Elegant, sophisticated, timeless…marble countertops are simply beautiful and guaranteed to make a statement in any home. The rich colors of marble and intricate veining make marble countertops one of the most desirable natural stones for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Like other natural stones, each slab of marble is in itself unique. Keep in mind that aside from being fantastic looking, this type of countertops require more upkeep and maintenance than other natural stone countertops.
Origin of marble
Marble is a natural stone that gets its looks from the metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks like limestone and dolomite. This metamorphism is the result of extreme heat and pressure which has caused variable re-crystallization of the original stone. Pure white marble is from the metamorphism of pure limestone and dolomite. No granite has the white radiance of marble.
One of the main characteristics of marble slabs are their veins and swirls. Interestingly enough, the intricate markings are due to several mineral impurities (sand, iron, clay,…) originally present in the original limestone and dolomite. For example, marble slabs with a green coloring are usually the result of a high magnesium content in the limestone.
Before you buy
Yes marble countertops are beautiful, but they are also high maintenance. Marble is inherently a softer stone than granite and is more likely to scratch and stain. Extra precautions should be taken to protect your countertops such as using a cutting board when using knives and silicone trivets for hot pots. It is also recommended to use a sealer to help with stain prevention as marble countertops are easily stained by acidic liquids.
Wiping off a spills (coffee, wine, oil) promptly is important to prevent staining. Ideally, marble should be used for bathrooms and for countertops other than kitchen countertops. However, the maintenance required for marble countertops has not deterred homeowners from choosing that natural stone for their kitchen countertops.
If you like the look of marble countertops, but want a solid surface that is easier to maintain, you may want to consider cultured marble countertops.
Cultured marble countertops
An alternative to “natural” marble is cultured marble. Cultured marble is a synthetic material that is made from mixing acrylic, polyester resins and pigments into molds (cast polymer) and left to cure to become a solid surface (no grouts). Cultured marble countertops are aesthetically pleasing and a great choice for homeowners on a budget.
The process used to make cultured marble countertops allows for sinks, side splashes and backsplashes to be built right into the counter top. Cultured marble countertops can also be made to be seamless.
Cultured marble countertops are durable, non-porous and only require minimum maintenance. They don’t stain as spills will not penetrate its surface. They can be cleaned with soap and water or a mild cleaner. They are mostly used for bathroom vanity tops, bathtubs and shower bases, but can also be used as kitchen countertops.
Cost of cultured marble
Affordability is one of the main advantages of cultured marble. It is substantially less expensive than granite, real marble and quartz.
In the market for some new countertops? We’d love to hear about your project. Give us a call today to view our showroom or to get a free estimate. You can also use our online contact form to get in touch with us.