This post has been a long time coming. So many of you have asked me if I love the marble, after living with it for awhile.
It’s complicated, okay. Real things always are.
And let me say that EVERYBODY warned me against marble. I didn’t think the counter top guy was gonna sell it to me. He gave me every horror story. He repeatedly asked me if I was sure I wanted marble. So, I took to the internets and did some research. It was SO confusing. I found a host of entirely conflicting views. Honed? Polished? Straight edge? Beveled edge? Calcutta Gold? Carrera? Water spots? Wine spots? I gave up. The research was exhausting.
I decided that I LOVED the look of marble so much that I wasn’t gonna listen to the naysayers.
Here’s what I did. I went to several local counter top shops (as in Knoxville—not Bean Station) and looked at all the marble that was currently in stock. It took several trips before I settled on the one I wanted. I bought all my countertops from Smoky Mountain Tops, in Knoxville. I was sure, going into it, that I wanted Carrera. I attribute that to all the Cottage Living magazines I had scoured for years and years AND all my friends with marble had Carrera. I fell in love with two big slabs of Calcutta Gold. I loved the gold-ish veining and decided that I would use two slabs as far as they would go in my house. I had all the edges beveled and all the finishes were polished. To offset the cost of the marble, I bought all remnants for my other countertops. I got amazing deals on remnant granite and it balanced out the cost of the marble. Big counter top companies will usually have a huge yard of remnants so make sure and ask to see them.
I knew I wanted mostly marble in the kitchen and marble for the island.
I have all marble in the kitchen, excluding one piece that has a walnut top.
I also have marble in my master bath and on the dressing vanity in the girl’s room. We used EVERY single inch of that marble.
Every single day that I walk into my kitchen, I LOVE seeing this marble. I don’t tire of it. The Wisteria helps, no doubt.
Every. single. time. I love it.
So, here are my very personal thoughts on living with marble.
1. Marble is BEAUTIFUL!
I would say that hardly any other surface is as stunning as a big slab of marble. It is stately and feminine, all at the same time. It’s the perfect surface, in my humble estimation. And even more awesome with two cutie little girls playing on top of it.
2. Marble is a Beautiful Natural Stone
Marble is like you. It goes through good times and hard times. It wears its feelings on its sleeve. It scars and sometimes doesn’t heal. This character trait of marble makes me love it even more. I can mark the memories in my kitchen by the staining pattern in my marble. I love the texture and feel of it. I love how it’s always cold to the touch. I love rolling out pastry dough right on it. I love laying over on it when I’m tired. I love it, in all its imperfections. I wouldn’t change a thing, except maybe I’d have it covering every surface in my house.
I honestly don’t think it matters whether it’s honed or polished. Mine is polished and already has the same ‘patina’ as my friends who have honed marble. Marble is marble and it will look flawless for exactly 3 seconds after it’s installed. It’s soft and porous and it WILL most certainly never be perfect.
3. Marble is a Beautiful Natural Stone that Stains Like Crazy
Almost everything that has ever touched my marble has stained it. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s almost true. It’s FULL of water stains. And last year, when we made homemade salsa, there’s a huge patterned stain (looks just like a water stain) from where the tomatoes were all sitting. I don’t think I would personally call it a downside but some of you would HATE having marble, for this reason. You can try to be as johnny-on-the-spot with wiping up water stains (I tried it for less than 24 hours) but IT WILL STAIN. Over and over again. Mostly water spots.
Here are some pics of my imperfect marble.
(the salsa-making stains)
(the various and sundry water stains)
(an etched in stain, probably from some kind of acid)
So, how do you know if marble is for you?
In general, if you love beauty over function, are laid back in personality, and have a strong aesthetic sensibility, you will likely LOVE having marble, like I do.
Here’s a link to how I clean my marble, for those of you who are bound to ask.
I personally would advocate taking a Myers-Briggs personality test before being able to purchase marble. The following are my very unscientific observations.
I would say that you are allowed to have marble if you’re an:
— ISFP (artist)
ESFPs have a very well-developed appreciation for aesthetic beauty, and an excellent sense of space and function. If they have the means, they’re likely to have to have many beautiful possessions, and an artfully furnished home. In general, they take great pleasure in objects of aesthetic beauty. They’re likely to have a strong appreciation for the finer things in life, such as good food and good wine.
but you can’t have marble is you’re:
ISTJs usually have a great sense of space and function, and artistic appreciation. Their homes are likely to be tastefully furnished and immaculately maintained. They are acutely aware of their senses, and want to be in surroundings which fit their need for structure, order, and beauty.
ESFJs at their best are warm, sympathetic, helpful, cooperative, tactful, down-to-earth, practical, thorough, consistent, organized, enthusiastic, and energetic. They enjoy tradition and security, and will seek stable lives that are rich in contact with friends and family.
I’m on the fence about whether these should have marble:
I don’t think I even covered all the types, but I’m weary. Tell me what you think! What type of personality are you? Should you have marble? OR not?
I’m half inspirer/half performer. Marble is perfect for me! or ENFP/ESFP
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One question – did you seal the marble at any point?
Edie Wadsworth says
Yes, Becky, it’s been sealed twice. Doesn’t seem to make much difference. Or maybe I’d have 6 million more water marks, if it weren’t sealed?
Just had a quick read through your site, just some cold hard facts about Marble and other stones containing calcium, they don’t stain that easy, however they do acid etch, and any liquid with a ph of more than 7 will do this, and no sealer in the world will stop this.
We developed Clearstone to overcome this problem, and have had good results here in Australia for 14 plus years http://www.innovativecomposites.com.au hope this can be of a help to you.
Thank you for posting! Most things I have read say honed marble is the way to go for countertops… If you had the choice would you get honed or stay with polished? Our countertops are being fabricated now and they are polished (it’s an additional cost to have honed). I just want to make the right decision between honed or polished! Any advice?? Thanks!
Leah FitzGerald says
OMG you are to funny! I wish I lived in Knoxville – BC we would be friends for sure !!! I am renovating and have decided to go for it .. thinking of Calcutta over Carrera .. I have a question though – most of the “stains” are etching.. I don’t see any real color discoloration..am I missing something? In all the showrooms, kitchens etc it seems that no one has a problem with a big “red” stain in their white marble, it’s more of a “water etching” but I would love to know your thoughts on this.
Thanks so much
Ps – I am an ESTJ !!! Yikes – not on your list but this “extroverted judger” – has judged this finish to be superior to all other 🙂
We are stone suppliers located in London UK and wanted to make a few comments about this issue.
Marble is usually sealed once at source, a second time at the distribution center relevant to the country where it is being imported.
We, as a stone supplier seal marbles once prior to manufacturing of the tops and once again immediately upon installation although people should be made aware that sealing doesn’t make marbles stain-free but more stain resistant and nobody should rally guarantee marble won’t stain. Particularly more so with white marbles such as Bianco Carrara and similar materials.
Nowadays there are a lot of quartz brands that have come out with products looking like marbles. Imitations aren’t obviously the real thing although some of these are very close to the real look of the material.
With regards to watermarks, these are usually caused by hard water in certain areas of a given country/city and usually not due to faulty material.
The easiest and quickest way to clean these are with white household vinegar.
Hope it helps!
Maria at MKW Surfaces
Anything with a ph of less than 7 will acid etch marble, vinegar is 2 which will cause acid etching this would be the last thing i would recommend to clean of a watermark, a coating is the only way to protect marble and we have the best in the world CLEARSTONE this has proven itself many times over and comes with a 10 year guarantee against acid etching and staining.
You can seal marble all you want it wont stop acid etching , and if you read the fine print on the labels they tell you this, have a look at Marble Seal Technologies on Houzz, they have posted some great photos of some of their work with Clearstone in Texas, they are just one of many using this product.
What is Clearstone? Is that a product to use on marble ?
Yes Clearstone is for the protection of Marble against acid etching and staining, you can have any marble you desire on your kitchen tops without the problems.
Steve, I went on the website. Clearstone is only available in Vegas in US?
Hey steve- in one reply you said pH of MORE than 7 produces acid etching and then after someone mentioned white vinegar to clean marble You said acid etching happens with pH of LESS than 7.
PATRICIA KELLEY says
I had the same question, as my contractor says we need to seal it, which is super easy.
Davenport West says
Loved your marble tale, but the link to how to clean was not working, I would really like to hear how you do your countertop cleaning, thanks
I’m an INTJ….and I’m thinking over whether or not I could go with marble countertops. Your whole kitchen is beautiful and I love the marble. I hope you don’t mind, but when I made my signature style board (I participated in Darlene’s Overcoming Decorating Paralysis Series) I included your kitchen in my board. That’s how much I love it!
Edie Wadsworth says
Awww, thanks Meagan!! I almost put the INTJ’s in the maybe category. If you love design, you’d probably love them and find the imperfections beautiful.
INTJ here too and I really really think I could do marble now, I LOVE imperfections and I think I always worried that I couldn’t have marble because I would simply ruin them and it would be a waste. Now I know that I can just love them–ruined! And they so aren’t.
that only makes sense to me.
Thank you for writing this! Your home looks beautiful – I think we share the same taste. But that’s probably giving me too much credit :). I am a graphic designer/wannabe artist and I think from your description marble fits my personality. I love the idea of a living surface that will look elegant and stately but still “be real” and change with its environment. And I’ve totally fallen head over heels for the look of marble anywhere I could get away with it. HOWEVER – my husband I am almost certain will fall under the category of someone who will be upset when he realizes marble will look pristine and new for about 3 seconds after installation and would be demanding his money back and all other such nonsense. How can I get him to come over to my side? Any tips?
I am an INTJ and Have Danby marble in my kitchen and LOVE IT!! It was actually a huge mistake that we got it. My husband has a business relationship with the stone supplier and I picked this marble. Only at the time it was marked as Quartz and was told I spill anything on it and it not stain. I WAS SOLD! Looks JUST like marble and doesn’t drain or etch?!? Well we only found after it was installed and we had a celebratory wine that night. :/ But it’s like Edie says, I always look at that spot and smile. It’s like scars on your body. You know where each stain is from and in a sense my INTJ self has been completely at ease about it. I use soap and water to wipe it down each day and just be careful about anything that spills I wipe up immediately. We have polished as well and would do it again. You can’t beat the sheen it gives off in that afternoon light! I hope this helps!!
I shouldn’t have read this, lol. I’m an ISTJ who just had a remnant piece of Carrera installed in our master bath *today*.
Edie Wadsworth says
Well, you defy my very scientific study, Tracy!! But you may need to go on anti-anxiety medication once the water stains begin in full force!
Marble is awesome….and honed will take care of many of the issues….not quite as attractive as polished, but a solid A-/B+.
I had to use a different sales associate as the first wouldn’t sell me marble for the kitchen. I still had to sign my life away that I knew the risks, warnings etc. was this a good decision? I’ll let you know after it is installed. I can say, that from the moment I saw the slab, nothing could convince me otherwise. Absolutely stunning!! We had our granite torn out to make way for it. There is a new product (DuPont I think) that has a 15 year stain warranty (transferable if you sell your home). Of the slab stains, they replace it, and if they can’t match the slab to the others in your kitchen, you get a whole new kitchen worth of equivalent valued marble. The stone shop says it is the real deal (I was worried it was a scam) and she’s never seen it stain once applied. It will still etch and scratch though. I can’t wait to get my new counters and yes, I’m sure they’ll etch with the marinara sauce from your homemade pizza post-and that’s ok!
I am curious how you are feeling about your marble counter tops now since its been about a year. Would you choose marble again? Are you still happy with the look of your counter tops? What about the need for additional care and maintenance, are they worth it? Did you use the DuPont sealer? Did the sealer change the appearance of the marble in any way?
Although I have looked at other options, I can’t get past the beauty of marble. Need to make a decision on my counter tops soon and keep coming back to one of the white marbles. Will go with a honed finish since its my understanding it tends to hide the etching a little more than polished finish. Do you agree?
One of the stone shops recommended the Dupont Stone tech sealant. It has a 15 year warranty. Is this the one you used? Have you had to seal your marble again since the initial installation? Any information you could share regarding your marble counter tops would be greatly appreciated. THX, Judy
Hey Edie, I am an ESTJ, I have always wanted carrera marble and I always go with looks over function… and I have 5 kids and have learned to let go of perfection, lol! I put a black slate floor in our mudroom, we have destroyed it, but I don’t care. My hubby is ISFJ, he has gone crazy over the demise of our slate, and def would trip on the imperfections of marble…Design style is a tricky thing!
Ami Davis says
Proud ENFJ here. I have my MBTI info bookmarked on my desktop. I wonder what that says about me!
I am in the throes of this very decision for our new house. We had Corian in the last house, which I really liked. My brilliant builder has confirmed Corian is more pricey per sq ft to install than tier 1 level granite (who knew?) so we have started down the granite path. I am secretly holding out for some fabulous marble remnant that we can use in our master and/or guest bathroom, but I think the kitchen is going to be granite. A marble kitchen would work my Mommy Dearest J side which is where I get all judgey and ocd’ish and would have to have a structured plan to seal and wipe and terrorize anyone who left a water glass out overnight. I do love the look of the marble in your kitchen. Oh, and did I mention we have Anthro drawer pulls? 🙂
Edie Wadsworth says
Anthro drawer pulls? I think those work for every personality type!!
Can’t wait to see how you pull it all together, Ami!
I love this post! I am highly amused that you analyzed it by M-B types! I am an INFJ and I KNOW marble would drive me nuts. I’m going with quartz in our new kitchen. Marble IS gorgeous though!
Jenni/Life from the Roof says
That is so funny – I am an INFJ too and if we could do our kitchen over, I would choose quartz as well. Reading this has convinced me I would never have marble either :).
Yikes. I am an INFJ and I was originally set on white quartz. Ever since I made the decision, I am up at night for hours reading about marble. I want it desperately and have convinced myself that I’ll be okay with etching, but chips and stains worry me. I’m such an INFJ that I am literally obsessing and researching for hours a day. Now I am thinking of white quartz on the perimeter and Danby marble on the two islands. Help!
Just wanted to follow up. I went with honed Imperial Danby for my entire kitchen. We used the remaining slab for two fireplace hearths and a top for an old desk. t has been 7 months and I grow to love my marble more every day. We got our first scratch just after installation (construction crew error) and have made many etches since. They don’t bother me at all. A pillow out of place, a cabinet door slightly ajar, a cluttered space – these make my INFJ soul cry – but the etched, scratched marble makes it sing. Best decision of my whole renovation!
Sigh…I am definitely an ESFJ and have longed for Carrera for years. I know that they are not a good choice for me. I’ve always known this but have spent years convincing myself that I love marble enough to overcome who I am. I want to believe I am about fashion over function. I am when it comes to fashion at least. My sister has beautiful Corian that is truly similar to Carrera but clearly not up to par with marble. My only hope is that I can’t afford a kitchen remodel anytime soon and will resolve my dilemma by the time I can afford it. Thank you for sharing your marble countertop truths 🙂
How about an ENFP? I love the look of marble but doing upkeep on anything drives me bonkers. I love the wysteria by the way!
Edie Wadsworth says
According to my *research*, you CAN have marble, Heather. And the beautiful thing is, once you relinquish yourself to the stains, there’s no painful upkeep!!
I love Marble…have Crema Marfil in my master bath & planning it for my kitchen in the very near future!!!!…I love too that you and I are cut from that same ENFP inspirer/performer cloth… Miss Edie, you are the best….you and I could be great friends!!!
Dawn @ Inspired Living says
I LOVE Calcutta gold. The veining is stunning. Love your slab! We did carrera in our master and the staining does not bother me, at all. I like to think of it as patina. ;). I didn’t do the marble in our kitchen. I think it would have been too much for a first time renovator…. Baby steps. I like to think I will add marble in my next kitchen. Perhaps even Calcutta gold. I love your gold fixtures, too!
ESFJ-lifelong lover of marble. Waiting for my house remodel to happen.
I love our granite. I don’t know or care what the experts say. Like marble I love the cool feel and shine. I love that I have something beautiful that was purely formed over time by the nature God created. I love that it is not uniform and flows and swirls. We have had it for 4 years. I am a INF JP, that little bubble is right on the line so it is hard to tell. I think it depends if the shiny surface of my granite is not shiny and I have to keep wiping it spotless.
I agonized over this recently when we redid our kitchen- I sat for hours upon hours looking at Pinterest and researching the pros and cons of marble. You would have thought i was researching a cure for a rare disease with the endless nights on my ipad. I love a good MB test and I’m an ISFJ with three young children. After being “rejected” by three different counter top salesman refusing to sell me my marble, I ended up installing a honed “misty carrera” quartz, which turned out perfect. If my pillows on the couch have to be in their place at night (don’t worry, I drink red wine at night in lieu of medication) I know what my OCD self can and can’t handle. I do have some envy for my ISFP standing in their beautiful kitchens though!
Ha! I am and ESTJ and I still want marble!! But, alas, I can barely afford laminate so I am in no danger of being disappointed once I buy marble. Thanks for the informative and funny post.
I am also appreciating the classical homeschool inspiration I am receiving as I comb through those posts. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It helps practically and motivationally.
melissa stover says
i am an intj though i am no scientist and am very low maintenance. i think i could do marble. i’ve always wanted it and when i redo my kitchen countertops that was my plan. i think i could easily live with the water stains. i have all wood floors and they are scuffed, dented and marred and i love it. i love the way nature’s materials give and move with our every day lives. i love the character that gets built into a home that is fully lived in. our homeschool table, solid wood, has paint stains, chalk in the groves, scuff marks, and you name it, but it tells a beautiful story.
Edie Wadsworth says
Knowing you as well as I do, I’m gonna give you the go-ahead on marble!! Aren’t you so glad? And yes, a house well lived in shows the signs :))
Michele Hendrix says
What a fun post. I love how you entwined a post on marble countertops into personality types. So creative and so fun!!! It looks like I’m a ESFJ (caregiver), so no marble for me 🙂 . I wonder about butcher block since that’s what we’re putting in in our new Bungalove cottage house? I really hope it works with an ESFJ. Isn’t it just so amazing how God has creative so many different personalities and uses each one for our good and His glory? How He uses each different personality to further His kingdom. That makes this ESFJ have a smile across my face and a smile across my heart 🙂
Can you tell me what kind of shower surround would be appropriate for an INFJ? 😉 Our builder wants us to chose between cultured marble, tile, and polystone. Cleaning the shower is my MOST HATED TASK! I’m eagerly awaiting a post on this topic!! 😉 😉
i do hope you chose tile. cultured marble is not the way to go. life
expectancy is roughly fifteen yrs and then it shows wear. doesn’t
add to house value.
We’ve had marble for about 2 months now and I was so worried about how I would handle it. Although I loved the calacatta, I ultimately chose Alabama White – how’s that for some good southern marble? I really wanted some from North Georgia but none were right! Ours is honed and we have some etching and a few “greasy” spots but all are things I can deal with – we even made spaghetti the other night and some splattered and sat for 2 days without me knowing it! NO STAIN! I think the sealers are really good now and that makes a difference.
I’m not sure how I fit into the personality test but I am probably an ESFJ. That being said, my love of history won out. It already has a history. Love it!
Haha! I love this…marble linked to Myers-Briggs. I am part of the tiny INFJ club~ “the counselor”. We would love marble because we would be looking into the deeper meaning of each stain and all the while “reframing” the negatives into positives!
Sherri Britton says
Rhonda N says
Genius – of course I should take my personality into account when choosing countertops, but why didn’t I think of it??! My problem is that I am marginal on every trait except Feeling/Thinking, where I am firmly in the feeling camp. ESFJ/INFJ/ESFP/ISFP/ENFP/ENFJ/INFP/ISFJ could all describe me.
I think my multiple personalities should stay away from marble, in the kitchen – but definitely in the bathroom! 🙂 If I could afford it.
Kathryn C says
I’m an INTJ and I think I could live with marble only because I have an absolute fascination with old things/antiques/history, and doesn’t marble have such an old beautiful soul? Now, maybe, I might go a little crazy at the beginning and have a dishcloth in my hand 24/7 and give death-stares to anyone who comes near them (the counters, of course), but after a few good stains I think I could let go, be free, take a big deep breath and learn to love the flaws. Isn’t that a beautiful analogy – something so beautiful, yet so easily flawed. And by grace we love. Think marble is definitely your perfect fit 🙂
Great post, Edie! I love my marble – almost everyone tried to talk me out of purchasing it. I did have to get over the first few water spots, but now I’m just rolling with the punches. 🙂 We have a lime spot or two… A scratch… some water rings. I loved when you wrote – “I goes through good times and bad. It wears its feelings on its sleeve. It scars and sometimes doesn’t heal.” Which makes me love it more, as well!
Edie Wadsworth says
So cool, Anna!
Southern Gal says
In theory I would say I could live with the imperfections. I was not sure that would be the case in reality until I took a look around me. I have worn down formica from the 80’s in here now with every imperfection you could imagine, so I think I could deal. I really do!
What would you have gone with if marble wasn’t an option? There’s so much out there. I wonder if you’d share a little of your research with me.
Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says
I’m so glad you went with your gut, it’s gorgeous with stains and all!
the misfit says
I find this very interesting. I redid my whole kitchen last year. Except for one new vent hood, and one faucet, every item in it is either salvage or something I built to accommodate the salvage. My countertops are one run of butcher block (heavily used, and therefore already heavily marked), a remnant of honed black granite (I really wanted soapstone, but no one in the area had remnants), and a salvaged piece of matble from a demolition 96 years ago (if you’re going to salvage, go big or go home!). The matble was badly stained (and chipped) when I got it. It fits into the kitchen well. If I were doing another kitchen and had a serious budget, I would do antique cabinets again – every time. If this imaginary kitchen were large, I would spring for lots of soapstone. I would also have a good-sized run of butcher block, and I would have a slab or Carrara for preparing baked goods. So I guess most of my imaginary money is going to soapstone, a plumber, and an electrician, ’cause that would be pretty similar to what I did for my budget kitchen :). Oh yeah. I’m an ESTJ. But note that part about tradition! I really only like antiques. So, I’m willing to deal with wear.
I love the look of marble, but def. would not love spots or stains! And I typically go with matte look for counters for this reason. I’ve given up in trying to keep my home perfect because I now have 3 little ones, but the counters are the one thing I like to look flawless. A few weeks ago I was severely ill with the flu and sent my Children to grandmas for a few days. While they were gone and my house was tidy for 3 straight days, I kept noticing all of the dings in the paint, chipped trim, stained grout… And decided I need to get better ASAP so the kids could come home and then I’d no longer see all of these imperfections because I’d be too busy enjoying my family:) xoxo Edie!!
Kimberly ~Serendipity Refined says
GREAT ARTICLE!!!!! I’ve had marble in my kitchen, pantry, and 2 bathrooms (master bath including the shower walls) for 9 years. There were a few times when I questioned my own sanity in the choices that I made but I will tell you that now that I’ve learned how to care for them, I love them….every day
….and I’m about to do them AGAIN in the 1950’s ranch home that we’ll be renovating over the next couple of years. I’m an artist…and a lover of all things imperfect so marble’s been a match made in heaven (of course, I do still seal it every year or so).
We are looking at some photos of a master bath that we love. The shower is polished cararra marble as well as the counter tops. After reading all this about water staining how does one cope with a marble shower? Telling me how you care for it would be helpful!. Although I’m the artsy type I think I would start to get a bit annoyed if the shower started changing to a darker color. Thank you.
Ha! I’m an ENFP, and can definitely handle marble- I love everything to show that it has been lived in and enjoyed. My mom has soapstone counters, and they are the same. If I could afford them, I would have soapstone. I just got remnant of crema marfil marble from Stone Creek Surfaces in Knoxville for my master bathroom, and I am so excited!
I love your kitchen! I plan on getting marble counters in my new kitchen. I am so used to letting my hand washed dishes or some of the dishes from the dishwasher air dry on a microfiber cloth on my counters. What do you do since you have marble?
Carrera and calacatta are two different marbles from the same region of Italy but with very different looks. I think you have both in your home. I am so glad you posted this information because I can see that I would have a hard time dealing with all the imperfections of marble in a real cook’ s kitchen. On the other hand, it might be character building, to learn to live serenely in an imperfect world. So for now I am still undecided.
Allison West says
I love, LOVE this post! I just linked to it in a post I did about my kitchen.
I have 2 toddlers and a husband who leans on the OCD side…(did I mention HE IS THE ONE WHO CHOSE WHITE MARBLE?!?!?) our countertops were pristine for about 18 hours after installation, and earned their first water spots before the movers arrived, but I love them and shared this post with my hubby, knowing it would make him feel a bit better about the state of the stains.
I read through allot of these posts and chuckled. I am in the process of replacing my marble countertop with more marble of course due to defective (crumbling marble) on my 20′ sink run. I am not by any means an easing going gal. Everything in it’s place and all that . Every one I came in contact with warned me against even harassed me not to go with marble. As soon as I mentioned it to my builder I think he began to twitch. Anyway….1 hour after closing on our new home we had a few key people over for a champagne toast…yup..first stain. Champagne bottle ring on 1 of the 2 beautiful islands. I felt sick and realized what everyone was now warning me against. I panicked thinking I made a mistake. Oh no!!!! Ugh!!! We spent so much money. What did I do???? I forbid the kids to even go near them…don’t put glasses on the islands!! don’t put OJ (god no!!) on the island…better yet, don’t even use the kitchen. Yeah…I’m one of those. And I have 5 kids. The islands had a 3″ mitered edge and were polished. All other surfaces were honed. I will say honed seems to repel stains easier. Polished does not. So what to do…we decided that we would have glass made to cover our islands and I have to say it was a god send. It looks beautiful and it’s almost worry free (don’t try to bang open the biscuit sleeve on the glass though…I found out the hard way …crack!!!). All other surfaces are a free for all. I don’t worry about any spilss, oils or stains. Each one is a memory and shows how although our kitchen is beautiful..it’s a working kitchen!!! Since I stopped worrying, it’s almost as if the marble has become more forgiving because the stains seem to disappear over time. I LOVE my marble and would do it over again in a second. Each day when I’m preparing dinner I look down onto that little ring stain and remember that special day when we toasted our beautiful new home with all the people that helped us build it. Marble is worth it. It’s beautiful and each slab is like a piece of art.
Wonderful post and comments. I’m an INFP and had Carrara marble installed in our new kitchen. Had the same experience of people looking at me with horror at the idea, but knew I could live with the imperfections. I love my marble, every day, and have watched the worst stains (grease and some mysterious substance that stained the island the very first day) disappear over time. I chose honed, just as I chose a European hard oil finish (matte) for the wood floors, which I expect to get dinged over time. Most of us admire the patina of an old object but agonize when the process of patinization starts with something new! If you’re interested, pics of my kitchen are on Maria Killam’s blog:
Like you I installed carrera marble everywhere. I was totally prepared for scratches and water stains and patina. I wasn’t prepared for iron seeping through making it orange near my sinks . If anyone has any ideas I would most appreciate.
I live in the UK and it’s even harder to get anyone to do marble countertops; there’s no history of it. I had Carrera installed last year when I remodelled our kitchen after a disastrous fire in our 1680 thatched cottage. My contractor wouldn’t give me honed surfaces for some reason, though I had read all the web advice about it being easier to live with so I’ve got polished. Yesterday I was making ketchup and left the pan on too high and it spat all over. I now have an imperfection of etches on my countertop. I am now trying to get someone to come and hone and seal the marble. All your photos seem to be of etches. My marble hasn’t stained at all (touch wood) and I presume that is because it was sealed well (touch more wood). Advice for stains in general is to use a poultice. I still love marble. (I’m a writer.) My husband loves the marble. (Artist.) But this in-between stage of etches on polish is hard to take; I like my marble pristine or really old and translucent and scratched like an old Victorian wash-stand I used to own. Good luck, fellow marble-ites.
Didn’t mention that my honed marble is not sealed. At this point, about 3 months into the new kitchen, there are little spots and marks and etches all over the place, although they can be seen only at certain angles, if you’re looking for them. I made a bargain with myself that I wouldn’t worry about the marble, and I’m keeping that bargain. Life is too short–and it still looks gorgeous.
I just wanted to say that I am with you on the marble thing. I have marble in my master bath (emperador light), marble in my laundry room (Cararra), as well as Marble in my kitchen, mudroom, and pantry (Calacatta Bella). Lots of marble, right? Well, I am a marble lover too, however, I realize that love is not enough. I believe you need to understand first and foremost that marble is NOT granite or manufactured quartz. It is softer and far more porous and like you said, it really only stays factory “perfect” for mere minutes. I absolutely love my marble and I don’t mind caring for something that I believe adds such unparalleled beauty to my home.
Advice please, fellow marblelite girls. I’m having my contractor come back after Christmas to re-finish my marble. He will either repolish it and reseal it. OR he has agreed (he was very anti this at the time) leave it at a honed finish and then reseal it. He says polished shows up etches more but honed will stain more easily. However, he has had good results with a new sealer called Dry Treat. So at the moment I’m going honed and Dry Treated. Can any of you with sealed honed surfaces advise on whether I’m going to regret this or not?
Can you tell me the paint color that you used in your bathroom. Trying to find the right color for a master bath with a carrera marble floor, shower and countertop.
Color expert Maria Killam recommends Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace to go with Carrara marble (if you want white). I used it in my kitchen, and it does not look cold.
I used Silver Strand by Sherwin Williams with our carrara marble bathroom and it is stunning.
Thank you so much for posting this.
I opted for marble in my kitchen and the very next day the plumber marked it with plumbers putty. When I told my husband how delicate it was going to be, i.e., staining & etching, he said we shouldn’t get it. But I too was already in love with it and I wasn’t happy with any of the white granites/quartzs available. He knows how crazy I can get and said he was not going to put up with me going bonkers over the marring of the marble.
I found a site where the designer said if you’re going to use your marble you’ll need to change your perspective and accept a European outlook. Accept that it’s going to lose its shine and gain a patina, but that’s how all the beautiful homes and museums are in Europe.
Yesterday, I came home from a weekend away with a girfriend and noticed more spots that weren’t there before I left. I so wanted to yell at my husband and mother, well, not yell, but definitely get upset. I held back and even started looking at ways to fix the stains/eching. I just came upon you post and am now more relaxed. Even with the spots, it’s beautiful! And they’re really not that noticeable anyway – probably just to me who’s looking for any imperfections. My husband would be so proud but I can’t even tell him that I wanted to get upset. 🙂
Funny I’m a enfj and I’m on the fence too! I was actually doing a search on how to get tiny water stains off my marble in bathroom and came across your post here. I’ve been wanting Calcutta or statuary marble in my kitchen for years and haven’t de decided yet. Perhaps my google search is a sign 😉
Thank you for this refreshing and honest account of your experience with Marble. I am currently torn about what to do in my kitchen. I LOVE marble, just like you. Aesthetics are definitely number one, and nothing comes close, except perhaps quartzite. Unfortunately, it can be twice the cost of Carrara. Granite will simply never make me fall in love with my kitchen like marble will. With one salesperson swearing he has never seen anyone have a problem with marble (definitely untrue) and another try to talk me out of it, it is hard to know the answer. Yesterday I toured a huge warehouse of stone (so fun!) and talked extensively with the owner. Bottom line is: You have to decide what you can live with. Like you said, it will undoubtedly stain, scratch, etch etc… immediately. I’m so glad to see you still love it even with its flaws. It is certainly no less beautiful. Gorgeous kitchen and bath, by the way! So again, thank you. This swayed me more than any of my “official” research.
First, honey, GORGEOUS kitchen! Ok, ok, ahem… I just put Carrara marble on the counters of my 1920 Craftsman bungalow in Long Beach, California. Since the faucet just got installed last Wednesday, I can’t say I have had any water spot problems or food stain problems because I haven’t prepared any food in the kitchen yet. (It has been 3 months. I have another two weeks to go on the remodel. Waiting for a truck load of cement tile from Alabama, but that’s another story…) Second, I am flabbergasted that people tried to talk you out of marble. Glad you held your ground. I thought I wanted quartz (definitely wanted to avoid grout) until I saw the Carrara side by side with the quartz. Hands down, marble won from a “looks” perspective. I kept the original 93 year old cabinets in my kitchen (a whole wall of ’em) and the honed marble looks perfect with them (ok, my contractor is a miracle worker/cabinet plastic surgeon.) Since I am on my own, any wear and tear will be my own fault (ok, I will blame guests whenever possible… just warning you) but I am so glad to read all these posts in addition to the “care of” section of this blog. So helpful! This makes me want to start my own blog so I can brag, I mean, share my own kitchen remodel/decorating story.
Enfp with green marble in kitchen and baths. Wouldn’t have it another way. Part of the granite crowd, or surface du jour- NEVER! 🙂
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What did you use on your bathroom floor? It looks great
I sell cabinetry and countertops for a living (and make jewelry on the side) and I’m actually glad to hear I’m not the only one who does everything in their power to talk people out of marble. Some people seem to go a little deaf when they’re looking at something as beautiful as a slab of pristine marble, so remember to appreciate that your sales person is just trying to make sure you FULLY understand what you’re getting yourself into. 😉 That being said…my dream kitchen would be all marble. Ha ha. I tell people they need to think of it as a beautiful old wood floor…it will have it scratches, its stains, its imperfections, but thats all a part of what makes it so beautiful. Very jealous of your gorgeous kitchen!!!!
I am one on ten children, who was raised in an old victorian house with carrera marble counters. My grandmothers house, also a victorian, has carrera counters, and she had thirteen children. Those counters saw everything, from babies to potted plants and worse I’m sure, and look beautiful, clean easily, and were the workhorses of well WELL used kitchens. My kitchen renuvation is in the works. Already the comtractor said…’nooo you dont want marble, its soft! i can get you glow in the dark cou ters if you like!’ As if… Honed carrera it will be, because i adore the look, and know very well it soft comfortable character.
My new marble counters are lovely. The area between the refrigerator and the sink is getting spotted and etched. Like some have said, I’m probably the only one who notices. I have not had coffee or wine stains as yet. However my marble veining has little ‘pits’, especially one section. I tried to get the contractor to replace it (I still owe him some $$#), but he talked me into letting the stone mason fill the ‘pits’. Does any one else have this problem?
Also no one had mentioned what happens if:
1) you put a hot plate or pot on the marble or
2) you drop something or bag a jar lid on the stone to loosen the lid?
I am an artist and I love old furniture. Thanks for all the advice on learning to appreciate the ‘patina’ which develops over time with the marble.
My marble has small pits as well. My guess is that these are unavoidable; little fissures in the stone are no doubt a natural occurrence, so when the stone is cut and honed or polished, they appear. I just ignore them.
I’ve read that pulling pots off the stove and setting them on the marble can cause cracks. Don’t know if this is true, but better safe than sorry. I either use hot pads or set the pot on somewhere other than the marble. I pour boiling water into a teapot or tea cup directly on the marble without worrying, and nothing has happened.
I would not bang a jar directly on the marble. I put a cutting board on the marble and bang on that. When something strikes the marble fairly hard (such as a jar of vitamins tumbling off a shelf and landing on the marble), a small white spot appears at the point of impact. I understand that this is actually a change in the molecular structure of the marble. The etching, stains, and spots of all kinds don’t trouble me, but I do not like those white spots. I’m careful not to bang anything on the counter and changed where I keep the vitamin jars because they so frequently tumbled down. With these modifications, white spots are becoming a rare event.
I really, really, REALLY wanted Carrera for my kitchen counters but settled for a honed, pale green granite. No problems here. I allowed myself to have charcoal colored marble (also honed) for the island. I cannot even count the boo-boos! Just yesterday I foolishly left a Meyer lemon setting on it. Oh My Goodness! Big white spot!!!
I have read you can scour honed marble with cleaners such as Bon Ami. Does anyone know by experience if this will even out the etching? Can I use it on the dark marble?
People have used Bon Ami to clean their marble for a very long time. It contains no pumice so is not considered abrasive. Don’t know what it will do for your etching.
I have marble in my kitchen, and it has SEVERAL etch marks on it. But I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. I love it so much that I had slabs installed as the backsplash. It it absolutely stunning, and really, the etch marks aren’t THAT noticeable, unless you are looking for them.
Lisa Young says
I love your house!
I have honed white quartz and LOVE it. It’s literally indestructible
ESFP here and I could definitely live with marble. We have two colors of granite right now that I love, but I’d like a lighter color. My husband however, could never ever live with marble, but he’s in the tile/natural stone industry. Anyway, I love your whole house, you did a beautiful job with every detail.
Beautiful photos. I noticed some of your pictures show that you have not backsplash. I am getting ready to raise two vanities to the 36″ Height and install carrera but I don’t want the extra cost of moving my large mirrors, outlets and lights associated with raising the vanities. If I dont install a backsplash I can leave everything the same. Every installer I talk to advises me not to! Have you had any issues or did you use a certain type of caulk?
I desperately wanted marble, but I’m pretty sure I have a personality type that is not amenable to its drawbacks. I stumbled across a product called “clear stone” that coats the marble so that no staining OR etching will ever appear. Shockingly, the product has worked just as described. I’m surprised that more people don’t know about it given its legitimacy. There are a couple drawbacks: it must be professionally applied-a labor intensive two day process, it’s pricey, and once coated, the marble no longer feels cool to the touch. For me personally, these were small prices to pay to protect my initial investment and my sanity. We can leave red wine spills until the morning and cut citrus on the counter without worry. About a year in and not an etch or stain to write about. I don’t have any financial or personal ties to the company- I’m just a fellow marble lover!
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Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?
I too am buying Calcutta Gold Marble for my two guest bath vanities. It is absolutely beautiful and elegant. The floors will also be a Calcutta Gold look alike porcelain tile. I am worried about guest destroying the marble countertops with makeup or jewelry or whatever. What should i do to keep my marble looking new as the day it was bought? I am OCD, so maybe i made a mistake?
I stumbled upon this cuz I am in the process/agony of calcutta old marble or ????? I just don’t know if I can deal with the anxiety 🙁 Thanks so much for sharing your experince and your beautiful kitchen…..and calcutta gold marble.
Love this kitchen and this post! My question is actually about your wisteria – do you pick that every day for your vase? I love that – it is so beautiful and would love to try this!
Great article. I had been going back on forth on whether to get marble for my kitchen. It really does seem to depend on personality. I read somewhere that if you like leather and wood, and accept the inevitable scuffs and dings, then you will probably enjoy marble. If you get freaked by those things, marble will annoy you. I am an INFP and as I read that, I instantly knew that I would love marble. I have scuffs and scratches all over my hand made, solid cherry dining table that to me just make it look richer. I see 2 holes on my leather sofa that my toddler somehow managed to gouge out with a shoe buckle and has since widened them with her fingers, but I smile and reminisce everytime I see them. Those things, however drive my husband crazy. Different strokes for different folks.
any comments on bathroom countertops on visual impact of carrera vs
striated marble (from brazil)?
Can anyone who has marble comment on stains? I’m pretty sure that I can live with etching, I really don’t think that would be bother me too much at all. However, I’m wondering how easily marble stains. Coffee, tea, red wine, balsamic vinegar, etc. are all things that are spilled or splattered pretty frequently around here. Does anyone have stains (discolorations) on their marble?
Do you wipe up your spills and splatters when they occur, or do you let them sit? That’s really the key. I’ve had my marble for eight months with no serious staining. The fabricator seals it before it’s installed, so I don’t know what happens with completely unsealed marble. But on mine stains are not the color of the substance but a little darker gray that fades over time. They don’t happen often because I wipe up spills and spatters fairly promptly. I did scratch one spot a couple of days ago with a large porcelain container I used for a flower arrangement–I failed to put a towel under it when rotating it as I filled it with flowers. Stupid, but the scratches should fade with time.
I try to wipe up any coffee, tomato sauce, etc., when I see them, but do notice that if I’ve missed one and it’s sat there for some hours, it didn’t stain. My problem is with water and oil residue markings. You don’t notice them unless you’re looking from a distance at the plane of your countertops.
Can you maybe describe what the water and oil residue looks like? Is it something you notice in certain light or something you could walk into the kitchen and notice? I am still debating on whether or not to put marble in our kitchen and I could handle a few etch’s or marks that sort of blend in but with red wine etc. I would be concerned if it created a huge noticeable discoloration. Obviously, I would clean any spills as soon as they happen but some people say stains happen immediately, but i just can believe that! Also, what about hot pans from the oven, does that effect the marble at all?
I’m a little of all of these – artist, nurturer, performer, caregiver, etc.
Our kitchen remodel – down to the studs! – begins this Monday. After a month of debating on countertops (I wanted marble so badly) we decided on soapstone instead. I’m still getting marble, but for the backsplash. 🙂
Ha. I think you just talked me out of marble.
I was wanting to get a marble top for my island to contrast my soapstone counters in the reest of the kitchen. The soapstone is amazingly beautiful for all the same aesthetic reasons you stated about the marble. Except it is black with white veining.
The only downside in my opinion it how easy it scratches. I researched the heck out of it before going through with it. But was still surprised how easy it scratched.
On the plusses… It is very dense (non-pourace) and will never stain or need sealed. Just a coat of mineral oil once in a while, if you want the ‘black’ look.
I love the fact that it is so unique and that no one, no one, has it!
Let me know if you want to see it, and ill send you some pics.
I have always wanted marble countertops and people are always trying to talk me out of it I am redoing my kitchen and getting marble countertops
Thank you for the info and the honesty
I’m an ENFP and I have marble! I LOVE it. And since I’m in charleston, so far, we have house guests comstantly (literally! I’ve lived in my new to me but old house 2 and a half weeks and we’ve had overnight guests every single night.) I can’t be OCD about keeping the place spotless because it would drive me up the wall. This week the house is so full we had a girl sleeping on an air mattress in the kitchen so I crawled across the marble countertop to the microwave at 6 am. But anyway, I’m just in love with the marble and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even though it’s a beautiful mess most of the time!
Informative post. We see this a lot at our shop with Marble. Staining is a big issue. I’m going to pass a long this unbias review on marble to some of our customers asking about marble.
I have had a honed Carrera marble pastry board on my kitchen counter for about 20 years and it is used as a cutting board. After all that time and all different things being cut, it still looks great. Even when cutting lemons, the discoloration goes away after a day or so. Since it is a cutting board, I use Clorox Clean-up on it from time to time with no ill effect. I am absolutely sold on marble and plan on installing Carrera marble countertops in the future.
I’m an INFJ. But my personality is quite complicated, I think. I LOVE a pretty home and absolutely LOVE marble, but I get nervous about the staining. I didn’t see color spots on yours. If you drop spaghetti, will it become red stains? Just curious. I’m a perfectionist with some things, but I don’t think with something I love so much I would care. My only issue is that we may sell our home at some point after we fix up our kitchen….so…decisions decisions. I’m so glad I read your post bc I have a better outlook than I did after reading all the warnings offered online about marble.
First, it’s important to know that marble from a good stone place will be sealed before it’s installed. I’ve had mine now for about nine months and have not resealed. As Edie says, there are so many marks and spots and etches that it’s impossible to know whether the sealing has made a significant difference. But there are no red spots anywhere on my marble, from red wine or spaghetti sauce or pomegranate juice or beet juice. Of course I wipe things up when I see a spill, but now and then a drop or two will be missed until the next morning, and even then it wipes up without leaving a red stain–although it may leave an etching or other spot. However, the spots and etches are basically the same color as the marble, which is why they can’t be seen unless light is shining on them. Frankly, it’s the places where things have dropped on the marble, changing its molecular structure and leaving a small white spot, that really bother me. I haven’t seen anyone else talk about this, so maybe nothing ever drops on their counters, or they never accidentally bang something down. Those small white spots are visible, just as a scratch would be, although you would never notice them from more than a few feet away. I suppose eventually they will seem like part of the patina. As for marble negatively affecting resale, I can’t imagine it. I’ve had large parties in my house, and no one has ever asked me how I manage with the marble. Its sheer beauty would answer such a question before it was asked.
I purchased a marble slab directly from a marble quarry in Colorado. I plan to have it installed in my house currently under construction. The slab will cover them largest part of my baking center area. Can’t wait to work on it! Other countertops will be concrete.
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Does anybody know what color grey are her cabinets? I am remolding my kitchen with an walnut island and the grey cabinets. Love marble! thank you!
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It’s Fieldstone gray by Benjamine Moore!
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Really your kitchen looks so beautiful. Actually Marble has an extra-ordinary beauty. Stain is the big problem with it.
I’m all about form over function. I just created a kitchen out of a family room so I was fortunate enough to start from scratch. I used gray green lower cabinets, putty colored uppers and white marble with very a slight whisper of green. It’s stunning! I too, love, love, love the marble each and every morning I walk into the kitchen. It’s sensual and warm and at the same time hard and substantial. It doesn’t get any better. ENTJ in Colorado.
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Kim van Rijn says
Love that you used the Myer-Briggs Personality Types to say whether marble countertops would be a good fit! However, you missed my personality type–the INFP. I’m very “P” so I think I wouldn’t have a problem with them. My current kitchen has soapstone and I love them…and like marble, soapstone is soft. I’m doing a kitchen in another house we own and I want to do marble in that kitchen. I think I will LOVE it.
I’m an INFP as well, and I love my marble. Go for it!
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i have just recently redone my kitchen and fell totally in love with marble and couldn’t settle for anything else. i too was warned, but my kitchen contractor felt that based on how i take care of things (i’m quite meticulous), it would work for me. i have giallo antico which looks like a slice of a mountain (all sorts of earth tones plus a splash of soft red in one area of my slab…who knew). it’s so amazingly beautiful and has so much variation in it that a wine or tomato stain would not be noticeable. i had a sample and performed all sorts of test on it to make sure it would work for me so i knew going in what it could withstand. i highly recommend doing that. now that it’s installed, i’ve learned that what i need to be the most careful with is scratching so i use cutting boards all over the place. like Edie, when i walk in my kitchen i am in awe of the beauty. it is so worth it.
Em Maxwell says
I love your writing! The Myers-Briggs insight is genius. And everyone’s comments, too. Thanks! I went from Oh no, to OK!
Paula Prass says
I was an interior designer for years and worked on many a kitchen. I was that naysayer that was obligated to warn people against marble (the cover your butt routine). Yet I walked through Paris, London, old hotels and state buildings and loved that worn, yet withstood the test of time look. Now it’s me that is gutting my latest kitchen and being given the same warnings. I was told today, “No one uses Carrara in the kitchen.” I’m thinking he should see my Pinterest Kitchen Board. This is such a great post along with all the comments. Has anyone tried just go ahead and christen the marble with a concoction of lemon, marinara, coffee and red wine and get it over with? P.S. I need to scrounge up my old M-B’s score..or should I?
Hope all is well
Love!!! your kitcken sink faucet. Can you pls send me the information on who makes it
Oh my gosh i love this blog post. Thanks for giving us a peek into your thought process and home!
Sally Coles says
I have some lovely Carrera marble, and yesterday I left out some bought rolled out pre made puff pastry for about 30 mins while i fed the baby…. Now I have a large mottled rectangular etch in my marble! I looked at the ingredients and it contains folic acid and tumeric amongst other bad stuff so I won’t be doing that again, but do you have any suggestions to get rid of a big etch?? Thank you!!
As far as I know, there is no fix for an etch. Are you sure it is an etch, rather than an oil stain from the fat in the puff pastry dough? Oil stains fade over time. You might try to see this as the beginning of the patina of age we all admire in old marble.
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Ha! I loved, loved this blog post and the Meyers-Briggs framework. ENTJ here and daughter of an antique dealer who has a century-old children’s ice cream table in the family (now in my home). It has a round polished carrara table top with 100 years of love. Every mark is cherished and we’ve never sealed it. We had it in the kitchen and my kids ate breakfast and lunch sitting there for the past ten years. It is still gorgeous. Now I am doing my kitchen and have Omega Dynasty Portobello cabinets and I want marble counters. Everything else looks fake to me. Crazy love.
That’s why the best choice is quartz compoziste for kitchen countertops. 🙂
Hi there! First time poster 🙂
I’m getting measured for my marble kitchen countertops tomorrow and I’m SO excited! Your post was just the nudge I needed, even though I fall into the wrong personality type…
Can you please tell me– Are you counters 2 or 3cm?
Thanks so much! Your home is beautiful!
Justine from Nashville
We are in the process of building a house and I am the cook. I also am a 20+ year devotee of the power and insights of MB personality profile. In my heart I know marble is for me, but now I have to convince my INFJ wife….I am your poster boy for marble, ISFP.
Jeri Bissell says
Edie – I inherited my Mother’s dresser-top marble. It was in her room as a child, most likely purchased second hand in the 1910’s in South Dakota. She used it as a coffee table for years, and I had it refinished and installed as a kneading/pastry rolling countertop in my new kitchen 12 years ago. I absolutely agonized over ever stain and etch at first, now I am going with the flow. I consider it a sort of “memory board” for my kitchen. You should SEE what sourdough loaves “resting” for 15 min. do!
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John Ziebarth says
I love the natural look of Marble! Ages well like a nice piece of natural wood or finished concrete. I honestly think it looks better with age. It has a natural history. Much nicer than those synthetic type surfaces in my humble opinion.
Thank you SO much for this post. We just moved in to a new house with a marble island and the maintenance has driven me crazy. This has informed me and given me permission to loosen up and just let life happen on that countertop.
This was a great post! I have a Q about your stains…when you say mostly water stains, are they darker? Or, are they lighter like etching. I am finding so much conflicting info about staining and marble…I know it etches. I am totally cool with that. But I want to know if it stains, like if oil will leave a dark mark, or if water will leave a dark mark, or if marinara will leave a reddish mark?
Hi Edie, thank you for your honest and terribly funny post! I loved it so much I mentioned it in a recent article I wrote re: Marble alternatives. Hopefully its sent some new readers your way in the last few days!
Hugs, Kylie 🙂
Thanks so much for this page, I really enjoyed your post! We are almost done with our kitchen remodel and saw the Carrara marble at the stone and granite warehouse. My husband and I fell in love! It was just the look we wanted….. but, but…. I’m not sure! Scratches, etching, staining?? Oh my!
After 17 years of formica, I want a beautiful (pristine?) kitchen, so even informed I am still scared to decide!
Love this game
Did you know that Carrera Marble is the stone that Michaelangelo used to sculpt many of his mreseapiects? The quarry was located nearby (in Italy) and plentiful so it provided him with limitless resources for his work…plus the white stone is often flawless so it was a perfect choice.I totally agree that this is a great material to show off with. There is nothing more fantastic than a countertop with an integral sink carved out of the same material. And marble is the perfect product for this application.If the Masters used it during the Renaissance, shouldn’t we use it for…uh…the new millenium?!
Stan Cowan says
I wish I had read your posting before having our bathrooms renovated. I obviously lack the personality for marble vanity tops. A great deal of trouble for a reward only appreciated by some females (your site has comments from two or three males only–now make that one more). Yes, marble is beautiful, but maintaining it isn’t worth the trouble.
I have had marble in both my kitchen (honed) and master bath (polished) for several years. I knew what I was getting myself into, as I used to sell stone and always steered people away from marble. To respond to the most recent post, have no fear of marble in a bathroom. Mine is still beautiful and looks brand new. And we are not neat freaks! I’ve even colored my hair in that bathroom! It simply doesn’t take the beating that kitchen counters do. My kitchen counters, which are much newer, are covered with etch marks and a couple stains. My husband even chipped the edge around the sink with a Le Creuset pot. In spite of this, and partly because of this, I love them. I always wanted Carrara counters and finally have them. Not everyone is cut out for them, but I’ve never regretted mine.
I just want to thank you for this post! I really wanted marble and had the look of it in mind when for everything we looked at. I considered laminate for a second and picked out the one that looked most like marble. When we looked at granite, all the white ones were twice our budget. I really had the specific look in mind, so we thought “Why imitate it? Why NOT marble?” So we did some research and my husband came across this post. You have been so incredibly helpful! We’re doing butcher block on our island and we intend to beat the tar out of it, so we obviously don’t mind patina and hopefully since we’ll have a counter to beat up, maybe we’ll do more there than on the marble, but either way, I don’t mind. And your thorough personality analysis for it kind of cracked me up. Also, we’re in the Knoxville area, so we couldn’t believe the serendipity of finding your post! Now all that’s left is for you to have me over so I can see it in person.
Just wanted to put my two marble cents in 🙂 I have various types of marble both polished and honed in all bathrooms (white thassos, Calcutta gold, carrara and a mid gray marble with white veining that I’m not sure the name of) also have honed danby marble on the kitchen counters. I’ve had no staining or etching trouble with any of it (yet, I’m waiting!) I’m so surprised how the danby has been holding up! I’ve spilled wine and bits of oil too and there has been no issues. Although I’ve gotten a cleaner from mr stone that has a sealer in it so u seal as you clean and I use it most days in the kitchen. Me and the hubs squeegee the marble in The shower every day as we have hard water. It’s upkeep but I’m a ‘cleaner’ and would be cleaning this way regardless of the material (as mold and hard water stains are always an issue no matter what) the only thing is it’s a soft material so be careful with heavy pots and pans or dropping heavy items it will cause little chips/ dings size of a pen head.
I just wanted to let you and your readers know that there is a preventative solution for their marble counter tops! I know this may sound like a shameless plug, but it is really an amazing product! I would advise anyone home owner to look into StoneGuard! It is much more effective than any sealer or Clear Stone. It is completely stain proof, etch proof, and heat resistant! We’ve tested it at over 300 degrees without a single mark 🙂 I wouldn’t recommend this as a DIY project and we are trying to spread the word so let your local contractors and fabricators know! Please check us out at Stoneguardusa.com I hope this product is helpful to anyone who wants to preserve their natural stone, or are afraid to choose the stone they really want for their kitchen and bathrooms because of maintenance issues! Cheers!
Amaraneni Bharadwaj says
Firstly, I would like thank the author for sharing such an nice article. Yes, the things had life once after we start liking to use it.
Great article! Marble is a very beautiful material when taken care of. Keeping it from staining usually isn’t too difficult, but it does happen quite often when people forget to clean up or spill something and it seeps into a scratch. I’ve actually met people who leave the stains there and seal over them because it added to the look. It may sound strange, but in some instances i’ve seen that to be true.
Never fret over the scratches, it adds character. If they are really that bad they can be polished out. Marble, granite and onyx is a natural stone that, just like other materials, will scratch and that’s ok. Again, great article. I’m just surprised that people gave you a hard time with it. We try to make it easy and show the different options. Marble should be a scary topic and stains/scratches shouldn’t be taboo! Would it be ok if I shared this with people who are looking into marble?
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I am not the personality type that wants to deal with stains on my countertops. I think it’s called the LAZY personality type. I would like to cut up a lemon and just leave it there until after I’m done cooking and not worry about the etching. Wine is also a frequent presence in my kitchen. For this reason, I found a great solution after MONTHS of thinking about it–because I do love the look of real marble! I finally settled on Cambria Ella countertops, which have a wondeful natural looking marbling, with a carrara marble subway tile backsplash, and it is spectacular! I wash my counters with windex and they sparkle like new every time. No sealing needed! I also wonder what kind of chemicals are in that sealant–do I really want that near my food? Anyway, my backsplash has not gotten any stains or etching after a 2 months of being installed, and looks as beautiful as the first day it was put in. I love it and my wonderful countertops, and would recommend Cambria quartz (especially Ella) to anyone!
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Lissa Nelson says
yes, marble is very impressive when compared with all other natural stones which we used for countertops.
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Hi! I tried clicking the link to how you clean your marble, but it said page not found. Just curious what products you use for normal cleaning? We are getting it for our bathroom countertop and I’m not sure what to use! I terribly etched our shower curb with normal cleaning products before I knew better.
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I have a question, I have natural wood cupboards in honey oak which I want to keep, have tile floor in a beige tone, kitchen is kind of dark. I would like marble countertops, willing to settle for granite and some sort of dazzling backsplash. Can anyone suggest appropriate colors?
Leo Garcia says
Marble Countertops best for kitchen. It is ideal for foyers, bathrooms, floors and hearths.
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Leo Garcia says
Marbles Counter lops are just awesome i will always prefer marble because marbles are just awesome
Thank you for sharing! Your kitchen looks amazing!
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Amy G says
Currently in the process of building a home with my husband and after a trip to Florida over Christmas this year I fell deeply in love with marble. The home we stayed in had it all over the bathrooms and it was beautiful. I began pinning my favorite marble looks on Pinterest and made the call to our sub-contractor doing our counters and sinks and said I want to do marble. To which he strongly advised me not to. Like you I hit the internet to research, which is where I found you and your blog on marble. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your heart. I truly made my decision to go with my gut and do what I know will bring my family, friend and myself great beauty and pleasure for years to come. So thank you.
I’m an ENFP (Campaigner) according to the 16 personalities site: The ENFP personality is a true free spirit. I think I would be ok with marble. Number one I think it’s GORGEOUS number two…I’m not particular about things being “perfect”.
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Nancy Nickoley says
What type of marble do you have? I was looking at a Bianco Venatino that looks similar. It’s beautiful.
Wonderful article, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I really want marble, but my husband is opposed. We have different personalities so I will just have to be happy with my marble kitchen table for now.
Joanna S says
Your kitchen counters are so beautiful! I understand that acidic liquids will etch marble but does plain water leave marks as well ?
Lori Evans says
Great post. I also have *very* etched marble in my Kitchen and everywhere and love it. Totally worth it.
INTJ & Interior Designer
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