should you use marble in the kitchen?
How is it holding up? Do you need to seal marble in the kitchen? How do you seal marble in the kitchen? What is it like living with marble and kids?
WHY I CHOSE MARBLE OVER QUARTZ
I’m sure what everyone wants to know is would I choose marble again? The short answer is yes! But here’s the full story…
I chose marble over quartz for two main reasons: the look and the price.
The beauty, warmth, and character of a natural stone gets me every time.
We began with this island that has a natural stone top (pretty sure it’s marble, but what kind exactly, I don’t know). My husband gave it to me for my birthday after we moved into this home, and I absolutely love it. I also knew that I wanted marble subway tile as a backsplash. So I started collecting marble-look quartz options…
And they all looked fake next to the real marble.
I tried, y’all, really. I brought home probably 20 different samples of quartz from various manufacturers, but they all either looked too pink or too yellow or – most of all – too uniform. They simply didn’t have the natural variety and irregularity of our real marbles. I’ve seen some incredible homes that use all quartz, and it almost looks like real marble, but as soon as I brought in the real stone island and backsplash (which were non-negotiables for me), it began to look fake. And then I priced the difference and realized that in our area, marble was going to save me money.
PROS AND CONS OF MARBLE COUNTERS
First, we need a quick lesson on the different materials for countertops and which material is best for your kitchen. The main benefit of quartz over marble is durability. Quartz is a man-made product that is non-porous (so stains cannot set into the stone) and incredibly durable – basically scratch proof. Granite (the other top countertop material) is not as durable as quartz, but is still more stain and scratch resistant than marble. Marble is porous – allowing oils and stains to seep into the stone – and softer than granite or quartz, allowing scratches and chips. It also is soft enough to allow etching, which simply means that water and acids can leave marks that are barely visible on the surface (usually only seen if looking at the surface from a particular angle). There are obviously other countertop options, as well, such as tile, wood, and laminate, but for today’s purpose, we are going to stick to comparing marble to quartz or granite.
Once I had done my research on all those factors, I still chose marble because I thought the pros (look and price) outweighed the cons. And I can honestly say that I would make the same choice again today. But the cons of marble are not to be ignored:
porous (can stain)
soft (can scratch, chip, and etch)
expensive (more so than wood, laminate, or tile)
DO MARBLE COUNTERS STAIN?
Thankfully, my countertop fabricator recommended an excellent sealer. And I cannot urge you enough to SEAL YOUR MARBLE. I will be sharing more about that soon when I share my tips for caring for marble (UPDATE: here is the post on how to care for marble countertops), but for today I’m just going to say that staining hasn’t been an issue at all. We have spilled wine, tomato sauce, very colorful baby food, coffee, and more (and even left drops overnight or longer), and not a one has made a single colored stain in almost a year and a half. The only thing that has left some marks is oil. I once rolled out cookie dough directly on my kitchen counter. If I had make the cookies immediately and removed them, it probably would have been fine, but I took at least an hour taking pictures (for y’all! ha!) and by the time I removed the dough, there was a grease mark in the stone. I was able to lessen it (more on that to come in my tips for caring for marble post), but it was definitely still visible… for about a week. After a week or so, it disappeared. Seriously. Grease stains will absorb farther and farther into your marble and (often) eventually disappear; it’s kind of amazing. In conclusion, if your marble is sealed well, I don’t think staining is really a major danger.
IS MARBLE TOO SOFT FOR KITCHEN COUNTERS?
The scratching and etching is more of an issue. We have noticed three main causes of scratching: the spots where we opened cans and wine bottles has some circular scratches (and I’ll be sharing more about how to soften those later).
WHY SCRATCHING AND ETCHING ON MARBLE COUNTERS IS NOT A PROBLEM:
I’m a perfectionist. I need things lined up properly and I don’t like even one pillow out of place on the couch… but the scratches and etches on the counters don’t bother me for several reasons. First, you would never see any of them when walking through or even using the space. I have brightened and sharpened this image as I do all my photography, but I have not edited any scratches or marks out of the countertops.