Should you choose marble, quartz or granite in the kitchen? The great countertop debate begins right here! Put on your scientific researcher hat as well, because some of these natural stone facts may take you back to geology class.This post will give you insight on the components of the different types of stone. It will also help you understand the pros and cons of the various options such as: marble, dolomite, granite, quartzite, and (man-made) quartz.
Also, and probably most importantly (!) I’m sharing designer feedback on the different countertop materials and what you can really expect in terms of performance, water stains, scratching, heat resistance and more. A few of my favorite kitchen designers from around the country weighed-in with their opinions.
Bria Hammel, of Bria Hammel Interiors in MN says, “I always tell clients if they want a perfect looking countertop then marble is not for them. Marble lasts forever, but it is not meant to look perfect – it’s meant to look lived in like it’s been around 100 years. If that is not their style, then marble is not for them!”
- Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.
- Marble is found all around the world but today four countries quarry almost half of the world’s materials. They are: Italy, China, India and Spain.
- Marble ranges in price, but is generally more expensive than granite or quartz. It is comparable in price to most quartzite.
- Marble needs to be sealed and taken care of correctly. It will react with acidic foods, absorb water stains, scratch, etc. It is recommended that you seal every few years, use cutting boards, coasters and wipe up spills immediately to keep marble pristine.
- In my opinion, marble is absolutely stunning and gives a depth and character to an interior that other stone is hard pressed to compete with.
All About Dolomite:
- Dolomite is a marble, but with the added mineral magnesium.
- Dolomites are harder than the average marble, but are still softer than granite and can etch and scratch.
- They are heat and pressure resistant and make great countertops, but need to be sealed to help prevent staining.
- Super White Dolomite is a popular option for countertops and backsplashes. I love the look of Milano Venato Dolomite.
Texas-based designer, Carla Aston, another fabulous kitchen designer says this about natural stone, “Natural stone is natural stone and no matter how dense, does absorb moisture to a degree. The lighter the countertops, the more likely this might show as well. I have one project where I used a light gray/white quartzite, and some oily/moist foods left on the counter do occasionally leave a mark. It usually disappears after a time, but nothing is totally impervious!” Don’t miss Carla’s insightful and educational blog post about natural stone countertops in the kitchen.