Marble Worktops: Everything You Need To Know
It’s stunning to look at and can be surprisingly affordable, but is installing a marble worktop really worth the hassle?
From Pinterest to Instagram and all the interiors magazines, we’ve noticed that marble is really having a moment.
Recently we’ve seen a rise in the interest towards marble kitchen countertops from our customers too, and although many can find it a viable option financially when renovating their kitchens, we tend to advise against choosing marble due to the high maintenance character of this natural material.
Here we’ve looked at some of the pros and cons of choosing a marble worktop for your kitchen renovation, including alternative options.
There’s no denying that marble countertops make a statement. They are an elegant addition to any kitchen, or any room in fact. A timeless option when it comes to interior design, marble walls, floors, tables and design elements make a bold statement that exude luxury and effortlessly bring an element of nature into your home.
Marble is a natural, porous material that can stain very easily – it loves to absorb oils and highly pigmented liquids such as wine. For this reason, it needs to be professionally sealed upon installation to help prevent spillages staining, and you will also need to continue to reapply the sealant on a six-monthly basis to protect the stone, making it particularly high maintenance.
Although it can be an affordable option for some, there are also some very, very expensive options. Depending on the type and location of the marble you’re coveting, the price can go up to eyewatering amounts. As is usually the case with natural materials – in terms of quality, you will always get what you pay for.
Soft at Heart
You will have to build a tolerance to noticing nicks and scratches, as marble is a much softer stone compared to granite, for example. Knocking the edges or dropping something sharp or heavy on the surface can cause chips. This of course makes it an ideal material to create sculptures, but not so much in a busy, family kitchen. Damage can also come from softer enemies such as lemon juice and other acids, which break down the sealant with prolonged exposure and allow scratching to happen more easily.
There are a plethora of different types of marble, meaning there is a colourway and pattern to suit your style out there, you just need to look for it. You can also choose to have your marble countertops either polished or honed, providing two different finished results. As the name suggests, a polished marble surface will add a layer of protection, as well as beautiful glass-like reflections. A honed surface however provides a more matte effect, slightly more understated and tactile. Whichever you choose will still look flawless, it’s just a matter of personal taste.
A Few More Things…
- Marble is naturally heat-resistant, and so makes a great case for being used in the kitchen, although we do advise that you use a trivet to rest hot pans and baking dishes, as there is a small risk that you may discolour the surface from heat damage.
- The cool surface is perfect for avid bakers and pasta makers as when you’re rolling dough it’s less likely to stick to the sides, making your job that little bit easier.
- Well maintained marble worktops could contribute to your property’s saleability in the future as the opulence of the material can make a great first impression and help upsell your property.
- As a natural material, every piece of marble is truly unique so you can rest assured that no other kitchen is going to feature the same veining and patterns that yours does. This also means that unless you have seen the exact cut that you will be having in your home, there’s no way to guarantee the veining and colours will be identical in another piece you order.
There are plenty of man-made alternatives to a marble worktop – we highly recommend a quartz countertop for customers who are looking for something similar to beautiful marble, but don’t have the time or the inclination for the care and upkeep required.
Quartz has come a long way in recent years and some of the more expensive designs can closely imitate natural marble, although the main difference will be the consistency of colour and pattern – as quartz is manufactured each slab will be exactly the same, unlike marble where the beauty comes from its uniqueness.
We have also recently discovered an amazing, sustainable alternative, created using reclaimed waste plastic packaging. Designers and makers Weez & Merl created a set of beautiful table tops for sustainable seafood restaurant Angela’s of Margate, UK using collect waste from local businesses. We’re not sure about how this material would fare as kitchen countertops, but we just can’t get over how stunning it is! More photos can be found on Angela’s Instagram.
Marble, quartz, granite, wood… whichever material you choose you to bedeck your kitchen cabinets with, rest assured we have high quality suppliers with countless varieties of materials at their fingertips and we will guide you to choosing the perfect option for your new kitchen.