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Marble & Granite Facts

"Although both were created deep within the earth millions of years ago, the processes that formed them were quite different."

Granite is an igneous rock, which means that at one time during its development, it was melted like volcanic lava. However, this melted (or molten) rock never reached the surface. It remained trapped inside the earth, where it slowly cooled and crystallized, resulting in a very uniform, speckled stone that ranges from blacks to whites and nearly every color in between.

Marble is a metamorphic rock. It was once limestone, but over time, the combination of the intense heat and pressure caused the limestone to re-crystallize. Foreign substances often entered the stone during this process, creating an infinite variety of colors, textures and veining.

Marbles and granites are quarried throughout the world in the form of huge blocks, some weighing up to 20 tons. These blocks are cut into slabs that are generally ¾” or 1 ¼” thick and the faces are polished to the specified finish. These slabs are then carefully crated and shipped to the fabricators, like ourselves, who will process them into the final product.

Which should I use where?

It depends on the effect you want to achieve and how much use or abuse the stone will be subjected to.

Granite is striking, functional and the most durable of the natural stones. These traits make it ideal for kitchen counter tops, accent islands, bar tops, everyday dining tables and many other uses. More and more people are choosing granite for bathrooms and fireplaces as well.

Marble is the most elegant and luxurious of stones. Marble’s beauty will last for generations. It is versatile enough for the use throughout the home, such as fireplace facings, ornamental furnishings, walls and window sills. Marble shines best in the bath. You can use it on almost every surface in the bathroom, including vanities, tub decks, shower walls and flooring.

What about cost?

Initially, marble and granite cost about the same as other solid surfaces, but price must be weighed against performance. The durability, longevity and natural beauty of marble and granite will usually outlive the home’s occupants.

Marble and granite are far more valuable than synthetics in much the same way that diamonds are more valuable that rhinestones. The depth and character of natural stone cannot be matched by any man-made surface. Natural stone does not depreciate with time and adds value to your home.

Why should I choose granite or marble rather than one of the new synthetic materials?

Even the finest synthetics can’t match natural stone’s natural range of colors, nor are they nearly as versatile, durable or long lasting.

Do Marble and Granite require any special care?

Marble and granite are easier to maintain than you’d expect.

Granite is a worry-free surface that practically takes care of itself. It is extremely durable, stain-resistant and easy to care for. Hot pots and pans won’t damage the surface and it won’t chip, scratch or crack under normal use. Cutting boards are recommended to protect your knives from becoming dull. Once sealed (normally when installed) it should not stain.

Marble isn’t quite as worry-free as granite. It has a softer, less stain-resistant surface than granite and it should be treated like a fine piece of wood. Spills should wiped up immediately, and coasters should be placed under beverage glasses to prevent staining and etching. Take precautions to avoid scratching the stone. Marble is especially susceptible to damage from citric acids, alcohols and oils. With proper care, its beauty will last for generations.

Granite Facts

  • Nearly impossible to scratch. In most cases you will dull your knives before you scratch your counter top.
  • Accepts hot pots and pans right from your oven/burner without a trace of scorching.
  • Once sealed, granite will not stain under normal everyday use, if ever.
  • Does not harbor bacteria.
  • The surface is not affected by citric acid, coffee, tea, alcohol, wine, etc.
  • Generally lasts forever
Since all granites are made by nature, no two are the same. All slabs should be reviewed and approved for each project. Southwest Marble & Granite Works guarantees that the granite used for your counter tops will all come from the same bundle, assuring that all surfaces will match in color and pattern.

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Southwest Marble and Granite
13240 Pond Springs Rd.
Austin, Texas 78729
Phone: (512) 918-9111

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