For centuries, Marble and granite -due to their unique natural properties- have been the perfect choice for builders and designers seeking to create structures of enduring beauty that stand over time.
But before we dive deep into the difference between the two stones, let’s first explain what we mean exactly when we say the word natural stone.
Natural stone refers to any rock quarried from the earth that has been formed underground earth over a thousand years because of the continuous expansion, heat, and pressure inside the earth.
There are many different types of natural stone, such as marble, granite, quartz, travertine, sandstone, limestone, and others.
To understand the difference between marble and granite it’s essential to differentiate between them in different aspects, Such as (composition, Appearance, characteristics, and usage).
|Surface||Smooth veined surface||Granular surface with speckles|
|Formation||Calcium carbonate & calcium oxide||Quartz – feldspar – Mica – Amphibole|
|Water Resistant||Less resistance||More resistance|
|Heat Resistance||Less resistance||More resistance|
|Maintenance||Needs to be maintained regularly||Needs to be maintained|
|Price||Lower than granite||Higher than marble|
1- Formation and composition.
Marble is a metamorphic rock, mainly composed of calcium carbonates. It’s often confused with limestone, when limestone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure through thousands of years, limestone recrystallized into marble.
On the other hand, Limestone is a sedimentary rock mainly formed of calcium carbonates fossil when mud, shells, and sand are mixed at the bottom of the oceans over a thousand years until it solidifies as a limestone rock.
Conversely, Granite is an igneous rock formed from the slow cooling of magma and molten rocks. the slower the cooling process is, the stronger and harder stone we get.
It consists of several minerals, such as quartz, feldspar, micas, Amphibole, and other minerals. The dominant mineral is quartz, which is made up almost 10-50% of this stone. Any presence, absence, or change in these minerals affects their characteristics and color.
Forbes Explained how each mineral affects the granite’s appearance
Quartz is a mineral that gives granite white color.
Feldspar is what gives the stones the white milky color
Potassium Feldspar is shown in stone in pink color
Amphibole gives it a black color, like the black speckles
This is formed from mainly quartz and the black speckles on it because of Amphibole.
This is formed from potassium feldspar and the white spots are because of quartz and the black speckles on it are because of Amphibole.
This is formed from equal parts quartz, feldspar, and amphibole.
Both stones are known for their exquisite appearance; however, they can be distinguished by their visual characteristics.
Marble is characterized by a smooth veined surface and comes in a variety of colors, from the purest white to the deepest black and everything in between, Each slab tells a story of its formation, as unique as the colors and veins it displays.
In contrast, granite can be identified by its granular surface with speckles and grains, as it also has a wide range of colors from white, grey, pink, red, green, black, and other colors.
The geological circumstances each rock formed on have a huge impact on its characteristics.
Marble scores 4 on the Mohs scale – A qualitative scale from 1 to 10, used to identify and measure the mineral’s hardness and scratch resistance, through the ability of harder material to scratch softer material.
Its surface has porous which means that liquids can seep into the stone and causes stains. The acidic substance can destroy it and change its color if didn’t treat quickly. Regular maintenance, including annual sealing, is required to preserve the stone’s shine.
On the other hand, granite is more durable, It’s made up of mostly quartz which is considered one of the hardest minerals. It scores on Moh’s scale from 6-7.
Granite surfaces are highly resistant to liquid absorption and can withstand high temperatures. Although requiring periodic sealing, It demands less maintenance.
Ultimately, both stones necessitate consistent upkeep. Stone epoxy can repair scratches and chips in both stones.
Both of them are building and decorative materials that have been used widely in history for a variety of purposes, they were used by ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, and continue to be employed for a variety of purposes in modern times.
Marble with its luxurious appearance and unique characteristics makes it an ideal choice for cladding, buildings, monuments, interior decoration, sculpture, building interfaces, swimming pools, and other uses.
Meanwhile, granite is better used in areas like kitchens and bathrooms because of its ability to withstand heat and resist water absorption, also it can be used for walls, floors, stairs, and other uses.
While both are considered pricy building materials, granite tends to be slightly more expensive.
Despite the higher price point, the difference in cost between these two natural stones is small, making either option a feasible choice for a perceptive homeowner or designer looking to upgrade the look and feel of a space.
In the end, While both shares some similarities, they are distinct natural stones with unique characteristics. Marble is prized for its luxurious
appearance, while granite is known for its durability and low maintenance requirements.
However, it’s important to note that comparing these two materials based only on personal preference is not a comprehensive approach.
Each stone has specific attributes that make it ideal for certain applications, and understanding these differences is key to choosing the right material for your needs.
Whether you’re looking to add a touch of timeless sophistication to your home or create a masterpiece of architectural grandeur marble and granite are the perfect choices for achieving your vision.