What is: Granite, Marble, Travertine.

gran·ite/ˈgranit/
Noun: ~A very hard, granular, crystalline, intrusive igneous rock consisting mainly of quartz, mica, and feldspar and often used as a building…
~Used in similes and metaphors to refer to something very hard and impenetrable.
When Earth was forming it was a hot liquid ball of rock. While the Earth cooled three types of rock were formed; metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous. Granite is in the category of igneous rock. Igneous rock was created deep below the surface of the earth when the magma cooled.
Granite is composed of the following minerals:
* Feldspar (50% or greater)
* Quartz (25-40%)
* Mica (3-10%)
Granite is a strong stone because its mineral grains have grown tightly together during a very slow cooling period. The quartz and feldspar that compose it are harder than steel. This makes granite suitable for indoor counters & floors/ walls, outdoor buildings or paving stone/ street curbing and outdoor kitchens..

mar·ble/ˈmärbəl/
Noun: A hard crystalline metamorphic form of limestone, typically white with mottling or streaks of color.
Verb: Stain or streak (something) so that it looks like variegated marble: “stone walls marbled with moss”.
Marble is a metamorphic rock made out of limestone. When limestone is subjected to tremendous pressure for a long time (like if limestone is buried under a lot of other rock or an ocean) it gets squashed into marble. Marble is more beautiful than limestone and tougher. Marble is usually lighter in color (White Carrerra), cream (Crema Marfil), and dark/ light brown (Emperador dark/ Deano Real). It is mainly used for bathrooms countertops and accent tables.

Difference between marble and granite:
They are both stones. They are both natural products, which means there can be variations in color and pattern- no single slab is the same, and sometimes what you see in the display is not very close to what you actually get delivered- that’s why we recommend you hand pick your slab for your project. Both come in a wide range of colors and patterns. Both can be stained by oily or highly colored foods. So both require resealing every once in a while (it seems like yearly is the usual rule- we offer a spray can that is 3-in-one; cleaner, polisher, and sealer.) Both are relatively heatproof, and they won’t scorch (a very hot pot placed on either type of stone could crack it, theoretically.) They start at about $50 per square foot installed, but granite can go as high as $200 per square foot in material only.

But granite is a much harder, stronger stone than marble. It resists impacts and scratches better. And it is resistant to acids like tomato juice, lemon juice or vinegar. Marble is simply calcium carbonate, just like chalk, but in a compressed and crystallized form. So acids can etch the surface permanently. (And it will fizz, just like chalk in vinegar.) And it cracks and scratches more easily. Some marbles have very little pattern (some are totally pure white) so stains and marring stand out more. Granite typically has a complex of spots or patches of many colours or shades that hides stains better. So for hard use, granite is a better choice.

Marble has a look that is possibly more elegant and luxurious. It has extremely fine crystals, which create a snowy or satiny look. And the colors and patterns can be quite dramatic. Granite tends to have larger crystals. This creates a coarser, more sparkly look. Both come in a range of colors and patterns- not a single slab is the same!

this said, Granite is recommended for kitchen countertops.
Marble is higher maintenance, less durable and about as expensive.

trav·er·tine/ˈtravərˌtēn/
Noun: White or light-colored calcareous rock deposited from mineral springs, used in building.

Travertine is a natural stone material from the limestone family. It is made of calcium carbonate and is usually found in the form of deposits near warm or hot springs. Because travertine is such a porous material, it should be sealed before use in construction or renovation projects. It is most commonly used for countertops and flooring, but may also be used in showers and tub surrounds as well as in exterior decor. Never use cleaners that contain vinegar or citrus oils on travertine. Even water can be harmful to the texture of travertine if it is allowed to sit on the stone for long periods of time. Some travertine stones are harder than others. Although the hardness varies, it will still scratch. It’s not as soft as soapstone but it can’t compete with the hardness of granite.
Travertine is available in different colors and finishes, from natural, neutral colors such as creamy white and beige to tan and reddish brown.
The different finishes include honed, polished and tumbled. Honed travertine is smooth, but unlike polished, it has a matte finish. Polished travertine is smooth, but buffed and polished until shiny. Tumbled travertine has a rougher, textured finish and often has rounded corners for an antique look. Honed finish is most commonly used.

(Information copyrighted from YKMarble & google pages, Copyright © 2003 – 2011 Conjecture Corporation, Copyright © 2005 – 2011 Natural-Stone-Interiors.com).

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