Are you planning to change your existing countertop for Marble countertops? First of all, Marble has some beautiful qualities. It’s a gorgeous natural stone, with every slab being a piece of art, and it still can make a modern kitchen look. It is heat resistant, and you can do an undermount sink with marble countertops.
Maybe you’ve heard the scary talk about why you SHOULDN’T use it. Let me talk you through this, ok?
Marble carries the weight of its legacy, but now owning it is no longer limited to the wealthy. Quarried slab marble—the real stuff—is cheaper than in years past due to more efficient extraction techniques and less expensive ocean-freighting costs. Also, you can buy cultured marble countertops (not quite the real stuff) that are more affordable for the rest of us.
IS MARBLE TOO SOFT FOR KITCHEN COUNTERS?
The scratching and etching are more of an issue. The spots on the marble countertop where people open cans and wine bottles usually get circular scratches. A kitchen island with a waterfall countertop usually gets etching quickly. Still, it may be worth it because a waterfall island on a marble countertop looks beautiful. The surface can show spots or rings when you get down to counter height and look from certain angles.
WHY SCRATCHING AND ETCHING ON MARBLE COUNTERS IS NOT A PROBLEM:
The scratches and etches on the marble countertop don’t bother many people for several reasons. First, you would never see any of them walking through or even using the space. You must stand directly above even the most significant scratch to see it.
Second, the longer you allow the countertops to etch, the less noticeable it will be. It’s like the first little mark on new wood floors: it shows up. But after some time, your wood floors will have a beautiful, slight patina over the whole thing, and you can’t find that first scratch even if you look hard for it.
Can the wood floors get too worn? Of course, they can. If you don’t care for them, they can be scratched until they look tired and need refinished. The same is true with your marble countertops: if you don’t care for them, they could become etched, worn, and stained.
But with proper care, the entire surface will gain a slight patina that will hide that original scratch or water ring and look lovely. Suppose you are still scared about the scratching and etching possibility. In that case, white granite countertops or black granite countertops are always possible to keep a natural stone look and unique.
Staining & Absorption
Absorption is the degree to which water penetrates a stone, measured as a weight percentage—the lower the absorbency, the lower the risk of stains. The probability of seeing staining on white countertops is higher. It’s true: Marble is more porous than most granite countertop and quartz countertops products. BUT, different marbles (and granites, for that matter) have different absorption rates, which you should look at.
For example, Vermont’s Danby White has smaller pores than many other marbles, with only a .06% absorption rate. That’s lower than some of the more popular granites on the market. Other marbles with low absorption rates include Bianco Carrera, Thaddos, and Statuary.
If you choose a marble like that, spills that stain are not a big deal as long as you wipe them up reasonably soon. It’s essential to clean marble countertops with warm, soapy water only. No harsh chemicals, as they may etch the surface. Make sure to use a pH-neutral stone cleaner, or you may etch the surface.
But what if you stain your marble countertops? You can apply several poultice solutions to draw out most stains. In the worst-case scenarios, professional refinishing companies can assist in removing difficult stains.
The Finish You Choose
Etching, or dulling of the surface, is caused over time by acidic materials (such as lemon juice, alcohol, or tomato sauce) on the marble countertops. Suppose it is not wiped up right away. In that case, the acid reacts and eats away at the calcium carbonate in the stone, creating permanent markings that look like dull, slightly darker spots or rings on the Marble.
As I mentioned earlier, harsh cleaners can also etch the surface. How light hits the Marble determines how noticeable the etching is. In some light, the scarring will not be evident, while specific lighting will reveal the dulled areas.
Polished Marble is shiny and is more resistant to staining. Honed Marble is matte and less resistant to staining. However, honed Marble reduces the etching problem (mainly because it’s pre-etched). If you want to reduce etching, choose HONED Marble and keep the surface adequately sealed to reduce staining.
How often to seal? That depends on use and UV exposure, typically once a year. Just because a marble countertop requires sealing doesn’t mean that’s a huge maintenance issue.
The best way to test a countertop to see whether or not it’s sealed (or needs resealing) is to set a glass of ice water on its surface and wait a bit. If water from condensation beads up on the Marble’s surface when you pick up the glass from the counter, it’s sealed. It needs resealing if you pick up the mirror and see a dark ring on the marble countertop.
Suppose you decide to go with Marble, our countertop store. In that case, Raviva Company has a large selection and countertop installation professionals that will install and seal the property. If you are considering marble countertops, do your homework and be honest about whether you can live with its beautiful imperfections!
If you want a look similar to Marble with less hassle, a Quartz countertop (Cambria countertops have excellent options) can be perfect.
Also, you can go with porcelain countertops. Porcelain slab countertops are thinner than regular stones, but many can look close to Marble. Another possibility is a Granite color countertop, a natural stone that can make your kitchen as unique as Marble. If you are stuck with the quartz vs granite countertops battle, click on the link and learn the main difference between both, and I will help you decide each one.