Marble testing in progress... why we're NOW not going with marble
Like many on this forum, I had fallen in love with the white marble countertop look and could not, for the life of me, get marble out of my mind! I tried. Really, I did. I did all the research on GW and online. I searched for white granite and quartzite... even found some lovely slabs locally that I really like. But then, I'd look at my inspiration photos or I'd turn to walk out of the stone yard and I'd find myself drooling over the marble look again.
I found myself frustrated that I was not convinced etching or staining or chipping would be all that big of a deal. Every time I made a decision to stick with granite/quartzite, I'd see another finished kitchen post where they went with marble and it would, indeed, be simply gorgeous. Couldn't I just go with it? After all, it's been around and used in kitchens for centuries. After all, I want a beautiful, but lived-in kitchen, not a showroom. So what if we have 2 very young children (and, perhaps, more to come)?
I was frustrated that I didn't find anything online that showed truly how prone marble was to etching, staining, etc. And I was frustrated that I didn't know anyone who had marble so I could get my curiosity answered in person.
Thus, marble stayed stuck in the back of my mind and wouldn't go away...
Today, I finally went and got a sample of white carrera marble. I even asked the salesperson to get me a price quote for the marble because, gosh darn it, we just might as well stick with the look we love and can't get past.
The marble was sealed at the store. A few hours later, I got down to business. On the left side, I poured a bit of tomato salsa, apple juice (sorry, no OJ in this toddler household), lemon juice and red wine. Same along the right side.
Here is the picture showing what happened when the left hand column was wiped within 1-2 mins:
I went ahead and grabbed the first small knife I could reach for and gently tapped the blunt end a few times. I also gently scraped it along the surface, again, using the blunt end. This is what happened:
Roughly 4 hrs later, I went and wiped off the right hand column. This is what resulted:
As you can see, there was immediate etching and staining, with red wine producing the darkest stain after 4 hrs (not surprising). I also noticed the while the etching remained, the very light staining from the first photo had improved 4 hrs later. Of course, this test was done with worst-case-scenario in mind. I do not go pouring food on my countertop without immediately wiping it. But in a busy household and with at least 3 other bodies that I am not always accountable for... let's just say that I've found splotches of stuff on my counter the next morning.
Needless to say, it took DH about 1.3 seconds to say, "Well, there's no way we're getting marble and spending all that money if it does that!" Sadly, I'd have to agree. As much as I LOVE the look and feel of marble, it would probably turn me into a neurotic mess... and, at this time in our young family life, not all that practical. Not to mention, no more throwing keys onto the countertop.
Hoping this clarifies why marble may not be the easiest stone to choose for a countertop for those who are still smitten like I am... sorry, was. Really. Ok, I'm still smitten. I will still ooh and ahh over the photos of finished marble kitchens... but as for me, I'm finally moving on... unless someone convinces me otherwise or those stains/etches magically disappear tomorrow!