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Can I survive Marble?

It’s no surprise I love marble.

But I mean. I LOVE marble.

To me, it’s one of the most gorgeous material you can grant your home with. It fits in classical and traditional projects, but also in contemporary spaces, which makes it very versatile. It can look soft or vigorous, depending on what you select.

 

And you LOVE marble too. You’ve probably pinned a thousand pictures of it, in a variety of different boards. You picture kitchen countertops, fully-dressed marble bathrooms, gorgeous flooring (and even – ceillings (please someone pinch me) and the most popular and accessible choice of all: kitchen backsplashes)

You also probably have heard the rumors about this product. It has been told that it would be porous, easily stainable, and would require lots of attention.

Because let’s be honest, there is a couple of things to take into consideration before buying an expensive material like this one. So the question is, is marble the good choice for you?

1) Marble etches
 Spoiler alert: it is not a water stain.

Marble is a natural stone, usually coming from the Carrarra region in Italy. You can read more about the different marbles coming from Carrarra in my article here.

Since it’s a natural material, its beauty relies on its looks, and it’s ability to age.

Yes, Marble ages. Just like your hardwood floor; when it’s freshly installed, it looks perfect and clean, but throughout time, you can see wear and tear in the most high-traffic areas.

Sooner or later, marble will corrode. It will show marks, known as etching (or mistaken as water marks).

Aged wood as its charm, so why won’t marble feel the same way?

But what is etching actually?

Etching is a natural effect that happens to the stone. It is not a discoloration, nor a tearing, it is more about the stone dullling in the places where it is mostly used and where liquids are spreading.

Since marble is made of carbonate calcium, this element will react with the contact of acids, such as lemon juice, tomato sauces, vinegar etc. This also means that the area on which you are working the most might show more etches than others.

Here’s an example of what etching looks like:

In this picture, we can clearly see the etch marks. We even see the martini glass rim. It is important to know that from another angle, these marks could almost be invisible.

We are in a society in America where we are told that everything has to look brand new to be considered beautiful. We flee at the though of aging and this is not a common ideology in Europe. Europeans almost all have a stone or marble countertop in their houses. And yes, they all have signs of etching. For some people, it is defined as the beauty of the stone. It’s a material that evolves as you are.

However, if etching terrifies you, don’t worry: you can  always use products to repair etches such as this one:  MB Stone Care. In the case of deep or rough etch marks, you will require a professional service to restore the marble (however, it might be expensive.)

How to prevent etching:

1) Always use cutting board, and protect marble from any acid agents
2) Always use coasters
3) Instantly wash your countertops while working with acid food
4) Choose a honed finish instead of polished finish. The impact of corrosion will be less visible.
5) Choose another material on your main workspace – on the kitchen island, per example..
6) Resale value: Repolish your marble before putting the house on sale.

 

Marble Table Wood Reclaimes Restoration Hardware
2) Stains

Now, stains and etches are 2 totally different things. A stain is something that is absorbed by the marble; an etch is a chemical reaction that is often mistaken as a ”water stain”. Sealing marble won’t prevent etching! But it will prevent the stone from absorbing substances – and this, is important.

It is strongly recommended to use a sealer on your marble. In my case, I always tell my clients to do it right after the installation (and schedule it on every 3-4 months). No excuse!

You would want to use it if your marble is in a very busy space, such as the kitchen (countertops and backsplash) and on the floors.

 

 Coffee stain on marble

A sealer will prevent food or beauty products to be absorbed by the stone. However, a sealer is not invincible – a product that stays on the surface for a whole day may be absorbed by the stone, even if you sealed it. You need to have a rigorous cleaning routine!

This is the sealer that I recommend to my clients: Mapei Ultracare Enhancing Stone Sealer
3) Cleaning
The most important thing about cleaning marble is using a non abrasive and mild soap. You should never use products containing vinegar or other acid agents. The best thing is to always clean it after cooking, or even in between each-step to prevent any problems. There is also a lot of guides online to help you in case of a food stain.

 

So, in final?

It all comes to you. I knew, for instance, that I could never use marble on my kitchen countertop. I am way too goofy and it’s just like me to forget a spot (or two) while cleaning. However, I LOVE my kitchen backsplash. I chose a Carrara Sienna Marble in a Herringbone pattern, and it is a true elegant statement.

 

What is best is that you know your own limits, and if you can live with the care marble requires.

So, after reading this out, what are you thoughts? Would you use marble in your home? If yes, where?

 

 

 

 

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