For those of you with marble. Embracing the patina?

SquirrelsNovember 25, 2012

What should I expect if I had an island counter top made of marble, where 90% of the prep would happen, most likely without a sink, rolling out dough, cutting out cookie shapes, chopping up roasted beetroots for a salad, having a night of gin and tonics with extra lemon, handing over the kitchen to visitors who wanted to cook the meal that night.

I literally have 100�s of photos of beautiful marble countertops, some are designer or in pristine condition but the pictures that make my hear flutter are the ones of a freshly baked cake being served on the counter, or a mix of fresh ingredients that are about to be turned into a tasty dinner for a family.

I really want to �use� the counter tops and not care if there is a bottle of red wine dripping and sitting on the counter. I also would not like to have the counter sealed, I think my personal philosophy is "why potentially use a chemical to make something beautiful when the true value of the item is the actual use of it" and also I guess to just embrace the wear and tear of items since everything has a beginning, middle and an end, and that�s ok with me.

I guess what I am wondering is, what should I expect if I don�t seal the marble countertop, will it look feral for the first few months but within the year will it just have a patina or stains and etches as others may call it?

Even though I am a good year away from needing to make decisions regarding the kitchen I�m trying to thin out the pictures in my kitchen folder and really get some traction with the materials and elements that I just keep coming back to.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think I would love it! Of course, I put an antique, pre- patina-ed table in the middle of my kitchen! I used Alabama White marble on the hutch in the dining area, and the master bath counter. It is developing some slight imperfections, but so far not bothering me.

I would be on the hunt for an antique piece of marble. That way, the marble has a story. This from the woman who hauled a tree across 4 states to have it made into countertops, so consider the source.......


    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 7:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

MY marble coffee counter was quarried in Alabama also and then used on the outside of an old bldg in Columbus GA. The bldg was torn down, the marble salvaged and then purchased by a guy who was storing it in his field. That is where I found it. Cost me $50 to get it from him. Brought it home in my pickup. Had a wonderful guy lightly sand it and that was it. I have a gorgeous edge on the front part...due to it being the place the slab overlapped on the outside of the bldg. !

I like springroz haul salvage from everywhere. Most of mine came by truck from NH to AL. All this means that if you love patina and love marble go for it. Mine looks just like it did 6 yrs ago and I have never sealed it. c

Teak used on either side since marble wasn't quite long enough..looks inset -


    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have embraced the many etchings on my 8+year old marble counters but I would not like stains. I have polished not honed so it does not need or take a sealer, the polishing process makes it stain resistant but if you are thinking of honed I would strongly advise you to get a sealer, honed marble is very porous and everything will leave stains, which are different than an etch. I will say that my neighbor has new honed and I actually see her etchings more than I see mine on my polished so I am not sure honed really helps hide etches anyway. I think etches are more apparent depending on one's lighting. If you are really set on no sealer you should only get polished and it is a different look than what has been popular here for the last few years.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, I was posting at the same time as trailrunner, most antique marble was polished so it does not need sealer and even though her beautiful piece was lightly honed it still reflects a lot of light in the top picture so I am guessing its polished properties still protect it from stains:)beautiful Trailrunner!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I opted for dark quartz counters, but I still long for honed marble (the one that got away). Etching only seems to stick out in the middle of an otherwise pristine finish. Does anyone ever just intentionally rub lemon everywhere to achieve a more homogeneous etched appearance?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The "patina" is marketing speak for the scratches, etched areas, and stains that will occur on a marble top in a kitchen environment.

Bottom line is marble (or limestone) is too soft and too easily stained and etched for a high use environment.

I know some people accept the "patina" as part of the marble experience. some things about marble:

you can scratch it with almost anything. (I once installed a marble island and it was scratched before I even left the job site.)

it is readily stained as marble is VERY porous relative to most stone used in countertops. Even with a sealer made for porous stone it is still much more susceptible.

it can be etched by common acids in a kitchen and even fruit juice. an etched area is where the stone is actually dissolved by the acid. on a polished top this leaves a dull area. even prolonged exposure to rainwater will damage a polished marble surface.

we do not recommend marble or limestone for kitchens. when someone insists we do it and make them sign a disclaimer as the homeowner is often unhappy when the top is stained, etched, or scratched in short order and the interior designer never accepts any accountability for selecting an inappropriate material.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 12:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have honed marble, danby, honed. It is sealed and yes, it has etched in a few areas but i have spilled oil, tomato sauce, ketchup etc all over and no stains. I was shocked that there have been no stains, just a few etches, which honestly don't bother me. I love marble and love the look and so I don't care about marble issues like the etching etc. On the other hand I will have a professional marble company seal once a year since it costs very little to have them come and do it properly. I just could not live without it. I am pretty careful with it and so is my husband so we have not had any major issues. I do have marble in my kids bath which is RH carrara and has etched a lot but it looks fine to me, and again we just love the look of marble so we kind of gloss over the etching.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 2:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sorry about the side ways pic-not to good at this whole picture uploading thing:(

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 2:53PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Help! Are rift cut, slab cabinets always veneer?
We got a sample of our door color for our slab, rift...
New to Kitchens? Read Me First!
Welcome! If you are new to the Kitchens Forum, you...
Specific stacked upper cab questions
I'm looking for input as I get closer to finalizing...
can laminated/refaced kitchen cabinets be "undone"?
We've lived in our house for 5 years and I am interested...
What does this tile say to you?
I am still in the planning stages of a small, U-shaped...
Sponsored Products
Tommy 4 Piece King Bedroom Set in Black
$1,136.00 | LexMod
Area Rug: Linked Lines Shitake 8' x 10'
Home Depot
Embrace Pendant
Two-Piece Sailboat Wall Art
$69.99 | zulily
Artology Makie Comforter 3-piece Set and Euro Sham Separate
What Cats Teach Us Book
$15.50 | FRONTGATE
Lamp International | Agata Pendant Li1050s6
Purdue University Brushed Nickel Arc Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™