“I have clients who have requested the beauty and elegance of marble countertops in their kitchen, and I make sure my clients understand the character of the patina that will develop over the years of use in the kitchen,” says interior designer Carol Ellis, Interior Designer and owner of Ellis Design Group, LLC in Eugene, Oregon.
Marble has an inherent elegance and timelessness and Carrara Marble has been used for kitchen and bar countertops in residential and commercial environments in Europe for centuries. It adds a dressiness to the kitchen and is brilliantly white, to luscious cream to rich colors of burgundy, brown, green and gray, to name a few! “The option of marble has a very classic look and for countertops it is one of the less expensive choices in natural, solid surface and easy to clean countertop materials, and depending on the grade and quality of the marble, it can be less expensive than granite, quartz and stainless steel.”
So does Carol steer her clients away from using it in their new or remodeled kitchen? “Marble is a softer and more porous stone then the nearly indestructible granite, and so it can etch, scratch and stain where granite usually will not.” She usually recommends that marble be used in the master, guest and powder bathrooms where there are no heavy and abrasive pots and pans, no acidic foods and juices and there is a reduced use of the surface.
“I too love the look of marble in the kitchen and while traveling through the United Kingdom I enjoyed seeing Carrara marble (which is the most widely used stone material for kitchen counters) with its aged patina, as I toured the interiors of residential kitchens and bathrooms, and hotels, restaurants, schools and cathedrals. There are Pros and Cons to using marble in your new or remodeled kitchen and ultimately the decision is yours based on whether you can tolerate and enjoy the characteristics that will patina into your stone.”
Carol Reviews Marble Countertop “PROS”
• Timeless – Marble is classic and timeless and has been utilized throughout for centuries reflecting the character of the many cultures worldwide. From old world to the modern, its application has gone without trend.
• Beauty – Marble is rich in character and color. For example, Carrara marble from Italy which is typically sought after for kitchen countertops has a crisp white brightness that is not available in granite or soapstone.
• Cool Temperature – Marble is naturally cool and it does not conduct heat very well, so it is a wonderful surface for working with pastries, dough’s and kneading bread.
• Cost – Marble is one of the least expensive natural and solid surface countertops. Some of the rarer types of marble are very expensive, the more common Carrara marble commonly requested for kitchen use, is often one of the least expensive.
• Widely available – Because Carrara marble is more available then the more uncommon rarer, hard to find types of marble, it is available from nearly any stone fabricator or stone yard.
• Softness – The softness does have its advantages, marble can be honed or polished in place to remove minor issues. The harder surfaces of granite do not have this option or flexibility.
Carol Reviews Marble Countertop “CONS”
• Etching – Wine, juices, vinegars, vegetables & fruits, etc. all have enough acid to etch your marble if left for more than a couple of hours. For example, a mark in the shape of a lemon slice, duller then the surface around it, will be left on the countertop if a slice of lemon is laid down on the polished countertop overnight. Sealing helps, but nothing will prevent this but keeping acids off your counters.
• Scratching – Pots with rough bottom surfaces dragged over the marble countertop can scratch the surface. Opening a bottle of wine without putting a towel under it can leave a circular scratch on your counters. And unlike granite which is so hard it can only be cut and manufactured with a diamond blade and diamond routers, marble is a much softer material so you must always use a cutting board when cutting and prepping your foods.
• Chipping – Marble may be susceptible to impact damage. Chipping around sink edges where large pots come in contact with the edges can be an issue.
• Staining – Marble can also stain, red wine and some fruits are infamous for leaving indelible stains on the marble.
So, in answer to the question, Is it a crazy idea to put marble on my kitchen counters? “The answer is NO, if you are OK with countertops looking a bit scratched up, and developing a patina of use over the years. The answer is NO, if you live in an older historic home or are trying to create the look of age or a historic feeling.” Carol also recommends trying to find an environment where marble has been installed for several years so that you can see if you like to look of the patina.
If you don’t like the patina of marble, she recommends checking out honed granite countertops with the more matte, less shiny finish that comes from abrading the stone which can be much more kitchen-friendly. If you want your countertops perfectly glossy all the time, then perhaps you should seek out other options such a polished granite.
Carol Ellis, Interior Designer and Kitchen and Bath Designer assists homeowners to create fabulous interior and exterior living and entertaining environments that reflect their personality in the style and color choices for their home! She provides innovative and unique interior design solutions for your residential and commercial interior design challenges.
“Creating a stylish home shouldn’t be stressful! Please contact Carol at 541-556-7620 to discuss your kitchen or bathroom new home or remodeling project and how we can help you save time, reduce stress and create a home you love!”