Travertine paving is a popular exterior flooring material around pool decks, patios and walkways. Travertine tiles come in versaille pattern, 16×16, or 12×12 tiles. Travertine pavers are 1 1/4″ thick and tumbled. Available colors are ivory, walnut dark, or golden sienna. Accompanying pool coping is also available.
Philadelphia travertine is a popular travertine that comes from Turkey and it has a vibrant mixture of gray, gold, brown and white veins. This stone is available in unfilled chiseled pattern.
Impregnator sealer is the original penetrating sealer designed for the protection of all medium to dense porous surfaces. 511 Impregnator forms an invisible barrier that is resistant to moisture and stains while allowing vapor to escape. 511 Impregnator is not a surface coating and will not alter the natural look. All surfaces treated are harder and less slippery.
There are two types of installation for travertine tiles. First type is preparing a mortar bed or float, let is dry and then install travertine tiles with regular cement. Advantage of this type of installation is that it will provide a more even surface where the subfloor is not very levelled. Second type of installation is done by thin set on more even floors. This will provide more flexibility in terms of spacing tiles , and providing a grout joint. Leaving a regular grout joint is recommended in new construction floors so that there will be more flexibility with the building settlements and prevent cracking.
Travertine tiles typically come in 18x18x1/2″, 24×24, 12×24, or 12×12 format. Tiles are trimmed on all for edges with a precision sizing machine to obtain exact measurements so that tiles can be set with a minimal grout joint like 1/16″. Preferred finish for travertine tiles is honed and filled. Tiles are honed in multi head polishing machine with minimum 8 heads for gradual calibration and honing. After honing surface is filled with a special cement fill texture and epoxy bond. Wall tiles such as 12x12x3/8″ come with a bevelled edge to make installation easy.
Travertine slabs come in random sizes bigger than 8′x4′ pieces usually 3/4″ or 1 1/4″ thick. Thicker material is preferred for countertops and vanity tops. 3/4″ is preferred for cladding and cut to size for large format tiles.
No other material found on Earth has the eternal beauty of natural stone. Crafted over long eons of passing time, stone has been used to build some of the greatest monuments known to man due to its ability to withstand the forces of nature. Both slate and travertine are natural stones known for their distinctive elegance and warm allure. Slate and travertine tiles are often used to add a touch of class inside and outside a home. Trying to choose between one or the other can prove to be a difficult decision since neither stone is superior to the other. Instead, when trying to decide between slate vs. travertine, customers must base the decision on their own needs and wants. Durability, maintenance, and color schemes should all be considered when choosing between slate or travertine tile.
Slate is a metamorphic rock, which means it was created under high heat and pressure. Originally a sedimentary rock, the metamorphic process changed the composition of the stone into hardened slate. However, the fine sedimentary patterns within slate can still be observed in slate tiles, and this is what gives the stone its textured feel. A professional craftsman can easily split large chunks of slate into thin tiles using a hammer, since the rock naturally separates into layers. Because it is so easy to work with, slate tiles have been used for years on roofs and floors. Typically, slate is dark gray in color, but many pieces have hints of green, blue, and purple. Pale shades of slate also exist, though these veins are rarer than gray slate. Most slate mined in America comes from the Northeastern United States and Canada.
Travertine is a sedimentary rock that is closely associated with limestone since both stones are formed from calcium carbonate. However, travertine is not nearly as widespread as limestone, since it can only form in areas where calcium carbonate gathers such as hot springs or deep caves. As a sedimentary rock, travertine is extremely porous, which means that its surface contains a number of small holes. Craftsmen who work with travertine have to hone the rough stone into a smooth tile, but even they cannot remove all of the holes. Typically, tile manufacturers will fill the holes with pieces of resin to give the stone a more uniform appearance. Travertine is a pale stone, ranging in shades from almost pure white to soft yellow. Travertine commonly comes from Italy, and some of the famous deposits like those around Tivoli and Guidonia Montecelio have been mined since Ancient Rome. Italians commonly used travertine for their buildings, such as the stunning Colonnade of St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
Both slate and travertine are highly durable stones, and they make excellent choices for outdoor patios and walkways. They are both resistant to extreme temperature changes so owners will not have to worry about cracks appearing on the stone’s surface due to freezing temperatures. However, slate has a slight edge over travertine due to its ability to withstand acidic chemicals. Since it is made of calcium carbonate, travertine is highly reactive to acidic compounds, including common household products like orange juice and vinegar. This means that travertine tiles are not the best choice for kitchen floors and should never be used as kitchen countertops. Slate performs better inside the kitchen.
Deciding how much effort a homeowner is willing to put into caring for their natural stone tiles is crucial when trying to choose between slate or tile. Both types need regular maintenance over the years if they are to keep their original beauty, but slate has fewer requirements than travertine. Slate tiles will need to be treated once they are installed to help protect them from the elements. Depending on the treatment, slate will need to be professionally cleaned periodically to keep its natural brilliance. However, homeowners need to keep an eye out for standing water on slate, since this can cause a mineral buildup on the surface. Using a squeegee to brush away the water is the easiest way to keep slate looking its best. Due to its reaction with water, slate tiles are not recommended in the bathroom.
Travertine, on the other hand, also requires periodic maintenance. It needs to be sealed once it is installed, and will require bleach applications every few months to preserve its pale, clean colors. The biggest maintenance issue with travertine is its porous surface. Manufacturers usually try to reduce the amount of small holes in travertine by filling them with resin, but this filling becomes loose over time. Heavy foot traffic also leads to the development of more holes on the surface, and regular maintenance is needed to refill the holes. For this reason, travertine tiles are not recommended for high traffic areas.
For many homeowners, color is the drawing point when choosing natural stone tiles. Slate and travertine lie at almost opposite ends of the color spectrum. Slate is primarily a gray stone while travertine is a pale stone. There are some varieties of slate that come in pale colors, but even these cannot approach the soft hues of travertine. Homeowners who want a dark color scheme should go with slate, while those who want a light color scheme should choose travertine.
Slate and travertine can often be applied in the same room, but in some situations one is preferred over the other. The short list below outlines which type is best used in a particular room:
Kitchen - Slate is preferred over travertine due to travertine’s reaction to acidic compounds.
Bathroom - Travertine is preferred over slate since standing water can cause a mineral buildup on slate.
Living Room - Both can be used.
Outdoors - Both can be used.
High traffic areas - Slate is preferred over travertine because repeated foot traffic causes small holes to appear on travertine’s porous surface.
Choosing between slate and travertine is like trying to decide between a BMW and a Mercedes. Both stone tiles have an elegant beauty that lights up any room. However, when a decision must be made, the homeowner needs to consider location, durability, maintenance requirements and color. By focusing on these elements, a homeowner can make the correct choice between travertine and slate.
Onyx, a banded type of chalcedony, is a crystalline form of silica composed of fine deposits of quartz and moganite minerals. Commercially-produced onyx is created by the staining of agates. Agates are commonly found in metamorphic rock formations and are often associated with volcanic rocks. Onyx is found in only one single layer in the earth¹s crust. Onyx, one of the most beautiful and luxurious natural stone products on the commercial market, is a somewhat soft and extremely brittle stone. The softness of onyx allows a natural translucence and luminosity, which creates a dramatic and glowing appearance when used in residential applications.
How Onyx is Formed
Onyx is formed from quartz, the most common mineral in the world, which composes approximately 12 percent of the earth¹s crust. Dissolved carbonate minerals are created when limestone or dolomite sediments come into contact with hot water, known as hydrothermal activity. The dissolved minerals and limestone are re-deposited into the earth, creating onyx, a new type of natural stone. Heat generated from volcanic eruptions causes hydrothermal activity, creating onyx formations in gas cavities of lava. In limestone caves, onyx is formed by the consistency of dripping water, similar to the formation of stalactites and stalagmites. Dissolved minerals and chalcedony form the banding patterns commonly seen in onyx stone. The bands are parallel and consistent, creating simple, open patterns. The color variations of onyx are created through mineral impurities which have settled into the rock formations.
Black onyx with white banding is the most popular variation available on the commercial market. The colors of bands can range from white to brilliant shades of red, green and gold. Sardonyx is a variant in which the colored bands are formed in shades of red, as opposed to black and white. Black onyx, the most popular variety for use in residential and commercial applications, is somewhat rare and is not as widely available as onyx with multi-colored bands.
Amber onyx is a highly translucent variation, mined at high elevations in Brazil, Pakistan, India, Italy and Uruguay. The colors and banding patterns are created by mineral deposits and organic cell growth. Color variations include brilliant shades of red, orange and gold. The mineral crystallization in amber onyx creates characteristic patterns and varying degrees of translucency. Amber onyx does not normally contain parallel banding patterns found in black onyx.
Some onyx is natural, but the majority of commercially-produced onyx is artificially colored by processes developed to stain or dye agate. One of the common treatments for producing black onyx involves boiling or soaking chalcedony or agate in sugar solutions. The stone is allowed to dry, then is coated with hydrochloric acid in order to remove sugars absorbed into the top layers of the stone. Dye treatments, heating and coating with nitric acid solutions are methods commonly used to lighten the appearance of the stone or to eliminate undesired color banding. It can be difficult to ascertain the difference between natural onyx and chemically-altered agate.
Residential and Commercial Uses of Onyx
Onyx is ideal for residential and commercial uses in areas that are not subject to high traffic or heavy wear patterns. As a soft stone, onyx may not be a reasonable alternative for indoor flooring. Current residential design trends feature the use of onyx as kitchen countertops. Popular for use in contemporary kitchens, onyx is somewhat fragile. Onyx surfaces are extremely sensitive to acidic substances and are prone to scratches and gouges from everyday use. Resins and sealers are usually required to maintain the beauty and luster of onyx countertops or bathroom vanities.
Onyx has gained popularity for residential and commercial applications due to the translucency of the stone. Back lighting and under-counter lighting creates a spectacular glow, showcasing elements of natural beauty and luminosity. Onyx slabs, available in a wide range of colors, can be used for fireplace surrounds, mantles, wainscoting and accent wall tiles. Commercial applications include office countertops, conference tables and accent wall tiles. When used in commercial buildings, black onyx exudes a sense of strength, richness and luxury unsurpassed by other natural stones.
Travertine is a natural rock, a compact form of limestone formed along streams and mineral and hot springs. Limestone, a sedimentary rock composed of crystalline forms of calcium carbonate contains skeletal fragments of marine organisms, such as coral. Fossilized organisms and mineral deposits create the natural colors, patterns and textures characteristic of travertine. Travertine rock, in its natural setting has a concentric appearance consisting of asymmetric circular designs and tubular shapes created by mineral impurities. Travertine is characterized by its natural defects, pitted holes and troughs in the surface of the rock, giving it a porous and fibrous appearance.
Travertine, a product of inorganic chemical action, is formed from calcium carbonate through a process of rapid precipitation usually at the mouth of natural hot springs or in limestone caves. In limestone caves, travertine is formed from constant dripping water as stalactites and stalactites. Pure travertine is typically white in color, although natural color variations can range from gray and silver to green and gold. Travertine can be filled or unfilled, depending on the desired application.
After travertine rock is mined and cut, it is processed in several manners, each of which is used to define the type and characteristics of the finished product.
Honed: The surface of the stone is sanded to create a matte, unpolished appearance. The stone retains its natural defects and porous surface.
Tumbled: The stone is tumbled with gravel and particles of steel to create a rough, aged appearance.
Brushed: Wire brushes are used to create a worn and somewhat textured surface.
Filled: Pores and defects in the stone are filled with color-enhanced resins or cement to create a solid and uniform appearance.
Polished: The stone is ground, sanded and polished to create an appearance similar to marble.
Residential and Commercial Uses of Travertine
Travertine is one of the most popularly used dimension stone in modern residential and commercial architecture. Travertine tiles are available in smooth and porous finishes with variations in color and surface textures. Colors include classic neutral shades of beige and taupe, warm and rich gold tones, deep amber, coral, silver, blue and various dark shades. Current interior design trends feature the use of travertine tiles for kitchen installations including countertops, backsplashes and cabinet trim. Travertine tiles are popular for use in bathrooms as vanity countertops, shower or bath surrounds and flooring. Polished travertine tiles can be used as flooring throughout contemporary and traditional residences. Small travertine tiles can be used as an alternative to traditional woodwork adding complimentary accents and charm to natural stone or hardwood floors. Polished or brushed travertine tiles are moisture, stain and heat resistant and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.
The versatility, durability and richness of travertine can transform an outdated home into a luxurious and functional showcase. Travertine tiles can be used in virtually all areas of a home, including flooring, wall cladding, fireplace mantles and surrounds and wainscoting. In addition to indoor use, travertine is popular for outdoor landscaping projects, such as retaining walls, hot tub enclosures, swimming pool coping, driveways and garden pathways. Small tiles can be used as decorative accents around windows and doors and can be incorporated into a deck or outdoor living area design.
Travertine has gained worldwide popularity for use as an alternative for concrete or cement for commercial structures. The porous and rustic appearance provides old-world charm to churches, libraries, and public buildings.
Types of Glass
How Glass Tiles Are Made
Types of Glass Tiles
Natural stone tile floors have several advantages compared with traditional residential flooring, such as carpet, laminate, composite and hardwood floors. Natural stone is popular in residential flooring applications due to its versatility, function, durability and aesthetic qualities. Stone tile floors are available in a wide range of natural colors, patterns and surface textures. While the initial investment in natural stone tile floors may be somewhat higher than traditional floors, the quality and durability will save money insofar as maintenance and replacement costs in the long run.
Natural stone floor tiles are created from dimension stone, which is natural rock quarried to obtain blocks or slabs for use in the construction industry. Dimension stone is selected according to color, texture, pattern, surface finish, durability, hardness and strength. Dimension stone used for floor tiles are resistant to moisture, decay and extreme temperatures. Natural stone chosen for floor tiles have the ability to take on a polish or finish, increasing the versatility and durability of the stone. Numerous finishes can be applied to natural stone, including a polished finish that provides the surface with a high luster and strong light reflection. A honed finish provides a smooth, satin, non-reflective surface, ideal for use in large areas. Brush-hammered and sandblasted finishes create a rough, uniformly patterned surface reminiscent of old world tiles.
Floor tiles created from dimension stone include granite, limestone, sandstone, marble, slate, quartzite and travertine. Natural stone such as alabaster, soapstone and serpentine may be used as floor tiles, although they are somewhat softer in consistency and contain a porous surface texture.
Granite is the most popular type of dimension stone used for commercial and residential flooring. Granite is formed from semi-molten rock containing mineral crystals and dissolved gas bubbles. Mineral crystallization creates an interlocking texture with subtle striations and veins, creating the colors and patterns characteristic of granite. Primary granite colors include white, gray, pink and red. Black granite is not considered true granite, as it contains several mineral types and lacks the coarse grained texture found in other types of granite.
Limestone, the second most popular dimension stone used as flooring tiles, is composed of calconite and aragonite minerals and crystallized calcium carbonate. Many limestone formations contain skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, which is visible in lighter shades of the stone. Various amounts of silica create the hardness and texture typical of limestone. The color and pattern variations found in limestone are caused by trace elements present in the rock formations, such as sand, silt and clay.
Marble is formed by the metamorphism of sedimentary rocks, typically dolomite or limestone. The interlocking pattern formed by mineral crystallization includes veins and striations in various patterns. Marble is capable of taking a polish in a variety of finishes, including high gloss or satin sheen. Marble used for flooring tiles is typically composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine. Marble is available in a wide range of colors, including white, yellow, gold, pink and red.
Slate is a fine-grained, smooth stone consisting of quartz and a mineral combination of aluminum and potassium. Slate is usually dark gray in color, but can be found in purple, green or blue. Due to color veins caused by natural mineral impurities, each slate tile is different. Slate tiles can be arranged in patterns or slabs to create an interesting and multi-dimensional floor. Slate is fireproof and extremely durable, with a mildly textured surface that provides a non-slip floor surface.
Sandstone is composed of quartz and feldspar, which crystallize from molten rock and form veins and striations, creating unique colors and surface patterns. The most common sandstone colors include tan, brown, yellow, red, gray, pink, white and black. Quartzite, developed from sandstone, ranges in color from white to gray and variations of red and pink. Red and pink quartzite is formed by iron oxide deposits in the rock formation. Yellow, gold and orange quartzite is formed by mineral impurities.
Travertine is a compact type of limestone formed along streams and natural hot springs. Many limestone formations contain skeletal fragments of marine organisms, such as coral, which results in natural veins and striations found in travertine. Travertine tiles, characterized by natural defects, are available in smooth and porous finishes with variations in color and surface patterns. Colors include neutral shades of beige and taupe, rich gold tones, amber, coral, silver, blue and various dark shades. Travertine tiles containing polished or brushed finishes are the most popular types used in flooring applications, as tiles are moisture, stain and crack resistant.
The average life of residential carpet is between five and ten years, depending on the quality of the carpet and choice of padding. Carpet and padding degrades over time. Heavy traffic areas become worn and stained. Periodic steam cleaning can cause carpet to shrink, leaving unsightly gaps around baseboards and door plates. Colors become faded and muted as a result of direct sunlight and regular cleaning. Vacuuming can damage carpet piles, eventually causing bald spots. Carpet stains are often impossible to remove. Moisture, mildew and insect infestations can accumulate between the carpet, padding and original floor surface. Although carpet may retain warmth during cold temperatures, allergens can develop during hot weather.
Hardwood floors, although popular and beautiful, can become damaged and exhibit wear patterns in high traffic areas. Natural sunlight can cause irregular patterns of wood discoloration. Liquid spills can permeate the wood, leading to moisture retention and permanent staining. In high use areas, wood can splinter and boards can separate, resulting in unsightly and unsafe surfaces. Hardwood floors can warp due to heat, making floor surfaces more susceptible to damage. Hardwood floors adjacent to a fireplace or wood-burning stove can be damaged from sparks, resulting in dents and gouges. Hardwood floors require periodic sanding, staining or sealing. Refinishing costs can be as high as the initial floor installation.
Natural stone floor surfaces retain their natural beauty and are impervious to damage caused by moisture, fire and stains. They are idea for use throughout a home, even in high traffic areas, as the stone does not show wear patterns. Natural stone is crack and chip resistant, insuring a smooth surface for the life of the floors. Natural stone floors do not require replacement, as in carpeting or refinishing, as in hardwood floors. The beauty and elegance of natural stone floors can be maintained with simple mopping with warm water.
Design possibilities are endless with natural stone tile floors. The timeless beauty, elegance and versatility of natural stone tile floors are unsurpassed when compared to traditional residential flooring materials.
Natural stone creates versatile, durable and luxurious surfaces for indoor and outdoor residential applications. The proper care of natural stone will ensure aesthetically pleasing and timeless surfaces that will enhance the value of your home and will last for many generations. Proper care and maintenance of indoor natural stone surfaces is essential to prevent unsightly stains, scratches, etching and discoloration. Routine cleaning and preventative measures can enhance the beauty and luster of natural stone surfaces.
Marble, limestone, travertine and granite are semi-porous stones, composed primarily of calcium carbonate. These calcite-based stones have a delicate chemical composition that can be damaged by certain types of household cleaning products. Surface finishes and polishes can become dull from the use of abrasive cleansers, household soap and window cleaning solutions. Chemical solutions can degrade the surfaces of calcite-based natural stone, resulting in unsightly scratches and the eventual loss of moisture and stain resistance. It is important to avoid the use of typical household cleaning products such as dish soap, ammonia, bleach or polishing agents.
Some liquid spills can damage natural stone if not immediately cleaned. Liquids will not usually damage granite and some types of marble. Travertine, limestone and sandstone are susceptible to stains and damage caused by ordinary substance spills.Liquid spills containing citric acid, such as fruit juice, fresh fruit, wine, salad dressing or perfume may cause surface etching or pitting, especially on travertine, limestone, onyx, sandstone, quartzite, slate and alabaster. It is not recommended to use any cleaning products that are not specifically formulated for use on natural stone. Oil-based furniture polish spills or drops can stain most natural stone, including marble, which is impervious to most stains. Glass cleaners and liquid toilet bowl cleaners should never be used around marble or granite, as even the smallest drops can cause discolorations and unsightly pitted areas on the surface of the stone.
Routine cleaning of your natural stone floors should be performed with the use of micro-fiber or natural string mops. Aluminum-framed sponge mops can cause small scratches and can damage tile grout. Stone-safe soaps and film removers are recommended for use on newly installed or resurfaced natural stone floors. These types of products, available from a natural stone tile retailer or installer are effective in removing mineral deposits remaining on the surface of the stone, allowing a new floor to dry properly.
Porous stones, such as limestone, travertine and certain types of granites may require an initial application of an impregnated stone sealer. Sealers are used to protect the finish of natural stone against stains and moisture retention. Sealers are absorbed into the stone, reducing the absorbency of moisture from liquid and substance spills. A sealer should be applied after the initial installation of a natural stone floor, then periodically as needed to protect and maintain the natural finish. As granites are significantly more porous than most other natural stones, all granites must be sealed. Penetrating sealers work below the surface of the stone by clogging the stone¹s pores, thus preventing the absorption of staining substances.
Regular vacuuming with a canister or central vacuuming system is recommended to remove surface dirt and debris. Upright vacuum cleaners are not recommended, as wheels and attachments can cause surface scratches and chips in the grout. Dry micro-fiber mops are ideal for routine daily cleaning.
If your stone floor has been restored or refinished, the use of stone soap on a damp mop will leave residue, which is difficult, if not impossible to remove. Stone soap residues build up over time, destroying the natural sheen and luminosity of natural stone surfaces. Stone soaps are not recommended for use on highly-polished stone floors, such as marble. Most soap products leave streaks and soap scum residue, even liquid rinse-free stone soap solutions. In order to maintain the shine and luster of natural stone, a pH neutral floor detergent is recommended rather than soap. Although vinegar has been touted as a wonder cleaning solution for most household surfaces, it should never be used on natural stone. Vinegar is highly acidic and can significantly damage any type of stone, including marble.
As a general rule, products formulated specifically for the care of natural stone should be used as cleaning agents. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to remove stains from food substances and liquids. Rubbing alcohol is effective to remove acidic and color-fast stains. There are several important factors that apply to the care of all natural stone surfaces.
- Highly acidic substances will etch and scratch marble, limestone, travertine and granite, regardless of whether the stone has been sealed.
- Normal household cleaning products including dish soap, glass cleaners, scouring pads, pine cleaning solutions and bleach should never be used on natural stone surfaces.
- Vinegar should never be used on or near natural stone surfaces.
- Products containing ammonia or abrasives should not be used on stone surfaces.
- Oil-based products should not be used on natural stone.
Regular and proper cleaning with warm water and manufacturer-recommended natural stone cleaning products will retain the beauty and protect the durability of your natural stone floors.
The choice between granite and marble depends on several factors including porosity, softness, function and overall durability.
Granite: A General Overview
Granite, an intrusive felsic igneous rock, is the most popular dimension stone used for residential installations. Formed from a mixture of semi-molten rock, granite contains crystallized minerals, creating an interlocking texture with subtle striations and veins. The main properties of granite are quartz, feldspar and mica, all of which create unique patterns and textures. Granite has a heavy crystalline and granular appearance with abundant mineral grains, which create unique color variations. Granite is one of the hardest stones known to man. Its natural resistance to moisture, scratching, cracking and scorching makes granite the premier choice among natural stones used in residential applications.
Several finishes are available for granite. Polished granite, the most popular finish, has a high luster and strong reflective properties. Honed granite has a smooth, satin texture and a non-reflective surface. Numerous textured finishes are available, including bush-hammered, sandblasted and thermal processes. Smooth and polished granite are the popular choices for indoor applications.
Marble: A General Overview
Marble, a non-foliated rock is formed by the metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, primarily dolomite and limestone. The characteristic swirls, veins and striations found in marble are created by mineral impurities including silt, sand, clay and iron oxides. Pure white marble is the most common variation used in residential applications. Marble is prevalent in large quantities and provides symmetrical and clean lines. Marble is capable of taking a polish in a variety of finishes, including high gloss or satin sheen.
Cultured marble is a man-made material composed of marble dust, acrylic or polyester resins and color pigments used to create the appearance of natural marble. Cultured marble is primarily used for kitchen countertops, shower surrounds and indoor spas. Lacking durability and density, cultured marble can crack and retain moisture. Natural marble, on the other hand, is durable, versatile and resistant to high temperatures, moisture and mold.
Differences between Granite and Marble
Granite and marble are both dimension stone quarried from the earth. Granite and marble actually have more differences than similarities. All natural stones are porous and can absorb stains. Penetrating sealers should be used periodically to prevent stains from being absorbed into the surfaces of granite and marble.
Granite is more durable for use as kitchen countertops, especially surrounding cooking surfaces. The hardness and temperature resistance of granite prevents etching caused by household acids. Granite can only be damaged by forceful impact, but it can chip from use of hard and sharp objects. Unsealed granite can absorb common stains, such as those caused by cooking oils, resulting in unsightly discolorations in the surface.
Marble, a high calcium content stone, can be easily damaged by acidic substances, such as vinegar and citrus-based liquids. Acidic substance spills can cause marble to lose its natural polish and luminosity. Honed marble is the most preferred type for use as kitchen countertops and wall cladding. The honed finish creates a matte surface, which is naturally impervious to etching. Etching can occur with marble if an acidic substance comes into contact with the polished surface. The chemical reaction from acidic spills removes the polish, resulting in a rough appearance. Marble can become scratched more easily than granite. The smooth surface of marble makes it an excellent choice for a pastry slab or for countertop surfaces not used for cooking or food preparation. Honed marble does not show stains and discolorations as often seen in polished marble surfaces.
Granite, on the other hand, is impervious to common household substances, including acidic liquids. As the most popular stone used as kitchen countertops, granite is durable, heat resistant and scratch resistant. Two types of granite are commonly used for kitchen applications. Engineered granite is a mixture of natural stone, resin and pigments. Slab granite is pure, natural stone.
Marble is less commonly used for residential applications than granite. Although marble provides an elegant, luxurious appearance, the stone is much more fragile than granite and requires regular surface care. Granite is more durable than marble, less likely to scratch, crack or stain. There are virtually hundreds of color choices available in granites, while very few choices are available in marble.
Granite is becoming very common for use in residential applications and has gradually replaced formica and ceramic tiles. Marble, a porous stone, can be easily stained, resulting in a rough surface texture that is subject to the growth of bacteria and mold. Highly vulnerable to scratches, marble requires sealing upon installation and periodic re-sealing treatments by professional installers. Granite is hard, resistant and is not easily cracked or damaged. Marble is highly porous, with surfaces prone to stains. Marble requires meticulous care, while granite is virtually maintenance and care-free.