What You Need to Know About Marble Countertops

Marble is a word that strikes up feelings of luxury, decadence and richness. Before granite was the big thing in kitchens, marble ruled the roost in both kitchens and bathrooms (and flooring, too!). If you had anything marble in your home, you were doing alright. Marble is still one of the most sought after materials for countertops in the realm of home improvement and it has some definite pros and cons. Its veiny, unmistakable appearance immediately brings elegance to any room -- and is usually the reason why people choose marble. Did you know that Michelangelo sculpted the statue of David from a single block of marble?
Benefits and Care
Marble is a natural stone that is quarried just like granite and soapstone. Each piece of marble, since naturally-occurring, is completely different. Marble can range in color from chalky white to deep onyx. Your choices are almost as endless as the colors and patterns in nature. One of the great benefits of marble is that it's not very trendy. Marble is a classic material that has been used in structures for centuries, so marble countertops are never going out of style. In addition, marble countertops are very strong, durable and heat resistant. So, no worries about setting down that hot pot!
Marble does have a few drawbacks, just like every other counter surface. For one, it can stain, so watch out when you're handling red wine. You should also use coasters when placing cans or glasses on the surface. Also, it can scratch easily so it is recommended that you use a cutting board.
Marble is sensitive to acidic substances such as some juices, wines and coffee, which can "etch" the surface. Etching is basically dulling of the polish, and this can occur regardless of whether the marble is sealed.
Sealing and Cleaning
Clean your marble countertop with a soft damp cloth using warm water. Use only mild soap if necessary, but don't use common household cleaners that contain harsh chemicals. There are special marble cleaning products that you can purchase for tough stains. To prevent absorption of liquids, marble should be periodically resealed. Once a year is probably adequate.

How Does It Measure Up?
Overall, marble is a surface that requires some care and upkeep. Compared with granite, it is not quite as hard and requires a little more care. However, it is just as heat resistant and can stand up to granite with its pricetag. Unlike soapstone and concrete, marble does not require the use of a trivet due to its high resistance to heat. I think when it comes to marble countertops, you have to ask yourself whether you are able to handle the extra maintenance that marble may require. If you love the look, chances are, you're up for the challenge.
Not sure if marble is the right material for your kitchen? Take a look at Technicolor Countertop Ideas, and What You Need to Know About Stainless Steel Countertops for more options.
By Design Milk ( Photo Credit: Design Milk)

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