Honed marble countertops 3 years later? Photos? Experience?

collins designMay 26, 2009

Hi folks-

I am having a terrible time choosing my countertops!! What I really want is a soft, organic look like honed marble. I was trying to approximate it with honed granite but cannot find, "the one".

The trouble is, if our plans work out, we're probably selling this house in a few years. So I have to be careful about resale.

We're not super-fussy, have a preteen and sloppy DH. We won't totally baby the counter, it'll see some hard cooking. Personally, I like a "lived in" look that soapstone, etc gets when used, but I am worried that marble would look too "worn" for resale.

We're looking at white marbles, Cararra.... honed.

Anyone have any experience they can share?

Thanks so much!!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We're only 9 months into our Calcatta honed counters. Love them. They etch like crazy. As I've posted before, the etching is virtually impossible to photograph, or for that matter, to see unless you know how to look at just the right angle.

I think it's a bit of a risk resale-wise. The world seems divided into marble lovers and marble haters. I suspect the latter are the majority (though clearly, the former are the enlightened and blessed minority). Granite is safe. Marble is soulful.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Granite is safe. Marble is soulful. Love that!

I'll echo clinresga's advice. We've had our beautiful and soul-satisfying marble counters for over a year and a half. Tons of etches, and I can find every one of them -- but I'd defy you to do the same.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but then we're not planning on selling. If we were, I'd probably opt for another surface.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 10:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

8 months with calcatta - etches galore. I honestly don't know what is etching them because I am pretty careful. It really doesn't bother me. I have no stains as of yet. I would do it again because I wanted the textural component of the honed marble.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 11:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

Thank you!

I read yesterday about getting them honed in place. if that's actually possible and affordable around here, might it not answer all my problems?? WE can enjoy the patina, then get them re-honed right before selling. What do you think?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 6:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There was a gal here back about a year ago or more who posted that she'd had her (GORGEOUS) counters rehoned fairly affordably and was very happy with the results. I wish i could remember her name -- think it had "Mom" in it. I recall she had two huge islands. I'll try to look around and post back with her name if I can remember it.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It was Momto4kids' who had her marble honed in place. As Oofasis says, she was very happy with the results.

Here is a link that might be useful: Momto4kids kitchen on FKB

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had my polished marble bathroom counters honed in place -- like others have said, you could do this when you're ready to sell.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There was a gal here back about a year ago or more who posted that she'd had her (GORGEOUS) counters rehoned fairly affordably and was very happy with the results. I didn't think I could remember her name -- but I recall it had "Mom" in it and that she had two huge islands. I googled a few good words and found her! She had a marble restoration expert rehone her marble. Below are a couple of threads where she discusses it, and I included a link to her fabulous kitchen.



Here is a link that might be useful: Mom's Knockout Kitchen

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 10:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't think you need to go through having them rehoned. Seriously, mine are about 2-1/2 years and most folks would never see an issue with them. If you have any slight problems, which is all you are likely to have without some serious abuse or the kind of thing that would crack or damage any stone, you can take a fine grit sandpaper and lightly buff it out, then clean it (there will be some dust) and reseal. My fabricator had to adjust a couple of spots on my counters when they came inside and were put down. In my lighting and on the horizontal, you could see some uneven areas in the honing -- so he fixed it. He even handed me the sandpaper and let me have a go at it while he was here and I haven't been afraid of my marble since.

If you are the kind of person who would have to do that as part of your weekly cleaning, do yourself and the counters a favor and don't get marble. But if you are just afraid because you've been told marble is bad for kitchens but it still sings to you and you've read everything and are still okay with it for yourself -- follow your heart and know that it's been used for hundreds of years. You can spend half an hour on them -- if even needed, before you put the house on the market nad they'll look great.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 12:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

Thank you!! Yes, marble sings to me. And none of the other counter surfaces I have been looking at do that.

I just got back from a local fabricator's and he showed me a piece he'd just left a pool of vinegar on. Then we used sandpaper and cleaner and worked on the deep etch. We didn't get it all out, but only worked a few minutes. I am NOT the sort who wants/needs shiny perfection (I really dislike polished granite, for example) but I did want to be reassured we could get the counters spiffy for resale. (He said he did not think any local companies did in-place re-honing.)

I am 99.9% ready to get marble. I just need to talk to DD and DH about the need to look carefully at cleaning product, not use citrus cleaners or dishsoaps, and wipe up spills right away. I understnad that's important with marble (though maybe I will find I want more patina, who knows!) They are NOT normally the clean-it-right-up types, LOL.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 1:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am so glad you asked this question so I also could hear how others are doing with their marble countertops. We installed honed Calcutta Oro close to a year ago. Very soon (like days) I noticed many tiny chips. The installer stated that because marble was "soft" it was to be expected. We've not had problems with stains, and we've been careful. I did accumulate many spots I believe came from the dish soap (I switched to something milder and "green.") I recently used a poultice on them, which left a different kind of "spot." Then I sealed them, and finally, they looked great again. I am not sure if sealing is intended to improve the appearance, but I can attest that it really did improve it. One of these days, I will have a professional come over and rehone to get out all those chips. And, no way would I want a polished finish over hone. If you have vision of marble, I don't think anything can substitute it's unique beauty. Everyday I see mine, it is so satisfying. As a matter of style (Swedish kitchen), it was also a must. Given the history and use of marble, it is also timeless.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 10:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Again in the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that etching and "patina" are not necessarily the same thing. If etching were just a gradual process of even, diffuse loss of "shine" I don't think anyone would ever think twice about it. You need to realize though that many of the etches you'll get will show exactly where they came from--on ours, the most common thing are etched rings where presumably a glass of juice, or a can of tomatoes or whatever sat on the counter. If you actually take the time to bend down and get the angle of light just right, it will jump out at you. It's not even, it's pretty artificial looking and that's why it's an issue for some.

Like most marble owners, I spent the first few weeks cataloging every circular etch and tried to figure out what caused them. Then I got a life, relaxed, and just don't care anymore. I love the marble and can't imagine any other countertop in our kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 10:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

Thank you, clinresga, for that!! Exactly what I needed to hear. I still could not visualize exactly what would happen. Now I can.
Last night I was (trying unsuccessfully to fall asleep and) thinking about cooking in the kitchen. What if I were making a marinade and some sloshed out of the bowl.... what if I were squeezing fresh lime on chicken tandoori and some squirted away onto the counter? No way could I be wiping up each and every little thing every second.
I think I am OK with this.
As long as I can get it spiffed up when we put the house on the market -which I trust we can do- I feel like it's the right thing! Yay!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 7:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Although-- just to be really a pain (but to be honest!) sometimes marble can chip and develop holes from things like lime juice that, unless you have a super-thick slab, won't come out if you hone it. It will probably always be a little worn looking if you cook on it. I've never seen marble in a kitchen people actually use not have that worn look.

But if you really love it and don't mind that, go for it! I also think that, unlike cheaper materials, a prospective buyer will recognize that marble is a high-end material and, even if they don't want to keep it, will not discount the house over it.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 8:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

nesting12 wrote: "I also think that, unlike cheaper materials, a prospective buyer will recognize that marble is a high-end material and, even if they don't want to keep it, will not discount the house over it."

Yup, I was talking to the guy at the high-end stone store yesterday about this. My feeling is: there's a good liklihood that future buyers will want to imprint on the house and change the kitchen. So what I am looking for is (besides creating a kitchen I personally will enjoy for however many years we are here, even if it's only 2 or 3) to create a space that conveys the feeling we are going for with the rest of the renovation, that coordinates with and reinforces the details in the rest of the house... and that has great "first impression" impact... conveying, among other things, a sense of high-quality materials and some luxury, but also a warm, organic, classic feeling.

I think the marble will do all this. And honestly its the only countertop material I looked at that really spoke to me! I know I will fret about it a first (as I will fret about dinging the cabs and scratching the range...) but only for a while. Nothing else in our home is pristine -we have lots of antique furniture, including a marble-topped 50's Florence Knoll end table that is all chipped and dinged and I LOVE it that way!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 8:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow!! Thank you for the kind words about my kitchen! Goodness, I hardly ever get time to come back hereÂI canÂt believe people still remember my marble! Thank you again!

StaceyÂcoming up on 5 years and I would ABSOLUTELY do it all again. I echo everything those above have said. IÂve learned not to toss the key ring on the counter, because it will chip if itÂs hit just right. I babied it at first, but now I donÂt. I do have some mild etching, but itÂs pretty minor. YouÂd have to be at the right angle, in the right light to see itÂand then, only those who "know" marble would see it. I could hand buff spots out, but I donÂt bother anymore. ItÂs just too small to worry about. [You can use a ScotchBrite or fine silicone sandpaper, then reseal the spot.]

Sealing is key. I have NO staining and itÂs not because it has been meticulously maintained! I used 511 Porous Plus after recommendations from other marble owners. I havenÂt resealed in years. The quicker you can wipe up an "etch-producing" substance, the better. But, unless you pour a bottle of vinegar, you probably wouldnÂt notice. I donÂt have any rings from glasses or anything like that. I make pastries and candies right on the counter. Sometimes I see little "clouds" where glaze dripped on the counter, but they generally disappear after a few days (dies out, I guess).

When I first moved in, I did have my marble rehoned in place. The original fabricator did a lousy job. I had a marble restoration company rehone it. They were fabulous! It was a wet process. They were amazing at taping up the floors and cabinets. Clean up was incredibly thorough. You would never have known they were even here. I was very, very pleased with the surface of the marble when they finished. I figured for the futureÂworst case scenario, if I did spill that jar of vinegarÂrepair is affordable and doable, so no worries.

So, yes, IÂd do it again! Yes, I would certainly appreciate a marble kitchen in another house! I like the "warmly loved" look and feel of marble. I think itÂs funny how passionate "marble people" are about their marble! I wonder if itÂs because weÂve all fought that hard battle against the naysayers! ??!!

Thanks again for the kind words!!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

Yay, thank you!! I just got back from Boston and picking out my slab. My fabricator (Gerrity) uses Porous Plus, so they will apply it in their cutting facility, and then I will get a kit for my own maintenance. I am so excited!!!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 3:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Congrats! You must be soooo thrilled! You will really love it!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 3:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Congrats on your marble-saw the slab in the other post! Happy Gerrity worked out. We ended up getting ours at Marble & Granite in Westwood, but I heard good things about Gerrity.

Thanks for this thread-we will be installing a large honed calacatta top on our island in a few weeks & the feedback eased my mind a bit.

I'll probably be "Niles Crane" for a few weeks and shoo my family away from the island, but then relax and enjoy touching that marble each morning. I was actually caressing the marble tops at Restoration Hardware recently. Boy, the stuff just feels good.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 4:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design


My slab is actually from Marble & Granite (Gerrity gets slabs from lots of places, and they do fabrication themselves) so maybe our slabs are sisters!

I know what you mean about touching it. They broke me off a hunk from a slab in the remnant yard to take home, and I set it behind the gear shift next to me. All the way home to Maine I was caressing it :)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After much anxiety and deliberation, we installed honed carrera marble tops in our kitchen. For about 5 weeks, we have been adjusting to the etching and normal use issues and love the look and feel of the marble. Always being a little bit more careful when it comes to lemons, tomatoes, etc. Well, tonight as I was loading the dishwasher - bang! the first tiny chip from the edge of the counter - knowing that this comes with marble (and granite) territory, I am trying not to be upset. Just wondering if I should go ahead and get this little ding fixed now or just leave it and adjust to the beginning of the new character this top will have over time.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

jkillorin, I can totally relate!! My marble has been in for a couple of weeks, and I have been trying to be really careful. We have a few small etch marks, but last night..... oh no :(

I picked up the cutting board I'd been prepping fish on (I always "wash" the fish with a squeeze of lemon/lime) and OH NO, a big area underneath was etched--- apparently some lemon juice ran off the board. Well, by big I mean like 3 or 4 inches around, but it's much bigger than any of the other marks.

I KNOW I have to get used to this, but it's hard, isn't it?!

I also have a really teeny chip (I think from installation actually) and I am not going to do anything about it. I feel like the more of these things I get, the better so i can relax. Oh, but that etch mark is noticeable !

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 9:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My first "drippy" etch mark came from under a cutting board, too! Peaches... who would have thought? Well, the drips and spots don't seem to bother me as much as rings - I am a pest about wine bottles and glasses, coasters on the marble (for now :-)) I knew what I was getting into with these tops and they are beautiful!! and I really have no regret. In our previous home, we had granite and I find the marble so much softer.
I did decide to get my teeny chip buffed out - if a guest or family member had done it, I wouldn't fret. Because it was me, I want it fixed. :-(

With the honed surface, I think that you can use white vinegar to "blend" your etch if it is bothersome. When my tops were installed there was a round mark that was really distinct and they came back and rubbed it with vinegar - with a little buffing the ring was gone. Check with your installer.
Enjoy your kitchen and try to relax...:-)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 9:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

I put some vinegar on a test piece when we were deciding whether to order it or not, and the vinegar etched it badly. Was the installers' vinegar diluted?

One salesman showed me how to wet-sand an etch out with fine-grit sandpaper and marble cleaner. I will probably try that.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 9:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am not really sure - it may have been. It would be best to talk with your installer. You know, pretty soon you will not even notice. Enjoy your new kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 9:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am pretty messy and clumsy when I cook, cook from scratch daily and use a lot of citrus/tomato/tamarind while cooking. We have concrete countertops that also seem to etch like marble and use a Roul'Pat Pastry Mat underneath the cutting board on the countertops while doing prep work. We still have etches(patina!), but using the mat(its a large size - 23" by 32", pretty light in color and adheres to the counter nicely) has kept large etches from chopping acidic fruits/vegetable from forming. Would that be an option for some of you with marble countertops?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 2:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

That's a good idea, thank you!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 6:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Staceyneil, How are the marble countertops working out for you? Were you able to change the vinegar etch some and/or does it bother you? Guess I am back on the track of considering marble again.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 10:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

I haven't been on here for a while--- busy finishing kitchen details.
We have more etching now... and I am finding it less bothersome. There's just no way to keep it pristine, it would drive me crazy. Every couple days I find new etches and I can't figure out what made them. But the more there are, the less obvious they are. That is what I'd hoped would be the case and it is. Our honing was still fairly shiny (I guess there are different methods that leave different finishes) and so the etching really stood out.
I feel like in 6 months I wont care at all, and the counters will actually be more beautiful. Already, I like them better than when they were perfect new pristine.
if you want shiny perfection, I dont think marble is the right choice.... but it certainly doesn't look ratty or ragged. Just, I dont know, softer?
I'm really happy with my choice.
One thing that helped with my decision was going to see someone's marble kitchen in person. I'd recommend it. If you';re near Portland Maine you'd be welcome to some see mine :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for this! My honed Carrara countertops have just been installed. I think that I might have to carry a copy of this with me as we finally use the kitchen. So, I know that I'll have to live with marks - but what do you absolutely not do with the countertops - citrus, vinegar, hot, cutting, etc. I'll take any advice!

Also, the finish looks uneven in the natural light. It's shiny in some places. Is this normal? I think the installer needs to come back and fix this up.

Thanks again for all the advice.

- Loving the marble in Ontario

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 3:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi! Congratulations on your new countertops!

The unevenness sounds like perhaps your installer didn't seal it properly. I'd definitely give them a call.

I don't cut on my marble because it scratches easily. Although marble is supposed to be heat-resistant, I don't put anything hot on it either, just because I'm afraid of thermal shock.

A good sealer will prevent stains but won't stop etching. Acidic foods like lemon, tomatoes, vinegar, etc. will etch your marble. I don't worry about etching, and I use all of those foods on my countertop. If I get any noticeable etching that bothers me, I buff it away with a scrubbie pad and non-scratching cleanser.

Hope that helps,


    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I now have honed absolute black granite in my kitchen and am starting a kitchen remodel/new construction project. My honed granite is more work to keep looking good, but think that it's worth the trouble. I prefer the look of honed marble and granite over polished and would love honed Carrara marble for an island. I still need to ask if polished marble has the same problems with etching. Is it mostly the honed marble that has that problem?


    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Polished marble will etch too. I have polished marble in the master bath and it's got lots of etch marks. They look like dull spots and are very apparent against the polished surface. The reason most people recommend honed marble for the kitchen is because the etching will be less noticeable. I would never use scrubbies and cleanser on my polished marble like I do on my honed marble. I've also heard that honed marble is much easier to refinish onsite than polished.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 5:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Erikanh: Thanks for the info. I appreciate it!!

Also, thanks for the reply to a different post. Your information is always very helpful. After reading many posts on this forum, I have seen your replies (and your beautiful kitchen!) and realize that you know what you are talking about!! I certainly trust your judgement. I will be posting my layout and such when I get it together, so I will be looking for your help!!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 7:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

abananie, you're so welcome ... I'm so glad I could help. =)

I'm definitely no expert but I've got a lot of different countertop materials in my house, and I like to be able to share my experiences. But please don't take my word for it where marble is concerned. Get yourself a sample and throw everything you can think of at it! =D

Looking forward to seeing your layout!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 12:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We've just put honed Alabama White in our new kitchen about a month ago. We loved the look and feel and chose it based on how the same material was holding up for some friends after 5 years.

Our friends entertain a lot (every other week or so) and routinely hire others to come cook for large parties, have 4 teenagers and 3 dogs, and are generally the type to leave messes for the housekeeper (I really feel for the housekeeper). We live in the same small town and sustenance is scarce for foodies like us, so their kitchen is used on a daily basis.

Their countertops still look amazing. Certainly not shiny like a new penny, but it really makes the kitchen fit with their 90 year old house and I've yet to find a stain anywhere on their countertops. Our houses are the same age and my wife and I look forward to having our small, noticible etching turn into a wonderful "loved" patina in a few months time to fit with the rest of our house.

We asked them what they absolutely love and hate about their kitchen 5 years after installation. Absolute love was the countertops.

FWIW, our friends (or should I say housekeeper) clean routinely with distilled vinegar diluted 8:1 with water. No pitting, the tops are in great shape and look as good as ours did straight from the fabricator. They use a white cotton cloth and acetone for any major stains after parties.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 12:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I say go for it. We just finished a new kitchen four weeks ago and because of all of you I went with marble after fretting needlessly. I just love it!! So thanks to everyone. No other counter top could give us this magnificent look.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:57PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Ikea cover panel installation question (Akurum line)
Hi all! I was ready to post this to ikeafans.com and...
Can you help me make an idea board?
After looking more realistically at our kitchen renovation...
Kohler Whitehaven Sink - 33 or 36"?
Does anyone have the 33" Whitehaven single bowl?...
Melissa Silva
Can you use IKEA base cabinets as wall cabinets?
Wanting something larger for over-the-fridge than their...
Help needed with this beam!!!
We had part of a wall taken down in the kitchen &...
Sponsored Products
Remer by Nameeks N03 Tub Filler with Hand Shower - REMER N03
$249.63 | Hayneedle
Satin Nickel Single Light Ceiling Mount Globe with Pull Chain
$21.95 | Bellacor
Virtu GD-50072-WMSQ-WH-002 72 Inch White Double Square Sinks Bath Vanity
Blue Bath
Fish Sponge Set
$16.99 | zulily
PrimaLoft Down Alternative Pillow
Grandin Road
Bellosguardo Cream/Taupe European Sham 26"Sq. - CREAM/TAUPE (EUROPEAN)
$129.90 | Horchow
Cathys Concepts Personalized Keg Mug - 2910
$28.00 | Hayneedle
Jaipur Poeme Chambery Transitional Oriental Pattern Wool Tufted Rug - RRD019019-
$83.00 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™