You’ve finally moved that kitchen remodel off the back burner, and soon it will be in full swing. And you can’t wait — not just to watch the transition, but also to enjoy cooking and connecting with family in the new space. Still, you know you have decisions yet to be made. And one of them is marble vs granite counters. Which one should you choose?
The straight answer (or not)
Actually, for this question, there isn’t really a straight yes or no answer. That’s because marble vs granite countertops is a question that could have different answers for different people. Basically, our answer to “Which is best—marble vs granite?” is “it depends”. Now that we have our short answer for a starting point, let’s dig a little deeper.
Granite vs marble: a quick look
We know you didn’t come here for a geology lesson, but let’s start with this question nevertheless. What happens when magma crystallizes underneath Earth’s surface? That’s right, granite.
Obviously, the slabs that turn kitchens into productive workspaces are a few steps removed from that stage, though. Let’s have a moment for a few quick granite takeaways. Then, it’s on to marble.
- Some of what’s in it: quartz, feldspar, mica.
- How hard it is: 6 or 7 (Mohs scale).
- Very dense: good news when it comes to staining.
- Exists as limestone before becoming marble.
- Major “ingredient”: calcium carbonate.
- How hard it is: 3 to 5 (Mohs scale).
- More porous than granite.
- Lower durability makes it more vulnerable.
Now, as we said before, which one is “better” when considering marble vs granite countertops, is relative. Here are three things to keep in mind when weighing these two natural stone options. First, consider any logistical needs you have for your counter. Second, know what kind of budget you have available. And, third, ask yourself what your personal design and visual preferences are.
Consider your logistical needs
Here, take a moment to identify things like how big your counter area will be, what you’ll primarily be doing on it, and how much use/traffic you think it will get. Is it for a kitchen workspace that you expect to chop, roll, and scrape on daily (or three times daily)?
Or is it a bathroom area that you expect to get very gentle use? On the other hand, is it a vanity in a child’s bathroom that you expect to be subject to constant water spillage and soap smearing? Also, think about how important maintaining the countertop’s original appearance is to you—are you looking for something that will stay in pristine shape?
When it comes to durability, granite may edge out marble. But keep in mind that granite may still need to be sealed (and marble may, too). Though stains and etches are things to consider with both options, a marble countertop may be more susceptible.
Take stock of your budget
Next, ask yourself how much you’re looking to spend on the project. Is it a massive spare-no-expense kitchen renovation that’s been years in the making? Or is it a “let’s see how low we can keep cost and still have a great new kitchen” type of project?
What kind of budget you’re dealing with could help you out when it comes to the granite vs marble question. You may find granite to be less expensive than marble. Thus, comparison shopping between the two could help take away some of the difficulty of deciding.
Note your preferences
Since earlier we talked about “logistical needs,” let’s call these the “wants” when it comes to natural stone countertops. Here, identify what it is that drew you to natural stone. Was it a particular look you saw in a gorgeous kitchen photo somewhere and want to recreate?
Additionally, think about how you expect your kitchen countertop situation to play out over time. Will you be brokenhearted the first time you notice etching on your marble countertop? Then, granite may be the way to go (even though it may not be a no-etch guarantee).
Determine what appearance you’re going for in your counters. What do you want this counter to look like? If you’re finding that the look of marble, as opposed to granite, is what you’re longing for in your kitchen, then you may opt for it despite disadvantages.
Hard to decide?
If you’re struggling to nail down your preferences when it comes to marble vs granite counters (or any other materials you’re mulling over), consider roping someone else in on the process. Perhaps other family members will also be spending a lot of time in this area. Then, figure out what they think. They could have preferences that will help you narrow it down.
If it looks like no help is to be had from the family, consider asking a friend or acquaintance with experience in interior design. Or simply someone whose kitchen style you happen to love. Ask why they chose the countertop they did.
Enjoy living with the new look
As you work on choosing marble vs granite countertops, be clear with yourself (and your countertop specialist) about what it is you’re looking for in a countertop. Head over to our 4 Different Types Of Kitchen Countertops | Pros And Cons if you need an introduction to other options. And once your lovely kitchen remake is finished, don’t forget to launch your new cookspace off on the right foot — perhaps with a delicious homemade dinner or a batch of chocolate chip cookies!