Wednesday, August 6, 2014

White Marble - 1 Year Later

As many of you know, updating elements of your home can be an intense process similar to a game of domino's. Typically one decision leads to another, and so on and so on. During the 5 months between the time we purchased our home and the time we moved in we were in a WHIRLWIND. Smack dab in the middle of wedding planning and house renovations - things were crazy!  We spent nearly every moment we were not sleeping, eating or working, at the house getting it move-in ready. We had about 100 balls in the air and were making decisions left and right - hoping for the best. So, 16 months later I thought it might be fun to visit some of the selections we made and discuss whether or not we feel we made the right decision. And maybe more importantly, if given the opportunity would we do it again?
The first topic - White Marble. 

 Brent and I chose white marble for our kitchen and downstairs bath countertops. 


While we did have a lot going on we did NOT make this decision on the fly. Countertops are not cheap so we really considered the options - read all about the selection process here.  As a designer I knew all about marble and it's porous ways. However, I was also very much aware of the unique beauty marble has to offer. At the 11th hour we finally felt comfortable biting the bullet and buying the marble slabs we loved after the nice people at Construction Resources introduced us to a 15 year sealer from DuPont that protects marble from food and drink stains.

Photo from Google. 
DuPont's StoneTech Sealer was applied right after the tops were installed and has worked like a charm. We have definitely put it to the test by simply living our lives. Brent loves to cook and we've hosted many get togethers where red wine and other Marble Killers were present and over 1 year later there are no stains.

No stains = happy consumers. HOWEVER, while there are no red wine splotches there are water marks AKA light etching. As far as I know, and according to everything I have ever read about marble, etching is unavoidable. Etching is a chemical reaction between the calcium carbonate in your marble and acid. Acid can come from a slew of different foods, drinks and cleaning materials and etching can happen in a flash. Basically the chemical reaction instantly causes the marble to loose it's shine, creating a dull spot.

For us, our etching has been caused by water sitting on the top too long. For example, if I'm drinking a glass of water and sit it on the countertop and it begins to sweat, a ring will form on the countertop where the glass was sitting.

I took a picture of the peninsula in the kitchen and if you really look (and follow the arrows) you will see the spots.

Our etching/water marks are not glaringly obvious, but are more apparent when the light hits the spots just right. Because our marble is polished (shiny) the spots show up more so then they would if the marble had been honed (not polished). We went with polished for the texture. I know I haven't officially debuted the kitchen on the blog, but it's a whole lot of white on white on white. This may sound sterile and scary, but thanks to the layering of textures (cabinets, countertops and backsplash) the space has life.

Lucky for us, almost immediately after our countertops were installed we got married and headed to Italy for a 2 week honeymoon. While there, we saw marble EVERYWHERE! It wasn't pristine, it was worn and scratched and etched and stained, but it was still beautiful. We decided then and there that we were not going to stress about our marble. We were going to use our kitchen, entertain our family and friends and live our lives and  just let the marble be the natural, porous stone that it is. We invested in the 15 year warranty which gave us some peace of mind, but outside of that we knew that our investment would be wasted, no matter how beautiful the countertops were, if they kept us from really  enjoying the spaces we had worked so hard to create.

So, in summary, our love affair is still strong for our Marble. Aesthetically, we have absolutely no complaints. Function wise, it would be nice if water marks were not an issue HOWEVER, it's a small price to pay for the look of the marble we so love. If I had it all to do again, I would still go with marble, but this time I would have it honed to help camouflage those inevitable water marks!

Unless otherwise noted all photos are my own. 

11 Appreciated Comments :

Fritz John Marajas said...

As the leading Natural Stone Supplier of an extensive range of Marble tiles and slabs, Marble Sinks, Travertine Tiles and slabs, Limestone Tiles, and other premium natural stone products in Australia, Euro Natural Stone strives to offer its customers the stone of unrivalled beauty and rarity at the best possible prices.

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John Mathew said...

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Courtney Foster Shearer said...

Thanks John!

Debra Newman said...

Deciding on the material to be used for the countertop could be quite a hard task to do, as countertops serve an important feature in the kitchen, as it place is where you put ingredients (commonly inside jars) and kitchen items in order to not misplace them. Marble is truly quite stunning to look at, and it could even be compared to a canvass that painters use to paint their pieces of art, where the stains and scars in the marble could represent the paint itself, and through this comparison we could say that a used and worn out marble countertop or table is truly a work of art. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on having a marble countertop!

Debra Newman @ Unique Stone Concepts

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