The Good and Bad: Marble Countertops in a Kitchen Remodel

white marble countertop slabs

Marble Countertops Are A Luxury But Are They Worth The Trouble?

Marble has traditionally been the choice of kings gracing the walls of ancient temples and being used to create iconic pieces of art like Michelangelo's David. For thousands of years, marble has been the epitome of luxury, power, and wealth. Today, marble has become one of the most popular choices for countertops gracing kitchens and bathrooms around the world!

With its reputation as the epitome of luxury, marble is one of the most affordable natural stones. Marble can be used as a kitchen or bathroom countertop, flooring or as a backsplash. It can add an element of class and luxury to any home. But is it right for you? Like any natural material, marble has both pros and cons. Let's explore marble to see if it is the right fit for your lifestyle.

Marble Basics

Marble is a metamorphic rock that is a relatively soft stone making it easier to mill, machine and tumble giving it multiple uses in the home. Its beauty lies in its uniqueness. Every slab is different. It comes in a variety of colors and veining patterns.

Marble tile can have an even look or appear less uniform depending upon the species of marble and quality of the stone you choose. At the higher end of the scale, marble has a very even color palette with softer veining making it perfect for kitchen countertops or showers where it is elegant, uniform, soft, and luxurious.The highest quality stone comes from Italy and Greece. Marble from this area of the world tends to hold up better in a wet environment like the bathroom. Marble slabs that features more pronounced veining (usually Calacatta) offers a less uniform look but is especially appealing due to the incredible uniqueness of the veining and patterning within the stone.

The Pros of Marble Countertops

Marble is the most easily recognized of the natural stones. No other material features the expressive veining or elegance that can work in both large and small spaces. It's available in a broad range of colors including beige, white, pink, orange, red, or exotic green.

Marble countertops can fit into any décor and is a natural choice if you want to connect a room like your kitchen to the outdoors. If you love to bake, marble provides the perfect surface for preparing pastries. Its cool surface is perfect for rolling out dough.

In the kitchen, marble brings a level of elegance and sophistication to any décor. It doesn't compete with the other elements of your kitchen, but supports your choices and offers a strong visual appeal. When compared to other natural stone products like granite or soapstone, marble is surprisingly affordable which makes it a sensible option for many homeowners. As it ages, it takes on an attractive patina that is prized by designers when a strong personality is desired.

The Cons of Marble Countertops

Marble is a soft, porous stone which makes it susceptible to staining or etching from acidic liquids like red wine or vinegar. However, with proper care, resealing, and quick cleanups of spills these issues can be minimized. Some marble with extensive veining may contain iron oxides which can “rust” or change color when exposed to water for extended periods making it unsuitable for bathroom flooring or shower surrounds.

Marble comes in two different finishes, polished which is a glossy finish, or “honed” which affords a more natural or matte look. Honed marble may be better in a kitchen as it can hide etching.

You will need to perform periodic maintenance with marble countertops, and there are products, like poultices available that can completely remove stains. To maintain the appearance of your marble countertops, you'll need to use trivets, potholders and cutting boards to prevent damage like scratches and chips. Regular sealing can help to prevent liquids from penetrating and staining the stone, as well as keeping pores closed, preventing them from harboring dangerous bacteria.

The supply of marble is limited, and it's not the most sustainable product. High-quality slabs can be difficult to find and may be expensive. A high-end design-builder will always work with a supplier that has a reputation for providing excellent products.

Marble isn't the right fit for every home or lifestyle, but if you're willing to perform some regular care to keep it looking its best, marble can be a luxurious and versatile option for your home. Whether you use it in the kitchen as a countertop or backsplash, or in the bathroom as flooring or a shower surround, adding the luxurious look of marble to your home can be a perfect choice!

Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.