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Marble counters

Posted by cani123 (Robbiepet@yahoo.com) on
Sun, Apr 6, 14 at 21:40

I have been looking for countertop material for a while now and it is just a nightmare for me. I have to find something by Wednesday.

I have my heart set on doing something flashy for a backsplash so wanted the countertop to be more subdued. I have been looking for quartzite and all the stone yards around here (Los Angeles area) carry the same ones. I just haven't found anything that I love. Saw another SeaPearl slab yesterday and loved it but I am really hesitant to get something with color in it so I'm not limiting myself on paint color.

I was so frustrated yesterday after not finding the right thing that I am now considering marble. Every time I walked past marble to look for quartzite I would drool at every stone I saw.

I know some of the people on here have it so I would really love some feedback from those that have it on working surfaces. Looking at pictures on houzz it appears that it's usually used on an island. I only have a peninsula so it will be my work surface and that worries me. Am I nuts for considering marble?

My only other alternative is quartz which I love and have in my bathroom but I can't even decide on a color for that either. If anyone has opinions and would like to share pictures of any of the marble looking quartzes in your kitchens, I would love to see them.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Marble counters

Could you stand this?



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RE: Marble counters

I have white marble and I love it. We don't have an island. So we prep on marble and eat at the marble peninsula. Yes, there are etches. Nothing like those pictures. Those are pretty awful. We are careful. I use cutting boards and am very careful with citrus. I use a lot of lemons and limes and I make sure to use them on a cutting board. I have some etching but it isn't bad. I figure that every few years I will get the counters rehoned if the etching bothers me. So far, it really doesn't. The beauty of the marble outweighs the imperfections.


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"The beauty of the marble outweighs the imperfections."

I've got to get into the stone business. When you can get people to buy on pure emotion and completely disregard practicality, you can become wealthy and make people happy simultaneously.


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That is a great picture - not that I expect most marble countertops to look that bad, but at least it shows what CAN happen. I personally couldn't live with that (I like my pristine white quartz counters) I also would never ever want to have to be that careful (as nyc describes) using my counters. Everone's sensitivities and predilections are different.


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Re: rehoning. Someone posted about that once, that she had them rehoned every couple of years for $500. Treb, you could become a VERY wealthy man!


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Trebuchet:
I've had a marble countertop for many years, now, and have to say that I have to search hard to look for the etching on it. If you are a normal cook who uses a cutting board, and isn't slopping stuff all over the counter, you shouldn't have much trouble. As Nycbluedevil says, just be a little careful with citrus. Unless you are running a juice stand, how hard is that?


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Thanks for the replies. I went to a few stone yards today and looked for marble and have to admit it's the first time I have gotten excited looking for a countertop material. When I started this I swore I didn't want anything that would be a problem. I have looked at all the quartzite in our area and just haven't found the right thing and all the yards carry the same ones so there was not too much of a selection. . I have quartz in our bathroom and like it but couldn't find the right one for the kitchen.

What I really would like to know is if it is sealed and there is a spill and it is wiped up right away, will it be ok or does it stain immediately? The only thing I am worried about is spaghetti sauce, coffee and coke. If it only stains or etches if it is left on the marble for a while then I can probably live with that.


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If it is sealed, it shouldn't stain, but it will still etch. So coke won't leave a brown mark, but the acids in it will react with the surface on contact to cause etches. Ditto tomatoes and citrus, vinegar, etc.

EDIT Wiping up right away will lessen the amount of etching, but there's no getting around the fact that etching happens.

This post was edited by writersblock on Tue, Apr 8, 14 at 1:30


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The etching shown above is ''normal'' for someone who isn't careful and treats their counter like a standard kitchen work surface. Your family----your WHOLE family------ either have to develop habits that protect the stone or you need to choose something else.


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RE: Marble counters

The etching shown above is ''normal'' for someone who isn't careful and treats their counter like a standard kitchen work surface. Your family----your WHOLE family------ either have to develop habits that protect the stone or you need to choose something else.


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I havent had my marble long. I've had two very small chips, but not by us, by subcontractors. It was hard to see them, but you could feel them. Both have been fixed. I have one etch line, that I didnt even see, DH pointed it out. I think we cut lemons on a cutting board and it ran off the edge. Thats my only guess since it is a straight line. I really dont notice it unless the light hits it just right. I have found stuff on counters the next day, or days later and it has wiped off without staining. Mine are sealed. Strawberry juice was left on it in one case, i was afraid that would stain and etch, but nothing. Of course there is a lot of variation in my marble, maybe that fell on the area with more quartzite. It is hard to see stuff on my counters now, with my laminate I could always see where to cleanup.


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"just be a little careful with citrus. Unless you are running a juice stand, how hard is that?"

for me anyway, it's not about how careful *I* would be b/c I know to be careful. But I have kids and friends and family who all will be in my kitchen too. I don't want to be the counter police, running after everyone to see what they're doing. If we have friends or family over and I'm sitting in the family room, I don't want to have to follow someone into the kitchen to make sure they're not doing anything that may etch the stone.

These were the biggest reasons why I chose against marble (or quartzite that etched). If i were alone, maybe I'd feel differently. I want everyone who visits my home to feel comfortable, and I don't think I could guarantee that "experience" for them if I were worried about the counters.

But, there is no denying that marble counters are a BEAUTIFUL look. It is such a hard decision!


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I have had my marble island for 2 years and it IS my work surface. I do everything on the marble. I have no stains at all. I have a lot of etches. Nothing looks like the above pictures. I use a cutting board (doesn't everyone?), but sometimes when cutting, juicy things squirt. I have little dot etches from squirts. Etches don't not happen just because you wipe them immediately. The thing that I dislike the most is actually the scratches. There are now many of them. Nothing stands out on the surface - only when the light hits it the right way. The marble is my favorite thing in my house. I love it and I would do my perimeters in it too (those are granite and were installed before the marble). I'm planning marble in my bathrooms too. I just love it!

PS. I'm attaching a picture that shows one of the biggest etches I have on my marble. Disregard the food. The etch is at the bottom center of the picture - near the edge of the table (my island is an island and table). You can see this because the light was shining on it just right in the picture. To me it looks nothing like the pictures above.


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If you love marble I have seen people do their backsplash in the marble slab and the counters in a grey granite that gave the look but not the worry. I thought it was pretty. Also Corian has a marble look but I do know there is no substitute for the look of marble, it appears that it has your heart : )

Counter is stainless, but gives the idea of the look.

This post was edited by gr8day on Tue, Apr 8, 14 at 8:54


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those pictures look nothing like the honed Carrera I had for years... and I ended up renting that house out for several years to very messy bachelors. yes, it etched (never stained) but nothing that jumps out at you in "normal" light. I had polished calacatta in a master bathroom there that showed much worse etching around the sink.

For me there's no comparison to the beauty of marble, and I don't find minimal etching enough of a deterrent to select a solid surface or less porous stone, but that's just my taste and opinion!


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If it were me, I'd acid etch the whole darn slab of that above so that the whole thing was etched. That would get the painful period over and done with. Then any subsequent etches wouldn't show up so much.


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cani123 - have you considered White Macaubus quartzite? Or the swirley crosscut version, Calacatta quartzite? Marble is beautiful but as someone said above, I don't want to be the counter police. *I* might be able to maintain it, but I can't guarantee that everyone else will too.

Bedrosians in Anaheim has several slabs of both of these quartzites, last I checked (~3 weeks ago). They'll send you pics promptly if you call them.


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@live_wire_oak - LOL - I like that idea. Marble should be offered in three finishes - polished, honed and pre-etched!

Sorta reminds me of the gentleman who paid for his shiny new Cadillac, drove it home to his garage, took a hammer and put a small ding in the door. If anyone was going to scratch his new car, he'd be the first!

This post was edited by DreamingoftheUP on Tue, Apr 8, 14 at 21:43


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Thanks for your replies.

gr8day, I came to the same conclusion today, to use marble for the backsplash only. Still leaves me with the same problem of what to use for the countertop.

roo514, I have seen the macaubus but everything in our area has the green veins in it. I checked Arizona Tile online and it looks like they have the white macaubus with the gray veining. I might go there tomorrow. I will definitely check Bedrosians, thanks for letting me know about them. I'm in Ventura county so have looked in North Hollywood, Sun Valley. Would definitely go to anaheim if I see something there.

deb52899, thanks for posting the picture. By the way, that food looks delicious, what was it? I have horrible lighting in my kitchen but the window does flood light right on the counter so etching would definitely show. That is one thing I am taking into consideration.


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Prally a good call. My tile guy cleaned up at least part of my marble with windex. Looked it up, it has ph of 10. I quickly washed all counters. I dont see anything now, the next morning, but mildly stressful thinking about it. DH has joked about puting plywood on top of marble to protect it! I do love it, but I will have to be clear with everyone that comes in my house that it is soap and water ONLY for cleanup!


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Cani - I wish I could get better etching pictures for you so you could see a real, well used, marble surface. I wouldn't trade it for anything! I'm attaching a picture I took yesterday (again, ignore the food!) in full sunlight at about 9am. There are scratches and etches (but no stains) all over my island and the lower table end, but you just don't see them unless you look at a a certain angle in the light.

Thanks about the food. It was prosciutto wrapped filet with cherry chutney and apple slaw. A new recipe I tried. Was quite tasty :)


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Just wanted to add a photo of my marble island top. We bought it at a used-furniture store, about five years ago. It was the top on a console table; we adapted it to be the top of our kitchen island. I do use cutting boards but am really not careful at all about spills. There is lots of etching but no stains. It is great for rolling out pastry, kneading dough, etc, and I just love it.


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"@live_wire_oak - LOL - I like that idea. Marble should be offered in three finishes - polished, honed and pre-etched"

Just a quick drop in to say we did use a fabricator who offers an "acid wash" on honed marble prior to seal, fabrication and installation.

A prior poster on GW in my area spoke of this technique, so I visited the fabricator (Dominion Granite and Marble, Ashburn VA) and felt and saw their acid washed marble on display. I elected to proceed with the acid wash and am very happy I did. Our eight month old marble is holding up very well (four of us, yes we are careful) and the seal (impregnator?) seems excellent too (Dry Treat, I believe).

Amazingly, with ~30 sq ft of counters, they were able to get my three pieces without any seams. I can't recommend them enough if you are in Northern Virginia.

-SW


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We have no stains on our marble. No noticeable scratches either. Little etches are everywhere and they don't bother me. I'm really not babying the marble, just standard wipe down after meals and use of cutting boards. My largest etch is from a bottle of sauvignon blanc that had wine dripping down the side and sat on the counter over night. It left a faint ring shaped etch, but it seems to be fading with time.

Acid wash sounds like a very interesting idea.


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I am the proud owner of Carrara perimeter counters (and a black walnut island). I am sure that my baking zone portion of my Carrara probably looks similar to what HS posted above....**IF**.....you can bend down and turn your head at just the right angle at the right time of day with the sun coming in just right. My counters had a few random etches here and there until the middle of fall apple season when a friend and I processed (apple sauce, cider, canned apple pie filling, dried apples) a gigantic box of Honeycrisps in the kitchen. The apple peeler/corer/slicer machine was set up in the middle of the baking zone to facilitate production line right into pans on the rangetop. After about 11 hours of work we cleaned up to find out that apples are acidic. There were some etches in the area immediately visible. Since then they have faded a bit and I have a hard time seeing them. I even tried to show a friend recently when she was considering marble for a new build. It took her a good 1.5 minutes to see them.

No stains at all, although in the past I have reported two mild stains. They have since faded and are completely gone.

I would absolutely do Carrara again in a heartbeat. Many of the other quartzite marble-look stones were leagues out of our budget.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


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When you say "acid washed" all I can think of are the really cool jeans I wore to my first day of 1st grade in 1988


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While I think there is a place for every surface there isn't much that compares to the beauty of natural stone.
The majority of our clients feel the same way.
For folks that lean more towards perfect (if there is such a thing) than engineered stone is a good option.
Many different finishes and types to choose from.
Then there are those who have realized we don't live in a perfect world who understand the nature and character of marble.
Those folks would be hard pressed to find a comparable material other than a natural stone.
There are many types of finishes as discussed in this thread that are better suited to kitchen environments other than highly polished. Honed, antiqued, leathered , brushed,
acid washed and others. They will etch as well but be somewhat less noticeable. Maintenance varies with our clients. Some require more than others and is related to lifestyle and of course the finish they chose. Again the folks that understand the stone have much less issues than those that just don't get it.
I always tell folks that we maintain everything in our lives.
Carpets , upholstery, window dressings , wood floors,
paint, lawns, autos, dry cleaning, computers, ourselves,
heck even the dogs go to the groomers .
I can t tell you how many calls we get from new customers saying they have had their marble for years(floors , countertops and other surfaces) and now they are dull and look soiled.
I always ask have you ever had them refinished before and many times they will say no. Many folks don't even know their stone can be resurfaced. It can be done as often as you need it even though we recommend every 3-5 years on floors. This could be sooner for marble kitchen counters.
Just had a call yesterday from a client we refinished their highly polished Bianca Venetino marble 2 years ago.
He told me he was very disappointed (vanities in the maserbath) that the etching on his marble had returned.
I tried to explain that the etching he was seeing was new etching. He wasn't having it and wanted to know what we intended to do about it. After a long conversation he still believed the etches were the original etches and we used some coating that only covered them temporarily.
A very successful intelligent guy who just doesn't get marble.
Oh Well-his next home may contain lots of engineered stone!


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Breezygirl, I always loved your Carrara Marble counters and love your kitchen! Deb52899, your marble island counter is gorgeous!


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Hollysprings, I could not live with that type of ruined counter if that was to happen to me. So many things to consider in choosing a counter I am learning. I will have ot go in person after my tax season to decide. I am not a careful person when using my counter.


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I've investigated becoming an authorized Vitremela applicator. The good news and bad news is you have to purchase a $2,000.00 light to cure the stuff. It's good news in that few of my competitors would spring for the 2 large, the bad news is I have to. I'm wondering if there is enough demand to make the investment worthwhile. I'm thinking it may have to be marketed at the slab yard level. If the only thing standing between a stoner and a sale is etching, he'd have every incentive to make the referral to me.

Some have complained that Vitremela changes the appearance of the stone. I can't see it in the linked video:

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vitremela

This post was edited by Trebruchet on Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 10:43


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Trebuchet,
That u tube video is old , yes I know 2012. Believe me its old news. The video makes it look easy and its a bit more than a $2000.00 investment.
At present I don't believe there are any contractors applying Vitremela.
Coatings will change the appearance of the stone to a small degree as will any topical or color enhancer.
Soon it will be available so you are researching at a good time.
There will be a demand for this product. Some of your competitors will not want to commit to the investment or the learning curve of applying a UV coating in someones home.
Coatings for calcite based stones are coming so it is a good idea to learn about them and be ready to offer that service when it becomes more mainstream.
They are here now actually but still very new on the scene.
We are working with some coatings now and they have their pros and cons.
If you would like to contact me regarding info on coatings please feel free to do so.


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I love the fear-mongers on this site. True, most people post images of perfect looking marble, but holly calling her images normal wear is equally misleading. Our beach cottage in Crete has marble counters that are at least 100yo. They don't look new, but they don't look like acid was thrown on them right before a chain saw fell on them either. They are gorgeous and irreplaceable, and only half as old as the kitchen (apparently there was an earthquake that broke the original slabs).

I wonder whether a woman's (I am female) proclivity to choose marble over solid surface has anything to do with her feelings on Botox. If you want your face to look the same at fifty as it did at thirty, do you want your counters to also look the same over a twenty year span (so pro-Botox more likely to be pro-solid surface)? No judgements, just wondering.


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If I had read all the warnings I probably would have chosen something other than marble, and what a shame that would have been. My Danby marble is still (3 years later) one of the favorite things in my kitchen. It has a couple of etches and chips around the sink edge, but my kitchen is "vintage," and the marble just fits better than anything else I had considered. It really makes the kitchen for me. BTW if I had paid attention to the warnings, I probably would have also chosen something other than Blue Star (this was early days before problems were all fixed) I love that too. So, sometimes you have to just go with what you love.


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Thank you so much for all the pictures. They are so gorgeous!


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Get the marble if you love it. I had decided against it until someone mentioned rehoning. I may never get to reno another kitchen and I wanted to LOVE it. And I do. So many compliments. I have calcutta on my island. It's still something I run my hands over in the morning. It's warm and lovely. Do my kids (well, 24 and 19 - still kids) and husband know to be careful? Yes. Are they always? No. I have some small etches. But it's worth it. No stains. Even my DH who was against it now says it's worth it. That's saying a lot. He was not pleased when I decided to go with marble. I'd do it again in a heart beat.


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Now I'm excited about getting a Carrara countertop for the vanity in my bathroom remodel.


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We have a Carrara top on a 72" double sink vanity. It is 5 years old and has been abused by my then teenage daughter, my 20 something son, my 80+ year old dad and his various caregivers, none of whom were very careful about my countertop! Is there etching, yes, but you have to look for it to notice. Are there stains, a few tiny spots from makeup and one from a shaving cream can that was wet on the bottom and left a faint rusty spot. Is it still beautiful, absolutely! Would I do it again, in a heartbeat!


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I got POLISHED marble countertops and love 'em. We cook every day (2 small kids under 5); we cook spaghetti sauce with oil and balsamic vinegar and wine; Asian and Indian curries with turmeric (supposedly the most vicious stainer); and use copious limes, and so far no problem. Ours were properly sealed, maybe that's why? - everything has wiped right off.

The only "special care" we take is not cutting directly on the counter which I've never done in my life anyway since we always had melamine counters before. The melamine would immediately show cuts and also couldn't withstand much heat, whereas I can put a hot mug on the marble and not worry. Oh, and i do wipe things up within an hour or two if there are spills, otherwise there are ants...that's it. We just use regular cleaning liquids to wipe the counters down.

Would i do it again? TOTALLY. It's actually decreased my time spent on kitchen cleaning. And FYI, I am a klutz who tends to drop things left and right.


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Hsupit, which marble did you get and what type of sealer was used?


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Sealer doesn't prevent etching.


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Everything wipes up just fine from my Carrara also. But acids etch regardless of how fast you wipe them up. Sealing does not prevent etching. Period. (I still don't care!)


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I have 3 year old white Danby and I have no stains but a ton of etching. The etching is on the main and most visible area, where I do almost all of the prep. No stains. And yet a 4 foot baking center counter is pretty pristine. I really don't know. Mine are honed.

Our kitchen is lightly used as we are empty nesters most of the time. We dont entertain as much as we used too, either.

I went nuts at countertop decision time and just couldn't find anything I loved. My kitchen is modern. White marble didn't quite 'go' but I did it anyway. Had to do something. I I regret the marble for the etching and the lack of wow in my room.

I did a carrara powder room floor and vanity about 20-25 years ago and never minded the wear and tear. I actually liked the patina. But I never loved my kitchen marble. It was my kitchen regret and the etching made it worse. Sorry I have no pics.


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Whats nice about most natural stones.
You can etch them(normal kitchen acids) to death-stain them(within reason/limitations) and they can be refinished to look like they were installed yesterday.
They will never be boring and are timeless.
Call a bone fide stone refinisher.
I should mention as well-we see lots of etches but true stains from staining agents are far and few in comparison to the etches.

This post was edited by srosen on Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 7:31


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I love my Imperial White Danby countertops. Run my hands over them daily.
I have a big island with a Walnut countertop. It's pretty, but the marble....makes me happy.
Excuse the cardboard floors.


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I'm so glad this thread is here and I sure do appreciate hearing everyone's experience. My kitchen reno begins in 10 days and I am having Carrara on all surfaces.
I tried to like something more "practical" but nothing looks quite like marble. It's great to know you can have it resurfaced if you want but I am practicing liking the "patina" by keeping etched samples on my counters. There is definitely a patina on my Le Creuset butcher block table and it's fine. When we visit Europe we always want as much "character" as we can get in our lodgings. So why should we mind it in our own kitchen?
My fabricator says he can seal the marble really well with that Akemi nano stuff too.


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I'm so glad this thread is here and I sure do appreciate hearing everyone's experience. My kitchen reno begins in 10 days and I am having Carrara on all surfaces.
I tried to like something more "practical" but nothing looks quite like marble. It's great to know you can have it resurfaced if you want but I am practicing liking the "patina" by keeping etched samples on my counters. There is definitely a patina on my Le Creuset butcher block table and it's fine. When we visit Europe we always want as much "character" as we can get in our lodgings. So why should we mind it in our own kitchen?
My fabricator says he can seal the marble really well with that Akemi nano stuff too.


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I went to look at marble for the backsplash yesterday. I told him I thought about marble for the counters but that I was afraid to use it. He showed me a honed sink that they had sitting outside so I was able to see what that "patina" looks like. He also explained how it can be sanded to bring it back to a pristine finish. He took a chunk they had and sanded it for me with different grades sandpaper so I could feel the different finishes and gave it to me to do stain tests on it. I'm really thinking about it again for the counters.

Roomy, I love your kitchen.


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