Marble is a natural stone characterized typically by its soft veining. Although it comes in a variety of colors and patterns, most commonly marbles are shades of grey and white with veins rather than speckles. Marble is much softer than granite so as a result will show wear over time. Marble is very porous and therefore can easily stain. Just like granite countertops sealers can be applied slow this absorption down. Etching however is an issue with marble, which cannot be easily fixed. Etching is a chemical process that alters the marble’s appearance and structure. This occurs when anything acidic comes into contact with the stone (IE: lemon, ice tea, citrus, wine, salad dressing). Etching will remove any shine to the stone and then leaves a dull rougher spot on the countertops. Since this is a chemical reaction, it is not reversible. Honing is a process by which polish of the stone is pre-worn away in fabrication on the countertops. While this makes the stone more porous (the polish acts as a barrier) it also minimizes the appearance of etching on the countertops. Marble customers understand appreciate this timeless look but evolving finish. Just look at Europe, thousands of years old and the wear and tear is what has made it even more beautiful!
Granite can be characterized by its visible grains and will have a variety of colors to choose among. Granite can vary in porsity and like marble needs to be kept sealed to prevent staining (some colors more frequently than others). Granite is much harder than marble, so it will be more scratch and chip resistant. However cutting on granite will dull your knives, so its not recommended. Both granite and marble can handel high heat tempetatures, so your hot pots and pans right out of the oven are no problem for them! Granite will range widly in price points and colors. You will NOT find a “granite that looks like marble”, as typically what gives marble its appearance is also what will cause the etching. Granites will come in many colors and have more a grainy apperance. Granites will range widly in price from low to high and be very comparable in cost to marble.