Carrara Marble Kitchen Benchtops
I am designing a new kitchen and have fallen in love with the Carrara marble.
Everywhere I look whether it be on the internet searching for new looks in kitchens or flipping through magazines I see the popularity and beauty of this stone especially in the kitchen and in particular the benchtops.
Yet all I seem to getting is negativity in regards to doing so. Not by the actual kitchen owners themselves but from the people that are selling it.
I have been so upset over the fact that it's just not practical to use and then another part of me says " well blow it, I love it and to hell with it- I am going to have it. And then I think (as much as I am a very fastidious person) about how tedious it's going to be just walking around it like on eggshells.
Can someone that actually has it and uses it in their kitchen please, please give me their honest opinions of what it is like on a daily basis working with it and admiring it????????
Should it be honed or can I have the glossy look?
If something does spill on it like the juices and wines will it mark if it is wiped immediately??
Your help would be fantastic!!
Carmel, you certainly aren't the first to fall in love with Carrara marble. In fact, I'd say more people love this stone than any other.
And it looks great in design magazines. But the way it looks and the way it performs are two different issues.
I can understand your frustration wanting to install it in your kitchen only to be warned about doing so by those in the stone industry.
Well, first you should be glad that professionals are trying to educate you about the issues with marble so you can make the best decision for yourself.
And if they are warning against using a product they sell... I'd think that lends some credibility.
Very often people put marble in their kitchen without getting any advice, education or knowledge about the particular characteristics of marble from their installer.
They find out the hard way of course, when they wonder why all these dull etch marks are showing up all over their marble countertop.
I have Carrara marble in my home, we've installed it in many other homes and I've answered hundreds of questions from other owners regarding staining, etching, yellowing, scratches, burns and just general Carrara marble maintenance.
So, if you think the "warnings" are all overblown... they aren't... BUT
it all depends on you understanding marble maintenance, your expectations and where you install the marble.
Marble is not difficult to clean or maintain, but you can easily create a problem if you don't know about it, which is why we publish Cleaning Marble Secrets Guide
, which will teach you everything about it. Marble is not recommended in the kitchen or as a bar top
because marble etches upon contact with acidic foods and drinks, which are many.
Marble in bathrooms, showers, on floors is great and presents few problems.
But, essentially it is impossible to avoid etching a marble kitchen countertop. Staining
is not an issue. Marble is not
very absorbent despite the (bogus) info you
hear and read that it is. People confuse etching with staining. These are two completely different and unrelated issues.
Stains occur when a substance absorbs into the marble. Polished marble is nearly impossible to stain and honed marble can be effectively protected by sealing.
So, you really don't have to worry about staining marble. And stains can be easily removed when they do occur. Etching
is corrosion... physical damage to the marble by an acid eating away the marble. This can occur in seconds.
So, when you spill wine, juice, soda, coffee, salad dressing, mustard, tomato sauce, etc., etc. you can get a dull and sometimes discolored etch mark even if you wipe it up right away.
People often call these "water spots" or "glass rings."
Etching also occurs when using most common brand-name cleaners that are too harsh for cleaning marble.
Polished marble will readily show etch marks because acid removes the shiny polished layer. Etching still occurs on honed marble, but it is less noticeable because honed marble is already has a non-reflective finish, so a dull spot doesn't stand out as much. Etch marks can be removed
marble with ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing product
. Removing them on honed marble requires a different procedure that typically is best left to a professional, but you'll find DIY techniques in the Removing Etch Marks Manual
Plus, marble is softer than granite and will scratch much easier.
Add it up and most stone professionals warn against installing marble in the kitchen because we know that most people will get fed up constantly battling etch marks and scratches trying to keep their beautiful Carrara marble that they love and looked so great in the magazine looking perfect forever and always.
It just won't happen.... not without constant work at least.
In Europe marble has been used forever as a worktop. But traditionally they haven't installed marble as a design element. It's all about function. Marble is plentiful and durable. They install it honed and don't bother sealing it.
Eventually the marble gets etched, scratched and stained and the look changes. It develops a natural patina from use and age and they don't care. It's that warm and rustic look.
So, this is the crux of your dilemma. Are you willing to let your marble age naturally or do you want it to always look brand new?
If you are the latter, then you will have an ongoing, uphill marble maintenance battle. If you are the former then you'll love the surface.
And that is the point of the warnings from stone professionals. We're not trying to ruin your design dreams. We know that Carrara marble is quite possibly the most beautiful surface available.
Unfortunately, there are real draw backs that aren't a big deal when installed in a bathroom or on a floor, but as a kitchen benchtop marble quickly becomes a headache that everyone who has ever installed marble in the kitchen has experienced.
You will too. So, if you insist on installing a marble kitchen countertop be prepared for the hassle.
Most people in the stone industry agree that the extra hassle simple isn't worth it when a dense granite makes a perfect low-maintenance, virtually indestructible kitchen countertop that will continue to look good even if you neglect it.