Hard surface, or stone countertops: Do you know the difference?

There’s a dizzying array of stone countertops to choose from. Granite, marble, quartz, soapstone, limestone slabs and the same stone in various tile. Who knew choosing a countertop could be so complex? Before you choose, it may be helpful to know the facts about the similarities and differences in stone materials.



The beauty of Granite comes from the array of natural colors, patterns and speckling found within it. No two granite slabs are going to be the same and no two kitchens or bathrooms designed with granite are going to be the same. 

Granite is strong so knives won’t scratch it, heat won’t burn it and dropped kitchenware won’t mar it.

Granite is porous though, so it needs to be sealed on occasion. Acidic liquids like wine and lemon may stain it unless they are quickly wiped up. Granite is such a heavy material that it should only be installed by professionals.



The true beauty of marble lies in its classic elegance. No other stone glows like marble or has veining that stand out like the veining in marble. Marble is softer then granite but not easily scratched. A unique characteristic is its resistance to heat, which is what makes it good for rolling pastry. Even with sealing, marble is vulnerable to stains and etching by acidic foods.  It is best used minimally or in kitchens that do not see rough use.



Engineered quartz countertops are made almost entirely of crushed quartz with a small amount of resin mixed in. They have the beauty of natural stone with the advantage of a much wider range of colors to choose from. Quartz countertops are more uniform, thus they don’t have quite the same natural look as other stone countertops, though it’s a very close second. Quartz countertops are almost as durable as granite and need no special maintenance such as polishing or sealing.



Soapstone has a soft gray patina whose luster darkens over time. It has a subtler beauty than granite or marble. Soapstone is more easily scratched than other natural stone countertops. Soapstone needs to be regularly polished to maintain it’s luster.



Stone tile offers the same infinite array of colors and designs to choose from, which allows for a range of design options. Tile is one of the more inexpensive materials to use as a countertop. Though it has he same resistance to heat and scratches as slabs do, it is more economical than slabs to install. However, the uneven surface of tile makes it harder to work on, and a little more difficult to clean than other natural stone.


Contact Granite Imports at 303 733-1114 or at www.graniteimports.com We’ll be glad to answer any of your questions about any stone counter.


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