When it comes to choosing kitchen worktops, classic white marble is still one of the top three choices for many homeowners. It’s a natural material with exceptional variety, depending on which type you select and how the stone is cut.
However, it is not a perfect product. While high-quality marble is stunningly beautiful in so many ways, it still has it set of weaknesses. For instance, it is easily susceptible to acidic elements like vinegar and lemon juice. These acidic liquids can leave dull, whitish marks all over the worktop even after it has been sealed. But then again, as long as you thoughtfully choose the type of marble slab to install, maintain them properly, and know what to expect, they can still be a functional and exquisite choice for your home.
Here are some of the most important things you need to know before purchasing marble worktops:
How Marble Works
Marble is a metamorphic stone that is produced when sediment crystallises under immense pressure or heat to create a hard rock. But then again, marble is not the hardest of these type of stones, making it more porous and sensitive to staining. It is also made out of calcium carbonate, a chemical composition that responds quickly to acids, which lead to scratches on the surface.
These factors are the reason why marble worktops need more maintenance to keep it beautiful and pristine, though some homeowners prefer the aged surface with various stains and scratches that blend into the grey veins over time.
Two Types of Finishes
There are two main types of finish that you can obtain in the market, but we highly recommend to get a “honed” finish as it is easier to maintain than the other.
The Polished Finish – Polished to a glistening exterior, this finish will not stain as quickly, but it can etch and scratch. Polished surfaces are bright and shiny, but they will be worn down in time. If you favour the age-worn look, then better go for a honed finish.
The Honed Finish – This is made by sanding the surface so that it has a smooth, matte finish. Honed marble worktops won’t show marks and scratches as much, but it is more susceptible to staining since the pores are open. The best solution for this is to seal the surface.
How To Clean It
Whether you are trying to get rid of a stain or merely cleaning down the whole worktops, marble is still easy to clean. Just spray warm water and dish soap onto the counter, wipe it dry, and you are good to go. For tougher stains, try mixing warm water and baking soda into a paste and leave it overnight to lift all the stains out. Not so hard, right?
Does It Need To Be Sealed?
Definitely yes. Since honed or “unpolished” marble has open pores, it is crucial to seal the surface if you want to limit stains over time. You should have this task done by a professional at the beginning, and if you want, you can Do-It-Yourself afterwards. There are a lot of tutorials you can get online on how to seal marble worktops without any hassle.
Affordability of Marble Worktops
Just to be clear, not all marble slab is affordable. Your best option for a cost-effective marble worktop is Carrara. Despite coming from Italy, it is one of the inexpensive stones due to its porous nature and greyer colouring. Luxury marble stones, like Calacatta, are brighter with darker veins. Some people don’t like the grey cast, and because it requires careful maintenance, it is never an option for rental homes, making it a slow seller and lower in price.
If you’re planning on a kitchen renovation, you’ll probably be tempted to get one of nature’s finest. However, you should know that marble’s attractive exterior is covering a few little dirty secrets. It’s not all bad, but when it comes to investing on your worktops, you should carefully consider if it suits your needs and daily lifestyle.