Every magazine that you open you shows it, every dream kitchen on Pinterest has it, they never hesitate to use it on HGTV…so why not marble?
As a kitchen and bath designer in Mid-Missouri, marble is one of the more frustrating topics that I have to deal with. As much as I love the way these kitchens look and want you to have exactly what you’re looking for, I cannot sleep at night if I’m not completely honest with my clients about the hazards of putting this stone in your kitchen. Marble is not an easy stone to live with; it requires careful attention and a delicate lifestyle to ensure that you never have issues with it. If you have children, YOU WILL HAVE ISSUES. It’s not just red wine that will affect this stone; anything acidic will have a similar affect. The acid of a drop of orange juice left on your tops will etch the stone and leave an unsealed spot to snatch up that smear of leftovers that will leave you with a more than likely permanent stain. Glasses of water left to condensate on your countertops will somehow leave a ring that you see every time you step back and the natural light shines in. I’ve even heard of it absorbing the oils from a lotion bottle through the plastic and leaving a permanent ring. It’s also very soft, so even if you are extremely careful with acidic things, it can bruise (yes it’s as ugly as it sounds!) and chip very easily.
So, if it’s so high maintenance, why do they not tell you that everywhere?
The only thing I can say to that is, I really don’t know. In the Midwest, we remodel our kitchen and plan to keep things just as they are for 10+ years, on the East and West coast the turnaround is much quicker. This could be some of the difference in the mind set. I’ve also heard, “you will get an aged look over time that will really give your marble character”. If you are looking for character and consider the previously described stains that… then perhaps marble is right for you. Designers that recommend marble are recommending it for the look that it gives, not its durability. I personally love the look, but don’t want my clients thinking that “stone is stone”. Granite is completely different than marble and has very little maintenance in comparison.
So what would be a good alternative?
If you want the look of marble without these headaches, we recommend Quartz (engineered stone) or at least Quartzite which is a natural stone that gives you some of those white and gray marble veining with density more like granite that is much more hard and durable. Quartzite will still etch and stain, so if you want completely worry free, you should go with Quartz.