One of the more desired properties of both marble and granite is their appearance. Since marble and granite countertops are cut from stone, patterns can be similar but will never be the same. Marble is famous for it veining, which has led to the term "marbling." You can also select granite with veining. Both materials come in a wide variety of colors; consumers have hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to color and pattern.
Marble is a type of metamorphic rock composed mostly of calcite. Marble can come in many patterns and is aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately, marble has many disadvantages. It is very porous and can easily be damaged by heat, water and acid. Marble is also very susceptible to staining; it requires a lot of maintenance to keep marble in good condition.
Granite is a crystalline stone that is known for its hardness. Granite is quite resistant to chemicals, acids and heat. It is also very stain resistant and unlikely to scratch or chip easily. Granite countertops can last for many years if maintained properly.
Granite is a harder material than marble but they are both relatively hard, which make them less susceptible to cracking, breaking or warping than wood. Marble countertops are better suited for kitchens that receive little traffic and use, because marble is more likely than granite to stain and scratch. If a countertop is going to receive a lot of traffic or use, granite may be the best answer. Granite is more durable than marble and requires much less maintenance.
Both marble and granite countertops are not cheap investments. Average prices for marble and granite are between $50 and $100 per square foot. The price for materials can vary based on location. Prices can increase when getting a marble or granite countertop installed by a professional; some handymen may choose to install their countertops themselves to keep costs down. The main factor in determining how much a marble or granite countertop will cost is size; the bigger the desired counter, the more expensive it will be.