Master Bathroom Honed Marble Countertops

by Deborah Hudson
(Cumming, GA)


We are planning to purchase white Carrara marble for the countertops in our master bathroom. We are unsure whether to have them honed or not and would like to get some pros/cons and decorating tips on what is most popular (honed vs. non-honed) when using this type of marble in a bathroom.

Thank you for any help you can give us!


The main issue with marble countertops is etching. Etching is corrosion caused by contact with acidic and/or too alkaline products (perfume, mouthwash, common household cleaners).

Etching is like a chemical burn leaving dull and discolored spots on the marble countertop or floor tile.

On honed marble etching is not as noticeable because the marble is already a bit "dull" with a matte finish.

So, the marble is still damaged, but you don't notice it so much. But if etching does become noticeable the best option is to have a professional re-surface the marble although the Removing Etch Marks ebook spells out how you can do it yourself if you don't need it to be "perfect."

Also, honed marble is more prone to staining. A good sealer like these recommended marble & granite sealers will take care of that issue and stains in the bathroom are not too common.

On Polished marble etching is very noticeable, but etch marks can be easily repaired using ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing Paste.

Plus, polished marble is very non-absorbent, nearly stain-proof and typically does not need... in fact cannot absorb a sealer.

Yes, I'm sure you've read how marble "stains easy"... well it's not true.

Marble etches easy and people confuse etching with staining, but these are two completely unrelated issues.

Many people want to put marble countertops in their kitchen, which can be a real maintenance hassle because it is impossible to prevent etching in a kitchen.

Marble countertops or tile in a bathroom is much less a problem since it is exposed to far fewer products that can stain or etch.

I'd go with the polished Carrara marble countertops since the color is more saturated and just looks really nice.

We have it in a pool/guest bath. One etch mark in 7 years that was quickly removed using the paste noted above.

Honed marble was once the standard and very common if put in the kitchen when marble was used because it was durable, easy to work with and plentiful and not as a show piece as it is today.

But as I said, marble in a bathroom is fine and won't be a lot of work to maintain. Although you should use decorative trays and/or shelves to store products on and don't set anything directly on the marble countertop surface.

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