Marble is one of the classic materials for your countertop. It’s bright, elegant, easy to work with and nice to work on. Many people make the choice for a nice white marble countertop when making their selection, and, aesthetically, it’s easy to see why. However, no surface is perfect for all uses and situations, and marble has its own list of positives and negatives to consider. Here are some marble countertops pros and cons to consider before making your final selection.
Pro: Marble has a variety of colors and patterns.
Of all the natural surfaces, marble has the widest variety of colors and patterns to choose from when designing your countertops. No two pieces of marble are ever identical, with the heat and pressure of the forces making the rock providing its own unique fingerprint of patterns, colors and swirls—the marble countertop you install in your home will be different than any other countertop anywhere else.
That means you can really find a type of marble to suit your own personal preferences, from white Bianco Carrara marble to Spanish Emperador Dark and everything in between. In that respect, it’s a very versatile material to work with.
Pro: Marble is heat resistant
Marble doesn’t conduct heat very well, which is a positive for your countertop. An engineered stone surface, like quartz, or other artificial laminate or solid surfaces can be damaged when they come into contact with the hot plates and pans you’re likely to find in the kitchen; that’s obviously not ideal, and requires the use of hot pads and other protective gear to keep them looking new.
Marble, on the other hand, holds up very well. While you should always be somewhat cautious about putting hot items directly on your countertops, marble can take hot pans and plates without causing long-term, serious damage. It makes it very valuable as a work surface; there’s not as much to worry about, compared to an artificial surface.
Con: Marble is very high-upkeep.
Marble can scratch and stain—even leaving a slice of lemon on a polished marble countertop overnight can create an acidic dull spot on your countertops. Red wine and other acidic fruits are infamous for leaving stains on marble that simply won’t come out; and if you have white marble, they are especially noticeable.
Acids can scratch your marble surface even if you regularly seal it—which you’ll want to do anyway, as marble is naturally porous. You’ll need to be vigilant about spills, and careful about which cleaning products you use, if you want marble countertops to continue to look pristine for years after you install them.
If you end up choosing marble, you’ll have to be careful with it. You’ll want to seal it every few months, and to ensure you don’t leave anything acidic that will stain—red wine, tomatoes, vinegar, etcetera—on the surface for any extended period of time. Marble is not a no-maintenance material. If you accept that and remain vigilant, however, marble can add a touch of beauty and class to your countertops and surfaces; one that is difficult to match with any other material.