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Feb 12, 2010 06:21 PM

Talk me out of it- marble countertops

So, my husband and I are buying an apartment, which we love, pending a complete renovation of the tiny, tiny kitchen. This board has already helped me get over my despondency at learning there was no gas hook up for the stove (going induction, yeah!), so I just want some opinions on the counter tops I had in mind.

So, I really, really want a light colored counter top and found some granite that is semi light (Artic Rose, I think?) but it's really too speckley for what I have in mind. So I've done some research and really want to know opinions from people living with marble counter tops. I understand the possibility of staining, and am ok with some general wear and tear that just results in generally "lived in look" with blemishes in the finish, etc.

But I'd like to know from marble owners- what was your first stain? Is it generally just a light mark or a huge, glaring puddle? Knowing me, it'll be red wine. So, have you had any experience with this, can you mitigate the damage if you wipe it up right away or does it set in the minute the liquid hits the marble?

Any cautioner tales are welcome marble-experienced!

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    1. Okay, this still isn't what you're asking.... We did a house exchange over New Year's and I wondered if the countertops were marble and was VERY careful with them. When I asked later, she said now they are "honed granite." She had wanted Carrera marble but didn't want the upkeep issues. I think they're beautiful.

      3 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        Thanks, that's good to know that there are some granites out there that look closer to marble than the ones I saw. I think I'll still keep my eye out to see if there's a granite that has the look I want, but if not, I think I can handle marble.

        1. re: mjhals

          I think the fact that they weren't polished/shiny made the difference. And, of course, that they were white with gray streaks (miserable description) in them. We're going to be back there in a few days and I'll try to remember to take a picture and post it. IMO, the biggest problem with granite is that is usually makes too big a "statemen." Where you walk into the kitchen and go 'wow, look at those countertops' rather than "wow, what a lovely kitchen.'

          1. re: c oliver

            I took these pictures. I think they look more yellow in the pix than they do in person.

      2. It can be sealed, which is something you need to do every so often (in terms of years, depending on the grade of the sealant). By no means your countertop would become stain-proof, it'll just be more stain-resistant.

        1. I'd find something harder than marble. You can always get a small sample and put it through the paces.

          I have a marble slab I use for pastry. I managed to etch it with citirc acid while working with citrus. I have also had people score it when cutting something on it with one of my chef knives. I could have killed them! I have lots of cutting boards and mats around but they decided my marble slab looked like the right place.

          I also made the mistake of getting real marble sills, shelves and thresh hold in my stall shower. Now I can't use the shower cleaning sprays because they'd etch the marble.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kayakado

            my marble slab is pretty much for pastry dough work as well so smaller scale.. but the first bit of damage was citrus and it just kind of etched it so that there are little matte circles now. the one thing i wasn't expecting was that there are many scratches from my ceramics being dragged across. i'm fine with it but realized how soft it was after those few times.

          2. jfood has marble and sandstone counters.

            Marble - there are different hardnesses in marble, from soft (on the sandstone side) to very hard (close to granite), and jfood has the harder version. So far so good after 6 years and if there is a stain it blends in with the flow of the pattern (rose and brown).

            Best advice is to choose the EXACT slab at the quarry, and have them place your name on the side with a Sharpie pen. Ask your quarry person, not the kitchen person, about the hardness. They know much better.