Saturday, November 22, 2008

Marble? I ain't skeered.


I spent the last few hours having people tell me I shouldn't get marble counters (Too soft! They'll chip! They'll stain!). I decided I am not taking my answers from a fat guy in pleated khakis who tells me to get shiny black granite instead.

So amen for THIS blogger who did a stress test on treated marble. It's interesting. You can skip the text and scroll down to get to the photos.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Loved to see the test results.

This is my experience/observation: A friend had marble countertops installed in her kitchen and I LOVE them , but she absolutely insists it was the worst decision she made because there are waterglass rings everywhere. You can see them at an angle- it looks like a dull ring on the polished counter. Her counter, however, is highly polished.

We've stayed in a condo/hotel at a beach for 2 years in a row, and the honed marble kitchen & bath countertops still look great. That's with hotel guests who drag beach bags with sand on the bottoms across the counter tops and probably don't care too much about leaving a coffee or toothpaste stain on someone else's counter. When we redo our kitchen, I'm going with the honed marble.

Anonymous said...

I had the same experience when we were building our house. Those showroom people telling what you can't do. You can't put white marble in your kitchen, you cna't put glass tiles on the bathroom counter, blah blah blah... I just said oh really thank you so much and proceeded to order it right away. I love love love my statuary marble kitchen!!! We've been in the house now for almost 3 years and I'm sooo glad I ignored the host of people who tried to talk me out of it. Mine are honed and they look amazing. We do have places where you can see rings, etc. at a certain angle but it truly does not detract from the beauty. I kinda like it actually.
Sally

the quarter rat said...

If you like marble, then use it, just seal that shit; if it gets all etched up, call it patina. Granite emits radon (some African varieties contain uranium*) and cliche.

*http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/garden/24granite.html?scp=1&sq=granite%20radiation&st=cse

Jules said...

I received the same grief with my soapstone counters and cream colored floor and cabinets. Soapstone is much softer than marble, and my counters have survived. There have been times where I've dropped a pan or silverware, and I have the dings to prove it. I call it patina.

My floor choice had people aghast, because something as light as cream would stain or show dirt. It would if you are filthy and don't wash your floors regularly. My floor don't look brand new do to their material, but they are dirt and stain free.

I went to a house with slate tiles in the kitchen, installed for the sole purpose of hiding dirt. I made the mistake of walking in there barefoot, and when I got home my feet were sticky and near black. Fantastic.

Buying something because it hides the dirt makes no sense to me. I love my cream floors because they don't hide the dirt. The same goes for my cream cabinets. I am motivated to clean often, and in turn I feel I am giving my hard-earned home the attention it deserves.

Anonymous said...

I liked this commenter on that guy's blog. He understands that a kitchen is a workroom:

"I use my marble counters. I prep food, eat, pile junk....everything. I don't worry about subtle etching. This is a kitchen counter and not a sideboard in the dining room. My marble island is not a polished surface and it never will be.

"It is a working counter. Not eye candy."

victoria thorne design said...

honed marble. easy. i always tell people that the greeks and the romans have been walking on this stuff for a few centuries...it's just not that big a deal. you can make it work, and you'll love it.

design darling said...

shiny black granite. gross. those fat guys in pleated khaki's were the same guys recommending oak cabinets and white ceramic tiles back in the 80's. I don't understand why all the people that are gaga over granite countertops and the faux professional stainless appliances can't see that in ten years they are going to look just as outdated as the oak and tile of the 80's. but marble and subway tile? timeless.
http://img.timeinc.net/aolhome/i/design/sa/03/01/SA0301112k_1a_x.jpg

hex tiles would be gorgeous (chic and classic as well). but I'm also a fan of the old schoolhouse looking linoleum squares set on the diagonal. but it isn't for everybody.
www.longleaflumber.com/images/Linoleum_Tile_Kitchen_FW.JPG

Anonymous said...

I wanted a marble tile floor for my home's entry hall, but didn't want to pay the extra for honing.

I sew, and when you don't want water spots on silk the trick is to water spot the entire piece.

I know that sand blasting and acid etching look about the same.

So... I experimented by placing marble tiles in a jelly roll pan and covering them with acetic acid(vinegar).

Voila! Old looking marble tiles for my old house.

I find the oily stains more annoying than the acid ones, so I seal my marble counter with mineral oil, but I am going to try marble wax on the floor: http://www.thefurnitureconnoisseur.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=633

Try Art Tile Co. at 85th and Roosevelt, they have great displays and a wonderful selection of marble and subway tiles.

DeAnna

the sweet life with olives said...

I live in italy, and move a lot, my husband is a builder and we like being nomadic. I have used honed carrara marble in all our kitchens, except one, the house we are in now. I miss the carrara so much, that I don't think i'll ever not use it again in the future. Yes, red wine sometimes leaves marks, as do olive oil bottles etc... but that's life in a kitchen. It feels alive, looks great, and I personally have never had a problem with it chipping. I also love it's ability to look great in traditional and modern homes. Funny side note, that here carrara is also used in most butcher shops.if you like it, go for it.

Anonymous said...

Don't be afraid of marble. I suggest you do the same thing,get a sample and spill on it,make sure in person that you don't mind the etching.
You do need to worry about your floor, though.
Changing out a countertop is EASY (not cheap, but easy). Your floors get laid under your cabinets. You are stuck with them until you remodel again and you don't want them to be something people stare at when they come in the room. Eyes should stay up, not noticing floors (dirty or not).

Anonymous said...

FANTASTIC! FYI - had black granite two homes back and it shows everything....every spec of dust or paper towel fuzz or crumbs, wiping it with anything left streaks, etc, etc..... plus EVERYONE has granite zzzzzzz
I've wanted white carrera marble in my kitchen for ages! Had it in my last home in the bathroom and it did have some character scars but hey, it was 70 years old and unsealed.

Ivy Lane said...

Just go with the marble! You want it, you love so do it. It is going to be fabulous!!

lecaro said...

I had a kitchen in California some year back that came with standard white builder cabinets and some large russet-colored tiles on the floor. The countertops and backsplash were oversized white tile and while it was okay on the walls, I hated the counters. I wanted to do marble, but the red-orangy marble with white veining whose name escapes me. Of course, everyone said I should do granite but I stuck to my guns and got the honed marble. It was absolutely the most fabulous kitchen you've ever seen and got raves.

Go with the marble.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely go with marble, so long as it's honed, not shiny. You will get marks, and some dings (marble gets "scars" where it compresses when something gets dropped on it), but I have it and think this just makes it look like a kitchen that gets used. Italians have been using marble for years and years and years, and they know how to have great kitchens.

Holly @ Maison James said...

To illuminate a tradeoff: I have hi-polished onyx (similar to marble) countertops. Mostly white & caramel in color. Lemon juice is hell on it, so I'm careful with that. Other than that I cook & bake with abandon.

The surface reflects my undercabinet lighting, bouncing the light around and creating sparkle. A honed surface absorbs the light rather than reflecting it.

dagmara said...

You guys are killing me:) Last wknd some dude in pleated pants at the big box store was pushing the black granite on us. No thanks. I'm going w marble when we finally get around to replacing the laminate the previous owners painted (!!!) over.

Greg said...

Skip the text?!?

Thanks for linking to my post. And yes to what your first commenter said: Honed not polished in the kitchen. Polished stone - marble or otherwise - for show pieces. Honed stone for work areas. That is, unless you're a masochist.

My white marble is doing great after more than 2 careless years of coffee cup rings and other spills and splashes.

Decorno said...

Busted.

Look, I have the attention span of a gnat. Figured others might, too.

I promise I will go back and read word for word.

Thank again for your excellent post. I am definitely getting marble now.

Colleen said...

I went with HONED black granite for my island...which is where I do all my prep and the kitchen sink is. I did cream marble everywhere else. For me...the honed granite on the island worked great...especially with my color palette. The marble...love it and the patina it is gaining with time.

Anonymous said...

Check this kitchen. Marble and hex tiles.

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