People have been using marble slabs for many things for many centuries. These range from monuments to chessboards, but the most recognizable use for it is for sculptures.
Artists like to use marble because it is relatively soft and only look better with age. They use only pure white marble, which is quite rare, as these have very little veining. On the other hand, architects like to use marble of other colors with rich veining for its esthetic features.
Using marble for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities are a recent development, at least among ordinary folk. Marble as a dimension stone was very expensive, and only the very rich and privileged had it in their residences.
The attraction of marble
People like marble primarily for its beauty. It has an elusive quality of softness not normally found in stone, and the delicate patina it develops over time conveys an elegant and sophisticated look. However, even though marble is softer than granite, it is still a very durable material, suitable for use a bathroom and kitchen countertops.
Most people recognize marble from the veining. Marble stone has a wider range of color than most people know, but whether it is white or black marble, the veins are there. The color of the visible veins ranges in color from white to gray, depending on the color of the base stone and the type of impurities in the stone.
Marble was so popular that many manufacturers attempted to replicate the look of marble using artificial processes, and offered them at lower prices. Among these products are laminates and solid surfaces, and while they served as cheaper countertop alternatives, they failed to simulate the look and durability of true marble.
Laminates were actually just a thin layer of a marble-like pattern over some non-stone material, and were much flimsier than marble. That is not a good thing for kitchen countertops. Solid surfaces were more like stone, but it cannot be buffed to a high polish and it is not heat resistant like marble.
The only manmade product that has come close to the look of true marble is engineered quartz. The problem is, quartz stone is even more expensive than marble, so it makes no sense to choose it over real marble.
Aside from it appearance, marble has many other benefits.
It is more flexible than granite
Granite countertops are popular with homeowners because it is very durable, and it has its own type of beauty. However, because it is so dense and tough, it is very hard to cut into fancy shapes even with special tools. Granite is also more likely to chip than marble because it is more brittle. Marble is much more flexible in this sense. If you need kitchen countertops with a curve, for example, it is much easier to accomplish with marble.
It lends itself to detail work
Because marble is comparatively soft, it is easy to carve details onto the surface. This workability means you can more easily fabricate intricate edge profiles with marble countertops than with granite, for example. This makes it a favorite for homeowners and fabricators alike.
It is durable and resistant to heat
While marble is softer than granite is, this does not mean it will melt under heat or indent under heavy loads. Marble is actually a very durable, and it can resist heat damage to a high degree. Granite handles heat better, but in terms of the capacity of a typical kitchen or even a fireplace to produce heat, it is not a significant difference. This makes marble ideal for use with bathroom vanity tops, kitchen countertops, and fireplace surrounds.
Marble works well in the home, but does have its issues. The worst thing about it is its vulnerability to even weak acids, which leads to staining and etching.
Marble also scratches quite easily. While these surface damage you can easily address, it does make marble a bit more high maintenance than granite or quartz countertops.
The main reason marble has these issues is in its nature. All natural stones have some degree of porosity, and marble happens to be a bit more porous than granite. Quartz stone, a manmade product, is not porous at all. This porosity leads to water absorption, so staining is a problem
Aside from porosity, the composition of marble also works against it. Mostly made of calcium carbonate, this material reacts readily to any type of acid. If you have marble countertops, you have to watch out for the following type of damage.
Stains are any changes in the color of the marble countertop, whether on the surface or just under it. The stain is not a physical damage, but it still looks unsightly. This results from prolonged exposure to certain liquids, and you can avoid them by wiping up any spill as soon as possible and ensuring the seal on marble countertops is intact.
Marble is relatively soft, so any sharp or pointed object can leave scratches on marble countertops. This includes any metal implements, pots and pans, hard corners of boxes and ceramic figurines. The best way to avoid scratches is to avoid putting anything like that on marble countertops. A honed finish can also help hide small scratches.
Etches are physical damage to the surface of the stone, usually associated with acid exposure. The acid actually eats away at the marble, leaving a noticeable mark behind. The obvious solution is to keep any type of acid away from it, but that is not always possible in the kitchen or bathroom. You can use marble polishing powder to remove small etch marks. If the damage is extensive, you probably need professional help to repair the damage.
Marble countertops have their pros and cons, but they are worth considering for you home if you want something elegant and beautiful. For best results, find a reputable company to supply and install your marble countertops.
Keystone Granite & Tile is your best bet in the areas of Columbus, Ohio, Delaware cities, Lancaster and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
We have showrooms in Lancaster and Horsham, Pennsylvania as well as New Castle, Delaware and Columbus, Ohio. We will walk you through each slab and explain how each can benefit you in your kitchen or bathroom remodel. If you prefer engineered stones, we also carry the top brands in the industry such as Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all with manufacturer warranties.
We are experts at fabricating and installing marble, granite, and quartz countertops, so you can be confident that you will get the very best in product and service quality. Give us a call or send us an inquiry through our website to set the ball rolling!