Looks can be conceiving when it comes to kitchen countertops. The fancy and shiny counters that you see in your retail store may not look the same in a year or 5 years’ time.
Every type of counter has its own level of durability and resistance to wear and tear. Unfortunately, marble kitchen countertops aren’t the type that you can count on to last for years. They are, however, in many people’s opinion, one of the most beautiful and elegant counters available.
This poses quite a conundrum when it’s time to do your kitchen remodeling. The beauty may be so overwhelming that you are willing to take the risk and install one anyway knowing that it can stain, scratch and be subject to etching much easier than your other options.
When you’re faced with this dilemma, it’s time to face the reality and ask yourself the question, “How long will this beauty last?”
The truth about marble countertops
It’s time to get down and dirty and examine the truth about what you can expect. During your research you may have read some information from marble retailers or manufacturers telling you that this type of stone can maintain its original luster with the right care.
Unfortunately, it’s rare to find one that looks just as good if it did the day it was installed a year or two later - even with the proper care.
You can seal the countertop but according to people that have had marble in their kitchens for years, it simply won’t be enough. You can expect them to etch, chip and scratch and it is common see stains appearing at the surface. While you can do your best to pick up any liquid and messes that land on your counter, there are other things that can come up during day-to-day life that stop you from handling the messes on a right-now basis.
Why kids and marble don’t mix
It’s best to consider delicate stone once your children have grown up. It’s natural for any child to make a mistake when pouring a drink and then not clean it up properly. You, as an adult, may also not be able to handle things immediately once they spill.
You are in the middle of pouring yourself a nice tall glass of tomato juice and all of a sudden your child screams in pain from the next room. You drop the glass and run into the other room.
Your parent role has transformed into a nursing role and you have to spend some time administering first aid. Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, the tomato juice is damaging your precious marble kitchen countertops. The worst part is that these stains are difficult to remove and are often permanent.
If you are drawn towards to it, and would love to see it every morning when you come down for your first cup of coffee, you might want to consider waiting until you have more control over your counters to install it!
Guests can be trouble
You may find that guests do more damage to your counters than anyone in the family! Unless you are constantly watching over your marble top and making sure that any glasses placed on the counter have a coaster underneath them, you may end up with a problem.
Parties are a social affair and it’s not uncommon for a counter to take a beating following a get-together.
I hope you don’t mind a natural patina
If you’re the type of person that appreciates a natural patina that will develop over the years, you’ll be happy with its’ appearance for years to come. Since marble is a softer stone, it will naturally develop a patina that may include scratches, chips and etching.
Sometimes you can’t see this patina from far away and have to get close enough to see it clearly. The question you’ll need to ask at this point is whether or not you can live with it and enjoy it as well.
Sealing the countertop will help to protect it from stains but doesn’t help a lot with etching. Vinegars, fruits and vegetables, juices, wine and any other type of liquid or food that contain acids can cause etching. Sealing does offer some protection but don’t be surprised to see some etching take place even when you have been faithfully sealing your counter.
Updated: April 2, 2014