neutral tones for your marble or granite feature. (Light or dark gray for granite, beige or white for marble)

Now that you’ve received a crash course in natural stones, visit Colonial Marble & Granite for information, samples and quotes for your next home project.