Marble Countertops for Kitchen and Bathroom | Pros and Cons

Marble has graced the walls of ancient temples, the floors of palaces and been used to create iconic art like Michelangelo's David. For thousands of years, marble has been a show of wealth, power, and luxury. Today, the marble has made its way into many everyday kitchens and bathrooms around the world!

Marble is the epitome of luxury and surprisingly, one of the most affordable natural stones. It's used in kitchen and bathroom countertops, tiles and backsplashes and can add an element of class to the average home. But is it the right choice for you? Let's explore the pros and cons of using marble in your kitchen and bathroom remodel.

The Basics of Marble Countertops

Marble is a metamorphic rock that has been used for thousands of years. The beauty of marble lies in its uniqueness. Every slab is different, it comes in a variety of colors and veining patterns and is a “softer” rock, so it's easier to mill and cut.

Marble tile can have an even or less uniform look depending on the type and quality you choose. Most higher end marble has a very even color palette with softer veining making it perfect for kitchen countertops or showers where it is elegant, soft and uniform. The best quality stone comes from Italy and Greece. Marble from this region tends to hold up better in a wet environment. Marble with a more pronounced veining (usually calacatta) offers a less uniform look, but can be very appealing because of the unique shapes and details within the stone.

Because marble is a softer stone, it's very easy to work with and can be milled, machined and tumbled giving it multiple uses in the home.

Marble: The Pros

As a natural stone, marble is the most easily recognizable. No other material is a visually obvious with thick or subtle flowing veins, and an elegance that works in both large or small spaces. Available in a wide range of colors including white, beige, pink, red, orange, or exotic green, marble can fit into any décor and is a natural choice that can connect a room like a kitchen to the outdoors. If you're into baking, a marble countertop is a perfect place for preparing pastries as its cool surface is perfect for rolling out bread dough.

In the kitchen or bathroom, marble brings a level of sophistication to any décor. It's a stone that doesn't compete with other elements in a room for attention but is elegant and eye-catching. It's affordable when compared to other natural stone products which makes it a feasible option for most homeowners.  As it ages, it takes on an attractive patina that is highly prized by home designers when an enduring personality of stone is desired.

Marble: The Cons

Because marble is a softer, more porous stone, it may be susceptible to staining or etching from acidic liquids like lemon juice. However, with proper care, these issues can be minimized. Some marble has extensive veining that may contain iron oxides which can change color or “rust” when exposed to water for extended periods making it a poor choice for a bathroom floor or shower. Marble is available in a “honed” or more natural finish as well as highly polished. The honed look may be better for a kitchen where it can help to hide etching.

Marble does require maintenance, and today, product are available that can work to remove stains completely. To maintain it's appearance you need to use trivets, potholders and cutting boards to help prevent scratches and chips. Regularly sealing your countertops can help to prevent liquids from penetrating the stone and will help protect pores from collecting and harboring bacteria as well.

From a “sustainability” standpoint, marble supply is limited and high-quality slabs are sometimes difficult to find and can be expensive. Do your research and always work with a supplier that has a reputation for providing the best quality product.

Marble may not be the best option for every home or lifestyle, but if you're willing to perform some regular maintenance and take care to keep it looking its best, marble can be a beautiful and versatile option for your home. Whether you choose to use marble as your kitchen countertop, bathroom vanity top, tile backsplash or shower walls, adding the beauty and luxury of marble to your home can be a wonderfully elegant choice!

About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.