help calling all marble counter people experience please

springplanterJune 22, 2013

I have been captivated by a black marble called Belgium black and would love to have it in my kitchen.
Having said that, I keep reading that etching is a problem with marble, like coffee and citrics, which we use a lot.

On the other hand, I hear about all of the "new and wonderful" products for sealing which are supposed to avoid these problems.

I would love to hear from real experience of those of you who have faced the marble counter dilemma


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I can't speak about black marble, but our White marble had etches day one from the vodka spilled while making lemon drop martinis. One small chip over the dishwasher that no one, not even DW knows about. Some small scratches in odd places. Ours is sealed and has not stained anywhere. We love our coffee in the mornings and it spills all the time. We LOVE our marble and know we made the right choice. Our kitchen is lived in and we just don't stress about the little things.

That said, the sealer won't prevent etching, especially from citrus (lemons and limes are used by us almost nightly), tomatoes, bottom of glasses. It prevents stains, which we have not seen. We just keep a clean cloth nearby when cooking/bar tending, and we have several large cutting boards.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 8:16AM
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All marbles as you know will etch from acidic products.
Lighter colored marbles that are highly polished will show the etches much more than light colored honed marbles. The deeper the hone the less the etches may show.
Dark marbles that are polished will really show the etch marks.
Honed Belgium black would not look too good. It loses its depth of color.
Belgian black is a difficult stone to refinish. It can be very sensitive to etching.
I think it will be a night mare in your busy kitchen.
The coating that you have heard about may be clearstoneusa .
Check out their website.
If you really love the Belgium black then this coating will make it possible to place the stone in your kitchen.
There are pros and cons so get educated on it.
Also the price is high at about 60.00 a sq ft.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 9:58AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I have both black and white marble in my kitchen, and they are both etched. The black marble is New St.Laurent tiles, and it's a mottled, limestone-y type, so it's probably unfair to compare it to the Belgium Black I saw online.

However, when I was researching and asking questions, a GW member responded with info about her honed Black Ice marble, then later posted pics. I'm linking her thread with the pics, although I don't think she included the name of the marble in that thread. I'm not aware if she posted completed kitchen pics, and I haven't seen her name lately, but her email is enabled--you might ask about her long-term experience.

Here is a link that might be useful: two_devs honed Black Ice marble

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 2:50PM
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I'm sure things have continued to change since I put in my marble. At that time, there was only one product I heard about that promised to prevent etching. I hunted it down and insisted on getting it tested on a sample piece of marble (the stuff is more expensive and has to be professionally applied and reapplied, so it is a commitment). I was so glad I did, because the effect was a discernible coating over the stone. It seemed like a laminate finish over the weight of the stone. I would rather have laminate that have my stone laminated.

I am happy with my honed white marble, but I don't think I would put polished black marble in a busy kitchen. I've seen black marble tiles on a bathroom floor where water drips were were enough to show spots -- I can't imagine the etching too.

Have you seen Cambrian Black granite? I have that on my island and have been very happy with that too. Soapstone is another consideration, but some folks don't like the oiling or the softness of soapstone.

ETA: -- I looked at the thread linked above and really like those counters. But the effect is similar to soapstone, so I wonder why not get the same look with a stone that doesn't etch? Is it that different IRL?

This post was edited by lascatx on Sun, Jun 23, 13 at 15:08

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 3:01PM
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I think Barefoot Contessa has the Belgium Black marble in her (barn) kitchen--where the show has been taped for the past 3 or so years. I've noticed what appear to be some etches during close-up shots. You may want to tape a few shows and see if you can notice them.

I have Vermont Danby Olympian White marble in my kitchen, all counters plus slab b-splash.

It's sealed with one of the best products out there--Porous Plus 511-- and that makes it pretty much stain proof, but it etches like crazy, and has several chips.

Nothing will prevent the etching, and chips tend to happen pretty easily.

If the etches or chips will bother you, I'd steer away from the marble. It's really impossible to protect, and you can drive yourself into the looney bin trying.

This post was edited by Madeline616 on Sun, Jun 23, 13 at 16:50

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Fori is not pleased

I would consider using a slab for the backsplash and using something neutral (and durable) for the countertop.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 5:22PM
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