Calling Danby marble owners

kaysdNovember 12, 2012

How are your counters doing? Do sealed counters stain easily? Do you have a lot of visible etching? Any regrets? Would you use it again?

I have spent over a year trying to find a white quartzite, granite or quartz for my kitchen, and none have the right look. I have seen some gorgeous quartzite counters on GW, but what is available locally does not excite me. Some of the white granites have nice movement, but the garnet spots don't work with my color scheme. I want to like quartz (I do like some of the darker colors), but can't find a white one that doesn't feel stark and/or fake to me.

I keep eyeing slabs of Danby Mountain White Satin. The patterning is subtle (good since the floor tiles have swirly stone patterns and walnut cabinets have nice grain patterns), but enough to be interesting. The colors in the slabs (soft white, dark gray, slightly greenish light gray, taupe) look like they were pulled from the floor tiles, but the overall feel of the slab is much lighter, for contrast.

The Danby marble will look great with the other materials in my kitchen and will give me the look I have been wanting -- I am just afraid of using marble. We have 2 young kids, guests who are not always neat, and a fondness for red wine, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and citrus. If I use marble, it will just be for the 8' x 4.5' island, but it is an island with seating and I plan to use it as prime prep space. I will use gray quartz on the other counters so MIL has a safe place to make tomato sauce when she visits, lol.

So, does anyone want to talk me into or out of a marble island?

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Debbi Branka

Can you live with etching? I've had my statuary marble for about 6 months now. It's sealed with the 511 stuff. I have no stains at all, but I do have 2 tiny etches. I know where they are, but I can only see them in certain light. I bought the island marble because I LOVED it and I wanted to live with it, so I'm not getting upset about the etches. We are empty nesters, but have 2 grandsons. We use the island for laying out all the food when we have family or parties. My advice is to go for it!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Deb, your marble is gorgeous! Is it honed or polished? What did you use on the other counters?

I am trying to figure out if I can live with etching. I don't mind "patina" in traditional kitchens, but we are going modern. I'm telling myself etching is probably OK with "rustic modern" (we have knotty fir or pine T&G and beam ceilings a prior owner white washed lightly).

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Debbi Branka

Thank you Kay! The marble is honed. I think etching shows up way more on polished and I just loved the warm look of the honed. The perimeter counters are blue pearl granite, polished. They are so durable - no sealing necessary and nothing hurts them. The angle of that first picture includes both etches on my marble (it's on the taller "working" part). It's just not that bad. And I also found out that they can be rehoned if ever necessary. The price isn't super expensive. That tidbit was just a crutch for me when I was deciding. Here's a pic with the other counters (before ceiling/wall repair after lights and electrical were installed in ceiling and above cabs).

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:54PM
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I just finished my kitchen with walnut and honed calacatta Claudia marble, so I get where you are coming from. I already have a couple of etches but I don't care. I love this marble. I posted pictures last week.

I say go for it!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:59PM
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We're getting Imperial Danby but it's not in yet. We are doing it on the perimeter partly b/c our island will be used like yours. Seating, kids, prep, etc.

We are doing wood on the island that is Waterloxed so I think it will be less to worry about.

I was originally wondering if marble would work but I love it so much more than anything else so I decided to go with it and will live with etching : ) I also kept some large 18" sample tiles on our old counter so I could etch it, etc... and see how I felt about it.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 1:06PM
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nycbluedevil, your kitchen is beautiful! I love the combination of materials.

2LittleFishies, I look forward to seeing your counters.

I am not sure I have seen etching in person (at least when I was looking for it). The slab yard gave me a 2"x2" unsealed sample to play with. I'll have to cut up a lemon to see what happens. (My vinegars are all packed up with the rest of my kitchen contents -- 3.5 months with no kitchen & I am going nuts.)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:41PM
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Thanks Kaysd. Calacatta caldia (not claudia!) backsplash was installed today--yay.

I am sure you know this but just to reiterate--honed marble stains more easily than polished but shows the etching less than polished. I have polished marble in my new bathrooms and the etching is much more obvious.

The staining problem can be dealt with by sealing. The sealing does not affect the tendency to etch from acids. So in my view, the honed marble is the best of both worlds because you can prevent the staining with regular sealing and will see less etching. But you will see some etching, there is no way around it.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:59PM
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I have had Danby on my serving/buffet island for a year. It is honed and sealed. We have had no stains, but a few etches from margarita glasses! Everyone now uses coasters when they have any glasses there. It is only visible in certain light....and we have a lot of it. It doesn't bother me because I love the look and feel of the marble so much.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:24PM
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Speaking as a year long marble owner, your marble will etch. I have numerous etches. I don't count them, nor do I care. It makes me laugh, no offense, when someone says they have two or three etches. How in earth do you only have that many? I cook in my kitchen. I use tomatoes, red sauce, ketchup, loads of various citrus zest and juices (I use my electric citrus reamer often!), and vinegars of all flavor and nationalities. Any type of red wine you can think of we drink, cook with, or both. Lemon zest and fresh juice are staples in my cooking. Tonight, in fact, I am making penne with tomatoes, arugula, toasted pine nuts, and capers. The dressing uses both lemon zest and juice. Yum!

Buy a lemon or two and a bottle of red wine and have at your marble sample. You'll see what etches look like IRL. They are difficult to capture on camera. I agree that a counter full of etches doesn't necessarily jive with your modern aesthetic, but a beautiful countertop that makes your soul happy will. :)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:33PM
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I've had Danby Olympian White on every surface in my kitchen for about a year now. Your slabs are gorgeous!!! That's some of the prettiest Danby I've seen.

I love my Danby, no regrets. It's sealed with Porous Plus 511 and completely stain-resistant. Sometimes my husband will splatter coffee at 4am, and when I wake up at 7 and discover it, I just wipe it up. Nothing has ever left a stain in an entire year.

Etching, though is a different story. It etches really easily, and we have a lot of sunlight in the kitchen, so it really shows. I fretted and cooked with towels under the cutting board for about 3 months, until one day I forgot to protect the counter. I made an olive tapenade, and the island etched like crazy-- it was the best thing that could've happened to me. I'm completely relaxed about etching now, allowing etches to happen without fretting. It's developing a patina that I don't mind--I actually like the lived-in, loved-in look.

If I ever want to, years from now, I can find a guy to rehone it with some type of sandblaster, but that's not in my future plans.

One other thing you should be aware of--and this I'm not quite as laid back about--it chips really easily. I have several little chips where mugs have clipped the edge of the counter by the dishwasher. If I ever drop a cast iron pot on the counters, it'll doubtless take a hunk out of the marble. And I'm not convinced that a restoration guy could epoxy it.

Full disclosure--my fabricator is holding an extra slab for me in case of a major disaster someday :)

Anyway, you only live once, and those slabs are to die for!!! I hope you go for it :)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:01PM
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This lengthy thread of dragonfly's may help... lots of pics

Here is a link that might be useful: marble thread

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:01PM
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Another Thread...

Here is a link that might be useful: danby thread

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:04PM
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I wouldn't worry about it. Like NYC said, I have calacatta gold honed in my kitchen and bath and wouldn't change it. But I did purposefully choose the honed to minimize the visibility of the inevitable etching. It's only really noticeable round the toilet...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:15PM
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Those slabs are really pretty where are they at? I too am looking at marble for my Island could have written your OP. I wont be ready for a couple more months but want to get this decided now. I have a huge 24"X30" slab sample I pulled out of the dumpster at the stone yard (ok the guy did its soo heavy) anyway tomorrow it becomes my experiment! I think I should seal it first though.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:11AM
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My Danby is 1 1/2 years old. No stains. Etches like crazy. I don't know why it doesn't bother me but it's ok.

Just last week I dribbled lots of tarn-ex on it as I cleaned silverware and trays. I made lemon squares and lemon juice went all over.

Mine is honed. I think if I get some polishy sealer I would be able to get rid of the etches. Probably. Maybe I will try that in the next year or two. Ha.

Oh it is chipped, too. and has white splotches. And tomorrow, I will slap around some bread dough, yes, right on the counter. Life goes on.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:14AM
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I've had my caramel streaked Danby for 2+ years now. Sealed with 511 Porous plus once a year. I still love it and would do it all over again, even though our kitchen is contemporary in style.

There's no staining or chipping but yes, etches everywhere as it as become our salad dressing-making, wine-pouring station.

Here's a picture of the island top as a whole:

This is taken from above with the overhead pendant lights centered right on two etches. It's the only way I can see them!:

And the same section without strategic lighting:

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:05PM
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Hey Breezy-

Care to share your pasta recipe? Sounds delicious!

Sorry for the hijack.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:53PM
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Hi Sharonite-

You mentioned that you re-seal with Porous Plus 511 once p/year. Do you have to strip off the old sealer first? If so, how do you do it/what product do you use?

Thanks :)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:45PM
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Malhgold! Great to see you! Here's my version of a Giada DL recipe. We love, love this dish. My 7 and 3 y.o. have been eating this for more than a year, capers and all!

Penne with Brown Butter, Arugula, Tomatoes, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Whisk together
1/4 evoo
1 lemon zested and juiced
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound penne rigate pasta or whatever fun shape you like
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temp
4 or more cups baby arugula
1 or more cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 or more cup toasted pine nuts
3 or more tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a high-sided skillet, whisk the butter over medium heat until nutty and brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pasta, dressing, arugula, tomatoes, pine nuts, and capers. Toss until coated. Then add parmesan. If necessary to lossen the sauce, stir in the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Eat up!

Sorry for the hijack, Kay!

On topic, I think it's about time for me to reseal also. I used, and will use, Miracle 511 Inpregnator Sealer. No need to strip prior to resealing.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 2:29AM
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Madeline: no stripping necessary. I only re-seal when water droplets dribbled on the surface seem to not be beading up as well anymore, I'm not tied to a once-a-year schedule. I've re-sealed once in over 2 years since my kitchen was done.

I do love the marble, and the etches, which I've grown to embrace. (And I and DH are both OCD neatfreaks.) The etches are not lack of neatness, they are a function of life and happy events. If and when we move, I'm taking the island countertop with me and making a table from it at the next place!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:35AM
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I don't have marble in my kitchen, but it's my not-so-secret crush. Maybe when I redo my bathrooms...

As for the etching, are you guys ever tempted to just etch the whole piece and be done with it? Does it etch on top of etches?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:55AM
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