My Experience Of Living With Marble Countertops: One Year Later
I found that some of the staining that happened before the countertops were sealed faded significantly; the marble seems to absorb and diminish stains over time. Unfortunately, you’ll need to repeat the sealing process (you can do this yourself, with a quality sealant) every six months if you’re a frequent cook. Considering marble’s multifaceted ability to work with so many different design styles, it makes sense that it’s trending right now. We could get into the geology of this, but the takeaway is that marble is vulnerable to staining agents (like wine, juice and oil) that seep deep into the rock. Considering marble’s multifaceted ability to work with so many different design styles, it makes sense that it’s trending right now. Despite its ability to withstand high temps, you never want to place a piping hot pot on marble (or granite or quartz for that matter! What’s more, laminate can be cut into pretty much any shape and a huge variety of edge details. Warm water and dish soap sprayed onto the counter works perfectly and, for stains, mixing baking soda and water into a paste and leaving overnight lifts stains out. So if you think the etching will bother you, then get a man-made product like quartz, or granite, which is pretty much impervious to staining and etching. So make sure you do the acid test on a piece of quartzite–if it etches, it’s probably marble. Yes, everyone from the contractor, the designer, the fabricator warned me about the marble. You can’t stop stains on marble they are bound to happen (think of it as patina) but if she is okay with seeing that red wine stain from the time so-and-so did this, then she should go for it. I did not like it for a couple of reasons – the reflection was distracting and showed every spill and water spot. Italian – they don’t have the big veining, rather they are softer looking, more like ripples. The theory is that if you have a family and you really cook in your kitchen than this is not the option to go with. A great designer once told me that the best answer in these situations is to tell people to “buy what you love and know and live with its limitations”. It’s a stone you need to go in eyes wind open with just like with the soapstone in my own kitchen. The marble was never going to be as flashy as the cabs, and the etches are more glaring when contrasted with all the mirror-like shininess elsewhere. She loves the color and heft of the marble but wouldn’t make the mistake of a polished finish again. Undo vrjames zeebee, your friend’s island can be honed in place for a reasonable fee and would eliminate the etch spots glaring at you every time you walk in the kitchen. If you decide to take the counters out, could you repurppose the marble and have it installed as backsplach? Anyhow – if you’re the type who puts hot pans directly on your counters now, then consider that and maybe do marble in some areas and stainless or something beside the range. If you could see the reflection like a mirror to an outside window (without being in an unnatural position), probably not a good choice. By the way, if you are looking for excellent cleaning products for natural stone, this page is full of them. Problem is, when you’re looking at most new urban condos, they are all chock-full of marble finishes these days. I lived in a 10×10 room with my husband and two cats for 7 months while it was being remodeled. My husband, who is a little bit anal, tried so hard at first to keep the marble from etching, but he eventually just gave up. So, from the stone people’s standpoint and the designer, the liability is pretty hefty. I thought it would also be a good idea to present alternatives for those who need to have every hair in place at all times. Zodiac colors were okay but looked like that took a white background and stamped the veining right on top of it. We have left everything from tomato sauce to red wine on it over night (spots that we missed cleaning up) and it hasn’t ever developed a stain that lasted longer than a couple days. You probably have a software program for professional designers that is meant specifically for this sort of thing. And we’ve always done some kind of natural stone – honed black granite, oiled soapstone, plain soapstone, granite once or twice because the client wanted cherry. Some people feel very strongly about being able to put hot things down without having to worry about wrecking the counters. I have dubbed the marble our “drama queen” who “freaks out” (etches) if my husband walks into that bathroom. No one can tell it is not the “real” thing, not even two architects who came over last month. Don’t get me wrong, the kitchen does not look bad — when everything is clean and the counters are cleared off, it’s a wonderful kitchen. Plus it’s a more stable product, particularly in climates that are moist or have substantial temperature differentials where a lot of shrinking and expanding goes on. If you put in honed marble, you really take care of the etching problem, because its basically already etched. I did find a product that does cover the stone, but it sounds about as appealing as putting plastic slipcovers on upholstered furniture! Do you obsess over paint chips and paint samples so much that your walls are splotched and spotted for months? The next day we put a sheet pan down on the counter and left a large rust spot underneath. I also discovered how to lift up small beginnings of stains with a poultice made of baking soda and water, mixed into a paste and left on the countertop overnight. If you walk into my kitchen in the middle of a big cooking project you’ll see dirty pots all over the countertop, cutting boards slathered with tomato juice, and a pile of fruit sitting in the corner. Honing your marble — a process that results in a matte, less polished effect – might make etching less noticeable, but won’t stop it from happening, unfortunately. The stone is also heat-resistant, making it a good option if your kitchen sees a lot of bake-offs. Honing your marble — a process that results in a matte, less polished effect – might make etching less noticeable, but won’t stop it from happening, unfortunately. If you’re baking in the middle of a heat wave, you can rely on marble countertops to stay as icy as central air. Two of the most popular choices for countertops right now are marble and butcher block, both of which require quite a bit of maintenance. Due to all this, marble requires some maintenance to keep it pristine, though many prefer the gradually aged surface with etches and stains that blend into the grey veins over time. My main kitchen sink was located on the perimeter of my kitchen with the marble countertops. Since you work in a kitchen design firm, you probably know that you need to be very careful if you purchase quartzite–many stone yards mislabel marble and call it quartzite. I have quartzite and it doesn’t etch like permanent glass rings or splotches from acidic spills, but the look of it does change over time, especially in areas where it looks like a vein of some slightly different colored stone runs through it. Does she want a brand new looking kitchen forever or does she want it to age with her and her family. It is a beautiful material so there is no right or wrong it just depends on her personality. I had very little problems with staining (and stains can be buffed out) but a ton of problems with etching. We spoke with 4 separate kitchen designers, and friends with them currently in their kitchens. I didn’t want to worry about scratching, staining or even chipping in some cases, so we are going with a very light granite. I found a great link to someone who did extensive testing on marble samples to see how it held up. I would never polished marble as a kitchen counter, because that’s just asking for a nervous breakdown. With the sun on it, every etched area stands out and looks like a flaw – as if the polisher missed a spot. But you’re not going to be able to carefully select the perfect, beautiful pattern of wine stains and lemon etches and pan scratches and perfect circles from the bottom of a wet can of peeled tomatoes. It’s how easily they scratch and have these bright white ding marks that is driving me crazy! Yes, we put a small chip in ours around the perimeter of the sink, and have etched it here and there (diner style vinegar bottle square perfectly etched – visible at certain angles but not most). I am making a bigger effort to keep them cleared and wiped up, etc (in case something lingers to stain or etch it). The etching causes the marble to appear to be a different color when the light hits it a certain way. I won’t stop cooking with citrus for the sake of a countertop, but will embrace the notion of a living surface! I would rather buy a place that needs work, rip everything out and put in my own finishes than buy new with marble. I poured everything into it…alas, my bedroom en-suite is with custom binnds in now a playroom for someone children…so sad. Something a contractor said helped us so much: he said that marble (and brass, which we used for our faucet and cabinet hardware) are living finishes, meaning that they will change over time. And the folks who are messy and wash their hair infrequently or never lol can have marble! And the veins are all the same – there’s no effort to use different colors or shading. I agonized for months over the decision, but in the end, nothing had the life that the marble has. We put white macaubus quartzite countertops in the kitchen–tight budget but it was well worth the splurge. There is only 2 other cabinetry folks around here that have attempted to use it besides us. I can offer is if you have a link to the image, like if you’ve put it on pinterest or facebook, or something like that, it would work. There is one other thing that you can do if you want marble countertops without the maintenance. I think for quartz to work, it is also better if it is honed or matte or whatever they call it. Over time, the scratches flow one into the other, and almost form a uniform “worked-on” surface. To see you’ve given quartz your ‘blessing’ as an alternative confirms my decision – quartz it will be. When the quite expensive fixture arrived for the garage it had too much “patina” on it and looked like it was almost painted. You can only seal something so much and it costs to have the marble guy at your house all of the time. The marble was really lovely, but there was invariabley a frisson of fear that my sealing was not perfect and that wine and tomato juice spills would ruin it.
I found that some of the staining that happened before the countertops were sealed faded significantly; the marble seems to absorb and diminish stains over time. Unfortunately, you'll need to repeat the sealing process (you can do this yourself, with a quality sealant) every six months if you're a...Subscriber Stone Restoration Blog