As a kitchen designer, I constantly get questions from clients and followers about using marble in the kitchen. Is it ok to use marble in the kitchen? Which marble is best for kitchen countertops? How do you take care of marble kitchen countertops? Do you need to seal marble in the kitchen?

If you dream of a luxury kitchen, you will no doubt be considering using marble along with other benchtop options for your kitchen. 

​Today I want to share with you the pros and cons of using marble and look at some other natural stone alternatives to marble.

10 Answers to Your Questions About Marble Benchtops

There are so many reasons for you to be thinking about renovating your home.

1. Should you use marble in a kitchen?

The pros are hard to go past!

Real marble benchtops are a luxurious addition to any new kitchen or bathroom. Their timeless elegance and beauty make marble benchtops highly desirable, but are they the best choice for your kitchen?

The beauty of marble is that it is such a unique surface, with its veining and patterning and the fact that no two pieces of marble are ever exactly alike makes for stunning kitchen benchtops.

Marble comes in a range of colours so you are sure to find a benchtop that perfectly suits your style and taste.

Because of the uniqueness of marble, it is recommended that you visit the stone mason to select your own marble as each slab is different.

The cons of marble that can’t be ignored; Expensive (more than many benchtop options but worth getting a quote to compare as prices vary) Porous (marble can stain) Soft (marble can etch, scratch and chip).

Marble is considered a soft stone when compared to other natural stone surfaces, but it’s important to remember that marble and other natural stones have been around for an eternity and well and truly stood the test of time.

When proper care and maintenance is adhered to marble can last many lifetimes and over time it develops a patina that adds to its beauty and unique nature, adding character to your benchtops.

2. What is the texture of marble?

You will find that marble benchtops are most commonly available in either a polished or a honed finish. This is purely a preference although honed does tend to make etching appear less pronounced.

Polished - A polished finish makes marble appear slightly darker and richer. It brings out the full colour and character of the stone and has a smooth and shiny surface. If you choose polished marble you need to be careful not to scratch or etch the surface as they will show up more readily.

Honed - Marble with a honed finish will have a smooth finish with little to no shine but can range from a matte appearance to a low sheen. Honing can make the stone look lighter or slightly washed out. Honed marble is slightly more porous than polished marble so be sure to seal it properly and maintain as recommended.

Leathered – a more recent trend, a leathered finish is like a honed finish but with more texture to the surface. Marble with a leathered finish is more durable than honed but not as stain resistant as polished marble.

You may prefer the look of one finish over the other or your choice can also be influenced by the style of your new kitchen or bathroom.

3. How do you protect marble countertops?

One of the greatest fears of using marble is that it will stain or etch. Like all things, it will if you don’t correctly care for and maintain marble it will show signs of wear and tear.

Like timber floors, marble will inevitably get scratches but these won’t necessarily be noticed as you walk through the room. Over years marble forms a natural patina which adds to its unique beauty. Having said that, it is important to remember that marble, like all types of natural stone will need to be sealed as they’re naturally porous.

Using a sealer will prevent permanent staining, allowing you to wipe of any spills with no damage. Polished, honed or leather finishes will all be protected equally as the absorption rate is the same on all three surfaces. I recommend Dry Treat STAIN PROOF for sealing natural stone.

Cleaning is as simple as using a damp cloth. No abrasives or strong cleaners should be used.

4. Can you put hot pans on marble?

Technically, yes you can put hot pans on marble. Is it recommended? No.

A huge benefit of marble is that being a natural stone, marble is cool in temperature and does not conduct heat. You can place hot trays and pans on marble and it will not affect the marble in any way.

​This being said, I would still be mindful of placing hot items on the marble surface. Use a trivet for hot items and always use a cutting board when prepping food.

5. Are there different types of marble?

Marble comes in a variety of colours and patterns. The most popular varieties of white marble include;

Carrara – popular especially with Hampton’s style kitchens and bathrooms. It has a subtle grey veining with a white background.

Calacatta – classic Italian marble with a slightly more pronounced vein than Carrara. It contains a warmer coloured vein with a white background.

Statuario – a striking marble that blends the best of Carrara and Calacatta marble.

Calacatta marble by Flack Studio
Calacatta marble by Flack Studio

6. What is similar to marble?

When looking at natural stone it’s easy for alternatives to be confused as marble include Granite, Quartzite and Dolomite. Each of these options has unique properties and appearance that make it differ from marble.

While Carrara marble has an undeniable beauty, it’s good to know that there are some other natural stone alternatives that are more durable and perhaps more suited to your kitchen style.

7. Which is better marble or granite?

Marble is a calcium-based stone while Granite is an igneous rock known for being very hard. Granite is a natural stone that suits both contemporary and classic kitchens.

Granite resists staining and bacteria as well as resisting heat and scratches. It can also be polished to a very high gloss level and is not affected by acidic products such as lemon juice and red wine. This is a big advantage over marble.

Granite is probably the most durable of all kitchen bench top options, however it doesn’t have the same pattern as the more commonly used marbles.

Like marble, granite should be sealed annually to keep it looking in good. There are some types of granite that appear similar to Carrara marble and are definitely worth a look if you want the durability of granite.

Marble via Mim Design
Marble via Mim Design

8. Is Marble harder than Quartzite?

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock made up almost entirely of quartz, the hardest material on earth. It is often mistaken for Granite due to its similar properties.

Quartzite is a much harder material than marble which decreases its wear and tear. Quartzites are non-absorbent, heat proof and near impossible to scratch although it is susceptible to etching and should be sealed annually to protect it from etching.

9. Are Marble and Dolomite the same?

Super White Dolomite is increasingly being featured in luxurious kitchen and bathroom designs. Super White Dolomite is a bold alternative to common white or grey marble.

It has the desirable marble-look, but Super White Dolomite is harder than a typical marble. Its grey tones harmonise with both light and dark elements and create a dramatic statement in contrast.

Super White Dolomite is not marble, granite, or quartzite. It is sort of in between marble and granite. It is important to note that dolomite countertop durability is slightly weaker than the durability of a quartzite countertop.

However, dolomite is stronger than marble. Dolomite requires sealing once a year to maintain a protective seal.

Super White is a great alternative to marble kitchen benchtops and splashbacks but still requires care and maintenance. It should always be sealed by your fabricator or installer and re-sealing recommended about once a year, depending on the usage and exposure to household products and sunlight. Treat it like any other stone. Clean it on a daily basis, wipe spills up as soon as possible and don’t put hot pots and pans straight onto the surface.

10. Should you use marble in the kitchen?

Ultimately, only you can make the decision as to whether marble or any other natural stone is right for your new kitchen.

Treat marble with care and this unique product that will stand the test of time and be around for years to come.

When it comes to choosing whether to use marble or not my philosophy is simple, if you love it and you can afford it, then yes, use it!

Super White Dolomite via CDK Stone
Super White Dolomite via CDK Stone

Need More Information?

If you have any questions or would like help with your renovation or building project in Brisbane, feel free to contact us for a no obligation discussion.

We help busy families and individuals achieve their ideal version of luxury living, blending it seamlessly with practicality to suit their lifestyle perfectly.

If you are building or renovating, we’d love to hear from you to discuss creating a beautiful interior that fits your dream of luxury living.

Share Your Thoughts Below

We’d love you to share your thoughts on using marble in your kitchen or bathroom. Did you use it, do you love it or if you chose an alternative, why?

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