Why is marble a suitable material for kitchen countertops? All the advantages & disadvantages of a marble kitchen countertop

4
Jul

8 reasons to choose marble for your kitchen countertop

Marble, a natural stone, is a favorite and timeless choice in interior design. Marble in particular, as a versatile and elegant material, is found in a wide range of colors and patterns, which add a unique style to any space. Whether white marble, with a sense of purity, or colored with a playful or more robust mood, marble remains high in the public’s preferences for a fireplace, floor, furniture, bathroom, wall covering, kitchen countertop or kitchen island.

Use of marble in the kitchen area

The interiors that house kitchens are a field of creativity for interior designers and architects. The versatile character of marble allows it to be used in many applications, not only for practical value but also aesthetic. It is an investment in flooring, a backsplash or in the sink, on the main table or a marble countertop.

Image of an elegant and minimal kitchen with Vermion white marble tiles installed in the kitchen flooring and wall cladding
Vermion White Vein Cut applied on a minimal kitchen floor and wall cladding
Zoomed image of a kitchen floor with rectangle Vermion white marble tiles installed
Vermion White rectangle marble tiles applied on a kitchen floor

The daily use of kitchen countertops requires durable materials that, in combination with the design of the kitchen as a whole, will give a special philosophy. Whether it is a simple but functional kitchen countertop, or an impressive marble countertop, the materials that will be selected during the construction phase play a very important role.

Nowadays, there are many alternatives to kitchen countertops. Modern or classic, artificial or natural material, a kitchen countertop can completely change the look of any kitchen. Natural stones such as marble are very common choices for countertops. Due to its natural beauty, marble in white or colored shades, remains a very popular choice for this use.

Image of a kitchen area in shades of grey and Silver Grey marble square mosaics installed in backsplash
Silver Grey marble square mosaic applied on a kitchen’s wall cladding
Image of a kitchen area in shades of grey with Elba Blue grey marble on a kitchen’s backsplash and floor
Elba Blue gray marble tiles installed in a kitchen floor and backsplash

Is marble the right material for kitchen counters?

Apart from its undeniable beauty, is marble a suitable material for a kitchen countertop? We will look at the advantages and disadvantages of marble countertops together, but first let’s briefly describe how they are created.

What is marble & what colors does it come in?

Marble is a stone composed of calcium carbonate or a combination of it with dolomite, and is created from metamorphic stones. The varieties of marble differ from each other in terms of structure and chemical composition, while in terms of color, marbles are divided into two categories: white and colored, with the most common shades of marble being gray and white.

Learn more about how marble is created.

Image of an elegant and luxury kitchen space with Alivery dark gray marble tiles applied on large surfaces, wall-cladding, kitchen counter and island
Aliveri anthracite Marble tiles and large slabs with veins installed in kitchen floor, counter, island and wall cladding backsplash

Which marbles are suitable for kitchen counters?

When decorating a kitchen, it is very important to choose the right marble for the marble countertop, as the island is one of the most used pieces of furniture in the home. Our choices are many and depend on the result we want, the style of the space in which the marble kitchen countertop is and the budget allotted.

The marble of Greek origin, available in many types and colors,

has won the preference of the consumer with its quality

Before we get to know it in detail, let’s mention some internationally renowned marbles that are especially preferred for marble counters:

Carrara, Statuario and Calacatta – Italian marbles. Carrara marble comes from Italy. Like Carrara, Statuario and Calacatta marbles also come from Italy and are among the most famous marbles. Another well-known marble is Crema Marfil, which comes from Spain. Lastly, we must also mention Vermont Danby marble which comes from Danby, Vermont.

What are the best Greek marbles for a kitchen counter?

Apart from the above products, Greek marbles have a special beauty and value and we find them in a broad range of choices. For several years now, their quality has been recognized and their demand has increased dramatically, as they meet all the technical specifications for use in a number of different applications, thus making them one of the most popular options in terms of natural stone. Some of the most widespread, whose slabs are also available in jumbo size dimensions, are the following.

Infographic with the title “The best 6 Greek marble types for kitchen countertops”
The 6 best Greek white and colored marble types suitable for a kitchen countertop

Thassos Snow White

The whitest marble in the world, fine and bright with crystalline color and very high solar reflection. It is suitable for any luxury indoor or outdoor project, with a variety of applications in construction and interior design.

Image of Thassos Snow White Greek marble slab
Slab from the white Greek marble Thassos Snow White

Volakas Haemus

White marble with subtle, soft or deeper grays and browns, clouds and spots.

Image of Volakas Haemus white marble slab with grey and brown veins and clouds
Volakas Haemus white marble slab with grey and brown veins and clouds

Elba Blue

A fine-grained dolomite with intense gray tones, it offers impressive results. Its technical characteristics, low porosity and low absorbency make it suitable for outdoor areas with high traffic and special climatic conditions.

Image of Elba Blue white marble slab with grey veins and clouds
Elba Blue white marble slab with grey veins and clouds

Vox

Light weight, with an elegant pattern of delicate decorative veins, exuding a sense of purity and calm

Image of Vox white marble slab with discreet grey veins
Vox white marble slab with discreet grey veins

Other Greek marbles that are worth knowing are Prima, Aella and Pentelikon.

Italian, American or Greek, marble is such a versatile stone, that it is suitable for a wide range of small or large scale applications.

See photos of our slabs.

Read about the best Greek marbles here.

All the advantages of marble – 8 reasons to choose it for a kitchen countertop

Infographic with a close-up image of a marble kitchen countertop and text with 8 reasons to choose marble as a material for your kitchen countertop or island
8 reasons to choose a marble countertop for your kitchen countertop or island

1. Natural Beauty

A decisive factor regarding the choice of marble as a raw material, over any other, is the natural beauty that characterizes it. The luxury and splendor it brings to the space it decorates make it stand out from other natural and synthetic materials. Due to its beauty, marble is considered an irreplaceable material.

2. Uniqueness of the material

Like any other natural stone, marble has unique aesthetic characteristics on its surface. The patterns and formations we observe are natural processes of years which hide their own history. Marble countertops are unique in every kitchen and often, the advice of experts is necessary to achieve the best aesthetic result.

Image of an elegant and luxury kitchen area with a dark wooden staircase, decorative accessories and kitchen island and counter made of Veria Green jumbo size dark green Greek marble slabs
Kitchen counter and island with Veria Green jumbo size dark green Greek marble slabs installed

3. Color variety and availability

There is always a wide range of colors and availability of every type of marble to suit your project. Besides the background color, the overall image of the marble is determined by the veins, water spots and clouds it forms and its patterns. The choice of the appropriate shade and pattern always depends on the style and aesthetics of the project where the marble countertop or the marble island will be placed, as well as on the personal style of the individual owner.

4. Multiple finishes

The finishes that marbles can undergo on their surface nowadays, are many. These different finishes not only give different aesthetic results, but also protect the surface of the material and contribute to its durability over time.

The two most common surface finish techniques are:

Polished finish. It gives the marble the classic smooth, reflective look making it reflect light and behave like a mirror. Polished marble displays the look that most of us have in mind, highlighting all its natural and colorful beauty.

Honed marble. This is a method similar to the Polished finish, but it stops at an earlier stage, retaining the original depth and color of the marble. Honed marble has a smooth but matte finish with a slight sheen. Matte finish is clearly less slippery than polished. This is the reason why it is preferred by architects and project managers in specific applications, such as marble counters or marble islands.

Other finishes include Antique, Brushed, Sandblasted and Bush Hammered.

Learn everything about marble finishing & find useful tips for their use in construction & architectural projects.

The Vermion white Greek marble with 3 different surface finishes, polished, sandblasted and bush hammered
The Vermion white Greek marble with 3 different surface finishes

5. Endurance over time

Due to its high resistance to chronic corrosion, marble has been used as a building material for thousands of years. The greatest proof of its durability is the old buildings and statues that have survived from antiquity to the present.

Marble can withstand wear and tear over time and with a properly sealed finish, where needed, can avoid the absorption of liquids from its surface. Technological developments in the manufacturing process of natural stones are creating more and more sealing possibilities of marble slabs. When properly sealed, the porous marble is filled with the appropriate sealer, minimizing or even eliminating the possibility of the material absorbing liquids. 

6. Resistance to temperature changes

Marble is undoubtedly one of the most popular options for high temperature applications because it is extremely durable. It’s no coincidence that due to its natural coldness, its use in marble kitchen countertops has become widespread in food and healthcare establishments, as marble countertops are heat resistant, as well.

This also makes marble a preferred material in fireplace construction and decoration.

Image of a minimal kitchen with dark brown wenge furniture and Pirgon white Greek marble installed in the kitchen counter and wall cladding backsplash
Pirgon white Greek marble applied on wall cladding and kitchen countertop

7. Ease of cutting and chiseling

Marble is a material that is easy to cut and carve. In addition, the use of modern techniques and milling machines (CNC) on the marble slabs can create a unique desired design, changing the whole style of the kitchen’s décor.

8. Increases the commercial value of the house

Investing in high quality materials automatically increases the overall market value of the property. The decorative elements, techniques and raw materials that will be used on the surfaces, reflect the aesthetics of the space and contribute to the overall home improvement.

Marble is the robust, compact and luxurious material that upgrades any space in which it is integrated.

Image of an impressive luxury kitchen area with a dark wooden staircase, decorative accessories and kitchen island and counter made of Veria Green dark green Greek marble slabs
Kitchen countertop and island with Veria Green dark green Greek marble slabs

A marble countertop undoubtedly has many advantages. Available in multiple color and finish options, it is easy to shape and meet any desired design, while at the same time, offering luxury and durability. The elegance of marble gives the interior space a unique character and can decoratively enhance any marble kitchen.

Disadvantages of marble: what to look out for when choosing marble for a kitchen counter

No matter how widespread, beloved and reliable marble material is, we should not forget that it is natural stone, porous, absorbent and needs care and maintenance to be with us for a lifetime. The selection of the appropriate material for the project in which you want to implement it, as well as the appropriate technical specifications that accompany it, play an important role. Ask for expert advice to choose the type of marble that best suits your requirements.

Zoomed image of a kitchen counter and island with dark grey Aliveri marble combined with white marble
Elegant marble kitchen counter and island with Aliveri dark grey Greek marble with white veins

Marble or granite for kitchen countertops?

In choosing the most suitable material, a very common dilemma that we often encounter is “marble or granite?”

Both stones are widespread in the stone industry and are often preferred in all types of work. Because of the complex process of their creation, they acquire characteristics that distinguish them from other building materials and give them a special character. In order to make the most appropriate choice, you should take into account:

Hardness. In general, granite is harder than marble; however there are types of marble with increased hardness and strength.

Reaction with acidic liquids. Being porous, both stones are susceptible to stains from lemon juice and red wine. Care with a proper sealer will ensure the longevity of your granite or marble.

Appearance. The two materials are quite different in appearance. Granite shows color varieties in the form of “freckles” due to the grains it contains, whereas marble is usually found in white, gray, cream or colored shades, with the colors in the form of veins on the surface of the slab.

Application. Their durability and hardness allow both stones to be used in difficult and demanding applications. Granite is found as a floor material in interior spaces and marble in practical applications such as countertops or decorations such as a marble fireplace surround or mantel.

As you can see, there is no single answer to the question “marble or granite?” Make your choice taking into account the project you have undertaken and you will have a result that will stand the test of time, with proper care, of course.

Marble or quartz for a kitchen countertop?

Image from above of a kitchen floor with Elba Blue rectangle grey marble tiles with veins and clouds
Elba Blue rectangle gray marble tiles installed in a kitchen floor
Image of a kitchen area in shades of gray with Elba Blue grey marble tiles installed in the floor and backsplash
Elba Blue grey marble tiles applied on a kitchen floor and wall cladding

The dilemmas do not stop here. Another frequent question we are asked to answer is “marble or quartz?”

Unlike granite and marble, quartz is a man-made material so we find it in many different forms and it is significantly less porous. Thus, sealing is not needed to protect its surface and the care requirements are less.

Nevertheless, the minimal resistance of quartz to high temperatures makes it an unsuitable choice for demanding applications such as kitchen countertops and kitchen islands. Here, once again, marble is ideal, both for its natural durability and superior appearance.

We have presented the characteristics of marble, in detail, with regards to marble kitchen countertops. Its technical specifications allow it to ideally dress a wide range of applications, from floors and fireplaces, to bathroom furniture and kitchens. Its unique appearance, hardness and supple character will give you the reliability and beauty you are looking for.

A prerequisite, as with anything valuable, is proper care of it by you, daily, and by specialized technicians.

How can we take care of and clean marble countertops?

A very common question, not only asked by architects and builders, but also by end users, is regarding the care and maintenance of marble kitchen counters. What we can confirm from our side is that if the technical characteristics of the marble you choose allow it, then the care of the countertop should be the same as that of any countertop.

Another important point is the sealing (waterproofing) of the material which we recommend where necessary and depending on the type of marble. With the sealing process, the marble will not stain; all that will be needed is regular cleaning. The frequency of sealing is not the same for all marbles and is usually carried out at predetermined intervals, every 1 or 2 years, depending on the material.

The most commonly used marble surfaces in a home, such as a kitchen counter or island, may develop scratches and stains due to their direct contact with hot appliances, acidic liquids and cutting boards. Marble kitchen countertops can withstand high temperatures. However, in order to avoid scratches and nicks, it is recommended, as a good practice, to use fire-retardant bases for very hot objects. Frequent and continuous mistreatment of the material by extremely hot utensils intensifies the normal wear and tear and contributes to the discoloration of the surface.

If the marble has not been sealed, the following simple but necessary steps are suggested for the proper care and cleaning of the marble surface:

  • Take care of the marble daily. Frequent sealing makes the surface more resistant to stains. If you place hot pots or pans directly on the marble countertop, prefer a thick cloth or a coaster that will protect the marble from heat.
  • Clean as often as you can by passing soapy water over the stains. Remember: acidic liquids (such as lemon juice and red wine) cause a lot of damage to the marble. Keep them away from your marble counter!
  • Catch spills quickly. Red wine stains are effectively removed with water and baking soda.
  • Do not use etching remover on marble with a honed or matte finish. Ask for expert advice so that the look of a marble kitchen and marble countertop remains flawless!

White marble, gray, green or colored, Thassos or Volakas, honed, polished or matte, the experts at Stone Group International are at your disposal to help you choose the type of marble, but also the appropriate finish that best suits the requirements of the your project. Our many years of experience ensure the quality we offer to each of our customers, individually.

Ask our experts.

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