Cultured Marble vs. Granite
Cultured marble is the name applied to manufactured varieties of marble, granite, or onyx. It can give a bathroom a classy look. Granite countertops share some of the same colors as marble but do not have the patterns.
Bathroom countertops play a critical role in the way we use our bathrooms and should be a key consideration when planning a new bathroom.
Marble comes in an array of colors, but white with veins of varying colors would be the most common. Cultured marble gives a sophisticated, classic look to a room. Although cultured marble is, more often than not, white with colored veins, cultured marble comes in numerous colors, patterns, and textures. This makes it easy to find a match for your planned color scheme.
Cultured marble is constructed using particles of stone and resins combined with pigments. This produces a massive range of colors and textures. These designs are a porous material and are well known for being tough. It absorbs liquids quickly, which means you cannot scrub to remove a stain. One hazard to be aware of is acidic liquids and the damage that substances like nail polish remover can cause. These liquids can dissolve and create pits on the countertop.
The appearance of granite countertops is typically much lighter and with a less pronounced pattern. Some similar colors to marble are available but not the patterns. Granite patterns are subtle and not as bold as marble. Although granite comes in many colors, these colors would not be described as bold or striking. The overall look is much more conservative.
Cost is always a factor when choosing a countertop, but when comparing cultured marble with granite, you find that the costs are similar. This is especially true when comparing the more common colors. It is possible to find some granite and cultured installations in the same price range. Granite overall will be a fraction more expensive than cultured marble.
Care of Countertops
Granite has a number of maintenance problems, as does cultured marble, but when you look at the long-term situation, you find granite comes into its own and is a much better option than cultured marble. When cleaning granite, it is fine to use abrasive cleaners like Easy Scrub. The best way to keep a granite surface clean is to use a pH-neutral granite cleaner like Easy Oxy or MB-5 Stone & More.
Because granite is porous, the surface should be sealed to prevent stains, particularly on lighter colors. Darker colors may be more stain-resistant, and you may not need to seal them. Granite is almost impossible to harm by burning or scratching. However, it may be damaged by impact, which could lead to cracks, chips, or pits forming.
Cultured marble is sensitive to abrasive cleaners, although matte finishes may be alright. Strong cleaners and chemicals will result in the protective gel coat getting damaged. Daily cleaning with pH-neutral cleaner is recommended. Cultured marble is not porous and does not need to be sealed. It is therefore much more stain-resistant than granite. However, we always recommend doing water tests. Watch out for hair dyes and similar products as they will stain cultured marble.
On the downside, cultured marble will scratch and burn, and impacts can create pits, damaging the gel coat.
Repairs and Refinishing
In most scenarios, granite is extremely durable and will last for many years, even decades, without showing wear and tear.
In the case of both cultured marble and granite, they can be repaired if damaged. These can either be DIY repairs, or the owner may choose to call in a professional. A professional is able, in most cases, to restore the countertops to their original appearance.