Marble is a natural stone, beautiful and unique. It can be used for all kinds of surfaces like kitchen benchtops, stairs, splashbacks, gireplaces, floors, walls, décor pieces and others. Marble has natural veining and marble bench tops are often the material of choice for that classy looking kitchen counter. Because of its look and the fine colour of white marble, it is widely popular. However, marble is not perfect. Good quality marble bench tops will be solid and not very porous so that they are stain-resistant and durable. However, because marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock and made of calcium or magnesium carbonate, it can react to acids. Citric acid in vinegar or lemon juice can leave a stain. You need to be able to make a careful selection, know your facts, and take proper care so that they last for a long time.
Types of Marble
Marble comes in many wide varieties. Apart from the classic white, you may also get it in black, red, green, and other colours. Italian white marble is a good choice for making bench tops. There is also other high-quality marbles available like the ones from Colorado and Vermont.
Selecting Marble Slabs
Marble slabs are all different, and so you need to select the specific pieces of stone you will need for marble bench tops. You need to figure out how the different pieces will fit together for your bench top. It is best to avoid seams as much as possible, and if you do have seams, they should fit properly to give a mirrored look.
Marble blocks can be cut differently to have different veining in the slabs. The veining changes the look of the marble slabs that you will use for your bench tops. Designers use different cuts to achieve different looks for bench tops.
There are many ways to finish the stone, like different brushing and polishing methods. These change the texture of the bench top and the most popular choice amongst homeowners is a polished finish for a glossy look and honed finish for a matte look.
Maintaining Marble Bench Tops
Maintenance is important when it comes to marble bench tops. You want your countertop to last for a long time. Manufacturers finish marble with a penetrating sealer for better longevity. However, acid still has an effect on marble. If you have opted for a honed finish, you can remove the etched stain caused by acid by scrubbing the area with a brush. Stains on polished surfaces are more difficult to remove and might need the help of a professional. You can use an alkaline poultice to remove stains from polished surfaces, but this also chips away at the sealing and that might need to be reapplied.
Things to Know about Marble Bench Tops
Before you select them, you should know a few things about marble:
- Marble is highly porous and will require maintenance.
- Marble scratches easily and acids leave a stain on the surface.
- Marble is heat-resistant but care still needs to be taken.
- If you are ready to do the extra maintenance, bench tops made of marble can really look good in your kitchen
- Marble is cost-effective depending on the quality you opt for. High quality marble like Italian marble is quite expensive but chic.
If you have the budget and do not mind expensive maintenance charges, marble bench tops are the way to go for you. The polished or honed surface will add that extra “zing” to your kitchen and make everyone go wow!