Great blog about marble countertops. Must read.

chloenkittyJune 22, 2014

I'm seeing so many posts, blogs, etc about marble lately (probably because I want them as well lol) I thought I'd share this one as it's probably one of the best I've seen. I would, however, like to see pics of a polished marble say 5-10 years after installation.

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"I would, however, like to see pics of a polished marble say 5-10 years after installation."


Click on the link and go 4 posts down:

Here is a link that might be useful: 6-year-old-marble

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:10AM
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Here's another one to read, if you haven't come across it.

I've seen a couple of well-used kitchens with marble, and the lighting plays a key role in how prominent any etching will appear. After living with various surfaces, I've decided my next counter will be marble.

Here is a link that might be useful: marble etching

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:59AM
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You can put all the lipstick on a pig you want, but the etches from the glasses set on the marble in the pictures in the above link just look nasty and unsanitary to my unsophisticated eye.

I'm not complaining, however. I just removed an etch from a travertine countertop created when the adult children of my customers mixed a pitcher of Margaritas. Those were some danged expensive Margs; hope they were good.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:06PM
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Thank you chloenkitty for this post!

Perfect timing, I just "tagged" my Carrera marble slab on Friday. It is honed with heavy, dark veining - which may help mask stains & etching. I like old things so patina will not bother me. Wish I could have found used marble to buy. Love the character of lived in old homes, vs shiny new construction.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:31PM
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The chipping is what would bother me since it's not as easy a fix. I have experienced chips in quartz, and it hurts to see that on your beautiful counters. I had to laugh to myself at the blogger's holier-than-thou attitude--he thinks you only get chips when you abuse your counters, so stop doing it!

While you're considering marble, keep track of the number of times you bang a pan on the edge of the sink or a mug on the counter edge while taking it out of the DW. Or drop a heavy can as you're taking it out of cupboard. All can easily chip or bruise marble. I've done them all in the span of two years that I've had my quartz counters, and I don't even have kids or a sloppy husband to worry about.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:50PM
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Actually, Treb, marble probably promotes more cleanliness habits among its users because of fears of staining and etching.

The claims from granite folks that they can leave tomato sauce and red wine on their counters overnight without staining defines "nasty" and "unsanitary" to me.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:59PM
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Just my opinion-we maintain many surfaces in our home and out.
I have to laugh when I hear- look what your marble will look like after many years of use. If you didn't clean your rugs or carpets in five or six years what would they look like.
Your lawns, paint, window dressings, upholstery, wood floors and more all require maintenance.
Dry cleaning of our clothes and heck we even maintain our pets.
Not to mention the fact that we work on many very old installations of marble and terrazzo. The results are no less than spectacular. Everything wears to some degree which is why maintaining all surfaces is important.
Buy a car and drive it around for 5-6 years with no maintenance. I have many customers who maintain there marble on average every 3-4 years. They understand it and while a few have a love/hate relationship with it most just love it.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 2:23PM
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Marble is so beautiful. I could live with the patina, though I don't like the idea of how that would impact resale. I loved seeing 100 year old marble thresholds in Cuba recently.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 3:36PM
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I've been agonizing over this for awhile and am sick of it lol. I'm trying to find a white quartzite I am happy with however, if I really think about it, I keep my kitchen pristine, we don't have a big family etc so I think we would be ok with spills etc as I'm not much of a cook lol. I don't use vinegar or lemon much. My concern then is how it will look after a few years as I am the kind of person that likes shiney and clean looking. Honed would not be my choice as I like polished. I do read posts where people say if you regularly seal it and can even get it refinished. Can you refinish polished? I think if I knew I could get it refinished every 5-10 years (whatever it needs) any it would look shiney and new again, I'd get it. Can they refinish and repolish in your home? I'm going out of town (ugh) to look at white quartzite this week, wish me luck!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:18PM
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If you like shiny and new, then marble counters probably aren't for you. Yes, you can get them polished periodically. But your counters will likely etch within weeks of installation. Do you want to live your life anticipating the next time you can get them polished again?

The amount of time they will remain shiny and new-looking after each polishing will be minimal.

This post was edited by peony4 on Sun, Jun 22, 14 at 17:26

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:37PM
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Agree with peony4 about shiny, polished finish marble countertops.

However, I believe, marble with a honed or leather finish is just as beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:55PM
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I know folks, this is why I'm looking at white quartzite. It makes me sad as marble is so beautiful. You think by now someone would come up with some type of sealant that cannot be penetrated lol. I was getting so desperate, I considered getting marble and putting glass over it lol

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 5:03PM
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They say there are products that will prevent etching. There was only one when I got my marble -- for honed only, not polished, and I insisted on testing it on a sample. I felt like laminate, so I figured I could buy laminate for about the price of the sealant alone or buy the marble and live with it. I've lived with it for nearly 8 years now (I think -- not sure how time went that fast!). Can't take a photo right now because we've been canning salsa and blueberry jam -- not a lot of counter to see at the moment. Last night we made chili-citrus shrimp, Obviously I'm not too worried about staining or etching. I am extra careful when working with food coloring though, but I would be on any light surface.

If you want polished marble, to maintain the look and to actually use the kitchen, I'd say pass and go for a similar look. Some of the man-mades are getting pretty good.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 6:33PM
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Corian and Marble are at the singles bar.

Corian has a steady job history, has treated women with respect his entire life, has excellent prospects, and can't get a date.

Marble is between jobs again, continually treats women poorly with his constant etching and staining, is mediocre as a countertop, but has women standing in line to be the one who finally changes him.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:14PM
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treats women poorly

I think any woman who has truly been treated poorly would take exception to this analogy.

An etch isn't being treated poorly. It's acquiring a physical or superficial flaw. I used to be married to a man who had some physical flaws. It didn't matter. He treated me like a queen and I loved him dearly.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:20PM
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Oh, Treb you are too funny. LOL.

Woman looks at Corian and know he is fake; looks good, but is an imitation. Looks at marble and knows this is real, a Nelson Mandela type. Maybe not always the most attractive - but real.

Seriously, I don't want the perfection & asepsis of stainless steel countertops (have that at work/hospital). I want natural substances with real character.

I think those who want new construction may not be good candidates for marble. For those who prefer "Rehab Addict" types of homes, marble may work for them.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 8:56PM
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Chloekitty-similar situation for me & DH, just the two of us. I started out really liking polished marble & ended up LOVING honed. Maybe you haven't found the right slab? Honed seems to have more depth, more character & is so touchable.
Nothing beats a beautiful slab of white Calacatta but have you looked at the white Danby marbles? They appear more sugary & the crystals have a subtle sparkle. My Danby has a little sheen.
We decided on marble, fully intending to embrace the etches. I discovered the silver mats in the picture & use one or several whenever I'm using something that will etch. I'm embarrassed to say, I still don't have a single etch. I thought I had one tonight but used one of those white Mr. Clean pads, slightly dampened & gently rubbed...gone.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:43PM
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I have enough of these mats (3 different sizes) to cover my whole prep area, protect the areas next to the range & cover my walnut island (protection from scratches instead of etches). I don't leave any out on the counters. I just grab them when I need them.
Or maybe you can find a beautiful piece of quartzite like Christina222's.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 11:49PM
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The lengths to which women will go to compensate for Marble's shortcomings never cease to amaze me.

"Oooooâ¦but he's natural."

Yeah, well so is radioactivity and plate tectonics, but I don't see anyone willingly bringing those shortcomings into their kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:49AM
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The lengths to which Trebuchet will go to criticize marble and the people who love it never cease to amaze me.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 12:22PM
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Well, I must say that I love marble and it does make me swoon, but one of the principals of kitchen design is that form follows function. So if one has to start covering the entire counter to prepare a meal then to me it's not really appropriate for kitchen use for those who can't bear the idea that the counter will eventually look used.

On the other hand, my grandfather owned an Italian bakery. He made the pastries and bread on marble counters which I still remember even though I was a little kid at the time. The counters were delightfully patina'ed, even worn down in certain places, and it was gloriously beautiful. Beautiful because it was timeless and beautiful because it was the essence of form follows function.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 12:50PM
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I agree with jerzeegirl-- if you have to cover a kitchen counter every time you use it as a-- kitchen counter-- well, it seems a bit extreme to me. And what does one do when company comes over? Keep it covered, thereby defeating the purpose of the pretty marble to begin with? Or display it, but flinch every time someone goes to put their drink glass down on the counter? A countertop is not a museum piece. It's a countertop.

We have 55 year old marble floors in our house that are etched and have loads of "patina," but in my view this only adds to the character of the house. Seeing how natural the imperfect marble looks in the home actually helped me relax about our kitchen after it was redone (though we don't have marble in the kitchen, there was plenty else to stress about after spending all that money for a reno).

"Seriously, I don't want the perfection & asepsis of stainless steel countertops (have that at work/hospital)."

Well-used stainless steel countertops are hardly perfect or sterile. We went to cooking school in Spain and did all of our chopping, dicing and spilling of ingredients and drinks all over the stainless steel countertops in the kitchen there. The counters were scratched and carried quite the patina, maybe different in character to well-used marble, but similar in extent. And the scratches and lack of perfection gave it a warmth that was surprising to us. You can see the lack of perfection in the photo below, though, out of context, it is impossible to see how warm and homey this kitchen was.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 1:42PM
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My kitchen has 75+ year old unpolished Tennessee marble countertops. They are obviously well-used and have imperfections, but they are also really lovely. They were actually advertised as soapstone, and I can see why.

Interestingly, this was apparently a cheap enough building material that the owners decided to build an entire marble shower enclosure in the basement. Lucky for us, as we disassembled it and have large pieces to use for the countertop we plan to add.

Despite all this we do plan to make our primary work surface a butcher block top, because I don't want to worry too much about more etching and stains.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 2:18PM
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I'm in the Corian = fake and marble a long term steady, warts and all, camp. But there are viable alternatives, both natural and man made, for those who don't want to deal with marble. If you do more than pull out a cutting board for your prep, I would say marble isn't for you -- not if your kitchen is for cooking. If it's for impressing other people and making you feel special in their eyes and yours, are you sure marble is special enough?

I wanted that old bakery/ice cream parlor feel. This past weekend, we canned salsa and blueberry jam and we made a chili-citrus shrimp on our cooktop flanked by marble counters. I have rolled doughs and worked with fondant -- even coated the counters with Crisco in the process. It is a great work surface, but you have to accept it for what it is.

Romy718 -- you did have an etch, and have probably had others. The fact that you buff them out doesn't mean your marble doesn't etch.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 2:25PM
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"The lengths to which Trebuchet will go to criticize marble and the people who love it never cease to amaze me."


Thanks and touche. That made me laugh.

I hope you and linelle can give me a break. It's just that having been a Corian fabricator and seeing women swoon over marble reminds me of my single days 33 years ago when I shared a house with two other guys. I'm no Brad Pitt by any stretch of the imagination and neither were my housemates, but they brought women home by the boatload. I was a complete loser by numerical comparison, but I refused to tell women what they wanted to hear, facts be damned. I'm stuck this way; I hope you understand.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Treb, I don't agree with you -- at least not for what I wanted and when I bought it. Can't say if I would have gone with a lookalike if the choices now had been available then. It's possible since everyone said don't use marble in a kitchen then. But so many people seem to stress over the idea of living with marble years after it became popular to use it in kitchens and try to force the fit even though they aren't comfortable with the idea of patina. In that case, it is like trying to marry the bad boy and expecting him to change for you.

I still equate marble to a worn denim and linen thing. If you are only happy with those fabrics crisp and pressed, don't do marble. (yes, I've known people who send jeans to the cleaners and won't wear them without that crisp pressing -- defeats the purpose in my book). If you love the way worn denim and linen feel, even when wrinkled and worn (the more worn the better even), then you may just love marble too.

This post was edited by lascatx on Mon, Jun 23, 14 at 16:23

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 3:20PM
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Trebruchet, give you a break? Hell, man, I got a porta-potty just for you. Of course I'll give you a break. ;-) I just don't agree that acquiring a flawed surface (patina) is the same thing as treating someone badly. And I know you realize that.

I hope when I'm laid to rest for all eternity it's in a pair of well-worn jeans (uncreased).

This post was edited by linelle on Mon, Jun 23, 14 at 15:37

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 3:36PM
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When I remodeled my kitchen two years ago, I decided I wanted marble on a baking center and white quartzite on the rest of the kitchen countertops. The Kitchen Designer I hired assured me that it would all work together. She revised my initial layout in a way that she thought would work. She matched the quartzite with white cabinets and the marble with stained cherry cabinets in an effort to make the baking center look more distinct. She added a second sink with the baking center, which was costly and not very practical

The pros are that I have the functionality of both - I can make lemonade on the Mont Blanc polished quartzite and roll out dough on the marble. I was able to find a honed marble remnant for the baking center, which saved on the cost.

The negative is that my kitchen looks disjointed - with two types of countertops that are similar, but not the same in color or finish. Also, most of my cooking is limited to the quartzite countertops.

While I enjoy looking at the marble, I love the looks of the quartzite. Attached is a photo of the baking center, shortly after the marble was installed.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 3:57PM
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Well, I knew I was going to get comments showing a pic of my counter mats. I remember all the comments with Beekeeperswife & her plexiglass. When I made the marble decision, my eyes were wide open. DH & I looked at a couple of kitchens with etched marble & decided we could deal with it. Marble was installed & my project stopped for about 6 months. My only contact with my kitchen was walking thru it & sliding my hand across the marble. During that time I read a thread that described these mats. I got my first ones to put on the sides of my range for grease splatters. They are padded & are heat resistant - like a big trivet. Perfect for my wood island countertop, which I use as a buffet serving area when entertaining a big crowd.
I don't cover my countertops when people come over & I don't police my guests.
When I have a big cooking day that I make multiple dishes to freeze (lasagna, spaghetti, stuffed peppers & meatloaf), I put the mats on my work space.
I didn't get marble to impress people. I got it because I love it. I know it is going to etch.
Just wanted to show ChloeKitty if she decides she has to have marble & she doesn't cook much, there are ways to protect it. Also, my marble is Danby. If the etching really bothers me, I can remove it with Comet & a green scrubbie & reseal. I also have no problem having a professional rehone & reseal every few years - just like I have my carpets cleaned.
My comfy jeans-no ironing. My dressy jeans - I iron them.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 4:49PM
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I am a fabricator.

I've done marble countertops many times; both polished and honed. We go waaaaaaay out of our way to insure the customer understands the mechanical properties of the stone but occasionally they still don't listen.

Had an install once where we had just completed the job and were in the process of carrying our tools out to the truck. Came back in the house for more items and the homeowner showed me a scratch in her brand new island. Conveniently; there was a carpenters circular saw still sitting there so we knew where the scratch came from. She was NOT happy and seemed to think it was my problem. It wasn't.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 5:24PM
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LAremodel can you please show pics of your quartzite countertops as I'm trying to go that route. Hoping to find one I'm happy with.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 7:44PM
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If I hadn't found a quartzite I loved I would have gone with marble and lived with the patina. As it worked out I did find a beautiful white and gray quartzite so I got my marble fix by using it on the backsplash.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 8:21PM
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The blogger lost me when he claimed "all rocks are hard". Well, thank's the KarinMT we know all about the Moh's scale of hardness and know that marble and soapstone will be cut by knives, glass and other common household items. The deceptive flaw in the experiments was that the material was spread all over -- hiding the etches.

I split the baby -- I have a marble bs, a marble ledge and a marble table. The working counters are quartz (could not find quartzite that I liked in my budget). In the first month, I got my first ding on my marble ledge by setting down a leaded crystal vase. I love the look, but the patina is what I personally can't live with. It's just a personal thing. (I don't worry at all about the marble on my bath floors however -- for me, its a counter thing)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:59PM
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Attached is a photo of my Mont Blanc quartzite kitchen countertop. It's a closeup because the veining is difficult to show from a distance.

I'll send a 2nd message showing the slab before fabrication - I've yet to learn how to post more than one photo at a time.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 11:45PM
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Here's a photo of the Mont Blanc quartzite slab when I selected it - matching it against my cabinet colors and porcelain floor tile. I had initially decided on a White Macaubus slab, but switched to Mont Blanc because I wanted a "warmer" color in the kitchen.

Also, on my 5th and last trip to the slab yard, they had a recent delivery of Mont Blanc and it was so much prettier than the ones I'd seen previously - so made it easier for me to make my decision.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 11:52PM
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Based on my experiences, the ability to tolerate imperfections for the sake of perceived beauty comes with age. My friends who have marble are in their latter 40s and 50s. At this point, they understand the realities of kitchen use and know enough to know what they love and can put up with. They also don't give a hoot if a neighbor comes over for coffee and notices etching on the very counters that they themselves adore.

In my early days of design and decorating, nothing but perfection would do. As I entered my 30s and had a family and real cooking needs, I cared more for functionality, although my day-to-day experiences in my kitchen eventually made me realize that what really mattered was what I liked in my own space.

In my 40s, I want to marry form and function, but I'm not brave enough to try marble. I can, though, justify soapstone chips and scratches as "character" as long as that lovely matte can hide at least some imperfections.

In my 50s, I know I'll throw caution to the wind and incorporate the marble that I loved in my 20s, but didn't have the confidence to install until my 50s.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 12:38AM
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Peony4 - very wise words.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 2:04AM
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I really appreciated reading the following on a blog regarding marble. I think it puts marble into perspective in a very real way. I highly recommend reading this!

Here is a link that might be useful: Marble

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 6:28AM
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I appreciate oldryder's first post - why wouldn't we want to take care of our belongings? I even took care of my old, nasty laminate. I've always used large cutting boards and trivets, whatever protection was necessary for the job. I'm careful of contamination and cross-contamination and clean thoroughly as I cook. I am forever grateful to romy for turning me on to the Range Kleen pads and I don't just use them on the marble. I protect all my surfaces. I keep two out at all times, one next to the range and one as a beverage station next to the fridge. It works with our lifestyle.

I've had our Danby several months now and I couldn't be happier with it. No stains, etches, or chips. We don't cover all the surfaces and we're still under construction so it's had its share of tool drops though I don't recommend that.

I love the variation of very light to dark and of course the sparkle which is difficult to capture in photos.

I originally wanted mostly white with gentle veining, but love the interest and texture the veining gives.

I also have an antiqish (we're guessing 1930's) polished marble side table. It is still beautiful. It is not babied and does have water ring etching though you wouldn't know unless you're at an extreme angle and the light is just right. In fact, I did not know it had etches until I got on my hands and knees and looked for it. I've used it as en entry table with a chair next to it so it does get abuse-drinks, keys, drop zone.

Patina in the upper left corner.

I also agree with peony4s wise words, although I asked quite a few of my friends' early 30's kids (male and female), and my 20 something daughter when I was in the choices phase, and they all picked the marble and love it now.

Christina222's quartzite and marble combo is gorgeous. Maybe that's the best solution for you, especially if you love polished.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 1:40PM
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Romy718-you didn't have to explain yourself. Most here on this site knew what point you were trying to make.
I have honed marble in 2 bathrooms. I love my marble. It's beautiful, not perfect, and I would install it over and over again. Most everything in my home is the same way. My ivory colored sofa is made for sitting, but I wouldn't sit on it right after I've done yard work. I have felt pads on the legs of all my furniture to protect my walnut floors from getting scratched. Most people remove their shoes when entering their home before walking on their carpet. I would never put a glass of ice tea or hot coffee directly on my wood kitchen table. And yes, some people actually protect their marble counters a little when doing some messy baking. It's really no big deal and doesn't take a lot of effort.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 8:05PM
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