When it comes to deciding whether you should use granite or marble flooring, any reputable flooring contractors will tell you that there is not one clear answer that will apply to everyone and every space. The best flooring type out of these two choices will depend on several variables, including where the flooring is to be placed, your budget, your lifestyle and your personal aesthetic.
In this blog, we’re going to discuss granite and marble flooring, offering up their benefits and drawbacks to help you decide which type of these natural stone options is best for you.
Flooring Contractors Guide to Granite and Marble Flooring
As mentioned, granite and marble flooring are both natural stone and each of them has its own unique benefits.
Granite is a type of plutonic rock common to coastal mountain areas. Made primarily of feldspar and quartz, granite also includes a variety of other minerals like amphiboles and mica and amphiboles, which means when you have pure granite floor, each piece of rock is truly singular.
To make granite tile, the rock is processed until smooth, allowing you to see the polished beauty of each piece.
Marble is formed when heat and pressure alter limestone.
Under these conditions, the calcite that forms the limestone recrystallizes and creates an even denser rock. The many colours of marble are the result of small impurities included with the calcite.
Marble tiles are made by polishing and processing the rock.
Granite or Marble Flooring: Which is For You?
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of these natural stone types to help you decide which is best for you.
Durability. While both granite and marble are durable, granite is the more robust of the two. Since it is less porous, granite is ideal for kitchen backsplashes and counters because food oils and juices won’t stain it. Granite can also be a stunning choice in your bathroom and will hold up just as well as marble, with less resealing required – every three to five years. As a bonus, granite is not worn by acids and doesn’t scratch easily, which also makes it ideal for outdoor places.
Marble is by no means a flimsy flooring choice; however, it is much better suited to more formal spaces that don’t get as much traffic, such as entryways, living rooms, guest bathrooms or dining rooms.
We use brushed marble and mosaics — which provide better traction — frequently on shower and bathroom floors. Conversely, polished marble is stunning for bathroom and shower walls or tub surrounds. Since marble is more porous than granite, however, it’s important to make sure it is sealed and resealed every 12 months.
Affordability. Granite is more affordable than marble, but not by much. The final cost also depends on the colour and quality of the granite. Granite, on average, costs anywhere from $75-$100 per square foot, installed. Marble, on the other hand, starts at around $100 per square foot and goes to $200.
Beauty. When it comes to beauty, the choice between marble and granite is a question of personal taste and the aesthetic of your space. Since marble tends to have a more uniform, creamy swirled, less mottled look, it is often prefered for those formal, polished spaces. The colour spectrum of marble is also more limited: white, creams and greys are the most common colours.
On the other hand, the quartz in granite gives it sparkle and the irregularities in the speckle give it personality. Granite colours can range from black, pink, grey, red, brown and green. White granite does exist, but is extremely rare, meaning it’s also expensive.
A Quick Note on Care:
When cleaning granite or marble, our advice remains the same: use warm, soapy water or a half and half mix of isopropyl alcohol and water, but DO NOT use bleach or vinegar, which can wear away at the sealing and eventually, the stone.
In the end, the choice between granite and marble flooring is the result of considerations of budget, space, lifestyle and personal taste. In our decades of experience working as flooring contractors, we’ve installed both types of natural stone flooring and, without exception, the results have been beautiful.
If you have any questions about granite or marble flooring, contact our experts today. We’re happy to help answer any of your questions.