Granite Vs Marble Benchtops
Last Updated Aug 30, 2011 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
If you are installing new benchtops in your home, you may be agonising over what to choose. Natural stone is an excellent, long lasting choice and two of the most popular are granite and marble. Here’s what you need to know.
About Granite Benchtops
Granite is a very popular material for benchtops as it is non porous and also resists chemicals and acids very well. This means that it will stay looking brand new for years to come no matter what you do on the benchtop. Granite is available in a huge range of colours, from light colours such as cream and white, through to dark, dramatic colours. This means that you can choose a benchtop to blend in with your kitchen or bathroom, or a benchtop that makes a dramatic statement. Using granite for your benchtops means that you get the beauty of natural stone without as much maintenance. However, granite is quite uniform in appearance, which needs to be considered when making your choice. The uniformity is very popular with people who like a more solid look while others may prefer to see more natural patterns within the stone.
However, granite should be regularly sealed to keep it looking in tip top shape. This is usually done yearly. In terms of cleaning it, you can use most regular household cleaners on granite but you should still try and use gentle cleaners where possible. After all, why use harsher products if you don’t need to?
About Marble Benchtops
Marble benchtops really bring an air of elegance, class, and luxury to any kitchen or bathroom. There is nothing quite like them in terms of their dramatic beauty. You will find that marble benchtops are most commonly available in either a polished or a honed finish. Both are excellent choices so it really is up to you which you choose. The beauty of marble is that it is such a unique surface, with its veining and patterning. No two pieces of marble are ever exactly alike. Marble comes in a range of colours from pure white through to creams, beiges, reds, pinks, greens, blues, and greys, so you are sure to find a benchtop that perfectly suits your decor.
You may hear that staining is an issue with marble benchtops but this really isn’t the case these days. This is because the new sealers that are applied to marble benchtops are penetrating sealers, which are designed to fill the tiny voids within the stone so that liquids don’t sink in and stain. You should still wipe up spills as they occur though, as liquids will still sink in, albeit much slower than they otherwise would. Dulling can still be an issue but if you apply a surface sealer as well as a penetrating sealer, it is not as much of a problem. Marble does require regular maintenance though, in the form of regular sealing, and this must be taken into consideration. Cleaning is as simple as using a damp cloth. No abrasives or strong cleaners should be used.
A kitchen benchtops
supplier will be able to show you the different types of granite and marble available and perhaps even be able to give you samples to take home so you can see how they'll look in your room.
Image courtesy of Gitani Stone.