Marble Countertops: Are They Right for You?

Crisp. Cool. Distinctive. Elegant. If those words are describing countertops, we must be talking about white marble. Marble is a timeless classic that is right at home in a wide range of décor styles and rooms. Whether you’re looking to finish off your kitchen, upgrade your bathroom or incorporate a workstation in a home office, marble should be on your list for consideration. Like any material, marble has its pros and cons. 


  • Classic beauty – Marble is the Audrey Hepburn of countertops: classic, timeless beauty that exudes sophistication. It’s the only natural stone that comes in bright, crisp white, with or without grey veins running through it.
  • It’s got personality - As a natural stone, marble offers a unique, “no-two-are-alike” style that will give your countertop its own distinctive flair. Marble doesn’t conduct heat. It’ll remain cool to the touch, a welcome feature in kitchens and spa-like bathrooms alike. With age, marble takes on a patina. If you’re intrigued by a surface that tells the story of its lifespan with you, then marble is a terrific choice. 
  • Affordable – Unless you’re selecting a more rare variety of marble, this natural stone tends to be within a price range that's comparable to other countertop options. In some cases, it’s even more affordable than other natural stones. 


  • It’s a softy – The same thing that gives aged marble a story to tell may be a turn-off for some. Simply put, marble is prone to staining and scratching. Even with regular sealing, marble may show traces of the red wine you once spilled in the kitchen or hints of your favorite shade of blush on the bathroom counter.

Tips for living with marble

If the pros outweigh the cons for you (and for so many of us they do!), take note of these general maintenance tips:

  • Seal your marble and reseal it at least once a year (or sooner in high use areas). A sealer doesn’t mitigate stains and scratches, but it does give you some time to respond. A splash of wine on a well-sealed countertop that’s wiped up in due time might never leave a clue that it was there. 
  • Be gentle when cleaning. If you wouldn’t wash your hands with it, don’t use it on your marble. Avoid acidic cleaners and abrasive cleaners or pads. Marble prefers mild soaps (such as dish detergent) and warm water with a cloth or sponge. Need something a little tougher? Look for a natural stone cleaner.
  • When you’re choosing your marble countertop, opt for polished finishes over honed. Polished is more stain resistant, whereas honed is more porous and prone to staining. 

If your idea of the perfect countertop is one that retains the pristine, glossy shine from the day you bought it, then marble isn’t the right choice. Conversely, if you are attracted to a countertop loaded with unique character and beauty, classic marble may be for you!

by Anjie Cho

Choosing the Perfect Countertop for Your Style

Sprucing up your space can be as simple as a can of paint and a new set of drapes. When you’re ready for a bigger update, however, it’s important to select the right materials for the job. For example, whether your redoing your kitchen, bathroom, laundry or other workspace, selecting the right type of countertop can set the tone for the rest of your design. Before you delve too deeply into storage space and paint swatches, let’s talk countertops.

Natural Stone

There’s a certain beauty and elegance inherent in natural stone countertops. The most popular of this type is granite. It has become a favorite for its durable, scratch-resistant surface, as well as the fact that no two pieces are alike. Going granite ensures your kitchen will have a completely unique look. Granite, however, does require annual resealing to ensure its ability to ward off stains and handle heat and water. 

Marble is also a gorgeous natural option. If you’re looking for an elegant, distinctive look, consider a countertop of white marble. Marble is naturally cool to the touch so it holds up to heat well. It’s also one of the more affordable natural stone options on the market today. Even with sealing, marble can stain and scratch easily. That may not be a turn-off for you, however. These countertops will take on an aged, patina like finish that you may find appealing. 

Other natural stones include soapstone and slate. The former is porous and needs to be sealed with mineral oil to avoid staining. The latter is comparatively soft which means it can be scratched, but some due diligence with a bit of steel wool will buff slate back to its smooth glory. Both soapstone and slate come in deliciously dark hues. 

Engineered Stone

If you love the look of granite but not the maintenance, take a look at quartz. These countertops are made by combining ground quartz or quartz chips with a combination of polymers, resins and pigments. The resulting countertop is extremely hard and durable with a glossy sheen to boot. Quartz countertops are non-porous which makes them stain resistant. They’re also crack resistant. All this without the need to seal or reseal. 


If you’re looking for a customizable, unique look, consider concrete. By adding components like recycled glass, stone, tiles, color and texture, you can tailor these countertops to your own personal style. Although concreate is considered very durable, it must be sealed in order to be so. These countertops must also be resealed regularly to keep them resistant to heat, water and stains. Cracking is a risk, so be careful about overloading the surface or dropping heavier objects on your concrete countertops. 

Butcher Block

The right type of wood with a proper sealer applied can make a beautiful countertop. Further, wood countertops are a great work surface for cooking and baking, so home cooks and avid bakers may be big fans! Creating a craft room and need workspace? Wood countertops might be a great fit as a cutting surface. You will need to keep up with periodic resealing and regular oiling with linseed oil to keep your counters looking good and limit risk of bacterial growth. If you’re not ready to commit to a room full of wood countertops, consider using it for an island or other small section. Then finish off the rest of your space with a countertop of another ilk.

by Anjie Cho