Marble, unlike alternatives to marble (quartzite, granite, schist, sandstone, basalt and engineered stone), will scratch fairly easily (it has relatively low abrasion resistance).Due to its light color and porosity (it has moderate to high porosity), stains from red wine and other highly-pigmented liquids are likely to remain on the surface, especially if the stone is not sealed and/or the surface is not wiped immediately. Removing wine stains from marble is relatively mot easy to accomplish. It will etch when exposed to acidic foods such as lemons or tomatoes. This etching is less apparent on white marble and more apparent on dark marble. Therefore, dark marble is not ideal for kitchen countertops. Etching is also far more apparent on polished than honed surfaces.
NOTE: If you are considering using a polished marble, you may want to use it only on surfaces that do not come in contact with food or drink. Or you may choose to have the marble honed in a fabrication shop. Although steps can be taken to minimize the appearance of these characteristics, these signs of wear will occur on every marble, without exception
HELPFUL TIPS FOR MARBLE
Always seal marble prior to use.
- To reduce the appearance of etching in kitchen countertop applications, choose a honed, white marble with a low-moderate absorption rating.
- To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.
- Always use a neutral detergent to clean marble.
- Always check the abrasion resistance rating. For marble with a lower abrasion resistance rating, expect the material to patina.
- If acid etching is an issue, choose a material with a minimal acid sensitivity rating.
- Expect to see factory-repaired cracks and fissures. The quality of the repair is dependent upon the factory of origin, the fabricator of the stone and the installer.
Marble Countertop PROS
- Beauty – Classic, timeless beauty, and a white brightness not available in granite or soapstone.
• Cool Temperature – Marble is wonderful for working with pastry, since it is naturally cool; it doesn’t conduct heat very well.
• Cost – While some rarer types of marble are very expensive, the more common Carrara (also called Carrera) marble is one of the least expensive natural countertops.
- Widely available – Unlike some quartzes and the hard-to-find quartzite, marble is available from nearly any stone fabricator or stone yard.
Marble Countertop CONS
- Scratching – Marble can scratch easily, especially when touched for a long period of time by something acidic. A slice of lemon laid down on a polished countertop overnight can leave a mark in the shape of the lemon slice, duller than the surface around it.
- Staining – Marble can also stain; red wine and some fruits are infamous for leaving indelible stains on the marble.
My Takeaway So Far: If you are OK with countertops looking a bit scratched up, and developing a patina of use over the years, then marble may be for you. If you want them perfectly glossy all the time, then perhaps not