Marble countertops

veehamJuly 31, 2014

Hello all,
We are contemplating either danby marble or carrara for our kitchen counters. I have heard all of the horror stories so no need to educate me on those. One thing I was wondering. Has anyone etched their whole countertop, after installation and sealing. Like just take a whole lemon and rub it all over then wipe it off. Thoughts on this? I had heard of the old tale where Meg Ryan etched her whole counter after installation and that had me wondering. I have a sample of danby and it has etched but I kind of like the etched look. I'm probably weird for that. Thanks for any and all input.

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I dunno....I love the character that regular use brings to marble, personally. Forcing a big etch artificially feels like cheating a little.

If you truly do not mind the etching then I recommend freely and enthusiastically using those counters and embracing the good things of life the stains and etching represent.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:39PM
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Veeham funny you should ask...
I too am venturing into marble-land. Maybe. I went this afternoon to pick the slab for my bath vanity and they were out. Had one slab there polished with scratches. Anyway I asked for a sink cutout for a sample and I am going to etch the whole thing tomorrow. Just to see.
After the stone place I stopped at an antique store and they had several old marble topped tables. All had this wonderful soft worn look.
I had a countertop thread on here about my counter decisions
and just posted that my DD decided for me that this kitchen wants marble.
I am still deciding...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:46PM
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There is a video on the Vermont Danby website showing how to remove etching from Danby Marble with of Comet w/ Bleach with & a green scrubbie. I believe they recommend resealing afterwards. It's a nice option to have available that is unique to Danby marble.
I have Imperial Danby. I have some minor etching I've been able to remove with a damp Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
There have been previous threads discussing etching your stone with a lemon. I believe the concern was that you may not get a consistent surface appearance.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:02PM
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I just spent 45 minutes removing etch from a cararra dining table and they were pretty light. I can't imagine a worse surface for a kitchen countertop. Okay, yes I can. Cardboard. Raw plywood.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 7:09AM
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Trebuchet, Veeham said she has heard all of the horror stories. Marble is gorgeous if you appreciate patina in your home, not plasticized perfection.

I dont think I would do the etch-in-advance technique. If you're ok with etching, then embrace it when it happens.I am planning marble or soapstone, dependent upon which slab I fall in love with. I have two marble tables and an antique marble-topped desk. All show signs of irregular etching which I find charming. I also have scuffed doors and woodwork which are less charming but signs of rambunctious boys. These are things that don't bother me, so I know I'm not OCD on finishes!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:13AM
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missymoo12 funny you say your daughter decided for you. My older daughter wants black granite. Which is another option but it will really change the look from the bright light kitchen I want.

romy718 thank you for the information. I'll check it out. The nonconsistent appearance would be the only draw back.
I'll keep searching for that thread.

Trebruchet you are funny. I actually laughed out loud. I guess it's all what you can live with.

greenhaven and myfoursons I might get a sample piece and etch the whole thing just to see what it looks like. Most likely I'll just live with the etches though.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:03AM
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Here's some of that lovely patina of which everyone seems so fond:

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:21AM
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Well sure. Etching can look quite jarring on a polished surface, but it is much less noticeable on a honed or antiqued surface. It still shows up, but it doesn't jump out at you nearly as much.

Look, some materials require more maintenance than others. My wood floors require me to be careful when moving furniture and to make sure that I clean regularly so that the floors don't get scratched. A granite or porcelain tile surface would withstand more of a beating, but I like the look and feel of the wood. Same with marble -- it can't take a beating the way granite or quartz can, but as long as you understand the limitations, you will be fine.

Also -- I have had good luck using a scotchbrite pad to buff out etches on my samples of antiqued brown fantasy (marble/quartzite/who knows). The etches were hardly noticeable on the antiqued surface, they sort of blended in with the texture and you could only see them if you knew where to look.

This post was edited by cstr on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 11:47

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:46AM
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I've had honed marble for 8 years now and have no regrets. I didn't want the shiny granite. Or the shiny marble either, for that matter. I agree that polished marble, which is more often used for table tops and other furniture, would be a PITA kitchen counter.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:54AM
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In fairness to myself, marble is a lot like science fiction to me. My wife is a sci-fi fan, but with the exception of the women's outfits on old Star Trek episodes, I just don't get it. If I throw out an occasional poke or prod, I'm just trying to understand how some folks can justify the poor performance of a product in a particular application when so many superior alternatives are available.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:33PM
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Trebruchet your counters are beautiful. Are they crema marfil? As to your comment "justify the poor performance of a product in a particular application when so many superior alternatives are available". I do not see an etch as poor performance. Marble has been used for thousands of years so I'd hardly say it was a poor performer. Some people like myself love the look of marble and no granite or quartz can compete. I do like the look of certain quartzites but my husband isn't sure if he wants to pay that much for quartzite when we can get a beautiful marble for under 1/2 the cost.
I would not do a polished marble in my kitchen as they do show etching more. But luckily for me I like the look of honed. Another episode of to each his own.

This post was edited by veeham on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 12:50

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:48PM
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The first splotch of etching on a pristine polished surface is jarring.

However, if you look at the slabs in an old candy making company's kitchens, the marble top of an old bar, or the marble mixing slab in an old pharmacy you see a totally different surface. The etches and scratches and everything have all blended into a matte surface.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:49PM
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Really, is the performance of marble in a kitchen THAT bad? It can scratch, etch, and stain. You can damage soapstone, granite, laminate, solid surface, butcher block in many of the same ways. My family has owned rental properties for many years, and you would (or maybe woudn't ;-) ) be shocked at how durable materials can be damaged by people who aren't careful/don't care. I have seen badly scratched, burned dinged, chipped, stained, solid surfaces and laminates. I have seen granite (the so-called bullet proof ones) scratched and corners broken off. These are things that I would have a hard time doing even if I was purposely trying!

Do you take reasonably good care of your surroundings? Do you clean up messes as they happen? If so, you will likely not have trouble with a non-polished marble. Or any of the others mentioned. Really.

This post was edited by cstr on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 12:56

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:55PM
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In response to the OP -- using lemon to pre-etch your counters will in fact give you the blotchy and uneven effect of patina. I think it would work best on a honed surface rather than polished. It won't prevent new etch marks -- etching is caused by a chemical reaction and will continuously happen when the stone is in contact with acids. You will probably want to seal AFTER you etch the surface.

Give it a try on some of your samples -- do you like it? Does it seem charming and rustic to you, or does it just look dirty and messed up? Only you can answer that.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:08PM
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Well, if you don't understand Science Fiction....there's not much hope, is there? :)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Thank you cstr. I assumed it would continue to etch after initially etching the whole counter but I wasn't sure. I will get some more samples this week and etch the whole piece and see.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:18PM
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veeham - I was thinking of doing the same thing. However, I think it would end up looking too uniform and unnatural. Wished I could have found old, used marble countertops.

Treb -- what you consider ''poor'' performance, may be ''good'' performance to someone else. Was at a tea store with a friend; every tea that I thought was good, he thought was bad, and every tea he thought was ''good,'' I thought was ''poorly'' brewed. Who was right?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:29PM
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My white marble is antiqued and honed. It is called Dolomya.It also is not perfectly smooth and flat. All to give the effect of already having patina.

It helps, but if you get something on it, it will still look different then the rest of the slab. Patina is great but it takes a decade or so!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:35PM
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This is what they do in Greece actually. When you get your marble installed you invite your friends over to "christen" it with lemons and (white) wine. You're supposed to serve grilled octopus in lemon juice and "moschofilero" wine.

Ooh I'm hungry...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:57PM
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EAM44, I love it! When I bought my marble remnant the salesman told me how he just sold some marble countertops to an Italian priest who was actually from Carrera, and the priest said that was what he was going to do! Well, essentially, if not exactly. ;0)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 9:01AM
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