White Carrara Marble Kitchen Countertops

by Sandi

QUESTION:

I am considering using Carrara marble for kitchen countertops in the condo I am currently having built - is this product going to be really high maintenance? Thank you.


ANSWER:

Ha Ha... I get this question about once a week. Everyone loves Carrara marble and wants it in their kitchen.

Will it be really high maintenance?

The short answer is... Yes.

Compared to granite or quartz countertops, marble maintenance requires more time and effort, thus marble countertops in the kitchen usually become a source of frustration rather than enjoyment for most homeowners.

Here's why:

Marble is a calcitic stone. Calcite based stones (like marble, travertine, limestone, slate) will corrode and "etch" upon contact with acidic foods, drinks and from too caustic cleaning products (which are most of the common cleaners people use).

Etching is the most common question about cleaning marble and the major marble maintenance issue.

Etching creates dull and discolored spots often called "glass-rings" or "water-spots" because they look like a ghost stain.

Staining (substances absorbing) is not much a problem. Marble is dense and not very porous despite what you may have read. People mistake etch marks for stains and assume marble stains easy... it doesn't. Yes, it can happen as with most stone and even quartz, but not quickly or easily.

And polished marble can be virtually stain-proof. But marble does etch easy and there is little you can do to prevent it except avoid contact with acidic substances, which is impossible in the kitchen.

The reaction and damage occurs in seconds. The longer the contact the more severe
the etching.

People often think sealing will prevent etching. Not true. Sealing only helps prevent staining. It doesn't do a thing to prevent etching, which is physical damage to the marble.

A "honed" Carrara marble countertop surface finish can help to hide etch marks since etching makes the marble dull and a honed surface is already matte and non-reflective. Dull on dull doesn't show up as much, but you'll still have plenty of etch marks all over a honed surface.

However, a honed surface is more susceptible to stains than a polished surface and will need sealing.

A polished surface may not need sealing, but etch marks will readily show.

Luckily, etching on polished marble can typically be easily removed using SCP: Marble Polishing Paste, but it will be a constant battle cleaning marble in a kitchen.

Marble maintenance for removing etch marks on honed Carrara marble is different as explained in the Removing Etch Marks Manual and in the more comprehensive guide Cleaning Marble Secrets.

Also, marble is softer and scratches more easily than granite or quartz.

It's a much better idea to put the Carrara marble in a bathroom where it won't get nearly as much exposure to acids and the marble maintenance typically isn't an issue.

Whatever you decide you must also be sure to use only products safe for cleaning marble & granite.

granite countertop cleanerGood Luck,
Ryan

P.S. Get all the facts and simple step-by-step solutions to any problem with our Granite & Marble Maintenance Manuals.

Find the recommended best product brands for cleaning marble, sealing, cleaning granite countertops, quartz and all natural stone.


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