Marble is an absolutely delightful stone to have in your home in the form of countertops. It is geologically metamorphosed limestone, and its history is long– having been used throughout history as a tool for construction and sculptures.
In recent years marble has been used to produce countertops that go into your kitchen or bathroom. This extraction and manufacturing process makes it easy for any homeowner to own such a high-quality piece of Mother Nature’s art in their kitchen.
Marble is a high-quality rock that looks good anywhere. The Earth’s crust spends millenia with heat and high pressure to morph it to make the rock we know as marble. The prominent veining that lies within the marble is from impurities within the limestone, giving each countertop its own distinctive features.
“Regular” marble countertops refers to stone that is created strictly by this process. Due to costs from extraction and fabrication, marble countertops are highly expensive. However, in an attempt to create countertops affordable, manufacturers created cultured countertops which are considered “engineered composites” consisting of polyester resins and natural stone dust.
Uncultured marble countertops are the real deal: they are the expensive and purest form of marble available. For those who want the original product, uncultured marble countertops will be the highest quality of stone possible.
Cultured Marble Countertops
Unlike their uncultured form, cultured marble countertops utilize a different manufacturing process – making it more affordable and easier to maintain.
Designed for affordability, cultured marble countertops are designed from crushed marble and a manufactured thermoplastic resin. This gives the marble countertop a non-porosity, which means it is less prone to stains. However, cultured marble countertops are still susceptible to scratches.
In addition to scratches, cultured countertops are also not heat-resistant because resin is like a glue. This makes the material almost impossible for kitchen-use, but makes it ideal for bathroom countertops. So you may want to consider them for that!
Pros of Marble Countertops
- Elegant Detailing – The detailing of the overall countertop gives it a high appeal for homeowners. The edges of the countertop are often well designed since the stone is soft, making it easier to cut and manipulate.
- Easier Cutting – Due to the softness of the material, cutting through slabs is easy, giving it a cleaner cut than that of granite. It is also less likely to chip than other edge profiles because of its soft material.
- Large Variety – Marble comes in a variety of colors including shades of white, gray, yellow, blue, pink, black, green and more.
Cons of Marble Countertops
- Scratching – The softness in marble makes it more susceptible to severe scratching, especially if it a polished countertop which is why fabricators recommend a honed finish.
- Staining – Uncultured marble countertops are more susceptible to heavy staining since it is a porous material. This means the softness traps in germs, dirt and debris. If you spill wine on it you will probably never get it out completely. If the countertop is sealed it will protect the stone for a while, but if left overnight it will likely still be able to penetrate.
- Cost – Marble countertops for the kitchen are costly, ranging anywhere from $75 – $250 per square foot.
Marble countertops are beautiful, and nobody will debate you on that. It is a great addition to any home going for a earthy and natural feel. However, it is advisable to only allow professionals to install them to avoid scratching or staining the marble in the process.