EXPLORE

Explore to learn more about natural stones, quartz, and porcelain options.

Compare

What are you looking for in a surface? There are many factors to consider, including care, durability, design, budget and whether for interior or exterior use. This page provides comparisons and specifications to help you narrow down your options and choose the surface best suited for your project.

Best
Suited For
Ease of Care
Stone Abrasion Resistance
Abrasion Resistant
 
Stone Stain Resistance
Stain Resistant
 
Stone Etching Resistance
Etching Resistant
 
Stone Heat Resistance
Heat Resistant
 
Stone UV Resistance
UV Resistant
 
Granite
Wide use:
countertops
wall cladding
commercial uses
EASY
periodic sealing
High
High*
HIGH
High
Medium
Marble
Countertops
shower surrounds
flooring
EASY
periodic sealing
Medium*
Low
LOW
MEDIUM
Medium
Porcelain
Countertops
bar tops
surrounds
interior flooring
wall cladding
commercial uses
EASY
High
High
High
High
High
Quartz
Countertops
bar tops
surrounds
flooring
INTERIOR ONLY
EASY
High
High
High
Medium
Low
Quartzite
Countertops
bar tops
wall covering
flooring
EASY
periodic sealing
High
High*
High
Medium
Medium
Soapstone
Countertops
bar tops
fireplaces
surrounds
EASY
apply food grade mineral oil as needed
Low
High
High
High
High
* Resistance varies based on stone composition. With natural stones, there can be variances within a stone category (e.g., marble) as one type of marble may be more or less abrasive than another type. As you explore materials in our showrooms, we can assist you in understanding the resistance of the particular stones you like.

Explore the most common uses and which surfaces to consider.

Kitchen and Baths stone surfaces

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Fireplace and Shower Stone Surrounds

Surrounds - Fireplace, Shower, Wall Cladding

Outdoor kitchen stone surfaces

Outdoor Kitchens

Are you exploring for a Commercial Project?

If so, please click here to contact us directly so we can best serve your needs.

Search

Search Granite Slabs
Granite
Search Marble Slabs
Marble
Search Porcelain Slabs
Porcelain
Search Quartz Slabs
Quartz
Search Quartzite Slabs
Quartzite
Search Soapstone Slabs
Soapstone

Learn

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A Homeowner’s Perspective: The Two-Stage Renovation

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FAQ

What is…?

What is granite?

Granite is a natural stone comprised of igneous and siliceous with a hardness on the Mohs scale of 6-7. Granite is beautiful, durable, sanitary, sustainable, natural, and easy to maintain. This building stone has high load bearing capacity. Granite is visibly homogeneous in texture and presents a mirror polish with a unique beauty that cannot be mistaken for man-made replicas – lustrous, rich and crystalline.

What is marble?

Marble is a natural stone that is calcareous and metamorphic with a hardness on the Mohs scale of 4. Marble offers timeless beauty, and strength; a classic stone that is aesthetically pleasing and weather resistant. It is highly valued for its beauty, bold colors and pronounced veining trends.

What is porcelain?

Porcelain is an ecofriendly, man-made material comprised of up to 94% clay, feldspar and silicon. The remaining percentage is glass, enamels, pigment and binder. Porcelain is processed under extremely high pressure and temperatures to create a strong, durable solution with a hardness of 7-9 on the Mohs scale. Because of its unique manufacturing process, porcelain slabs are available in larger formats and much thinner densities than other surfaces.

What is quartz?

Quartz is an engineered stone with up to 93% quartz and the remaining percentage made of binder and pigment. An alternative to natural stone, quartz is man-made and offers a wide variety of designs and colors. It is a durable solution for a wide variety of residential and commercial uses with the exception of exterior use.

What is quartzite?

Quartzite is a hard, compact natural stone available in many natural colors and suitable for a wide variety of residential uses.

What is soapstone?

Soapstone is a beautiful stone with distinct colors and veining that has the ability to absorb and distribute heat; highly resistant to chemicals.

Where do they come from?

Where do your natural stones come from?

See our FAQ for each stone type where we provide a list of the countries.

Where does Boston Granite Exchange source its granite?

Italy, Spain, Brazil, India, China, Canada and the United States.

Where does Boston Granite Exchange source its marble?

Italy, Spain, Brazil, India and North America.

Where does Boston Granite Exchange source its porcelain?
Boston Granite Exchange evaluated many different porcelains and has chosen to import Laminam porcelain from Italy due to its trendsetting beauty, durability and exceptional performance.
Where does Boston Granite Exchange source its quartzite?

Italy, Spain, and Brazil.

Where does Boston Granite Exchange source its soapstone?

Brazil, India, and North America.

Best uses?

What are the best applications for granite?

Due to its strength and durability, it is ideal for countertops, wall cladding, flooring and a wide variety of interior and exterior applications. It is also ideal for commercial use.

What are the best uses of marble?

Countertops, shower surrounds, flooring and as a building material.

What are the best uses of porcelain?
Due to its strength and durability, porcelain is ideal for countertops, surrounds, interior walls and floors and exterior cladding.
What are the best uses of quartz?

Countertops, bar tops, surrounds and flooring. Quartz is NOT suitable for outdoor use.

What are the best uses of quartzite?

Countertops, bar tops, wall covering, and flooring.

What are the best uses of soapstone?

Countertops, bar tops, fireplace, fireplace surround and soapstone wood stoves.

What is cladding?
Cladding is simply layering one material over another to create a new surface.

How do I care for it?

How do you care for granite?

Granite is easy to maintain. Clean by spraying and wiping with neutral cleaner readily available. Periodic sealing is recommended.

Is granite difficult to maintain?

The short answer is no. If you clean off your countertop daily then maintaining the beauty of granite is not difficult. The care of natural stones has been largely over complicated. In general, they are easy to care for, including granite.

How do you care for marble?

Marble is easy to clean with neutral cleaner (non acidic-based) or mild liquid detergent and warm water. Consult with your fabricator for a recommended sealer to protect the stone on a periodic basis.

How do you care for porcelain?
Porcelain is carefree and only needs to be cleaned with mild liquid detergent and warm water.
How do you care for quartz?

Daily care is easy; no sealing required. Consult with your fabricator for recommended care instructions.

Does quartz require sealing?

No.

How do you care for quartzite?

Quartzite is easy to maintain. Clean by spraying and wiping with a neutral cleaner readily available. Periodic sealing is recommended. Consult with your fabricator for care instructions specific to your quartzite stone.

How do you care for soapstone?

Soapstone is easy care includes cleaning with warm water and dish detergent. Apply food-grade mineral oil as needed.  Consult with your fabricator for recommended mineral oil product.  Note that the finish type will not affect care.

How do I care for a natural stone countertop?

Please  discuss the care and maintenance with your fabricator. Also, view our Explore pages and an overview of care is provided about each stone category. 

General information

What finishes are available for natural stones?

Please view the rest of our Explore section for finishes available by each stone category. In general, finishes include polished, honed, flamed and leathered.

What is the Mohs scale?

The Mohs scale is a system of testing the hardness of a mineral, designed by Friedrich Mohs in 1812. Mohs wanted a simple way of testing the “scratching” ability of each mineral. What the mineral could scratch, or what could scratch the mineral, determines its position on the scale. On the traditional Mohs scale, the hardest mineral is the diamond. It cannot be scratched by another mineral and can scratch every other mineral. Its hardness is measured as the number 10. The hardness of a material is measured against the scale by finding the hardest material that the given material can scratch, or the softest material that can scratch the given material.

What stone offers the highest value?

We offer a wide range of stones to fit one’s budget. There is not one clear stone category that offers a higher value for the homeowner. As a wholesaler, we provide pricing to the fabricator and/or the kitchen and bath dealer who then provides the homeowner with their costs.

What are the best stones for stain resistance?

Soapstone, quartzite, quartz and porcelain.

What are the best stones for abrasion resistance?

Granite, soapstone, quartzite, quartz and porcelain.

What are the best stones to resist etching?

Granite, soapstone, quartzite, quartz and porcelain.

What stones are the most heat resistant?

Granite, soapstone and porcelain.

What stones are ideal for outdoor use and UV resistance?

Soapstone and porcelain.

What is etching of natural stones?

Etching is the impact of acidity on the natural stone. Acids such as from red wine, orange juice and lemons can etch the natural stone dulling the finish and changing the texture. Marble is more susceptible to etching as compared to granite, soapstone and quartzite which are etching resistant.

Thank you and your whole staff not only for the large, properly priced, inventory of stone that you carry in multiple locations, but for showing us how much you care (time and time again) with the fast friendly, knowledgeable service throughout BGE. When we need stone, we think of BGE FIRST!

Roger Ware, President
WareRite Countertops