Graniteis hard and dense. As such, it is naturally scratch, etch and stain resistant. That makes it suitable for use in kitchens, bathrooms, wet and dry locations. Granite is stable and not overly sensitive to heat and that makes it suitable for fireplace applications.
Marbleis soft and vulnerable to scratching, staining and etching and is most suitable for use in bathrooms. It can be used in kitchens but extra care should be taken to maintain its appearance.
Quartzis manmade from natural minerals including quartz plus resins and pigments. It is very hard and both stain, etch and scratch resistant. It is vulnerable to heat damage as is not recommend for fireplace applications
Quartziteis a natural stone that is very hard and therefore scratch and stain resistant. It can be used anywhere granite is used.
Soapstoneis softer than marble and can scratch easily, but can also be sanded and repaired with no special tools or skills. Soapstone is very heavy and dense and completely non-porous therefore very stain resistant and handles heat like no other stone so it is suitable in kitchens, baths, fireplace and both wet and dry locations.
Slateis harder than marble and soapstone and almost non-porous but NOT recommended for wet locations as water can get between the layers and cause separation and warpage.
Chipping, All stones can and will chip if impacted hard enough. The really hard stones are actually more prone to chipping as the material is so hard it is brittle and may chip. Chipping is most evident around a sink.
Competitorswill claim that certain stones are quartzites so aid them in sales. The stones are actually marble or dolomite, this makes it easier for them to sell the stones and they are beautiful, but still very vulnerable to etching. Test a sample for yourself using a few drops of lemon juice. If the surface etches........You know it contains calcite and is not going to perform like a granite or quartzite at all.