Input from owners of marble kitchen counters ..

Theresa Joy
October 15, 2013
I'm looking for input from people who have marble kitchen counters ... I've heard that if you are willing to deal with minimal maintenance they really aren't as 'bad' as they are made out to be. That etching and stains can be repaired. That honed marble minimizes the appearance of etching .. Bottom line ... If you remodelled your kitchen today would you stay with marble or switch to something more 'durable' 'low maintenance' ... ?

Comments (89)

  • sixkeys
    Wow, thanks for that info! I had no idea that quartzite would be less than ceasarstone. Now I might need to rethink my decision. How far in advance do you purchase your slab in relation to your remodel? It sounds like kind of a long process (if you are picky like me). Do all of these companies provide samples of their products? If the sample doesn't etch/stain, then it is assumed that any slab of that type of stone would resist etching/staining? Finally, do you need to seal quartzite? Sorry to bombard you with questions, but now I am excited about the possibility!
  • aqsscvds
    Love the one your looking at. You may also want to ask about Bianco quartzite, I know it's white, but as you found out you have to sometimes ask for the same thing but with a different name.
  • PRO
    American Granite Company
    Theresa, quartzite is a safe alternative to marble like the previous homeowners showed you with the Bailey's bottle. Taj Mahal & Super White are both good quartzite options. More expensive, usually, but well worth it since you won't be having to maintain it like you would be with marble. If you are dead set on granite, though, you can try Bianco Romano. It is middle of the road price-wise and fairly light all over. Look at these pictures. Taj Mahal, Super White & Bianco Romano.

    (Just a side note here: If that marble sample you purposely stained was not sealed then I would try sealing a part of it and restaining. ANY unsealed stone will look like that with those staining items you used. Just a thought :) )
  • Janet
    @johnmikelittle - can you share what sealer you used on your honed white marble? And would it work on honed slate? Thanks!
  • Theresa Joy
    @justine7700. Where I am Ceasarstone, Cambria, Silestone (the quartz group) Is about $80-$90 sq ft. Quartzite is around $60 sq ft. And it's so much prettier in my opinion. The natural veins and striations ... I'm very picky as well, I'v been looking full time for months .. I originally wanted Ceasarstone but could not turn back after seeing Granite and Quartzite. I ruled out Marble after seeing how easily it can loose its looks :) Most places will have samples for you but not always .. You may have to hunt around. Also keep in mind the sample pieces are not sealed (I had one dealer seal my one sample for me). Granite is sometimes sealed, quartzite is not. True quartzite is bullet proof. My only complaint is I'v never seen quartzite in a cool white and grey ... Close ... But it always a warm beige tone. As far as granite and quartzite they don't etch **** with the exception of Super White (I'v attached a photo). It's soft and though it's called Granite sometimes and Quartzite others the truth is it's marble. It doesn't etch as much
    As Carrara or Calcutta but it does etch .. I'm just trying to figure out if it would actually bother me since the etching is so light and the look is so gorgeous. Sometimes Super white granite is called other names as well but you can tell by the looks, it's the only one that is grey and white with no other tones. Also each batch changes, some are lighter, darker, some have a blotchy pattern, some graceful swooping veins .. All very pretty. As far as time. If you find a slab you like grab it! They will hold it until your ready to install. My cabinets are being made now and the cabinet maker needs to know the thickness of my counter so I'v got to get my slabs before he can start. Other then that I'v been told it take a week for them to cut and install ... Decisions decisions :))
  • Theresa Joy
    This is the Calcatta quartzite ... This I have tested many
    samples and there is no way it will etch or stain .. No sealer needed. You can tell immediately when you put vinegar or coffee on it, the liquid just beads up. The
    Surface is so dense .. It really is billet proof. But it's a beige tone not white :(. ... Also you can put a hot pan on it and it won't singe like Ceasarstone would. Decisions decisions :)
  • sixkeys
    Thank you so much! I remember seeing a Bianco Macaubas that I absolutely loved. I just assumed it would be more expensive than quartz. Time to get back out to the slab yards and get some samples. Are you doing two colors, or just one?
  • PRO
    American Granite Company
    Theresa, when the liquid beads up on the surface of the stone, then it's likely been sealed. The photo of the Calacatta Quartzite you posted looks extremely polished too. You should seal it even if you think you don't need to. Also, if you are considering quartzite then look for Taj Mahal. That is probably the whitest and cleanest quartzite you will find. It's expensive but absolutely gorgeous!
  • hiphiphooray0
    I have a two inch thick 41/2 by 6 foot honed carrera island w/ honed jet mist perimeter counters in my kitchen. I love my marble and would not trade it for anything.. it is sealed so doesn't stain, It etches and i love every single one… I can only see it if I lean my ear next to the island and look at the light reflection ( which I do every day…lol). All of the marble substitutes are great, but to me, I can tell immediately that they are not the real thing. Anything I am worried about I use the perimeter for, I love the look and would do it all over again. I have also admired marble in restaurants ( honed not polished) and love the look at the bar in our local place ( no lemons or limes there, right?) We also have it in our bathroom ( sink, and kids bathroom vanity) Master was honed, kids came w/ the piece and was polished which I would never recommend… may have my stone guy come out and pay to have it honed someday soon! Good luck!
  • Gina
    Theresa joy, thank you for stating this trend, I'm learning a lot! Those home owners who have marble tops,would you mind sharing a picture of the etching and date of install? I feel this will help me to make my decision as I know no one personally with marble tops in the kitchen.
  • Theresa Joy
    This is a photo I took of the marble that I tested acidic liquids on. Etching
  • Jim Stewart
    Theresa - I think my wife has a hold on a slab from the same block as yours - the veining and backgrounds all match up. Can you confirm if you are in the Hamilton area, and if so, which fabricator are you using? Has work now been completed, and how does it look?
  • mbdo
    Looked at lots of quartzite today. Wholesaler told me that if you get your quartzite honed (she showed me an iceberg quartzite honed that was spectacular) that it won't etch. Think about it, etching occurs because the gloss finish is removed by acids. With a honed surface there's no real "gloss' to remove...:)) So even if it does etch, it's not noticeable...
  • packella
    Do you seal a black "leathered" quartzite?
  • lasvegasstonepros
    Good morning folks, I've been restoring natural stone for over 20 years. Until a few monthes ago there was no acceptable product in the world that could be applied to marble countertops that both looked great and prevented 100% of all stains and acid etching. We are currently the only company in the country certified by the manufacturer to apply a brand new revolutionary coating for marble. Yes it is a coating but this product will turn the marble industry upside down. For years people have been afraid to put marble in their kitchens. We have been working to perfect the complicated application process and I have to tell you that the finished product is absolutely beautiful. Upon completion of the application the marble looks like a reflection of crystal clear water while maintaining the depth and beauty of the marble. The best part about this coating is that it will prevent acid etching, stains from any product you can imagine including tomatoe sauce, wine, soda and even hydrochloride acid!! I will be posting pictures if the finished product in a few days. This coating can either be highly polished or honed. I know there will be skeptics. I was until I saw it with my own eyes. It truly is an amazing product.
  • Anna Ballantyne
    hi - this sounds like the holy grail - picture please and what is the name of the product and is it available in the UK?
  • Karin Madgwick
    In my last kitchen I had a white reconstituted stone bench top and Carrera marble back splash, best of both worlds!
  • hazzaran
    I have a honed marble island. What do you seal yours with hiphiphooray? I don't have a lot of trouble with staining.
  • dawnismoore
    @lasvegasstonepros - what do you use on honed marble? I don't want the shine.
  • bardonsmith09
    I have granite in the kitchen and a couple of our bathrooms and marble in another one of the bathrooms. I am not sure what kinds they are though.
  • PRO
    Fuze stone
    We fabricate a quartz counter that mimics bianco carra. We feature a one day install and our 6 colors run 30-39/sq ft. Of your still looking our product is stain resistant. I have a customer that called to tell me she left a bit of wine on her counter over 3 weeks ago and cleaned it up today using just water no stains. Go check out our facebook
    Www.facebook,com/fuze stoneinc
  • Tylor Miles
    I have two questions. I have just purchased a home but haven't closed on it yet so I have only done my 'looking' online for quartzite. I am leaning towards Luce de Luna as I want a white countertop with grey veining.

    My questions are... What has been your experience w price per foot installed? I can't find that anywhere online and I would like a general idea.

    And secondly... Does it have "sparkly" flecks in it? Thank you ahead for your input!
  • michelerossman1
    Lasvegasstonepros, I would love more info on your product. I am doing a huge project and would love to use Calcutta with confidence. This project is 7 baths, 2 huge kitchens and 2 bars. How soon do you think your product will be ready for purchase? Would you please share your product? Thanks for your help.
  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    Any of the coatings products will lessen the depth of clarity of the stone and mute the coloraton. Go wrap a sample with a couple of layers of Saran wrap. That's the effect. Because that's what it is. It's a plastic coating. An EXPENSIVE plastic coating. You might as well use one of the marble look laminates.
  • readerteacherpal

    I wish I would have known ahead of time how loud marble countertops are. Every time a dish or utensil touches down (even gently!) it makes a startlingly loud clatter. Looking back, I should've realized this would happen as marble is a soft material so anything harder will make a loud sound. The only thing that doesn't make a loud clatter on my counters is my wooden cutting board. I can (barely) handle all the etching… and there is a ALOT already… and the scratching (just a little scratching so far), but the loud clatter is really obnoxious. I probably wouldn't get marble kitchen counters again.

    I have 2cm Honed White Carrerra marble.

    Hope this helps someone who is making the decision!

  • Bonnie Mantle

    I have been waiting a year to hve my counter tops replaced that I thought were super white Granite turned out to be Granite and Quarz mix. Thy have spots all over them....all water type spots so I had Roma Tile...Syracuse NY install them and found tht thy are not Granite! I love my counter tops but am hesitant to use the same! I did not receive good treatment from the owner as well..,extremely condescending ...accused me of using acidic food on them....not true at all ....U am totally extremely careful of them....but he is going to replace them with Quartz...not at all sure if I trust him mow! Wht suggestions do u have ? My kitchen is done in grey and white...I hve grey and white glass and Granite tile pieces on the wall to cabinets which are Shaker style and white.... and he told me he wld not replace that if thy were broken In the removal process! I paid 700 dollars for those and 900 for install.... Yes he will replace them...he sold me an inferior product and lied saying it was Granite! Fed up and discouraged! Any suggestions ?

  • Jim Stewart

    Hi Bonnie, see the notes earlier from Theresa Joy. Super white granite or super white quartzite are really marble. It is soft, scratches and will stain easily. Following her lead, we bought the same Nuage Quartzite that she ended up buying - and it is absolutely bullet proof. Without sealer or coatings of any kind, we have not been able to damage it in 1 1/2 years with heat, wine, vinegar, oil, chef knives or anything else. It is not quite as white as marble, but it is white with grey tones and is the closest match to carrera marble we found in almost 2 years of searching granite and quartzite. This is a very hard and durable stone, and surprisingly affordable. We have a small kitchen, and used the same stone for the backsplash as well. Note that not all quartzite is equal. Some varieties are softer than granite, others harder than granite. If your installer will replace your original, this is definitely worth looking at. Not sure if it is available close to you, but we found ours near Hamilton, Ontario. Good luck!

  • sd2012

    TheresaJoy / Jim, I'm in the GTA also. Could you please tell me where you purchased your Nuage quartzite?

  • Jim Stewart

    Hi Theresa, I purchased my Nuage quartzite in Stoney Creek. The name of the place escapes me, but I will look it up tonight. It was the only place in the GTA that I was able to find it.

  • Jim Stewart

    Hi Theresa, I bought from Capa Granite ( in Stoney Creek. They were very easy to deal with.

  • brienzajerry

    I just installed a Taj Mahal quartzite kitchen countertop. I couldn't be happier, it's absolutely stunning. I was all set on a "low motion" blush marble, but was talked out of it by my contractor and my wife (who said I would destroy it.) The quartzite is extremely hard and more expensive, yet soft in tone, cool and luxurious in look. I highly recommend it

  • Donna Bercovitch
    I have Renoir quartzite Love it. No staining or etching., and it looks so much like marble.
  • jopnoe

    Hi Jim Stewart - I'm about to purchase Nuage quartzite. Are you happy with your purchase? Would love to see a picture or pictures.

  • brienzajerry

    Very happy:

  • jopnoe

    Nice! That's Taj Mahal and it works well with your cabinets and b/s. The Nuage Quartzite is more in the cool tones with white, grey and taupe. At least I hope so, (haven't selected my slab yet.) Those are the colors I'm working with.

  • brienzajerry

    Good luck. I choose quartzite because I really wanted marble. Not practical. The QZ is cool and soft like marble but denser and stronger than granite. I am sure you will be happy. Check each slab thoroughly. The most important thing is the fabricator and installer. Make sure he is top notch.

  • Jim Stewart

    Hi Jopnoe, here are some pics from my kitchen. It is a small kitchen in an 800 ft2 craftsman bungalow and we chose to use the same stone for back splash and window sill. The quartzite has been installed now for almost 2 years. Despite the inevitable spills of red wine, vinegar, olive oil, coffee, tea, spaghetti sauce etc., occasional use as a cutting board (makes me cringe when my wife does it, but no marks yet!) it has remained pristine.

    Edited note: My wife is very fussy about colour. The green on the walls is the 5th colour she has tried in the past 2 years. We chose a cold white for the cabinetry and she thinks a warm white may have worked better. I'm not convinced......

  • PRO
    Astonia Stone Artisans

    When you are given samples they are not sealed. You need to seal them and then try your tests. I would get the marble, hone it and have your fabricator seal it and then purchase Aqua Tech- Enrich N' Seal to keep on hand.

  • jopnoe

    Thanks JS those are great photos and really show off the stone. It has such a reflective quality and your pieces are considerably lighter and much more white than the ones I've seen so far. Very pleased to learn how well it's performing for you. Have you sealed the surface?

  • Jim Stewart

    Hi Jopnoe, this stone has never been sealed. We clean daily with a damp cloth and once a week we polish with a product called "Method Daily Granite", a non-toxic plant based cleaner/polisher. From what I've been told, this particular quartzite is so dense that it doesn't require sealing. Based on results so far, I would agree with that.

    Incidently, the last 2 photos were taken from the kitchen side of the same area and highlights where 95% of all the food preparation is done and all the wine is poured. It there were an issue with staining or wear with this quartzite, that's where it would show up.

  • brienzajerry

    Btw everyone, to get outlets that color coordinate with your backslash, go to (mine are limestone)

  • maxthecape

    I have honed Danby marble counter tops in my kitchen 4 years now, and love them.....BUT, they definitely etch. Staining is not a problem if you seal them regularly. I've left red wine and beet juice on them for hours and it wiped right off. That being said, there's no way around the etching. And in a kitchen, there's so many different foods that will do this (lemons, oranges, limes, vinegar etc). I even tried the trick of etching a whole area so it didn't look so spotty, but it didn't work. Given all of the above, I still wouldn't trade my marble because It makes me feel like I'm in Italy. Europeans have been using marble for hundreds of years - everywhere - counters, walls, floors, and it has a certain look and feel that I want in my kitchen. Sure, it can be buffed out, but I'm not yet ready for the 'perfect' look. I guess it's a personal choice.

  • hazzaran

    maxthecape, what do you seal your honed marble with? My island is in honed carrara marble and I am not happy with the Dupont product I have been using.

  • maxthecape
    My marble installer uses a product called Super Seal stain repellant. I call him to reseal for me about every two years or so but in between I use '511 water based sealant'. He tells me it should be sealed every 6 months. I forget and do it when I think about it. So far no stains.
  • maxthecape
    This is what my installer uses.
  • Aarf Riesche

    Lots of interesting comments. I just bought two large slabs of Bianco Carrera Marble with a LEATHERED finish. It is not too leather, halfway between Honed and Leather. My old Italian fabricator was kind enough to cut a piece, sealed it and we tested several known culprits on it and it was fine. I do not like high gloss, or any gloss, so leathered was my preferred and I found a beautiful soft piece. If you get the chance to run your hands across a piece of leathered marble - DO! It is heavenly and with a sealed leather testing well, I wrote the check today! I can live with a etching and tested for staining. Love Leathered Marble!

  • Kristy C.
    I love my Cambria Brittanica on my island. I used the Silestone Super White on the perimeter and am adding a backsplash that is marble.
  • dilsadmeraler

    Hi I read above that Taj Mahal cost them around $60/$70 sqf. Just the slab prove is more than $45 how it costs to you that much including left overs fabrication and installation?

  • Nathaniel Palmer

    HEY! Old thread but important / timely topic. Who has checked Neolith's Calacatta??? Just discovered and seems amazing

  • PRO
    Northbay Stone Works LLC.

    Theresa Joy; Super White Quartzite is a Dolomite (Calcium & Magnesium) it very often is mistaken for Quartzite. Take a piece turn it upside down and carefully try to pour muriatic acid on the surface and watch it react to the calcium.

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