The Truth About Marble… Selecting, Caring and Cleaning Your Marble Countertops from a Pro!
Marble… This is most definitely one of my most requested posts that I have been meaning to actually sit down and right for forever and a day now. So you are thinking about using marble in your kitchen? Yep, I thought super duper long and hard about it too when I was designing our kitchen. Even as a once professional in the stone industry, it took me some pondering.
So let’s get to the cold hard truth… Is marble for everyone? Absolutely NOT! Is it gorgeous and fabulous and unique and do I love mine? Heck YES!!! Here’s the thing… as with most anything, if you are willing to put the time, effort and energy into caring for and maintaining your countertops then yes, marble is for you. If you have other things in life to worry about and feel like your countertops are the least of your concerns then no, stick to granite or quartz! If you like to throw your keys down on your kitchen island, drag pans across it, leave dripping wine and olive oil bottles out overnight and plop those 400 degree casserole dishes right down on top of your countertops, you may as well just stop reading this now. See you on Monday for the cutest Fall skirt you have ever seen! 😉
Without trying to sound like negative Nancy here, I have to break it to you and say that quite possibly every single thing you have heard about marble is true. It scratches… it stains… it etches… and it literally just can’t take the heat! But if you have your heart set on a gorgeous slab of white marble, you can do it my friends. I am two years into this marble in my kitchen journey and we are still going strong! There are certain things in my life that I am terrible with and I just know it. I have lost, damaged and scratched to heck and back about twenty pairs of designer sunglasses so $15 Target glasses are now my thing… Vacuuming daily is not favorite so I gave up on dark hardwoods two years ago and I will never look back!… I do not iron clothing, EVER… If something cannot be steamed, it is not for me! But marble for me, worth the commitment!
If I haven’t gotten you running for the granite hills quite yet, here is what you need to know…
- Marble Will Scratch… Yes friends, quite easily actually. But ya know to be honest, I feel like the little imperfections in our marble countertops over the years just show how much we love and live in our home. Just like the perfectly imperfect marble all over Europe that has seen centuries of LOVE, marble gets worn and “more beautiful” with age. It tells our story if you will. If you decide to go with marble, decide right now to find a new place to throw your keys… Teach your hubby and your kiddos to stop dragging plates and pans and glasses across the countertop… And NEVER cut on your marble. Just use it as a reason to stock up on some cute new cutting boards!
2. Marble Will Etch… What is an etch? Think of it as a chemical reaction that leaves a permanent mark that looks somewhere between a scratch and a stain. But remember, we are thinking about that as a sign of LOVE for our home now right? Our marble tells our story. And as careful as we have been with our countertops, etching in marble is inevitable. It happens when acid reacts with the marble creating a corrosive chemical reaction that literally ever so slightly eats away at your marble. From spaghetti sauce to lemons to wine to even certain water acidities, it is bound to happen! I know that sounds scary BUT the good news is that it is subtle and honestly only visible at certain times a day, at certain angles and with certain light. Like if you stand at a humped over angle at 3pm on a sunny day and stare from our breakfast room table staring at our sink you can see it. Otherwise it’s like it’s not even there! Here is that 3pm, humped over on a bright sunny day example on our dining room table. Our dining room table is an extreme example because we use and abuse this table quite often. I like to think that every wine glass mark is a memory of a dinner party where we laughed until 1am with the best of friends. Oh and this is the exact same spot just from different viewpoints…
3. Marble Will Stain… Marble is quite porous and less dense than granite making it the perfect recipe for soaking up some stains. With the exception of a small dark oil spot here and there, I can honestly say that we have successfully avoided stains for the most part. We have a round cutting board that we keep by the stove and it becomes the spot for wine bottles, olive oil and other juicy cooking substances whenever someone is cooking. It really just becomes habit after a while to clean up spills quickly and to stick something under a dripping bottle of red wine. And I would definitely say that red wine and oil are going to be your two biggest marble enemies. Let’s just say that marble loves to soak them up just as much as we do 😉
4. Marble is GORGEOUS… I tried and I tried and I tried to find something that compared to our Calcutta Reale (Calcutta Gold) marble. I saw every porcelain, granite and quartz slab I could find to try and talk myself out of marble but I saw these slabs and I fell in LOVE with it’s natural beauty. In my opinion, you really just can’t beat the elegant, classic and timeless beauty of a beautiful piece of marble. So beautiful that I also had the most beautiful hand-crafted marble sink made from the same slabs as our countertops. It is probably one of my very favorite “pieces of art” in my home…
Whew! I think that about covers the honest to goodness truth about selecting marble for your kitchen. Now how do you care and maintain your new marble to get the MOST out of your beautiful stone?
Marble Care & Maintenance…
About two years ago, I stumbled upon The Grove Collaborative and ordered a big ole’ box of stuff. From countertop cleaner to the best smelling hand soap to a chapstick that I am now obsessed with, I now LOVE getting fun shipments from Grove Collaborative. You can check out their AMAZING Back to School Set Offer HERE. It includes ALL of my faves! I have been going strong with them for two years now and still love their stuff! I am sure you have seen it all in my kitchen for quite some time now but I am finally telling you guys all about it! So anyways, long story short, their Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner has become my go-to for daily cleaning and to create the yummiest smelling kitchen. I love that they always send new scents and that we never ever run out!
When it comes to a good deep clean, I use THIS CLEANER and love it! It’s safe for everyday cleaning, removes dirt, is streak free AND has the perfect pH balance for your stone. You can purchase it HERE.
This Sealer is the best that we have found for marble but is also works on any natural stone or grout. It literally makes the spills bead up and not soak into the stone near as much. Depending on how often you use and abuse your kitchen, one application every six months to a year will work great! Simply use a clean rag and wipe onto the entire countertop evenly. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe off the excess with another clean rag. Do this twice to make sure you got it all covered. Once the sealer dries, it does not change the look of the marble.
This Polish is for when you just want to add a little extra shine or luster to your marble. After cleaning throughly, you just spray it on and wipe it in with a clean rag. Then, let it dry to a haze and buff if out with another clean rag. It just gives a little extra luster to your marble. Almost like waxing a car. Be careful not to use it too often though as it can add a build-up to your marble. We recommend using it once a month at most.
If your marble does have a lot of etching, scratching or general wear and tear, this darkening sealer works well to hide the marks. First, you would want to clean your entire countertop with acetone to remove any dirt and sealer on the marble. Next, apply this sealer just like you would the regular sealer. The difference is that this actually enhances the stone and leaves it more shiny thus giving it more of a “wet look” to hide the imperfections. I recommend using this every six months to a year or whenever you feel your marble is starting to lose it’s shine. Not too often though!
Cabinet Color: 1/2 Stardew & 1/2 Uncertain Grey by Sherwin Williams
Flooring: Read “They Nailed It! Or Maybe Stained…“
Barstools- Restoration Hardware
White Wingback Chairs: Restoration Hardware
Shop My Favorite Marble Care & Maintenance Products…
XOXO, Brittany Hayes