Marble and Granite Countertops: Marked by Durability
When remodeling or installing a new kitchen, bathroom, powder room or bar counters there are numerous choices available. However, marble and granite countertops make a high-end statement as well as provide some solid features.
Granite is a volcanic product produced when magma, melted stone, is cooled slowly underground. It is this slow cooling that makes granite a very hard stone and for that reason has superior strength and durability. Marble and granite countertops are incredibly easy to take care of because they can be polished to a high shines finish and used in many applications in construction.
Marble and granite countertops are an offshoot of the stone’s original construction use as granite was used as a building product in the pyramids in Egypt. Unlike plastic laminates commonly used on home countertops, marble and granite countertops will not be affected by knife cuts or be subject to the heat from pots and pans placed on the surface.
Many people choose marble and granite countertops not only because their strength and durability, but also because of colors and designs formed naturally into the stones. Offering virtually a rainbow of colors with numerous natural designs, marble and granite countertops can offer such a variety they will fit into any color or design schemes.
Differences in Lasting Quality
While marble is often chosen for flooring, walls, tub liners and counter and table tops, it does have some disadvantages in bathrooms. Certain chemicals, like nail polish, can leave a permanent stain. Its use in fountains and tubs is long established and has a lasting quality and beauty that makes colors seem to change in the light and environment. Should it become stained or scratched, a few simple steps can restore its original beauty.
When using marble and granite countertops, unless you are an experienced stone mason, it is probably best to have someone with the experience of working with natural stone do the work for you. Although you can order marble and granite countertops to fit a custom counter and install it yourself, remember it is a heavy material and special care in handling is required.
To keep your marble and granite countertops looking new a few precautions are needed. A granite counter top can be kept looking new by applying a coat of automotive paste wax every month or so. Not so thick as to allow scratches in the paste to seem like part of the surface, and rubbed out to a shine. With marble avoid leaving water lie on the surface as waters pots can develop. Always clean with soft cleanser as a vinegar-based cleaner and damage the marble.