To use marble or not
jvanasu
October 23, 2012
I am having a crisis over choosing my kitchen counters. I want honed Danby Imperial marble. I designed the whole kitchen around the idea of the beautiful line of white marble opening up my dining/kitchen space. Now, I keep noticing that my husband leaves coffee marks on the counter in the morning and does not think to wipe them up.

I am an artist and not a big cooking enthusiast. I painted my old kitchen counter tops five years ago, and put glass protectors by the stove and sink, and have had no trouble keeping them looking good.

Now I am afraid that if I go ahead with the expensive marble in the new kitchen that it will be source of problems between my husband and myself. I don't want to install a surface that becomes the occasion of me constantly having to remind him to wipe up after himself. He is not exactly a slob, but where his coffee ritual is concerned, he wants no interference or restrictions.

I am worried. How hard is it to live with marble? Please someone who has lived with it, give me some clue. It seems I have no other options but Formica, as my husband does not want tile. I don't like granite, I don't like Silestone, etc. Nothing looks quite like this marble, nor does it give the traditional feel that I'm after in this "nice" depression era kitchen

If you have time you can see my "new" choices and the "before" pictures at http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/users/jvanasu
Look at Ideabook, Norwood Kitchen.
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feeny
I don't have marble counters, so I'm not going to try to talk you into or out of them based on my own experience. But if you don't get the answer you want, and before you bail to formica, think about the possibility of soapstone. The color (gray with white veining) is utterly wrong as a replacement for your beautiful white marble, and thus won't fulfill your artistic vision, but in most other ways it fits the bill: old-fashioned and period appropriate for a depression-era kitchen, frequently used in Craftsman kitchens, matte finish, natural stone, and utterly impervious to chemicals and heat.
Craftsman Kitchen
French Country
1 Like    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Stoneshop
I hate to admit it, but your husband's coffee marks WILL stain if left unattended. We have performed this test in our showroom, and coffee rings were left in the marble. Now, those stains could possibly be removed with a poultice (a chalky/putty substance left on overnight which will suck the stain out), but you do not want to do that every day. It would become irritating, and it would also eventually remove the sealer in that area. Since you're not a huge chef, I wouldn't let this morning coffee ritual stop you from choosing the marble that you love so much. Perhaps get an attractive cutting board and tell your husband to leave his coffee on that? I'm sure a creative solution is available!

You have a beautiful vision for your kitchen! It will look wonderful.

Here is a link to care and cleaning for marble: http://www.marble-institute.com/consumers/care.cfm
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 11:37AM
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Trends in Tile
Have you looked into marble look porcelain? With the high tech 3D digital photography, you really can not tel the difference between the two. No maintenance, no sealing, no etching..no worries!! Plus, porcelain is quite a bit less expensive! Porcelain comes in large format (16x32, 24x48) so you can get that slab look.
I have included some pic of Rex i bianchi di rex - both matte & polished.
3 Likes    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 11:44AM
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Laurie E. Friedman, AIA Architect, LEED AP
Some manufactured stone companies, like Silestone and Caesarstone, have styles that resemble marble. And they are durable and very stain-resistent.
2 Likes    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:01PM
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jvanasu
Thanks so much for your interest and reply. I have heard that Silestone cracks. Do you know about this or am I misinformed?
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:14PM
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Laurie E. Friedman, AIA Architect, LEED AP
It has not been my experience that it cracks, per se; however, it sometimes chips at openings. These can be easily fixed. Marble and granite perhaps have a higher incidence of cracking because of the nature of the material -- there are natural cracks and veins that are already in the stone.
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Stoneshop
Silestone is a man-made quartz that is nearly indestructable. We install it regularly, and we have never received any complaints. My parents have Silestone in their kitchen as well, and they love it. It should not crack if installed properly. They have one style called "Lyra" this is remniscent of marble.
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:20PM
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jvanasu
Dear Trends in Style:
You posted two images of stone-like materials. Do you recall the type of material and the name of the square to the left of the screen? This is nearest to the Danby Imperial marble that I like.
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Darzy
We have Silestone (I hate maintenance, and stains) and admittedly it doesn't look as good as natural stone (or maybe because I know it's not natural), but we are happy with it and it requires NO maintenance and is pretty much indestructable!
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:28PM
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jvanasu
That is a good recommendation, Darzy! I am now going to revise and look at Silestone again.
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Trends in Tile
Darzy, it is a high quality Italian porcelain made by Rex. Series is called iBianchi di Rex. Color is Calacatta. Comes in a natural or polished finish.
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:33PM
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jvanasu
Hi,
I am Judith :) Thank you so much for your reply, Trends in Tile. I am investigating it now. I have to do this asap as we have a deadline w/the contractor.
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:36PM
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Trends in Tile
I apologize Judith! It is a beautiful tile!
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:51PM
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jvanasu
I have gone to the website but don't see locations of U.S. outlets. I am in Phoenix. I have written to the customer service website and will wait to hear from them.
    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 1:52PM
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Trends in Tile
I am trying to find a distributor in Az for you. We are in St. Louis, MO
    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 6:40AM
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jvanasu
Thanks, Trends . . . (I was going to use your initials and thought better of it :-))
1 Like    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 8:15AM
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Darzy
@jvanasu..cute. No initials for trends in tile. : ) Good luck and whatever you choose I'm sure it will look great. I like your style choices.
    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Trends in Tile
Agree...no initials! LOL Rex was going to contact you jvanasu. i am sure they have a source in AZ. Good luck and please post pics when you are finished!
1 Like    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Essence Design Studios
I agree on the use of Silestone, or Caesarstone. They are virtually impossible to damage, and can have the durability that marble does not. A stone we often recommend to our clients who want marble, but not the maintenance would be Lyra by Silestone or Misty Carrara by Caesarstone which can resemble a white/gray marble. It has a tendency to look a little more modern, because it is man made and very consistent in pattern, however we usually try to "traditionalize" it with the use of a decorative Ogee edge!
    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 12:10PM
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jvanasu
Thanks for your input--and the jokes. Spent all day looking at marble/granite/etc. in three different tile and stone places, one a state chain, second a kitchen design showroom, the third was my favorite, a fabricating company/ stone yard owned by an Italian woman. I loved it. I now want to have many kitchens so I don't have to choose just one scenario! They all gave me samples so I brought them home, laid them out in the sacred coffee space, and we'll see how they respond to the coffee ritual.
1 Like    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 5:08PM
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City Cabinet Center, San Diego
I agree with Essence Design Studios. That is the same advice we give our clients. I strongly recommend man made quartz materials as well, especially if your surface needs to stand up to those coffee rings. Arizona Tile carries some budget friendly colors of quartz as well.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Jane Peck
Dear Trends in Tiles I have just been searching for pictures of exactly the Rex tiles you describe! Do you have any photos of these tiles being used as a kitchen bench top? I have looked on their Italian website with no luck. Many thanks Jane
    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 5:24AM
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josephcairns
We used Smartstone, a composite similar to Caesarstone. It has a similar veining to Carrera. We love it. Wine rings wipe off the morning after a party. Our friend with marble bench tops find that even water stains take days to disappear.
    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 6:16AM
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