Marble is an amazing material, but it has some drawbacks. For example, marble can be easily damaged by water or heat (which would make cooking difficult), and most homeowners are not able to install undermount sinks with this type of countertop because they lack the stability required for such installations in wet environments like kitchens where food preparation takes place daily.
Also, because marble can be quite porous, it is more susceptible to staining and will require more maintenance in the form of regular sealing.
But don’t let these drawbacks scare you away from choosing a marble countertop for your kitchen. With proper care, it is possible to have a beautiful and functional countertop that looks great for years to come.
The key is to use a quality sealer and apply it regularly, as well as stay vigilant about cleaning up any spills immediately. Additionally, if you do have an undermount sink installed with your marble countertop, be sure to choose one specifically designed for such installations in order to ensure that it is properly sealed against potential leaks.
Staining & Absorption
Although marble is generally more porous than granite and quartz, there are always exceptions. Make sure to research the different absorption rates for each type of stone before making your final decision.
A stone’s absorption rate is the amount of water, as a percentage of weight, that it will soak up. The lower the absorbency, the less likely it is to stain.
For example, Vermont’s Danby White marble has smaller pores with a .06% absorption rate. That is lower than some of the more frequently chosen granites on the market. Martha Stewart, the world-renowned home expert, loves Danby White and has it in three of her own kitchens.
There are other marbles that have low absorption rates, but they include Bianco Carrera, Thaddeus, and Statuary.
If you go with a marble countertop, then be aware that accidental spills can leave behind Water stains. It’s best to clean up any messes as soon as possible using only warm water and soap. Avoid using any harsh chemicals when cleaning your marble counters, as they could etch the surface.
A pH-neutral stone cleaner will be the least likely to etch your countertop’s surface. But, if you do get a stain on your marble countertop, there are a number of poultice solutions that can be applied to usually draw out the Stain. If it’s bad enough, professional refinishing companies exist to help remove difficult stains from your beautiful investment.
The etching, or dulling, of marble countertops is a gradual process caused by acidic materials (such as lemon juice, alcohol, or tomato sauce) coming into contact with the surface.
If left uncleaned, the acid will damage the calcium carbonate in the stone, etching permanent dark spots or rings. Fortunately, these problems are usually easy to clean and prevent using pH-neutral stone cleaners.
If you decide to go with marble countertops in your home, make sure that you understand the care necessary for keeping them looking beautiful and functional. With proper care, marble can be a stunning addition to any kitchen or bathroom design.
Harsh cleaners not only etch surfaces but also determine how the light hits the marble. For example, in some light, the scarring is unnoticeable, while other types of lighting will highlight the dulled areas.
Polished marble is shiny and more resistant to staining. Honed marble is matte and less resistant to staining, but it reduces the problem of etching.
In order to etch marble less, opt for a HONED surface and make sure it is properly sealed so that staining doesn’t occur.
Although marble countertops require sealing, it is not a time-consuming task. The frequency of sealings necessary depends on the amount of use and UV exposure the countertop receives, but they are typically only required every 3-5 years.
The best way to test a countertop for sealing is by setting a glass of ice water on its surface and waiting.
If water droplets form on the surface of the marble when you pick up your glass, it means that the sealant is working.
If you notice a dark ring around your glass on the marble countertop, it definitely needs to be resealed.
One of the clients said, “I adore my marble countertops because they look classic and never go out of style. I love to bake, and so does my family. While traveling in Europe, old bakeries caught my eye because of their lovely Marble counters. Also, when we were shopping for countertops, we found that Marble was less expensive than granite.
I had honed the side up—most people usually want the glossy side, but I decided to be different. Plus, etched designs are in right now. Mine get a lot of use in my kitchen, so I figured from the beginning that I wasn’t going to baby them.”
If you’re on the fence about marble countertops, do your research and decide if their unique beauty is something you can live with!
By following these five tips, you can keep your marble looking like new: find a low-absorption rate material, choose the right finish, wipe up spills immediately, steer clear of harsh chemicals, and ensure it is properly sealed.
If you’re seeking an appearance similar to marble but with less trouble, there are plenty of good-looking quartz possibilities.