Green Marble Kitchen Countertop

by Barbara
(Stinson Beach, CA)

Green Marble - Serpentine

Green Marble - Serpentine

QUESTION:

We just had a beautiful polished green marble countertop installed in our kitchen.

Obviously I did not do my homework before hand, or we would have chosen to use granite.

After reading your site I would just like to know (even more) the best advice for keeping our countertop as good looking as possible, but not making ourselves crazy in the process.

Plan to use large cutting boards, trivets, wipe spills up quickly, etc. Will hot pots or pans placed on the counter damage it in any way?

Could you recommend the best daily cleaner/method to use, frequency of resealing, anything else we should know?

I would really appreciate your advice.

ANSWER:

Babara, don't fret just yet! You have green marble, which is often a unique sort of marble. There's a chance that your countertops will be just fine for the kitchen.

Really? How?

Well, there's a green stone that is often sold as "marble" because it looks like a marble, but it is actually "serpentine."

Serpentine is very dense and stain-resistant, is NOT sensitive to acids and does NOT etch.

Even if you don't have a true serpentine, most green marbles have some serpentine (a mineral) in them, so they aren't quite as sensitive as most marbles.

How to tell?

To find out what type of "marble" you have and thus learn how to properly care for it, you'll need to test it with lemon juice.

Test on left over pieces, if you have them. Usually your installer will take all these. If you don't have any, call your installer and see if you can get some from your exact slab.

Why test left over pieces? Because you want to test the exact stone that you have and... the test that will tell you what you have may etch the countertop, so don't want to do it on your newly installed marble. In fact, that is what you need to test.... does the stone etch.


If you can't get a sample piece then pick a spot that is not really visible or will be covered by an appliance or something... maybe in a dark corner and test using lemon juice.

If the lemon juice leaves a dull etch mark, you have a sensitive marble. If not, most likely you have serpentine and won't have to worry about acidic foods or etching.

Sealing may not be necessary either, since polished marble/serpentine hardly absorbs a thing and won't take a sealer. Of course, you can test if a sealer is needed using water. Read about it via the link above.

If it does need sealing, then just test every year to determine when/if it needs re-sealing.

If the lemon juice DOES etch, then you'll need to take precautions you've outlined in your question.

I recommend you use only products safe for stone care. The following products would be beneficial:


  • Granite & Marble Cleaning Spray for daily/weekly use...


  • Topical Conditioning Polish for a little extra shine and protection...


  • Marble Polishing Paste... if testing shows your marble countertop is prone to etching this product will help rub out any etch marks you do get.


No... I would not make a practice of setting hot pots on it. 99% of the time hot pots don't present a problem on this stone, but characteristics widely vary with natural stone and cracking from thermal shock is a (rare) possibility. Using a trivet is so simple and common it just makes sense.

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oops?
by: Stacy

I thought I was purchasing green Onyx. I found out we may have a (sort of apple green in color) marble. It is in a shower. We are sealing it. Should we be concerned about green marble in the shower? Should we seal it more often? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Stacy, you don't typically need to seal anything in the shower unless you plan on drinking your coffee or eating spaghetti in there.

The only reason to seal is to retard staining. Not many-if any products you use in the shower will stain... especially with water rinsing it all away.

Also, many green marbles are actually very dense and won't take a sealer. It won't absorb. But if you try to seal it could create a big streaky mess.

So just don't bother. It's a waste of time and trouble in this instance.

Also, sealing does NOTHING to prevent etching (dull spots from contact with acids or alkalines). Now some bath products can etch marble and most generic household cleaning products will too, but the risk is low and again has nothing to do with sealing.

You need to learn what to use to clean it properly. Take a look at our products page and review all the pages on marble on this website.

Good Luck,
Ryan

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