Surrey Marble and Granite is currently open with a limited workforce to enable safe social distancing in line with government directions to safe guard our staff and customers.

SMG is open for visits by APPOINTMENT ONLY to ensure social distancing is maintained in our showroom and safeguard our staff and customers. Please contact the office on 01428 651940 to check availability and book.

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    What’s the difference between limestone, marble and granite?

    They’re all beautiful natural stones so does it matter whether you choose marble, limestone or granite for your next project? In a very real sense, as they’re all as tough as rock and incredibly hard wearing, you can let your budget and personal style lead the way. If you want to know more, here are some of the differences between these three stunning stones.

    Practical differences

    Marble
    Limestone
    Granite
    Heat resistant
    Stain resistant
    Must be sealed
    Must be sealed
    Sealing recommended
    Waterproof
    Must be sealed
    Must be sealed
    Sealing recommended
    Scratch and cut resistant
    Food safe
    Sealing recommended
    Sealing recommended
    Sealing recommended
    Available in tiles
    Suitable for kitchen worktops
    Suitable for bathrooms
    Suitable for outdoors
    Must be sealed
    Sealing recommended
    Sealing suggested
    Looks like
    Unique veining patterns
    Often a smooth, fine grained appearance
    Distinctive visible grains common
    Most common colour
    White
    Cream
    Grey
    Colours available
    Beighe, black, blue, brown, green, grey, pink, red, white
    Black, blue, brown, grey, red, white, yellow
    Black, blue, brown, green, grey, pink, red, white, yellow
    Unusual features
    May contain fossils
    Made of prehistoric shells
    One of the toughest natural substances
    Famous landmarks
    Taj Mahal
    Pyramids
    Mount Rushmore

    Is Marble Limestone?

    Marble is formed from sedimentary limestone that has been heated and put under immense pressure by surrounding natural rocks which causes the grains to recrystallise. Although the stones are related, they provide very different visual finishes.

    Why limestone, marble and granite cost different prices

    The cost of natural stone is mainly driven by two factors: rarity and accessibility. Limestone is common in Europe, which is why it has been used as a building material in the UK for thousands of years. Marble is less common, and the distinctive veining means that marble from different quarries can look very different, so there are limited supplies of some types of the stone. Granite is very tough, making it harder to quarry and work. These factors influence the final price of the stone so although limestone is generally more affordable, a rare limestone that’s travelled a long way may be more expensive than a local marble. As an example, the stunning Bath Stone which gives the city of Bath its distinctive beauty is a limestone found in a particular nearby quarry. Over the last 200 years, what started as a practical measure has now become an exclusive luxury.

    Why geologists don’t agree with interior designers

    Marble, granite and limestone have been in use for thousands of years – long before geology began to develop as a science. As a result, quarry workers, contractors and interior designers use the words marble, limestone and granite to refer to stones of particular types or qualities even if they don’t meet the exact chemical compositions that geologists use to define the same stones.

     In a design context, visible differences are more important than in a scientific context, so that leads to confusion of terms too. As an example, both marble and limestone are sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate. While geologists consider marble to be limestone that’s been subject to extreme heat and pressure, we know they look quite different and you wouldn’t want to get the wrong one!

    View our collection of Marble View our collection of Granite View our collection of Limestone

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