The Difference Between Granite and Marble Flooring

Friday December 12, 2008
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While marble and granite stone floors are stunning and elegant, they are actually very different and should not be confused with the other. The differences began thousands of years ago when the stone was being formed.

Granite contains particles of various minerals (e.g. quartz; feldspar; mica crystals) and is an igneous rock, meaning it is formed from liquid magma that eventually cooled. After thousands of years of pressure, the end result is an extremely hard, durable and stain resistant stone. The different minerals contained in the liquid magma gives granite its variety of colors. Granite can be found in solid colors such as solid black, or can be grained with one or many diverse colors.

Marble, much like granite, also started forming thousands of years ago. The difference is that marble is a metamorphic rock that's created from limestone instead of liquid magma. After years of heat and pressure, the limestone texture and makeup begins to undergo a transformation process referred to as recrystallization. This eventually morphs the limestone into the marble we know and use today. Mineral impurities in the limestone give marble its wide range of colors. Marble is recognized for its veined appearance.

While both marble and granite floors are extremely durable and can last a lifetime (when properly cared for), granite flooring tends to be the more durable and stain resistant of the two. Of course, this also means that granite usually comes with a higher price tag. Granite, being one of the most stain resistant stone floors available, is one of the best choices in kitchens where food and drink spills can occur. Granite flooring can also be sealed for added water resistance.

Watery or oily liquids can stain marble much more easily than granite tiles, so if you have marble flooring, any spills should be cleaned immediately. Marble is also prone to dulling from contact with acids (e.g. vinegar; lemon juice) and is more susceptible to scratching than most granite floor types. Like granite, marble flooring can be sealed with a penetrating sealer that can reduce the porosity of the stone and increase stain resistance. Sealers can help prevent the stain from setting in for up to 24 hours, depending on the spill and sealer type you choose. Present-day sealers are usually very effective, and if stains do occur they can often be removed with a ready-made poultice.

When purchasing marble flooring, you should accept the possibility of it having a lived-in look over time. To some, this only adds to its charm. Help reduce the possibility of staining, dulling and scratching from occurring by choosing marble that is classified an A or B rather than C. Unfortunately, the most colorful, often sought-after marble is usually classified as a C, in which case these owners learn to accept a scratch or two. You can also minimize the appearance of scratches by choosing a honed surface. In comparison, granite is more likely to stay looking the way you bought it for years to come. Either way, you are installing a very durable and sophisticated floor. Use's stone floor estimator tool to determine how much flooring material you'll need for your stone floor project.

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Comments (5)

Talkback – Leave a commentThere are 5 comments

Thank you very much The detailed information helped me to understand the fact. Will you give the pictures of the materials?
November 6 2012
regarding sandstone flooring.
Good day! very precisely and clearly mentioned. one more clarification i wish to get from the author regarding sandstone flooring. whether it will be less durable to marble in terms of surface finish? or erode quickly when compared to marble? But in the positive side it is slip free and good for household with kids and aged occupants.. can you please explain the demerits in is there any when compared with granite/marble.....
March 20 2012
Thank you
I have the confusion for the above so many years which is very clear thanks for providing the info Saravanan
December 12 2011
This information going to help me a lot. Thank you for sharing the information about the granite and marbles.
March 5 2009
Thank you
I was confused at what my builder was trying to say to us between the granite and marble floor choices. I searched Google and found this article. I haven't used the rest of the website you have but I look forward to reviewing it when I have time.
December 15 2008
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