Marble benchtops offer a timeless and elegant kitchen design solution, being especially popular in classically styled interiors (including the popular Hamptons style kitchen design style!). There are however, several key factors that are important to keep in mind when selecting marble benchtops for your next kitchen renovation.
Marble for Kitchen Countertops: What you Need to Know
As far as kitchen stones go, marble benchtops have always been a favourite choice thanks to this natural stone’s elegant and timeless appeal. Marble benchtops are also a very flexible kitchen design solution as they can look right at home in a range of different styles, from classic to contemporary!
Of course, there are certain key factors that are worth considering when making your kitchen colour and material selections. These factors include pricing, cleaning and maintenance as well as your individual kitchen design style.
The Cost of Marble Benchtops
it goes without saying that a natural stone benchtop is a premium kitchen design option with marble benchtops being priced higher than other materials such as engineered stone for example. Depending on the specific variety of marble you select for your kitchen design project, the price can vary so it is important to decide on your own unique kitchen design style and ensure your selected marble stone benchtop will tie into this look.
What is the Cheapest Marble Benchtop?
As a general rule of thumb Carrara marble benchtops are often the most cost effective natural stone option with other varieties of marble (such as Statuario marble, Nero Marquinna, etc.) being higher in price.
Cleaning & Maintaining Marble Benchtops
A marble kitchen benchtop will require sealing in order to be well protected over time however, this does not always provide complete and absolute protection of the material against staining. Natural stones such as marble are porous in nature and therefore can absorb liquid or powder spills. Kitchen ingredients such as red wines, turmeric and other strongly coloured or acidic items can stain the surface of your marble worktop so it is important to clean these spills away immediately rather than letting them sit on the surface of your benchtop for too long. Being a calcium based natural stone, a marble benchtop can experience a chemical reaction when acidic ingredients (for example: fruit, wine, lemon juice, etc.) come into contact with the material. This reaction is referred to as etching and although a quality sealer will assist in preventing too much damage or discolouration from occurring, it can cause a dull mark on the surface of your marble kitchen benchtop.
On the plus side however, a professional stone maintenance expert can revitalise your natural stone kitchen benchtop in most cases so if you experience any stubborn marks this would be an excellent option to explore.
Kitchen Design Style: Which Marble will best suit my Style?
Your specific kitchen design style will also play a role in whether or not to use a marble benchtop as certain designs will be perfectly complemented by a marble kitchen benchtop while others may not. White marbles such as Carrara for example are the perfect kitchen benchtop choice for a Hamptons style kitchen for example while the deep charcoal tones of a Pietra Grey marble benchtop would perfectly complement a contemporary or industrial styled kitchen design scheme.
Alternative Options: Marble Look Stone
If natural marble is not the right fit for your lifestyle but you still want to include a marble look stone in your new kitchen design scheme, engineered stones (also referred to as composite stones) provide the next best solution. These stones are man-made using a combination of natural quartz, pigments and polymers resulting in an ultra-hard and durable surface finish. You will find options available in just about any style from concrete look benchtop options to terrazzo and of course, marble look stone options ranging from soft white marbles, greys and even black marble looks.
Engineered stone benchtops do not require sealing and in general will be more forgiving when it comes to staining; it should be noted however that these materials CAN be stained by harsher ingredients and abrasive cleaners but they will hold up much better than a natural stone product would. Engineered stone manufacturers do often sell their own collections of cleaning products that are specific to composite stone benchtops; for stubborn marks, we would also recommend Gumption!
Are Marble Benchtops Worth it?
So, are marble benchtops worth it? That all comes down to your own personal preferences! If you are craving that luxurious authentic marble look then of course, a timeless marble benchtop is the perfect option for your new kitchen design. If however you prefer a kitchen material that will suit a busy lifestyle with lots of spills, perhaps an engineered stone benchtop or porcelain benchtop would be a better choice as these options offer more durability, stain resistance and are often more cost effective. You will find more information on the various kitchen benchtop options in our guide here.