Are you trying to decide on new countertops for your home? Two popular options for countertops are marble and quartz but it might be difficult choosing between the two. No matter which one you go with they’ll both add value to your home, especially if you’re selling it. But what are the differences? We’ve weighed the pros and cons of each so that you can decide what is best for your home.

Marble countertops are made from raw marble that has been quarried, sliced, water blasted, buffed, and polished into the beautiful slabs that we see today. On the other hand, quartz countertops are man-made. According to Fixr, quartz countertops are composed of natural quartz with polymers, resins, and pigments added, at a ratio of anywhere from 93 to 97 percent quartz to 7 to 3 percent synthetic materials. This combination gives it a consistent color and pattern and makes it non-porous, which gives it a clean, polished appearance.

Appearance-wise, marble has a natural color and veining that you can only find in nature. However, some quartz designs can almost perfectly mimic natural marble. The main difference in appearance is the consistency of color and pattern. Since quartz is man-made, each slab will be the exact color, texture, and pattern seen in the showroom sample making it much easier to match seams during installation. Since marble is natural it’s not always as easy to choose since each piece should be selected individually. One slab of marble will not exactly match another if you need more than one piece for your space.

Both of these stones may alter in appearance over time. Marble tends to darken slightly with age, whereas quartz will yellow if exposed to direct sunlight so the countertop should always be protected from sunlight.

When compared to marble, quartz is the most heat resistant; the hard quartz and resin composition help it withstand high heat. With marble, hot pans should never be put directly onto the cool marble surface as this may cause a crack due to the sudden change in temperature.

Because it is more porous, more so than other natural stone countertops, marble is not as durable as quartz in everyday use unless properly sealed by qualified professionals. Acidic substances and wine can leave a stain if not cleaned up quickly. However, some chemicals will damage the finish so you should always check the label to see if a substance is meant for use with marble. In addition to the need to initially seal marble, depending on the conditions of your home, and time after installation, it could need to be resealed periodically afterward which could be an inconvenience for homeowners.

Alternatively, quartz is non-porous and stain-resistant; it can easily be cleaned with warm water and soap and never needs sealing.

When it comes to durability, marble is softer than quartz and can get etches after time. Etches are colorless watermarks left on marble that comes with everyday use in the kitchen or bath, especially around a sink or tub. These can be removed with warm water and a soft cloth or with a cleanser specifically made for marble. Quartz, with its polymers and resins, should not show etching or scratches from everyday use.

Whichever one you choose for your next home project, if they are properly maintained, either of these beautiful, hard surface countertops can last the lifetime of the home as long as they were processed and installed by qualified professionals who know the needs of each material. At AGS Stone we are the expert authorities on all parts of kitchen and bath remodeling, and countertop needs. We can walk you through every step of a countertop purchase. Give us a call today!