Things to Know About — Using Marble for Kitchen Countertops

Marble, particularly white marble, is a very popular choice with today’s designers and consumers. Marble has been used as a work surface for centuries, and will last a lifetime. However, there are characteristics that the consumer should be aware of prior to selecting marble for their countertops:

1.    Marble is a softer stone than granite so it can and will scratch. The typical granite is about 7 on the MOHS (Measure of Hardness Scale), where diamond is 10 and Talc is 1. Steel is a 5, and the typical marble is about 3.5. This means that a knife put on granite will become dull while a knife put on marble will scratch the marble. Scratches can be repaired but it is a costly process and the results are not always perfect.

2.    Marble is a porous material and will stain if not sealed properly. RE Marble & Granite always seals marble with a permanent sealer. This sealer will prevent staining (discoloration) permanently – it will not have to be resealed.

3.    Marble etches if acidic materials come in contact with it – even if it is well sealed. That means if the marble is polished – that shine will be etched away when acid reacts with the calcite in the marble. If you spill a glass of wine or place a glass of lemonade on polished marble, the sealer prevents any discoloration but you will see a ring or ‘puddle’ mark etched in the polish. For this reason, many kitchen applications use a honed marble rather than polished, because etching does not show as much, if at all.

4.    Marble has been used in kitchens for a long, long time and the patina of scratches and etching becomes part of the beauty of the material. However, it should be said that if you want a perfectly polished look for the life of the stone, you should stay away from marble and consider either Quartz or Granite for your kitchen.

5.    Finally, if your stone does get scratched or etched it CAN be repolished. This does take time and money but can be done.