Marble Counters as Part of the Kitchen Design
Marble kitchen counters may be appealing for their unique beauty. Of all the types of countertops available, however, marble kitchen countertops are the least recommended.
Kitchen counters are the work-horse of the kitchen design. Not only do their color and decorative style help drive the rest of the kitchen’s style, but they also handle a lot of abuse. Kitchen counters receive spills, hot pots, sharp knives, or even the back buttons of a pair of jeans when someone sits on them. Even when a homeowner is careful of their counters, a spill or a piece of grit dragged across the counter under a plate can leave a mark. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the strength and upkeep of a counter, along with its price, beauty, and desirability.
The Characteristics of Marble Counters
Marble is a metamorphic stone contained mostly of calcite. It is formed when limestone endures tremendous heat and oppression, deep in the earth, producing a hard, dense rock able of taking a high polish. The veins and colors of marble are made by contaminations that may surround the limestone at the time of its transformation, and no two pieces of marble are ever the same.
Marble has been utilized for centuries as a construction product and as an artistic material. Capable of being carved, drilled, polished, and cut, marble has been used in sculptures, tiles, counters, and walls in countries worldwide.
While marble is a hard stone, capable of being ground to polish, it is a softer, more porous stone than granite, another frequently used material on counters. Marble is easily cut or marked with sharp knives, stained by grease, and etched by acids such as tomato juice or lemons. A marble counter will show the years of use that it receives by mellowing and developing a patina as time goes by.
Marble in Today’s Kitchen
With its beautiful veins and high polish, marble can make a beautiful statement in many kitchens. Popular with kitchen designers in show and spec homes and used in Europe for years, marble is often seen in show kitchens and displayed in kitchen design ads. It can lead homeowners to consider a marble counter as part of their kitchen design.
Many homeowners may not consider that marble in a kitchen will rarely retain the high polish and unmarred surface it exhibits when first installed. While marble has been used widely in kitchens throughout Europe, there is an understanding that the marble age and patina. The stone is desired not for its polish and beauty but baking and preparing the dough and other foods.
According to Bernard V.*, a countertop manufacturer, in a recent interview with Solidnamer, marble is not a recommended kitchen counter for anyone who wishes their kitchen to remain in the same condition in which it was installed. I finally stopped selling marble for kitchens. I explain to homeowners that it will stain, no matter how careful they are, and I don’t think that they believed me until it was too late.”
Marble counters are an excellent choice for bakers, cooks, and those who understand that over the years, the beauty of the material will lay not in a high gloss finish or subtle veining but the history of the kitchen. Every meal, every visitor, and every pot and knife will leave behind its impression. Choose a marble counter for its use and history to ensure its continued desirability in the kitchen design.