Granite and Marble facts:
As is the case with any natural material, there will be variations in color and markings in each individual natural stone. These variations should not be regarded as defects. They are characteristics of natural stone that give the material its natural beauty and uniqueness. We require you to take the opportunity to hand select the slabs to be used for your project, from one of our suppliers. This is the most important reason for you to personally select your material.
With natural stone, any or all of the following of the natural characteristics may be present:
Some areas, especially in travertine or marble, that may have been filled with a matching color epoxy that may compromise the integrity of strength of the material.
Variations in veining, color and movement that may be present in any natural material. Materials that have a lot of heavy veining or movement will exhibit more of these types of natural occurrences.
Fissures & Cracks: Fissures are small, visible lines on the surface of the slab which may indicate or affect the structural integrity of the project. Fissures sometimes are confused with cracks. Cracks often go throughout the stone and will compromise the strength of the stone.
Beauty Marks (horses): natural mineral deposit concentrations that can be seen as intensified spots or lines of color, lack of color, or areas with compromised polishing ability.
Pitting: “pock marks” of varying size on the surface of a slab which are a result of the tightness of the material grain and the material’s ability to accept a polished finish. These “pits” are a natural occurrence and will not affect the stone in any way, and will not grow or expand.
The presence of any of these characteristics adds to the uniqueness of your material, and in the majority of cases does not compromise the durability of the product. Cutting Edge reserves the right to refuse any stone slabs that are selected by you and shipped to our yard by one of our suppliers if they do not meet out high quality standards, including shipments with heavy pitting or markings, faded coloration, or excessive cracking or fill. We are committed to using only the highest quality products in your home.
“Although both were created deep within the earth millions of years ago, the processes that formed them were quite different.”
Granite is an igneous rock, which means that at one time during its development, it was melted like volcanic lava. However, this melted (or molten) rock never reached the surface. It remained trapped inside the earth, where it slowly cooled and crystallized, resulting in a very uniform, speckled stone that ranges from blacks to whites and nearly every color in between.
Marble is a metamorphic rock. It was once limestone, but over time, the combination of the intense heat and pressure caused the limestone to re-crystallize. Foreign substances often entered the stone during this process, creating an infinite variety of colors, textures and veining.
Marbles and granites are quarried throughout the world in the form of huge blocks, some weighing up to 20 tons. These blocks are cut into slabs that are generally ¾” thick (West Coast) and the faces are polished to the specified finish. Most material is highly polished, others are honed, antiqued, and brushed.
Which should I use where?
It depends on the effect you want to achieve and how much use or abuse the stone will be subjected to.
Granite is striking, functional and the most durable of the natural stones. These traits make it ideal for kitchen counter tops, accent islands, bar tops, everyday dining tables and many other uses. More and more people are choosing granite for bathrooms and fireplaces as well.
Marble is the most elegant and luxurious of stones. Marble’s beauty will last for generations. It is versatile enough for the use throughout the home, such as fireplace facings, ornamental furnishings, walls and window sills. Marble shines best in the bath. You can use it on almost every surface in the bathroom, including vanities, tub decks, shower walls and flooring.
What about cost?
Initially, marble and granite cost about the same as other solid surfaces, but price must be weighed against performance. The durability, longevity and natural beauty of marble and granite will usually outlive the home’s occupants. Marble and granite are far more valuable than synthetics in much the same way that diamonds are more valuable that rhinestones. The depth and character of natural stone cannot be matched by any man-made surface. Natural stone does not depreciate with time and adds value to your home.
Why choose granite counter tops over synthetic materials?
Granite has become today’s countertop of choice for architects, cabinetmakers, kitchen designers and contractors. A granite counter top is virtually impervious to abrasions, stains and extreme heat. Additionally, the inherent qualities of granite – its color, patterns and shades – compliment any décor.
Did you know that installing granite counter tops would increase the value of your home? It’s true! In nearly every case, the increase in value will exceed the initial granite countertop cost.
Do Marble and Granite require any special care?
Marble and granite are easier to maintain than you’d expect.
Granite is a worry-free surface that practically takes care of itself. It is extremely durable, stain-resistant and easy to care for. Hot pots and pans won’t damage the surface and it won’t chip, scratch or crack under normal use. Cutting boards are recommended to protect your knives from becoming dull. Once sealed (normally when installed) it should not stain. Marble isn’t quite as worry-free as granite. It has a softer, less stain-resistant surface than granite and it should be treated like a fine piece of wood. Spills should wiped up immediately, and coasters should be placed under beverage glasses to prevent staining and etching. Take precautions to avoid scratching the stone. Marble is especially susceptible to damage from citric acids, alcohol’s and oils. With proper care, its beauty will last for generations.
To help break down the granite vs. quartz quandary, let us show the differences between the two.
Granite is a very hard stone and 100 percent natural. It’s mined from quarries all around the world, cut down to a manageable size, and then polished to a fine finish.
Quartz is slightly different in that it is not 100 percent natural. Instead, countertops are manufactured using 95 percent ground natural quartz and 5 percent polymer resins.
Now that you know the basics, let’s see how they compare against each other.
Granite comes in many different colors and patterns due to the way it’s formed (cooling and solidifying of molten materials). Whether you’re looking for a subtle complement to your kitchen or a standout slab with unique mineral inclusions, there is an almost limitless selection to choose from and no two granite countertops are the same.
One of the main reasons quartz has exploded in popularity is due to appearance. Quartz has the look of stone while also allowing homeowners to customize the design. While granite offers many options in terms of appearance, you may have to search for the right piece that matches your color scheme. With quartz, the selection process is much easier.
The only way granite ends up in your kitchen is if it’s quarried and that uses a lot of energy. If you opt for a high-end slab from Italy, for example, there will be considerable transportation involved. Try using indigenous stone when possible or visit salvage shops for pieces that can be cut to fit your needs.
Since quartz is engineered, it can be more environmentally-friendly than granite if you use regionally manufactured stone and local fabricators. This cuts down on the distance the material needs to be transported.
Granite countertops should be cleaned daily with soap and water or a mild stone cleaner. Some oils and acids can stain so do your homework first to avoid stains. To ensure the longevity of your investment, consider having your countertops resealed once a year.
Like granite, you’ll want to clean any spills on quartz countertops with soap and water or a household cleaner, but that’s about it in terms of maintenance. The solid surface means that there is no need to have your countertops resealed.
Granite is a durable material that’s resistant to heat and many other kitchen elements. Due to its porous nature though, there can be some staining if spilled liquids are left sitting and damage can be done if your counter receives a high impact blow.
Quartz is actually harder than granite and thus, more durable. In fact, quartz is nearly indestructible, and because it isn’t porous like granite, it’s easy to keep your countertops relatively bacteria-free. Be careful with cooking pans though: Quartz can be damaged by excessive heat, so use heating pads at all times.