Marble Kitchen Countertops: Pros, Cons, Care & Maintenance
Marble is a natural stone millions of years old from limestone family. It is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock. It is a soft and porous stone. It is the most versatile natural stone choice in home decor. It exists in a variety of colors, textures, patterns and designs. It is used to build deities, temples, tombs etc since ancient times but now it is also used as decorative purposes in constructions mainly used on walls as marble wall tiles, elegant tile floors, kitchen countertops, backsplashes, marble bathroom vanities and columns etc and even it is used in making decoration pieces.
Marble kitchen countertops:
Marble is a luxurious surface in any area of the house. it is a beautiful and magnificent option for kitchen countertops. The marble kitchen countertops make a bold and sophisticated look in the kitchen. They look amazing and can bring a sense of elegance and luxury to the room. They can actually add value to the house. Marble kitchen countertops add flourish and ornamentation to the kitchen.
Marble kitchen countertops pros and cons:
Marble is the essence of luxury. It is an undeniably beautiful material that instantly creates a sense of elegance and grace in the room. It is one of the most desirable natural stones. The word “Marble” summons up the images of style and luxury. Below are some of the top pros and cons of marble as the kitchen countertops:
- Elegant and sophisticated option:
Marble has been the stone of choice from castles long ago to commercial applications of the finest quality till now. It has been used for monuments, ballrooms, lobbies, walls, decorative floorings, countertops, backsplashes etc. it is an element of attention and attraction because of its beauty and elegancy. It can blend in or serve as the centerpiece in a room. Marble is an eye catching natural stone available in a variety of different hues, textures and designs.
- Natural stone with beauty:
Marble is a natural stone which is easily recognizable. Marbles are available in a range of colors that are white, beige, gray, exotic green, black and pink etc. Marble has thick and subtle flowing veins in it. Some of its hues give a natural look and beauty as for example, if choosing green color option and value natural building materials, then it will stand out as a natural beauty that connects a room with the nature and outdoors.
- Increases property value if well maintained:
Whether you renovate your house or cared for the marble for years, it will add up to the value of your house because of its good condition. The well maintained marble countertops provide the grand impression to the buyer.
- Marble countertops are unique:
Marble countertops are unique in the true sense as none of them are same because of their veining structural design. The marble countertop is completely organic because of its physical appearance as a natural stone. Nature makes these marbles with unique designs and textures, so you can be sure that your marble countertop is unique and special.
- Easy to work with:
Marble is a soft stone that’s why it is easy to work with. It can be cut, molded and shaped easily with minimal effort.
- Long lasting and durable:
Marble kitchen countertops are long lasting and durable if sealed properly and regularly every one or two years. So if handle with care they can last for a long time. It is best to have low traffic conditions to extend the marble’s life. The marble countertops in family filled kitchens require maintenance to acquire its long life and durability.
- Heat resistant:
Marble kitchen countertops are heat resistant. As they are heat resistant, one can rely on marble countertops for baking to stay as icy as central air. This is a good quality of marble but one should need to be careful. Despite its ability to withstand high temperatures, one should never place hot pots direct on marble. Always use a pot holder for this purpose to avoid the risk of discoloration and burning of the marble surface.
Marble is available everywhere unlike other natural stones. It is easily available all around the world.
- Softer stone than other natural stones:
Marble is a porous and softer stone than other natural stones like granite etc. This makes it more susceptible to staining and etching. However, the finish choices and proper care and maintenance make marble look like as it is installed today even after several years. Some finish choices like honed finish can help to disguise etching rather than polished finish.
- High maintenance and care:
Marble kitchen countertops require proper care and maintenance. Marble is a porous natural stone so a proper sealing is required to protect it and its beauty. Avoid making acidic foods on marble as well as use non-acidic cleaners to clean the marble countertops. Use cutting boards, pot holders and trivets etc to avoid scratches, burns and other damages. Regular sealing is required annually or after two years to protect the marble from damage.
- Marble isnt the perfect option for every home:
As a lot of maintenance is required for marble kitchen countertops to keep them look new and beautiful. Moderate to high maintenance is required for them. The care involves in it is regular and proper sealing which is required annually to avoid staining and etching, avoiding acids and acidic materials to avoid damage and wiping up spills immediately to avoid staining. As well as it is an expensive natural stone that’s why it’s not affordable for everyone.
Marble is a perfect example of luxury and luxury is never cheap. There is an option available in here that you have to compromise on the quality. As marble is available in a vast variety of colors, textures and designs so it’s also available in a wide range of quality and prices. The relatively affordable option for marble can depend on the quality compromise but the purely smooth marble stuff that sparkles and shimmers can be prohibitively expensive. Installation of marble can be expensive as well as it can’t be done by oneself to avoid any damages and injuries. A labor is required to install marble.
- Marble is heavy:
Marble is a very heavy stone. You can’t think of installing marble countertops on your own otherwise you can injure yourself or damage the marble. If you still want to DIY then opt for marble tiles rather than slabs. Leave the slabs to the professionals. If you are opting for the tiles then calculate the marble’s weight and to make sure before installing them that your counter is durable and strong enough to support it.
- Stains on marble countertops:
One of the drawbacks of marble is that it is a porous stone so it can absorb liquids and spills easily. This may result in staining which makes the marble ugly and unattractive. Fortunately, there are solutions to protect the marble kitchen countertops from staining that include stain removal, refinishing, cleaning and polishing.
Marble is a soft and delicate stone. It should be handled with care. Never drop something sharp or heavy on marble kitchen countertops otherwise the object may damage the marble. It can be cracked, nicked or scratched from such carelessness which makes you feel bad.
- Marble countertops degrade over time:
Marble, like other natural stones, degrades over time. With the passage of time, it may break or show the signs of wear and tear on it. If you are not careful enough about marble and its maintenance then the degradation process may occur early. With regular cleaning, caring and maintenance you can minimize the degradation process of marble countertops.
Care and maintenance tips and guidelines:
As marble is a beautiful and durable natural stone, it requires extra care and maintenance to keep its natural beauty for a long period of time. It is composed of calcium carbonate that’s why it is susceptible to scratching and etching with acids and other harsh materials. It is also a soft and porous stone which result in scratching, nicking, cracks, staining and even dulling the stone and its shine. Here people make mistakes and ruin the look of their marble kitchen countertops. They treat them like other materials however marble is something special and valuable and requires different cleaning materials and methods. So here are some maintenance tips for the marble kitchen countertops:
- Get to know your marble:
Before doing any experiment of cleaning the marble kitchen countertop, it’s better to know your marble first. It is an impression that marble is a hard substance but the truth is just the opposite. Unlike granite, it is a soft natural stone that can be susceptible to nicks and stains. That’s why it needs a proper care and maintenance. When it comes to stains and nicks, don’t get fret over cleaning materials and techniques, just get to know your marble better. This will help you to realize that the cleaning and maintenance of marble countertop are not simple and how to deal with them.
- Seal marble countertops:
Marble is a porous stone that means the liquids and spills can easily penetrate into it. So it needs to be sealed properly and regularly. Sealers help to seal the pores of the marble to prevent the liquids to be absorbed into it. Sealing repels the staining agents but doesn’t make the marble stain proof. Sealing is important for the care and maintenance of the marble and the sealers are inexpensive and can be easily available in the market.
- Clean the spills as quickly as possible:
Marble is a fantastic and magnificent material and it is made with carbonates that react with acids very easily. So if you drop any citrus juices or any liquids then clean them immediately otherwise they penetrate into the stone and may stain it permanently.
One of the simplest solutions is to keep a soft cloth handy in your kitchen which in case of any spills on the countertop surface can be cleaned immediately and easily. Wipe it away as soon as possible. Never wait to clean the spill until you are done cooking and eating. In this case, it will not leave a permanent mark or stain on the marble countertop surface.
- Don’t use acid based cleaners:
For cleaning the marble never use acid or citrus based cleaners like vinegar and lemon etc to clean them. This is one of the basic and easiest way to damage your marble countertops. People usually use such cleaners to clean their kitchen marble countertops daily without realizing that they are damaging their countertop’s beauty and shine with every clean.
The cleaning, with these acid-based cleaners, results in the etching and cracking of the stone. As the passage of time, due to the use of these cleaners, the marble deteriorates and is no longer smooth and shiny.
- Clean with warm water and soap:
Use mild soapy solution for the cleaning of the countertops, if you want them to maintain their shine and beauty. Clean in gentle and straight motions. Marble isn’t hard to clean so neither you need any special cleaner to clean it nor any extra effort is required.
Many of the cleaners are usually made extra strong to work with on marble countertops. Just add a bit of soap to warm water and use a clean soft cloth to wipe away all the spots. Use another cloth to wipe away the soap and it’s done.
- Spot treat:
To remove stubborn stains use a poultice paste. Spread it on the stain, then cover with plastic wrap sealed with painter’s tape. Once its dry (it will take up to twelve to twenty-four hours), scrap the paste and wipe off with a damp cloth. For deep-set stains apply the paste twice.
How to protect marble kitchen countertops from damages:
If you want to protect and maintain your kitchen marble countertops then here are some quick tips for their protection and maintenance:
If you want your marble countertops to shine brightly under the light, then you need to polish them. Instead of using wax, buy an all-natural marble polish. Before polishing, clean the marble first and remove any type of stains if present. Be sure to remove the stains and the surface should be completely dry before polishing the marble. Now polish your countertops by using a soft cloth or sponge. Wait at least one hour before rinsing and drying the counters.
- Sand out imperfections:
If there is an imperfection in the marble countertop like the scratch etc, then use a coarse grit sandpaper and gently buffing out the scratch. Call the professionals for the bigger damage.
- Use coasters, trivets and pot holders:
Coasters, trivets and pot holders are always handy and a smart choice. Use them on the countertops to avoid any water stains, burns and damages from water rings, beverages and hot pans and pots etc.
Things that can harm marble countertops:
One important step to protect and maintain the beauty and elegancy of the marble kitchen countertops is to know the things and materials which can harm them. By avoiding the following things you can protect and maintain your marble countertops:
- Hot items:
Never place hot pans and pots or other hot items like curling and flat irons etc direct on the marble countertops. They can scratch and discolor the marble and after some time it will become dull and lose its beauty.
- Citric acids:
Never ever use citric acids like vinegar and lemon etc on marble countertops for cleaning. These type of cleaners can etch the marble so avoid using them.
Some people like to wax their marble countertops to add polish and shine to the marble. Avoid it because wax can actually discolor the marble.
- Items that can scratch the counter surface:
As marble is a porous stone, so it can be susceptible to scratches. This will leave an unpleasant and unattractive appearance of the marble. So avoid leaving any hair pins, nails, scissors, knives etc on the marble countertops to prevent it from damage. Always use a cutting board on the countertops to avoid scratches as well.