Granite and Marble are not only beautiful, but are certainly viewed as more valuable than synthetic material options…like diamonds over cubic zirconias. In fact, at one point, a synthetic counter manufacturer tried to spread a radon scare to discourage natural stone products from being used! However radon has never been an issue with granite or marble. With both of these natural beauties simply dug from the ground and polished for your home or office, how do you choose?
How do you select Marble or Granite?
It all depends on the look you want and the ease of care you feel you desire. Cost can vary considerably as with any natural material. Some marbles are quite expensive. In the case of marble though, expensive doesn’t mean better, it simply means it is more rare and beautiful. Either way, with careful selection, you can be sure either choice will be gorgeous.
Granite varies from lighter colors in creams, yellows and ivory to dark browns and blacks
Is a coarse-grained ingneous rock formed by the cooling of silica-rich magma just below the earth’s surface
Has been used on buildings, monuments, bridges, buildings, as tile floors, on interior walls and another incredible array of areas for thousands of years
Is generally from Spain and Brazil
Is tough to scratch and will dull your knives, so a cutting board is recommended
Can be cleaned with most cleaning products and even acid based solutions containing lemon, vinegar, etc.
Can take any hot items for any length of time
Has permanent sealers available, or it is recommended you seal it once a year and by wiping on the sealer and letting it dry
Is unlikely to stain and is not bothered by coffee, wine, dyes and grease, after it is sealed
Is considered the new “standard” in homes, as it is everywhere
Is viewed as the most elegant, natural stone. Typically, extravagance and wealth are associated with such a rich and beautiful stone due to it’s unique beauty, high-end and rich look.
Has a unique look and feel and has been used for centuries in Europe and around the world in sculpture, monuments, buildings, tile floors, interior walls, etc.
Is a softer stone than granite with a semi-transparent look
Is generally veined or spotted and in whites, creams, grays, blacks, chocolates, etc.
Is primarily from Italy, but found around the world and used by bakers to roll their dough due to it’s ability to stay cool
Can crack with quick changes in surface temperature. For example, by placing a hot pan where a bag of ice had been
Could be sealed several times a year and really can’t be sealed too much. If water beads, it is fine. Simply wipe it on and let it dry.
Should be treated like a fine piece of wood in it’s use and care
Coasters should be used
Trivets and hot pads should be utilized, as heat from pans and such can change it’s color, depending on the temperature and length of time it is exposed
A cutting board, tray or rubber bakers mat are wonderful places to use certain items, cut and pour
Spills should be cleaned up immediately as coffee, tea, wine, dirt from plants, grease (even a greasy pizza box), etc. could stain the surface, if left on for a period of time. An appropriate cleaner is Simple Green Counter Cleaner
Once set, stains are difficult, if not impossible to remove. Cleaners should not include bleach, ammonia or vinegar, as they will break down the sealer. A great product that can get some stains out is BELLINZONI Mangia Macchia Spot & Stain Remover. See it in action on youtube.com : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0inZh-ZufU
It is thought a diamond tip abrasive grinder can buff a stains out, but since that can cause a groove in the area buffed, the entire counter should be polished
Can chip or bruise. If you drop a glass on it’s surface, a white or light mark will appear
Can scratch just like wood, so care should include not scooting large items across it.
Is unique: like the steps on old, wonderful buildings smoothed over by so many people and years, marble tells a story. For our homes and offices, it is wonderful to have a product that is so rich, yet gets better with the patina of character and time. If you install a marble countertop, you should expect it to change as you use it. The pristine kitchens with perfect marble are no doubt, rarely used for cooking, but I bet…always enjoyed.
For additional info on marble, stain removal and it’s care: http://www.marble-institute.com/consumers/care.cfm
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