Marble and granite countertops are natural materials available in a variety of colors and patterns. However, marble offers elegant veining and luxurious design. Color choices are taupe, green, gold and red.
The cut of marble creates two different types of decorative countertops. A cross-cut or flueri cut creates an open flowered pattern. A striato cut slices marble for a linear striped appearance. Marble countertops are dense, nonpourous, durable and stain-resistant. In contrast to granite, damage disappears by sanding and polishing the stone. Colors darken over time; however, many designers consider the patina part of its charm.
Finish options produce positive attributes for marble countertops. The honed or matte finish is satiny smooth and feels soft to touch. It does not show flaws. The polish finish brings out color, veining and character but shows scratches easily. The leather finish produces a leather-like texture to a honed surface. It also has a soft sheen, but is not reflective. This finish conceals imperfections in the stone and hides fingerprints.
Both marble and granite are equally strong. While granite countertops are less-expensive than marble slabs, tiles are comparable in price. Similarities include requirements for high-grade sealant, and color options are limited for both types of stones in comparison to enhanced quartz.