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Critical Differences Between Marble & Quartz Countertops

Looking for the best countertop to renovate your kitchen or bathroom design? Both marble and quartz are known for their unique characteristics that make them distinct from one another. However, you need to consider various factors before choosing the best worktop material out of these two options.

Kitchens and bathrooms can be costly, when it comes to renovation. For this reason, you need to be sure of the material when selecting the worktop for your kitchen or bathroom. When buying your next worktop, you need to consider various factors. Some of the essential factors to consider are the appearance of the worktop, installation process, the surroundings and your budget.

The most popular worktop materials that many homeowners across the globe prefer are marble and quartz. But you need to understand how both these worktop materials perform in different conditions.

Here Are Some Important Factors To Consider When Deciding Between Marble And Quartz Countertops:

1. Appearance

Marble worktops can add a luxurious and exotic feel to a home. They are made from all-natural and raw marble that’s quarried, cut, water-blasted, buff dried and further polished into shiny slabs found in worktop stores.

Quartz worktops, on the other hand, are engineered and composed on natural quartz, along with resins, polymers and pigments at a ratio of somewhere between 93% and 97% and 7% and 3 % synthetic materials. This blend of different materials gives quartz slabs flexibility and consistency in colour and pattern.

If you want to add timeless beauty and elegance to your interior, naturally veined marble is your ideal choice. But you need to make sure that you take good care depending on the type of marble that you may choose. This is because its porous surface is prone to staining. Generally, you will find that the lighter the colour of the marble, the more chances it may be prone to staining. Crystalline marbles that are semi-transparent are a no-no for kitchen worktops.

But if you don’t have time to maintain marble, you may opt for the non-porous Carrara quartz worktops that beautifully mimic natural marble without bearing any flaws of the natural stone.

Another difference in their appearance is the consistency of pattern and colour. Since quartz is a manmade material, each slab will have consistent colour, pattern and texture. On the other hand, each piece of marble is unique and doesn’t match with another piece/slab. This means that the marble worktops that you choose, are unique to your household, reflecting your taste and personality.

Both marble and quartz countertops won’t alter in appearance over the years. Marble is likely to get dark appearance with age but only when exposed to UV rays. When it comes to quartz, the sun is its biggest enemy, as UV radiation can make polymers and resins within the quartz worktops turn yellowish over time. Therefore, you need to protect quartz from UV rays.

2. Installation

Both marble and quartz worktops are complicated to install, as both materials require professional and careful measures to secure the slabs on bathroom or kitchen worktops.

The main problem with marble is that if two slabs are combined, they must come from the same block, avoiding any differences in colours and pattern between these two pieces. Quartz worktops, on the other hand, are consistent in designing and combining two slabs with less visible seams. Quartz manufacturers produce their materials in large batches which can be of thousands of slabs at the time, making it easier to purchase two quartz slabs of the same batch for your design.

However, the issue with quartz installation is that it’s heavy and needs careful cabinet manufacturing to have a sound foundation. Being a heavier material, this countertop is more difficult to install.

3. Durability

Compared to Carrara quartz or other designs of quartz, natural marble is more porous. Being a porous material, marble may get stained if spillages are not wiped off quickly. It may also etch when it contacts acidic substances like wine, lemon juice, tomato, vinegar, coffee, etc. You also cannot clean marble with any chemical cleaner because harsh cleaners could damage its surface. Therefore, you can use PH neutral cleaners such as Lithofin Power Clean, that are designed to clean marble surfaces. Marble also needs sealing once every eighteen to twenty-four months after installation. Sealing marble is very simple, inexpensive, and it can also be done at home.

On the other hand, quartz worktops are non-porous and highly stain resistant. Hence, these can easily be cleaned using only warm water and soap. It also doesn’t need any sealing to protection.

Marble is even softer compared to quartz, hence subjected to etching. But quartz is a hard and solid surface that won’t etch or scratch with daily use. If maintained properly, these hard surface countertops are likely to last a lifetime.

4. Price

Marble slabs of common materials are very affordable. Whilst the most exotic and striking patterned marbles can be expensive when compared to quartz worktops depending on the type and quality of the material you chose. Quartz worktops and marble worktops generally carry the same labour prices due to its the fact that both materials are easy to fabricate and install when compared to denser materials such as granite or natural quartzite. So, the cost difference between these two materials is not too dramatic.

Marble prices costs start at approximately £59 + vat per square metre whereas quartz costs start somewhere around £78+vat per square metre.

5. Heat Resistance

Quartz is more heat resistant compared to marble. The hard quartz worktop can easily withstand heat. While marble is heat resistant, a sudden change in temperature may lead to hairline cracks. However, still, it’s recommended not to put hot pots or pans on the surface of quartz to prevent it from burning of its resins when sudden temperature changes occur.

6. Resale Value

Both these worktop materials are likely to increase the resale value of your home. However, marble is considered more luxurious in appearance, though it requires more maintenance. For homeowners who prefer marble but don’t want to deal with its natural flaws, marble-inspired Carrara quartz is a great option for them to enhance the resale value of their property.