When choosing a countertop material for a bathroom remodel or new construction, quartz and marble are two of the most popular options. But which is better – quartz or marble? There are pros and cons to each material.
Quartz and marble countertops both have aesthetic appeal and can add value to a home. When deciding between the two, it’s important to consider factors like appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost. Evaluating the pros and cons of quartz vs. marble countertops can help homeowners select the best material for their needs and budget.
- Elegant, timeless look
- Available in a wide range of natural colors and patterns like veining
- Gives a high-end, luxurious appearance
- No two slabs are exactly alike
- Consistent coloring and pattern
- Manufactured in a wide array of colors and styles
- Can mimic look of natural stone
- Does not have veining like marble
Durability and Maintenance
- Softer and more prone to scratches, stains, and etching from acidic foods and liquids
- Sealing required to protect surface
- Polishing and professional honing needed to repair etch marks
- Can chip if subjected to sudden impacts
- Extremely strong and scratch-resistant
- Does not easily stain, etch, or chip
- Little maintenance required besides cleaning
- Resists damage from impacts
- Does not need regular sealing
- More expensive than most quartz
- Complex installation process increases labor costs
- Ongoing maintenance and resealing drives up long-term costs
- Comparable to higher-end granite in terms of price
- More affordable than most marble
- Simple installation keeps labor costs low
- Low maintenance keeps long-term costs down
Which is Better for Bathrooms?
For bathrooms, quartz is generally the better choice between the two materials. Here’s why:
- Water resistance – Quartz repels water and resists damage from splashes and spills. Marble is very prone to etching and stains from water.
- Durability – Quartz can stand up to heavy use and damage better than softer marble. Marble can easily chip around a bathroom sink.
- Low maintenance – Since it doesn’t need regular sealing, quartz is easier to keep looking pristine in a damp bathroom environment.
- Hygienic – Quartz has naturally antibacterial properties while marble is prone to staining and discoloration from mold and mildew.
- Affordability – Quartz costs less than marble while performing better in bathrooms. The added labor and maintenance costs of marble drive up its long-term expense.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is marble very high maintenance?
Yes, marble requires frequent sealing and professional polishing to keep it looking pristine and prevent etching or staining. The softer material is prone to damage in kitchens and bathrooms. Quartz is low maintenance in comparison.
Does quartz stain easily?
No, quartz is non-porous so it does not easily stain from spills and household use. Reputable quartz brands are engineered to be stain resistant. Marble can become stained without proper sealing.
Is quartz cheaper than marble?
Generally, yes, quartz is less expensive than marble. The manufacturing process makes quartz an affordable alternative to pricier natural stone. Labor and upkeep also drive marble’s overall cost up compared to quartz.
Can quartz chips or cracks?
Quartz is very resilient and unlikely to chip or crack under normal use. However, quartz can be damaged by excessive force or impact. Marble is more prone to chipping due to its softness. Small quartz repairs can be done but severe cracks require replacement.
Does quartz need to be sealed?
No, quartz does not require any sealing. Its non-porous nature prevents liquid from penetrating the surface. Marble needs to be sealed frequently to avoid staining and etching damage from liquids.
For bathroom countertops, quartz is typically better than marble due to its superior durability, water-resistance, stain-resistance, affordability, and low maintenance requirements. Marble provides a luxurious look but requires more care and costs more compared to quartz. Factors like budget, lifestyle, and the pros and cons highlighted above should all be weighed when deciding between quartz and marble countertops for bathrooms.