When choosing a worktop for your kitchen, granite and marble are possibly two of the most popular and prestigious stones out there. Their timeless beauty adds sophistication and elegance to any kitchen décor. But which one should you choose? Both stones come at a price, so it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Here are a few of the aspects to consider when choosing your worktop.
Granite or marble: a worktop comparison
Granite is an igneous stone, quarried predominantly in Italy, USA and India. It’s one of the hardest stones in existence, notable for its coarse, grainy appearance and is available in many naturally produced colours including black, grey, cream, brown and even blue hues. The swirling pattern ingrained in the stone gives it a natural beauty, making every slab unique. If you like a natural, varied surface then granite is a good choice of material. As with many things it’s down to personal taste. Some people don’t like the fact that every slab is different and that it can be difficult to achieve a uniform look. If you want a more refined finish, granite can be sandblasted and polished for a shinier, fresh look. Marble is a metamorphosised limestone formed by recrystallised calcite minerals. The name marble comes from the Greek word “mármaron” meaning crystalline, shining stone. The swirls and veins in marble come from mineral impurities within the stone such as clay and sand. The most popular marble is Carrera marble. Although marble comes in other colours, the most popular choice for worktops is white. However, marble is a natural product so over time it will change. Again, it’s a matter of personal taste. Some people love the “lived in” feel. Others want to maintain the exact same newness that it had the day it was installed. If you want your marble to maintain its appearance then you will have to get it sealed.
A kitchen worktop needs to be, above all, practical. Granite hides dirt and is easy to clean; a soapy sponge will suffice. It’s heat resistant so if you place a hot pan down on it, it will not leave a mark, and it’s scratch resistant and impervious to mould and mildew if correctly sealed. However, if a granite work surface is not sealed correctly it will be porous, meaning it will absorb liquids that, once sunk into the surface, are impossible to remove. Also, if granite is unsealed, or poorly sealed, it can harbour bacteria. Bear in mind that granite will need to be re-sealed on a yearly basis. Marble isn’t heat resistant. However, it is naturally cool and therefore makes the perfect surface for working pastry or dough. Like granite, it is porous. Watch out for acidic liquids such as lemon juice, vinegar, red wine and fruit juice. Polished marble won’t stain as much as honed marble. But if you don’t mind a few scratches and flaws then honed marble is a better and more economic choice. In fact, marble isn’t perfect but it is for this very reason that so many people love it.
Granite is extremely hardwearing. It can withstand some of the heaviest loads. Once you install granite, it will last you a lifetime. However, this does have some drawbacks. The durability of granite cannot be disputed, but it is very heavy. A correctly installed granite worktop will also entail additional supports to hold it in place. Granite may not crack or stain (if sealed) but if you drop a glass or ceramic object onto it, they will shatter on impact. Marble chips easily. Even leaning into the counter while wearing a belt, can cause damage. One solution would be to place glass top sheets over the worktop so that the beauty of the marble can still be seen without the risk of damaging the delicate surface. The cost of both products is predictably high. However, they are both stunningly beautiful worktops that will add value to your home. Willow Bank has a team of experts who will help you choose the best worktop for you. Whether you choose granite or marble, your worktop will be fitted and installed perfectly. To refit your worktop in granite or marble, call Willow Bank today on 01280 821 002 or contact us here.