FAQ: Granite, Marble & Quartz Countertops
No, granite is a natural, porous material which can absorb liquids such as water or oil. When absorbed, liquids can leave a dark colored spot in the stone. Water will evaporate in time but oil substances can leave stains if not wiped up within minutes. Most stains can be removed using a poultice or paste that will draw the oil from the stone. With that said, granite does qualify as being impervious to water and is actually less absorbent than some other solid surface (plastic) products. To keep this material more stain resistant, it is essential that you reseal it using a natural stone sealer at least once a year.
No, marble is a very porous material. Marble is more prone to staining than its competitors Granite and Quartz. Since it is also a lot softer than other solid surfaces, it is crucial that you don't use anything acidic or harsh when cleaning up spills. Cleaning products or tools that are too abrasive can leave an etch mark or stain on the stone. It's also very important to wipe spills away completely and quickly. A good quality sealant should be reapplied on marble every 3-6 months to help prevent stains.
No, but it is highly stain-resistant due to its nonporous and repellant aspect. It can repel even the most common types of stains such as wine, coffee, make up, oil and vinegar. Since it is a nonporous material, pathogens are less likely to develop in the material and will be easier for a homeowner to keep a clean kitchen. Quartz does not require an initial sealing or continued sealing like granite or marble does.
No, not necessarily. All three types of material are not in inexpensive, however, they are all beautiful, durable surfaces that will last for many years to come. Granite can be a more affordable option considering it has lowered its square foot cost in the recent years. Depending on the level of granite or marble and the particular company or pattern of quartz; granite can be a significantly more cost effective material. However, if you are considering a level 3-4 granite/marble, or an exotic stone; quartz is most likely going to be a more affordable way to go. Some factors that change the cost of granite are the extraction of the stone, and the shipping of the material which consumes a lot of time, money and energy. Factors that change the price of quartz are company, pattern or color of material, demand, labor rates, thickness and edge treatment, among others.
Granite and marble are 100% natural material, which is why no two slabs alike. The slabs are sliced directly from the quarry, cut to size, and honed until smooth. Quartz is somewhere around 93-97% natural quartz, mixed with color pigments and polymer resins to bind the particles together to form a solid surface.
Since granite and marble are a natural material, there are lots of options of colors and patterns. Even one type of granite can vary so significantly from lot to lot that you would not believe they share the same name.Quartz tends to be a bit more uniformed in patterns and coloring. As the hues and patterns use to be limited, quartz companies now have various options. For example, Cambria has up to 100+ designs.
Since granite and marble are quarried from the earth, slab sizes will depend on what they can remove. Typically they are somewhere around 4 to 5-1/2 feet wide and 7-9 feet long.Most quartz come in a standard slab size of 55 x 120, while some also come in a jumbo size of 63x 120.One thing to keep in mind if you are planning on putting a large island in your kitchen is to remember the slab size and where a seam may need to go.