Marble Countertops: The Pros and Cons

Friday, April 7, 2017

Choosing the perfect countertop for your kitchen or bath can be overwhelming. If your heart is set on marble you will discover there are as many naysayers to marble countertops as there are true fans. Despite all the negatives you may encounter the facts support that marble endures the test of time. The decision comes down to choosing what works for your lifestyle and taste!

Marble Pros:

  • Timeless neutral pattern and color
  • Traditional
  • Cleans easily with soap and water
  • Needs surface sealing usually every two years
  • Age and heavy use gives a lovely patina

Marble Cons:

  • Traditional quiet pattern and neutral color
  • Stains and etches easily
  • Must be cleaned immediately to avoid stains
  • Shows wear and tear with the patina of age

Marble Counter tops are a timeless classic in kitchen and baths. Bakers love working on a marble surface especially for pastry and bread making. The timeless aspect is well documented, the elite in Rome used marble for many surfaces and even lowly food stalls and bars in Pompeii were found to have marble countertops. Generally, the marble countertops seen in photos and commercial establishments have been allowed to age and show a lovely patina of heavy use and care.

The biggest concern in choosing marble for your kitchen or bath involves decisions about care and maintenance. Marble is a porous material meaning the surface can absorb stains or etch easily. You must be willing to wipe up stains quickly and use caution with cleaning products to maintain the beauty of marble.

Acids etch this porous stone so spills like lemon juice, tomato sauce, and wine can easily seep into the surface leaving behind dull and dark spots. Etching is the process of removing a surface finish so ignoring acidic spills for any length of time will result in a dulled pattern on your surface. Simply taking the time to wipe away spills when they happen can prevent any lasting damage.

Cleaning Marble is as easy as soap and water! Simply using a mild soap and a soft cloth leaves the surface clean and protected. Avoid commercial cleaners, abrasive sponges and bleach. Even alcohol can cause etching! Marble, much like granite will need to be sealed every two years and your countertop professional at Keystone Granitewerks can recommend the proper sealer.

If you decide that the cool neutrals and timeless beauty of marble is for you then your next decision is choosing between a polished or honed surface.

  • A polished glossy marble surface is slightly more resistant to stains and etching. Etching from acidic foods can dull the glossy shine and in certain light will be more noticeable.
  • A honed surface is more resistant to etching, but bear in mind that a honed finish is more porous so stains may absorb more quickly.

A counter top surface made of marble will last. If you like your surfaces to show the patina of age and wear then you can be much more relaxed about living with marble.
Though it seems like marble is fussy and difficult to care for the reality is actually quite simple. Always clean spills immediately with mild soap and water and make sure you dry with a soft cloth. What could be easier?

Mike S.

Warsaw, IN

I do want you to know that we think you guys are the GREATEST!