When it comes to building materials, marble and granite are both very popular surfacing materials. But that doesn’t stop the debate on marble vs granite from resurfacing every couple of days. After all, why should it not? Being naturally available stones that are available in affordable ranges, both marble and granite are great for interiors. But then, what must you choose?

Hence, to put an end to this debate, we at Livspace, decided to give you a comprehensive insight into both these materials; their differences with regards to strength, durability, cost, availability, and other parameters. Now that you’re here, let’s get you started on the marble and granite difference right away.

What’s the Difference Between Marble and Granite?

Although marble and granite are both widely available stones, there are some crucial differences that set them apart from one another.

Limestone (sedimentary rocks) undergo metamorphosis to produce marble. Whereas, granite is an igneous rock that’s formed deep under the earth when the Magma solidifies and cools down. Now that you know the story of their origin, let’s take a look at what happens when it reaches your homes.

marble-vs-granite-floor
Marble floors are very common; however, can you go for granite? Read on!

Let’s cut to the chase and check the important differences:

MARBLE VS GRANITE

MarbleGranite
DurablilityDurable; has a hardness of 3-5 on the Mohs scaleHighly durable; has a hardness of 6-7 on the Mohs scale
Acidic ResistanceNo; marble is porous, so it’s more prone to etchingYes; granite has a high density
PorousYes; it’s a soft metamorphic stone that requires sealingNo; it’s not affected by water, but it’s best to have it sealed
CostAffordable than granite; some varieties can cost moreAffordable; granite price can be ₹80-₹2200/sq.ft. depending on many factors
Damage by Strong Chemical Cleaning LiquidsStrong chemical cleaning liquids can cause damage and discolourationStrong chemical cleaning liquids can wear away the sealant, and can cause discolouration
StainsProne to acquiring stains & spills due to high porosityNot prone to stains; even acidic liquids don’t permeate granite as long as it has a sealant barrier
OutdoorsUsage not recommended; but can be used with sealantsCan be used with or without sealants
Heat ResistanceSusceptible to heat damage; not recommended for kitchen countertopsHighly heat resistant; ideal for kitchen countertops
Scratch ResistanceProne to getting scratches from common activities like cuttingVery hard stone; naturally scratch resistant
MaintenanceMight be better to polish and reseal twice a yearLow maintenance; might require polishing once every few years
AppearanceHas veins in a different colour; most popular colours include white, black, green and chocolate; available in light to medium shadeCan have freckles in a variety of colours or veins; every slab of granite is entirely unique and can come in black or solid colours; available in medium to dark shade
PropertiesCrystalline rock which can get dull over timeIgneous rock which retains its shine
Used for Flooring, pooja rooms, wall cladding, shower walls, vanities, tub decks; Recommended for usage in low footfall areasCountertops, tabletops, flooring, outdoor landscaping, wall cladding; Recommended most for high footfall areas due to its strength
OriginMetamorphosis of sedimentary rocksSolidifcation and cooling of Magma
Environmentally-FriendlyCan last for many years; but carbon footprint is high for mining, transportation and installationCan last for many years; but carbon footprint is high for mining, transportation and installation
Health RisksCan emit carbon dioxide when exposed to heat and acidic substances; hence not recommended for kitchen countertopsConsidered safe by EPA

A. Marble vs Granite: Durability

Even though both granite and marble are hard and can last for several years, there’s one vital difference that makes granite better than marble. That is its non-porous quality.

Marble scores 3-5 on the Mohs scale (as it’s a softer sedimentary stone) whereas Granite scores 6-7 on the Mohs scale due to its extreme density.

Marble is porous and can be prone to discolouration, spills, stains and pitting. That’s why marble needs to be polished and sealed before usage. It’s recommended to have marble polished twice a year. However, granite is non-porous and is resistant to stains, spills and does not get discoloured easily.

B. Marble vs Granite: Maintenance

Marble can require resealing and polishing twice a year. Although granite can also warrant some resealing, it tends not to require polishing every year. It’s recommended to have it polished every two years or so.

C. Marble vs Granite: Scratch Resistance

marble-shelves
Marble shelves are also very popular in India

As a softer stone, marble can get scratches easily if there are constant abrasions; however, granite is a very hard stone and usually does not get scratches. Plus, marble can get scratches from common activities like cutting, and hence it is not recommended for kitchen countertops.

D. Marble vs Granite: Heat Resistance

While both marble and granite offer decent resistance to heat, we can say that granite is highly resistant to heat. Marble can be susceptible to heat damage. Even contact with hot pots and pans can damage marble.

That’s why experts prefer granite as the ideal kitchen countertop material.

E. Marble vs Granite: Stain Resistance

granite-flooring-options
Granite is suited for high footfall areas: kitchen countertops, kitchen flooring, etc.

As we know, marble is a soft sedimentary stone that originates as limestone. That’s why it’s porous and tends to absorb water and other materials on contact. That can include oil, wines, juice, curries and vinegar. Hence, marble is prone to staining.

However, granite is entirely stain-resistant because of its hard nature as an igneous rock and extreme density.

F. Marble vs Granite: Cleaning Process & Cleaning Liquids

You can wipe both with a wet cloth and any organic cleaning liquid. It’s best to avoid very strong chemical cleaners. For those of you who love to wipe down surfaces with a bit of vinegar, you might want to avoid that when it comes to marble, as it’s prone to pitting and etching. On contact with acidic liquids, it can emit carbon dioxide, which isn’t good for your health.

When it comes to strong chemical cleaning liquids, you can avoid them for granite and marble, as they can cause damage and scars. It might reduce the shine of the stone.

G. Marble vs Granite: Usability Outdoors

Granite can be used outdoors with or without a sealant. However, marble cannot be used outdoors without a sealant barrier, as it’s porous and tends to absorb water.

Plus, marble is more prone to etching and staining, as it’s a softer stone. Additionally, all natural stones (including granite) can get a little slippery if it’s too wet. While an outdoor granite might do better than marble, it’s best to have it sealed.

H. Marble vs Granite: Appearance

marble-floor-design
Marble is available in light brown, green and white

When it comes to appearance, both marble and granite appear the same from a distance. However, on close inspection, you’ll see that marble has marks that are more like veins whereas granite has marks that look like freckles.

White marble is the most popularly available variety. However, it can also be available in brown, green and black. As for granite, it is available in solid colours like black, or it might have colourful freckles and grains in red, green, orange and brown.

granite-appearance
Granite is one of a kind and always in trend

While marble has a light to medium shade, granite has a medium to dark shade.

I. Marble vs Granite: Price

When it comes to marble vs granite price, several factors come into play. Cost-wise, marble is usually more affordable than granite, but that’s not always the case, as certain varieties of marble can be quite expensive.

Granite is affordable and the cost of granite can vary from ₹80-₹2200/sq. ft. depending on appearance, strength, colours, patterns and availability.

J. Marble vs Granite: Applications & Usage

Marble is recommended for usage in areas with low footfall: bedroom flooring, kitchen flooring, bathroom shower walls, bathroom vanities, pooja rooms, shelves and centre tabletops.

Granite is hard and tougher than marble. It can withstand heat, pressure and exposure to water. Hence, you can use it for your kitchen countertops, flooring options, wall cladding, outdoor landscaping and bathroom countertops.

For a detailed picture of where to use what, see the next section 😉

Marble vs Granite Uses: What to Use Where?

1. Flooring

MARBLE FLOORING

marble-flooring-for-home
Marble might be short for marvellous; who knows?

In Indian homes, marble flooring is the more common choice between the two. That’s because we Indians believe that marble gives a luxurious shine to our homes. It’s ideal for use in bedrooms, halls and foyers.

However, it’s recommended that you don’t use marble flooring for your bathrooms, as natural stones can be slippery when wet.

Also Read: 3 Simple Steps That Help You Choose The Best Flooring Option

GRANITE FLOORING

granite-flooring-price
Some experts say that Granite > Marble

Granite, as one of the most durable natural stones, is often used for flooring, though it can be difficult to source. It’s not porous; it’s resistance to stains, heat and spills. Hence, it makes for a great flooring option.

It’s also used as an outdoor landscaping surface. However, we recommend that you be careful as natural stones can be slippery if wet.

2. Countertops, Backsplash & Tabletops

MARBLE COUNTERTOPS (NOT RECOMMENDED)

The truth is, marble absorbs water unlike granite. Neither is it resistant to stains. It’s prone to pitting, etching, stains, spills and that doesn’t make it an ideal choice for kitchen countertops. Plus, it’s a softer stone and it’s recommended that you don’t use them as countertops or tabletops.

MARBLE TABLETOPS

indian-marble-tabletops
Marble tabletops are often used for the luxurious look they bring to the table

If you’re planning to use marble for a study table, that’s all right. However, you should steer clear of areas that’ll see a lot of water, spills and stains.

GRANITE KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS & BACKSPLASH

granite-kitchen-countertop-and-backsplash
Granite is the ideal natural stone for countertops

Between the two, granite is a strong, durable natural stone that’s highly resistant to heat. Plus, it doesn’t get discoloured easily and neither is it prone to stains and spills.

black-granite-countertops-kitchen
Did you know that every slab of granite is unique?

In fact, when it comes to water – granite isn’t porous like marble. All in all, granite is a great material for kitchen countertops and tabletops. So, it’s safe to say that granite is everything marble isn’t.

3. Wall Cladding

MARBLE WALL CLADDING

pooja-room-marble-jaali
See the beautiful stone cladding that works as a pooja room jaali design

Though marble isn’t ideal as wall cladding to protect the wall from adverse weather conditions, it’s often used to beautify walls. From accent walls to facades, partitions to jaali designs, marble wall cladding is done to add a touch of oomph to spaces.

GRANITE WALL CLADDING

granite-wall-cladding
Granite stands the test of time, or so it’s believed

When it comes to granite, it can do very well as wall cladding because of its strength and durability. Though it’s recommended that granite be polished and sealed for usage, it doesn’t require frequent resealing like other natural stones.

4. Pooja Rooms

MARBLE POOJA ROOM

marble-pooja-room
Marble is a staple material for Indian pooja rooms thanks to its lustre

When it comes to pooja rooms, we prefer an interior design that stands for serenity and resplendence. Marble, due to its appearance and lustre, is an ideal material and often finds itself in high demand for installation in pooja rooms.

In fact, in parts of India, marble carved statues of divinities are also quite popular.

GRANITE POOJA ROOMS

granite-pooja-room
Granite pooja rooms are rare, but a beautiful sight

You won’t find a lot of granite pooja rooms; however, that doesn’t stop homeowners from indulging in a rare granite slab for their divinities. As you can see, this pooja room has a granite slab and a granite backdrop, which gives it a warm tone due to its dark colour.

5. Bathrooms

GRANITE BATHROOM COUNTERTOPS

granite-bathroom-countertop
Granite is often used as a countertop material for bathrooms because of its non-porous nature

Often times, granite is also used as a bathroom countertop as it doesn’t absorb water easily. Additionally, it’s not prone to discolouration, thereby making it an ideal choice for bathroom countertops.

Also Read: Your Guide to Choosing Bathroom Countertops

GRANITE BATHROOM VANITY

vanity-countertop-option-granite
Take a look at this gorgeous granite countertop and sink area

Again, due to its high density and non-porous nature, granite is often used in areas with high-footfall or areas that see a lot of water usage.

MARBLE BATHROOM SHOWER WALLS

marble-shower-walls-marble-vanity
Marble is recommended for usage in vanities or shower walls

In comparison, marble is recommended for usage in low footfall areas. Hence, you can use it on shower walls, vanities or tub decks in your bathroom.

Pros & Cons of Marble

PROS

  • Marble can last very long, if maintained properly
  • It is unique and has a rare lustre, that gives it a sophisticated vibe
  • Plus, it is a 100% naturally occurring mineral that’s widely available
  • Marble is affordable

CONS

  • Being a softer stone, marble can be vulnerable to nicks and cracks (if not sealed well)
  • Marble can be vulnerable to stains, hence not recommended for usage in kitchen countertops
  • Needs frequent sealing

Pros & Cons of Granite

GRANITE PROS

  • Granite is great because it’s heat-resistant and durable (ideal kitchen countertop material)
  • It’s scratch-resistant with or without a sealant, so it is great for outdoor landscaping as well
  • Granite is also naturally stain-resistant. When sealed well, it’s absolutely stain-proof
  • Incredibly versatile, safe and non-porous (so no room for moisture or bacteria)
  • It’s very durable as well as aesthetically appealing
  • Affordable versions are available; though certain varieties can be expensive

CONS

  • Dark granite slabs aren’t trending anymore
  • Can be susceptible to cracks, if not maintained well
  • As granite slabs have to be cut, they will show seams when used in L-shaped and U-shaped kitchen layouts

Marble vs Granite: The Battle of the Greats

When it comes to marble vs granite, there’s no clear winner. As granite is naturally heat-resistant, stain-resistant and scratch-resistant, it happens to be the personal favourite of many designers.

Others like marble for its lustre, easy availability and affordability. If you’re looking for the right material, you can choose a mix of granite and marble for your home.

Choose marble for pooja rooms or flooring or shower walls and vanities. Choose granite for kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, pooja room embellishments, wall cladding, outdoor landscaping and even flooring.

How Can Livspace Help You? 

We hope you found our ideas useful! If you want beautiful interiors for your home, then look no further. Book an online consultation with Livspace today. Have any thoughts or suggestions you’d like to share with us? We’re all ears! Drop us a line at editor@livspace.com.

FAQs

1. Which Is Better: Marble or Granite?

Comparatively, granite is better than marble due to the former’s non-porosity, natural stain-resistance and heat resistance. Marble and granite are both popular surfacing materials suited for different areas of the home.

2. Which Is Costly: Marble or Granite?

Marble and granite are both affordable, and they both have varieties which are expensive. However, marble is more affordable than granite sometimes.

3. What Is the Difference Between Granite and Marble?

Granite is a harder rock than marble. It is also stain-resistant, heat-resistant and scratch resistant. Plus, it withstands exposure to water.

4. Which Is Good for Health: Marble or Granite?

Both marble and granite are considered safe. However, if you expose marble to acidic liquids, it can emit carbon dioxide, which is bad for health.