When we started planning our kitchen reno a couple years back there were only two things I knew I wanted: white cabinets and marble counters. I am a verrrryyy lucky girl because I got both of those things and then some. But the marble counters were definitely our biggest stumbling block.
If you are wondering why I am sharing this now, over a year after the fact, it is because this is the single most frequently asked question I get. I get emails and comments galore from wonderful ladies telling me that they are desperately in love with marble, but get told it's a bad idea. I was told that too. So with a little bit of time to let things play out I figured it was about time I shared my real thoughts on our kitchen countertops.
When I started getting quotes on the counters and made my rounds to local fabricators I was actually told NO outright by 2. They didn't want any part of it. Another couple told me they wouldn't recommend it, but that they would do it. Not one single fabricator said it was a good idea. But I have a hard head and want what I want so we took a chance. I picked out 2 slabs of honed carrera marble and the rest is history.
If you are considering marble in your own home, here are the lessons I've learned:
1. It is an expensive decision if you don't think you can manage the up keep. Knowledge is key!! If you choose marble knowing you can't set hot pots and pans directly on it (I never did this anyways since I had laminate previously!), knowing you can't let wine or juice sit on the counter for hours before you get around to wiping it up, knowing you cannot dice celery with your sharpest knife on it you should be ok. These sound like common sense things, but if you have lived with granite you can do any or all of those things. So it may be an adjustment.
2. Everyone told me it would stain easily. I have yet to have a stain anywhere.
3. Expect etchings. Etching is exactly what you think it is, where the surface gets a more matte look due to acidic food/drinks touching it. Lemons, lemonade, vinegar are the worst for this and we love ourselves some lemonade so we have a few etchings. I see them when the sun hits the counter at a certain angle but even when I point them out to other people nobody notices them. I managed to grab this shot at the right time of day to show you.
4. Invest in BIG, good cutting boards. This will save you lots of trouble. I bought the biggest one I could find and leave it out at all times for random food prep and this has been the best investment for our counters.
5. Enjoy them!! I know they aren't for everybody, but I do not regret a single cent I spent on them. My motto is life is too short, so I am going have the counters I love. You have to embrace imperfection, and over time they will change and develop markings that are from memories made in the kitchen, together. We don't keep our 3 year old off them, we don't hover over them protecting them from guests. We let life happen, while doing our best to avoid unnecessary damage.
If you are interested in doing marble in your kitchen my biggest lesson of all is to go with honed marble. I had very little knowledge on this until I spoke with some very experienced kitchen experts. Marble is marble and will etch/stain over time, but polished marble with show it's wear so much faster because the contrast between etching and a polished surface is very pronounced.
Also, keep in mind that bakeries and restaurants have been using marble for hundreds of years as a food prep/eating surface. It is not intended to be perfect, but it is great for rolling dough on and getting your bake on with!
I am being totally honest here, if there was any single thing I was not happy about I would be the first to share it with you. So my lesson is that if your heart yearns for a beautiful marble counter don't let someone talk you out of it!! Be true to yourself.