Marble is an elegant natural stone rich with beauty. A truly unique look and feel. Images of extravagance and wealth come to mind. It’s been used for centuries in palaces, temples, and for sculptures. It can be formal or casual. The surface of the stone can be polished or honed for a more formal look.
Marble is one of the oldest architectural and decorative materials. In many cases, the statues and buildings made of marble far outlasted the ancient cultures that built them. It has been valued for thousands of years for its rich palette of beautiful colors and appearance and is perfect, pretty much anywhere in the house.
Marble Offers Unique Elegance
Marble is the material of choice when a touch of refinement and distinction is desired. Marble counters offer a natural, luxurious appearance no other material can offer, apart from its sister-material quartzite.
There is a Wide Range of Options
Marble is available in a wide spectrum of colors. White marble countertops show very little color, though many have appealing swirls and veins of off-white, rose or gray. The base color for marble can also be off-white, gray, rose, light green and other hues. The veining and speckling include whites, grays, roses, greens, blues, reds, blacks. Due to the wide variety within the stone, every marble countertop is a one-of-a-kind creation.
With the variability in appearance and character they present, you’ll enjoy shopping for marble kitchen or bathroom counters that help you achieve your design scheme while blending with the other bathroom or kitchen remodeling components.
Marble Countertops a Make Great Accents
If you find that doing the entire kitchen in marble costs more than you want to spend, you’ve got other options. A marble countertop on an island can be a dramatic complement to more affordable wood, laminate or solid surface countertops. It can also be used on a wet bar, around a prep sink or anywhere else it would deliver a distinctively gorgeous accent.
Marble is a Softer Stone
Most marble has low abrasion resistance. Compared to granite, marble is a much a softer stone. It should not be cut on because it will scratch easily. But, it’s not as soft as soapstone.
Dolomite marble is much denser and less prone to scratching. It will patina over time and may need to be restored if you do not like the patina.
Household Acids Will Etch Marble
Highly acidic substances such as orange juice, coffee and wine will also etch acid marble and leave a dull mark. The acid etching occurs due to a chemical reaction between the acid and Calcium carbonate, which is the main component of most marbles. Marbles etch to a varying degree – dolomites etch only slightly. Etching is more apparent on dark marbles and on polished surface marbles. A good sealer, and immediate mopping of spilled liquid can protect your marble countertop for a long time.
Pigmented Liquids May Stain your Marble
Marble is relative porous and needs to be sealed to protect the surface from accidental spills. Marbles have varying degree of porosity depending, dolomite being the least porous. If left unsealed, spills and everyday messes can easily penetrate the surface. The liquid eventually evaporates but the stain is left behind. Marble require frequent resealing to maintain the surface and accidental spill need to be tended to in a timely manner.
Having the countertops sealed correctly is vitally important. When they are sealed according to the manufacturer’s specifications, they resist staining from juice, wine, oil, nail polish and polish remover. They won’t harbor bacteria in the pores of the marble and can be cleaned up with mild soap and warm water. If stains form over the long run, Marble is easy to restore.
Marble prices are all over the range. There are relatively inexpensive marbles, but they are usually extremely soft and porous and not suited for kitchen countertops. The most durable marble option for the kitchen is the white mined in the Carrara area of Italy – Calacata, Statuary and Carrara. While the last one may still be reasonably priced, the first two are extremely expensive. Dolomite marbles are usually more expensive that traditional Ca Carbonate marbles.
Marble vs Other Stones
This is a personal decision taking into consideration the aesthetics of the stone and your tolerance to maintenance. Marble is more delicate natural stone when compared to granite, but many people prefer marble, for its veiny exotic look and lack of grains. However, marble will scratch, etch and stain. If you absolutely love the marblesque look but would like to avoid the care and maintenance issues associated with marble – we have the following recommendations:
- Use quartzite, which has the aesthetic look marble but qualities of granite
- Use dolomite marble, which will scratch, etch and stain to a much lesser degree of the typical Calcium Carbonate marble.
- Finally, you may use to quartz or porcelain, which have the marble look coupled with superior performance – White Marble and its Alternatives.
Marble is being mined from more places than ever, and this means your options for color and variety have never been better. If you want to craft an elegant, upmarket look in your home, marble countertops are an ideal choice.
Please note that the information on this page is a general summary of industry-accepted standards and tips regarding natural stone considerations, applications and care. We have compiled this information to help you in your stone selection and care. MGSI is not involved in geological testing and has no formal proof of the information presented in the article and relies on industry wide information and standards. MGSI will not be responsible for any direct or indirect claims and damages, resulting from the improper application and/or interpretation of this information. Please note that natural stone varies substantially. Ask your stone specialist what works best for your project