Shopping for countertops made from natural stones can feel overwhelming. There are plenty of options to choose from, with granite and marble being the two most popular materials. Both stones have plenty of benefits but marble is known for offering a truly classic and sophisticated look in your home.
Marble is created through a natural process in the Earth’s crust. It is a metamorphic and porous rock that is formed out of limestone after enduring intense pressure and heat. Because of this unique process, no slab of marble looks the same. Each piece offers a distinctive and unique design.
While granite can come in a wide variety of colors, marble usually comes in black, white, blue, pink, and grey patterns. There are two different types of marble; carrera and calcutta. Carrera is a white or blue-gray marble. Calcutta’s design is white in color. You can also occasionally find slabs of green marble as well.
This is made with serpentine. Some marble can also darken over time. Marble has a classic and elegant design that will match any kitchen decor. You should personally visit a showroom or stone yard to find the perfect design for your home. Experts suggest picking slabs of marble like you are picking works of art to hang inside your home.
Marble is one of the most durable materials available. But once your countertops are installed, you’ll need to make sure the counters are properly sealed. This should be completed after installation. Sauces, wines, oils, and grease can easily stain the porous stone. Some stains can be cleaned up but it is easier to seal and protect the stone from the beginning. Avoid using wax on your countertops as it could discolor the marble.
Once your countertops are sealed, it’ll be easy to keep your counters clean. You’ll need to reseal your countertop every few years. There are products you can use to seal the counters yourself or you can hire a professional. It’s important to remember to wipe down your countertops after cooking and serving meals. Try to avoid spills, especially from liquids like coffee, lemon juice, or anything acidic. All you need is a little soap, warm water, and a cleaning cloth. Just make sure your soaps and cleaning materials do not contain acid.
Like granite, you can choose from several different finishes for your marble countertops. Polished marble offers a smooth and glossy finish. This option reflects more light and offers a brilliant finish but is more prone to scratches. Honed marble is less reflective and offers a “rough” look.
It’s easier to hide scratches and chips in honed marble but it’s more likely to become stained overtime. Both options will have to be properly sealed. Green marble does not scratch as easily as traditional marble but can chip after extended exposure to water. Even white marble can stain under standing water.
Artists have used marble to sculpt with for thousands of years. The material is sturdy but works well with tools. Once you have selected your preferred slab of marble, you could hire an artist to etch a design in your countertops. You have lots of opportunities to make your stones creative and your own personal design.
Professional chefs have preferred marble countertops for decades. The material is heat-resistant and stays cooler for longer periods of time. This makes it easier to roll out dough and prepare meals. You’ll also want to be aware of hot pans or dishes.
While the material won’t burn or burst into flames, it’s best to use a pot holder, coasters, or kitchen towels to protect the counter. Hot pans can also lead to discoloration or even scorch the material. Marble countertops are also beautiful in your bathroom. The same rules apply here. Keep the counters clean and keep acidic liquids out of reach.
While marble is one of the more expensive options available, there are plenty of benefits to adding marble countertops to your home. Marble has been used to build homes for centuries and is known as a sturdy, durable material. If you take proper care of your marble countertops, they will last a lifetime and age like a fine wine. If you are looking to sell your home in the future, marble countertops can increase your resale value.
Installation could also increase or decrease your final building costs. You can choose between slabs, tiles, or different thickness in materials. Traditional marble slabs usually range between three-quarter inch to an inch in thickness. If you are looking to save money on materials, marble tiles are a more affordable option compared to marble slabs.
Pricing also depends on where the marble is sourced from. For example, carrera marble is a more affordable stone and is readily available. Different patterns vary in prices and the complexity of the job will also interfere with the final cost. There are many factors that can interfere with pricing on marble countertops. It’s important to get several quotes before making a final decision on your contractor.
Decomposing granite found in the soil has been linked to radon gas emissions. While there is no evidence that slabs of granite countertops emit radon, the gas has not connected to slabs of marble. If you are ever concerned about the possibility of your counters emitting radon gas in your home, you can purchase a test kit to give you a peace of mind.
Both granite and marble are not easy to repair. Some chips in your marble can be repaired by professionals. There are also tutorials online to make these repairs yourself. But it is easier to take the time and effort to take care of your stone countertops rather than pay someone to come in and make repairs.
Some stains can be removed with baking soda, water, and persistence. Just make sure to be careful and take preventive measures with your investment. For a more in-depth guide on marble, you can always check out Mr. Stone.
You’ll have to put in more day-to-day maintenance with marble countertops. You can’t avoid a dirty kitchen or bathroom after installing these gorgeous countertops. But the elegant look of these beautiful stones are well worth the extra effort.