When you ask us about the wisdom of installing marble countertops, our answer is, “it depends on where you’re going to use them.” The general consensus is that marble makes a good surface for, offices, fireplace surrounds and in most cases bathrooms and other locations where they don’t get heavy use. However, they are not recommended for the kitchen.
Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of marble countertops and see if the opening premise holds up.
The reason marble remains in heavy demand for countertops is its elegant good looks. This igneous stone comes in a wonderful display of color. Your choice of hues includes solid white, solid black and a range of variety colors in the brown, yellow, gray, green, white and black spectrums. No two slabs are alike, so you’ll be assured of having a unique countertop for your home.
Marble is heat resistant. In the kitchen, it stands up well to hot pans and pots. In the bathroom, a styling tool won’t mark it unless left on hot for some time. It’s become popular for fireplace surrounds because it won’t yellow due to the heat and can withstand the occasional spark on its surface.
There are two primary reasons that marble countertop installation is not recommended for the kitchen. These concerns are severe enough that we won’t warranty the counters if they are installed in the kitchen. The first concern is the porous nature of marble. It’s more porous than granite, so it more readily absorbs liquids. That means that oil, wine, juice and other spills penetrate deeper into the stone very quickly, and they are hard, if not impossible, to get out and may even etch your countertop leaving it dull. Even in the bathroom, be cautious with things like nail polish, liquid makeup or remover that can stain the tops. Marble can and should be sealed when installed and again every few years, if not more. However, if it is not done properly or often enough, staining is a “not if, but when” proposition. While no products available on the market today offer a remedy, if you do accidentally stain or scratch your marble countertops, you do have some options. The second reason to be concerned about marble kitchen counters is that the material isn’t sturdy enough for the kitchen. Sharp knives can scratch the surface. Heavy pots or mugs may chip the marble or even break off a corner. These are the primary reasons some manufacturers won’t warranty marble countertops if used in kitchens and many countertop installers won’t install them. There are too many complaints from homeowners when their marble kitchen countertops stain, scratch, chip or crack.
If you have your heart set on marble just be aware of the upkeep and possible accidents that could happen. If you think the scratches, stains and etching could add to the character of your stone than by all means use it, but if you are a bit worried about those aforementioned things there are a lot of other attractive granite or quartz choices that will suit the space you are creating.