Marble and granite are both commonly used in flooring; however, they have major differences. Marble is a metamorphic rock, while granite is an igneous rock. This means marble was once limestone or dolomite subjected to extreme heat and pressure. At the same time, granite was formed deep within the earth, where molten magma solidified before reaching the earth's surface. The different composition of these rocks results in different hardness, porosity, durability, appearance, etc., of each material which may influence your decision when choosing a stone for flooring. The difference also assists you in determining which is better marble or granite. A low grade of marble is often sold as "granite" because it looks similar to more expensive true granite formations. In addition to this, several other major differences between marble and granite may aid in your decision when choosing which material to use for flooring.
Durability is an essential element when weighing, which is better for flooring marble or granite. The durability of granite is greater than marble because of its harder density. Granite usually comes in at about 6.5 on the Mohs scale, while marble typically measures around 3 or 4 on the Mohs hardness scale. However, there are several varieties of marble that are harder than most granites making it more durable.
Granite has an extremely low porosity rate making it virtually impervious to staining. At the same time, marble tends to absorb liquids, resulting in stains that can be difficult to remove if not properly sealed before installation. If you plan to have a surface made with porous stone, then installing it in a high-traffic area may stress the joints, which will lead to early deterioration.
The cost of marble is generally higher than granite because it is more expensive to extract. However, the price difference between these materials has narrowed because of advancements in mining techniques and increased demand for marble. Depending on your geographical location, local suppliers may stock large quantities of low-quality tile that looks like marble but costs much less, or they may be able to source true limestone at affordable rates.
It is vital to look at the appearance of both rocks when contemplating which is better for flooring marble or granite. Both have similar patterns but are different due to their origins. Granite is often multicolored with veins, but marble may also have veining because it is frequently layered. Marble absorbs the dyes used to color it, so different hues can be created by altering the chemical composition of the dye solution. However, this process only works on certain varieties of marble. The best way to ensure you will get a uniform color for your stone flooring is to purchase it in polished form. If you are looking for an intentional contrasting effect, then allow the natural variances in color from each slab to show through a honed finish.
Granite is extremely hard, which makes it difficult to cut and polish, allowing you to make changes whenever necessary without much effort. Marble is softer but requires special equipment to cut and polish, limiting the types of alterations you will be able to make to your floor. If you want a material that can be altered at any time to accommodate changes in your home, then granite is the better choice. Therefore, resurfacing and maintenance are key when examining which is better for flooring marble or granite.
Both marble and granite are very difficult to repair if they become damaged. However, it is much easier to fill holes or cracks in a piece of marble than it would be on granite due to its porosity. If possible, test out different types of stone before purchasing by drilling deep enough into the surface so that you can see what lies beneath; this way, you'll know how easy it will be to work with before buying an entire pallet or truckload.
If you are considering using marble or granite in your new construction project, then visit a showroom that has samples on hand so you can see what it looks like before making any commitments. If possible, have each material delivered to your home so you can study the surface texture and overall appearance. Be cautious of merchants who sell cheap imported marble and granite knock-offs at rates so low. They can't possibly be authentic because they may look like the real thing but contains fillers that will degrade over time, leaving you with little recourse than replacement.