Should I use white marble for my kitchen countertops?

The trend toward using white marble in kitchens seems to be here to stay. More and more, our customers are requesting white marble for their kitchen remodeling projects. The purpose of this article is to set the customer’s expectations at the proper level when using white marble in a kitchen area.

Many people are hesitant to recommend marble for kitchen applications because of the fact that marble is softer than granite and has a reputation of staining and or etching easily.  Marbles are calcium based stones which are susceptible to acidic substances.  As a result marble will etch when it interacts with acid. This leaves a discolored or uneven appearance where the acid interacted with the marble.  Anyone interested in using marble, especially white marble needs to know that this will happen. Many manufactures strongly recommend white marble in a honed instead of polished finish in a kitchen installation. A polished marble surface etches easily and noticeably.  A honed finish will hide some of the surface imperfections when a white marble counter comes in contact with every day items that are high in acid like lemon juice.

With proper care and quick spill removal staining does not have to become big problem.  Every piece of marble is different. One of the most important factors when considering which stone to use as a countertop in your kitchen is the absorption rate of the stone. Obviously speaking the lower the absorption rate the more appropriate it is for a kitchen. One way to decrease the absorption rate is to seal the stone with a good water based impregnator once per year.  It is also very important to keep the stone clean with a pH neutral natural stone cleaner and get to potential stains as soon as possible.

If and when a stain occurs it may be possible to use a poultice solution that will draw out the stain. What this all means is that it can be okay to use white marbles as countertops in kitchens. While they will never be as hard as granite they can with proper maintenance perform up to an educated consumer’s expectations.

Marbles will also patina over time which depending on how you look at it even adds to the beauty of the stone. It all comes down to proper maintenance and proper expectations.

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