Marble is commonly used in low-traffic areas like powder rooms but isn’t as well known as a material for kitchen counters. Despite the popular opinion that marble is too high maintenance for a busy kitchen, this natural stone is at its best when it’s on display over a large kitchen island.
The dramatic swirls and veins in marble add an elegant and timeless feel to any room. But is it practical to use this natural stone as a countertop in a high-traffic kitchen? This might surprise you. Here’s everything you need to know about marble countertops, including maintenance recommendations and their best uses.
History of Marble
Few natural stones can bear as much weight as marble. This makes it an ideal building material. The reason for marble’s extreme weight tolerance and durability goes back to how it was formed. It’s a metamorphic rock, meaning it forms over thousands of years of being subject to immense heat and pressure.
Think of all the marble structures that have been around for centuries: the Taj Mahal, the Statue of David, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Parthenon. Like many of these masterpieces, the Parthenon was made around 450 BC.
Considering that these marble structures have been around for that long, it’s hard to imagine that marble wouldn’t make a very durable countertop.
Modern architecture still uses marble, but the use of the stone has expanded to countertops, benches, paving stones, and interior design elements. It is even used for flooring in some buildings. The beauty and durability of marble slabs make them popular for a wide variety of uses.
Marble Counters Require More Maintenance
It would make sense for marble to be a low-maintenance countertop since it’s so durable and long-lasting. But that’s not quite the case. There are many types of countertops that require less maintenance than marble. Quartz is one of the easiest natural stone countertops to maintain, and granite is relatively low-maintenance.
The reason marble kitchen counters take more maintenance than other types of countertops boils down to how porous it is as a natural stone. Marble is known for soaking up stains and spills quickly, making them extremely difficult to remove. Sealing marble counters can help protect against staining, but even sealed countertops need to be watched closely for spills.
Types of Marble Sealant
There are two primary types of marble sealant: topical and penetrating. They each have their benefits, but most marble suppliers recommend penetrating sealants. Here’s a look at both types of sealants that can help protect marble slabs.
This type of sealant coats the entire surface of the stone to prevent etching and staining. It’s fairly effective, but it doesn’t offer protection against scratching or heat damage. It also needs to be applied more frequently than a penetrating sealant.
One major downside that keeps many people from using topical sealants is that it alters the physical appearance of the marble.
Penetrating sealants soak deep into the surface of the marble slab to help prevent liquids from seeping into the stone. This helps with resistance to moisture and most stains, but acidic liquids like lemon juice and tomato sauce can still make their way through the sealant to etch the stone.
Tips for Maintaining Marble Counters
Don’t let the fear of maintaining marble counters keep you from enjoying the beauty and luxury that they have to offer! Follow these few simple maintenance tips, and you’ll be a marble expert in no time.
- Clean marble counters regularly with mild soap. There’s no single cleaner that’s best for marble, but any mild soap is sufficient. Use a soft cloth and warm soapy water to wipe down your countertops regularly.
Avoid harsh cleaners with chemicals or abrasive substances at all costs! The last thing you want is to scratch your stunning countertops while you’re trying to clean them.
- Don’t let spills stay on marble counters. Marble is very porous and prone to staining, so spills should be wiped up immediately. Take extra care to clean spills from acidic liquids and dark substances immediately.
Coffee, tomato sauce, and oil are some of the most frequent culprits of marble stains. Cleaning spills promptly will stop the stain in its tracks and allow the marble to maintain its natural beauty.
- Use a cutting board. As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventing stains and spills is a must for those with marble counters. Always use a cutting board during food prep and protect those countertops whenever possible. Stopping spills before they can reach your countertop is the key!
- Reseal your countertops annually. Follow your marble supplier’s recommendations when it comes to sealing. Annual applications are typically suggested for penetrating sealants, while topical sealants require more frequent application. Resealing your marble regularly will help keep your countertops in tip-top shape.
So, Is Marble Good For Kitchen Counters?
We think marble is a great option for kitchen counters as long as you’re up for a little extra maintenance and cleaning. It’s luxurious and beautiful, and marble counters instantly boost the visual appeal of any space. All in all, marble counters are a great choice.
Get Quality Marble Countertops at Granite 4 Less
Marble countertops are an easy way to upgrade your space to a beautiful and luxurious escape, and Granite 4 Less is here to help you achieve those results without breaking the bank.
Our skilled and knowledgeable team can guide you throughout the marble slab selection process and help you find the kitchen counters of your dreams. Can’t find a marble slab that you like? That’s not a problem! We offer several other types of countertops, including granite and quartz.
We’re proud to be a trusted provider of high-quality stone countertops to homes and businesses in the Salt Lake City area. We’re ready and available to answer any questions you may have about upgrading your countertops. Contact our team today to learn more.