Granite, Marble, Quartzite + Quartz

If this is your first time using natural stone surfaces in your home, or you're not quite sure which is the better selection, this will help you understand the differences between granite, marble, quartzite, and quartz stone types.  Maybe you are thinking of Marble Countertops.  Read more to learn if they are right for you.  If you're still not sure which stone type is best for you and your space, contact one of our knowledgeable team members to help you.

Granite Countertops + More

According to the dictionary, granite is a very hard, granular, crystalline, igneous rock consisting mainly of quartz, mica and feldspar and often used as a building stone.  We can all search the real definition, but in Laymen’s terms, it is simply put, a rock.

Granite is formed at very high temperatures and therefore it will not burn or degrade over time.  That is why granite is a great material to be used for countertops, fireplaces, backsplashes, vanities, etc.  It also makes for a great option for outdoor kitchens.

Granite is becoming a standard for most kitchen countertop surfaces.  It has proven to be very durable, holds up well to wear and tear, and is affordable.  Granite is unlikely to stain, but depending on the color, it can.  The lighter the stone the more susceptible it is to staining.  However, at Stone Central, we apply a sealer that protects your surfaces for a minimum of 3-5 years depending on how the surfaces are maintained on a daily basis.  Your sales representative can elaborate on best practices for daily care.

The affordability of granite also makes it an attractive option for consumers.  It is the least expensive of the natural stones and provides the beauty and appeal to complement many design styles.

Granite is also available in a variety of colors.  However, there are not a lot of bright white granites in the world because there are not a lot of white mountains.  Granites are available in golds, browns, blacks, beige and some darker whites that sometimes can appear gray.  Often, these lighter colors also have ‘garnet’ berries in them.  They can appear red or purple depending on the background.

Overall, granite is an excellent choice for countertops because of the price points, durability and overall beauty.

Want to know more?  Ask your sales consultant for additional details.

Marble Countertops + More

Marble is defined as a hard, crystalline-metamorphic form of limestone.  It typically has veining or movement in contrasting colors.  It has calcium carbonate in the stone which, when interacted with acids, can etch.

What is etching?  It’s when the acid interacts with the calcium in the stone creating a chemical reaction that causes the finish of the stone to change if not cleaned quickly.  This may not happen immediately or at all, but could.  As such, all spills should be cleaned as quickly as possible.

A honed marble is recommended for kitchen applications, such as marble countertops.  The honed finish means a matte finish.  The stone is still sealed, but can stain.  The honing allows for any imperfections or etching to be disguised more easily.

Overall, marble is softer than other natural stones.  It is available mostly in bright whites, some creamy-whites and even black.  Marble is one of those materials that has a true rich beauty to it and is often not seen in other materials once installed.  It can create a completely different look to your space.

There are a few materials that we describe as a ‘hard-marble’.  The reason for that is because it is a combination of marble and quartzite.  The quartzite allows it be more dense, harder to polish, harder on our tooling, but an excellent option for countertops.  I personally have one of these stones in my kitchen and am not afraid of it.  I’m just conscientious of keeping it wiped down and what touches it.

Marble countertops, whether polished or honed, is a beautiful choice.  It does typically cost more than granite because of its limited availability.  There is not as much marble in the world as there is granite.  Marble is subject to the supply and demand of economics.   Different finishes can affect the price, although this is usually nominal.

Want to know more?  Ask your sales consultant for additional details.

Quartzite Countertops + More

"What is quartzite?", you might be asking.  It’s a natural rock formed almost entirely of natural quartz.  Heat and pressure play a role in the making of this rock and makes the composition a great alternative for kitchen countertops.

Much of the quartzite used in the U.S. comes from Brazil.  It tends to come in creamy beige colors.  These pieces can also have some light greens or light browns with veins of black.  Quartzite is very dense making it less likely to crack. This features is one of the reasons it is considered the most durable stone available. 

Quartzite can also be more expensive.  Quartzite is harder than granite, and it is not effected by harsh chemicals and acids like marble, and will hold up to normal wear and tear.

Quartzite is a great option for kitchens, backsplashes and other area. However, the consumer should consider that it will most likely be more expensive while also giving them the beautiful look of natural stone.

Want to know more?  Ask your sales consultant for additional details.

Quartz Countertops + More

Quartz is a man-made product.   While most quartz products are comprised of a percentage of natural quartz it also has epoxies and resins that hold it together.  Quartz is made by many manufacturers.  Some manufacturers do a better job at advertising themselves than others which may explain why you have heard of some companies and not others.

We offer more than 15 different lines of quartz.  We do this to be able to offer a variety of options to our consumer.  One size does not fit all when it comes to quartz.

Quartz materials have come a long way in the last several years with the help of technology to allow the imitation of marble.  Quartz has proven to be a competitor to marble and other natural stones without the typical ‘upkeep’ associated with natural stones.  Unlike marble, quartz will not etch or require the maintenance like marble and other natural stones.

Quartz can be cleaned with your disinfecting wipes, ammonias, vinegars, bleach products and other harsher chemicals not recommended for natural stones.  This tends to be another reason so many people are drawn to its availability.  However, quartz can cost more than some marbles.  The reasoning for this is that it is man-made.  A third party creates this product and they are in the equation to make money, too.

One other limiting attribute about quartz is its overall size.  Unlike natural stone that can vary from 110-130” long by 70-78” tall, quartz is usually only available in 120-130” long but 63-65” tall not allowing for some of the grandiose islands so many people are wanting or allowing for fewer seams in long kitchen perimeters.

Seaming quartz is often better and less noticeable than natural stone.  Another positive about quartz is what you see is what you get.  A consumer does not need to pick their slab as is recommended with natural stone, because the sample is a true representation of coloring and pattern.

Lastly, most quartz companies offer a Manufacturer's warranty.  This warranty is through the manufacturer and not the fabricator (the company cutting and installing your stone).  These warranties are sometimes transferrable, but are often limited to product defects in pigments, etc.  They do not cover staining, cracking, etc.  Remember although quartz is man-made, it is heat, stain and scratch resistant, not heat, stain and scratch proof.

Want to know more?  Ask your sales consultant for additional details.

Where Do We Go From Here?

So, what now?

Be honest with your sales person.  They are knowledgeable about the stones, and the pros and the cons of each option.  They are also familiar with the availability of attractive pieces that you may be looking for, if marble countertops would be a good choice for your space, the size requirements for quartz slabs, and so much more.

That's why you’re here, right?

Let the professionals help you.  We will offer suggestions and pose questions that you may not have thought about.  Be honest with them about how you and your family ‘live’ in the space.  A polished marble countertop may not be a good fit for a family with young children or a quartzite may not be in the budget for a vanity project.  Visit our photo gallery for some inspiration and ideas.

For us, it’s about communication. Communicate your concerns, your likes and dislikes.  Let us know your thoughts on maintenance vs. maintenance free.  These are the things your sales rep wants to know because they will ultimately help you with your project and making your upgrade-dream a reality.  We want this experience to be as painless as possible for you. Truly.

We look forward to seeing you soon!!

some of our installs