While granite has long been a popular and in-demand choice for kitchen and bathroom counters, there are some new contenders on the block that are making homeowners think twice about this typical option. Quartz and marble are some materials that have quickly become some top choices for home remodels, renovations, or new builds.
We have put together a comparison of quartz and marble, including their makeup, appearance, durability, and maintenance.
Engineered Stone vs Natural Stone
Quartz is a natural stone that can be found all over the world, however, it is not entirely of what quartz counters are made. Owing to the fact that natural quartz can have a dull and boring look, and is not completely durable, quartz countertops are engineered to become more solid as well as colorful.
Pieces of natural quartz are incorporated into the production, but the rest of the surface is comprised of pigment and resin, to assist with coloration and binding.
Marble, on the other hand, is a natural stone that can be found in quarries all over the world. It is mined in large slabs, then cut into smaller pieces more suitable for homes and businesses. While it is very solid and structurally sound, it is more fragile than quartz and requires more general upkeep.
One of the biggest reasons quartz has become so popular is due to the fact that it can come in almost limitless colors while still mimicking the appearance of natural stone. It makes the design process much easier for homeowners and designers as it can be perfectly matched to the theme and the surroundings.
One downfall of the manufactured quartz, however, is that it is much less unique and individual compared to marble.
Marble is one of the most individual materials you can get for countertops. In fact, it’s gorgeous veining is where the term “marbling” has stemmed from. Each slab of marble will have its own unique pattern and is impossible to duplicate in a lab. It comes in a large variety of natural colors, and it’s design is something that will surely be admired by all.
Maintenance and Durability
One of the factors that makes granite so in-demand is that it is a very hard stone that is hard to damage. Quartz, as hard as it is to believe, is even harder than granite and even less susceptible to cracks, chips, and stains. It is not porous, so it is much easier than marble to keep clean and bacteria-free.
Also as a result of this, quartz is less likely to stain. Quartz never has to be resealed, so there is no long-term maintenance required. All that quartz needs is to be wiped down daily with soap and warm water or a mild household cleaner. Quartz is a little less heat resistant than some other stones, so it is advised that heating pads be used under hot pans and dishes at all times.
Marble is extremely porous in nature, and is extremely vulnerable to spills and harsh chemicals in cleaners. Spills must be wiped away immediately and it is recommended that acidic liquids and foods, such as wine, citrus fruits, and orange juice, be avoided from the surface entirely.
A high-grade sealant will help reduce the likelihood of stains, but it must be reapplied and sealed every one to two years to maintain its protective benefits. The best way to clean marble counters is with a quality cleaner and minimal chemicals.
How to Choose
Whether you are considering engineered quartz or natural marble, it is best to weigh the options and decide on the material that makes the most sense for your family and circumstances. Quartz is a great choice if you have young children or are looking for a low maintenance counter that requires little upkeep.
Marble is a good option if you are looking for a natural piece that has a gorgeous and unique design. No matter which one you choose, you are guaranteed to have a surface that will contribute to the luxury and beauty of your home.