marble countertops

evelynshimApril 7, 2013

I desperately want some feedback!!! We recently installed our DREAM kitchen and I obsessed over my decision to use honed Danby Marble for the countertops...They are BEAUTIFUL but unfortunately already after only 4 months have multiple areas of etching. It bothers my husband more than it does me, as he is acutely aware of what we paid. Anyone have experience in either preventing this or removing the etches?


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Sophie Wheeler

The only "prevention" is to keep the counters covered in plastic. Not practical or attractive and not at all in the spirit of what marble counters are meant to be. You can sand the etches out, but honestly, it will look much better if you let the patina build. Your hubby needs to chill and let that happen.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:57PM
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No way to prevent etching. Sealing will prevent stains but not etching. Enjoy the patina - many people do.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:09PM
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Hi evelyn,

I, too, have Danby (Olympian White). I love it, but it's been about 14 months and I already have maybe 10 or so noticeable etches--mostly where lemon juice or tomato juice dropped or splashed, but a couple from more traumatic episodes like a scouring with Barkeepers Friend incident.

My kitchen is extremely sunny, and my Danby is very white with not a ton of movement/veining, so all of the etches show, big time.

When I first got the counters, I'd cover the counters with a whole layer of kitchen towels before I set about chopping, etc. It was effective to an extent, but was no way to live.

Once, I was in a rush and forgot to lay down the towels, and I got a giant etch. That was a blessing, because I decided that day to just live like a normal person.

It truly became a matter of reframing the way I viewed the issue. There are memories of time spent with family and friends to go with some of the earlier etches, and I love that.

At this point, though, I don't even pay attention to why or how the etches occurred, it's all just part of the living stone patina.

I know in the back of my mind that a few years down the road, I can have the counters buffed to a new finish. I don't think I will, because my etches are just sort of part of the beautiful stone now, but you and DH can always keep that option in mind.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Can you post a picture of your etches?
Tell your DH that marble is a 'living' stone and etches are inevitable. Make him read this blog post from For The Love Of A House. Joan has some great tips :)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:24PM
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If you really hate the etching the marble can be re honed. We did this ourselves with an orbital sander and fiber net pads. This is one of the great "features" of honed marble -- ours happens to be Danby. If you get someone to do it for you make sure they do it mechanically, as with a sander, and not with acid. Our slabs started off polished and the fabricator honed them for us, using acid. They looked terrible. We redid them ourselves. Etching on honed marble is a fixable problem!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:30PM
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Joan at For the Love of a House recommends Bar Keepers Friend....has anyone else tried this?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:18PM
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I had honed cararra marble in my kitchen which I regularly cleaned with soft scrub with bleach and a scrubbie pad. While it did not completely remove the etches it did minimize them significantly. I imagine Bar Keepers Friend would work in much the same way; do it yourself honing.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:36PM
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Our Carrara got installed this week and so we had to have six friends over Saturday night to gather round the kitchen, watch The Tournament, drink lemon drop martinis, adult root beer floats, Blue Moon, nosh on various, talk over everyone, spin on the new bar stools. Never once worried about etching. We love our marble and the warmth of them, like our good friends, we hope we won't see the flaws, just love them.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:46PM
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While sayde is correct -- you can buff them or rehone them, you really need to learn to live with the nature of the stone or you will drive yourself and everyone who comes into your kitchen crazy. You will also never get to the point where anything bleeds or fades into another area and you can start to see it all as a patina or natural honing. And I don't know that anyone here can tell you how many buffs you get before you can get an uneven surface with lower spot in the most used work areas.

If you feel you must buff it, use a wet nylon scrubbie or some fine sandpaper (at least 220) and a gentle hand and don't go for perfection -- just try to lessen the area that is bothering you to the point it is less objectionable and try to learn to live with your marble. It is what it is, and it is still beautiful.

In general, less chemical are better than more. Bar Keeper's Friend says not to use it on marble. I may be wrong, but I think it has an acidic component that is why it removes rust, etc. If you did use it, you would be etching the stone further, which may or may not make what you were unhappy with look less noticeable. But if you make a mess of it, Bar Keeper's Friend will say told you so.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bar Keeper's Friend Website

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:02PM
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If you hone or buff make sure to re-seal!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:46PM
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I'd be really careful with Barkeeper's Friend. It's strongly acidic; I learned the hard way when it created a huge etch on my countertop.

I guess the idea is to use it to "blend" an existing etch? Sounds like it could go really wrong.

I agree with lascatx, the best thing is to learn to live with the nature of the stone. Every 5 years or so, have it buffed by a professional with the right equipment.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:03PM
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Whit: Love it!!!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:00AM
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I've blended some glass ring etches by just using the green side of scotch brite sponge... very lightly. Just to make it a little less obvious.. After a while the rest just blends in and goes away..

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Eventually the etches will become something that you just don't notice anymore!

I saved this How-To from Vermont Quarries a while back. I have never tried the suggestions because I just let it go ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Vermont Quarries Etch Away Remedy

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:44PM
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I had also noted that on the Vermont Quarries web site suggests comet...I wonder how Comet and BarKeepers friend differ?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:49PM
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Barkeeper's Friend's active ingredient is oxalic acid. Comet is, believe it or not, bleach + marble dust. I kid you not. The main abrasive in Comet is calcium carbonate, which is what limestone, marble, and travertine are made of.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:23AM
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