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Choosing and Maintaining a Marble Countertop


min read

Choosing and Maintaining a Marble Countertop

KitchenChoosing and Maintaining a Marble Countertop

Known for its sleek elegance and refined beauty, marble is a material that easily seduces anyone who encounters it in a kitchen. It instantly enhances the calibre of this focal, family-oriented space.

Like any material, marble has its pros and cons, and specific guidelines must be adhered to to ensure its durability. Before opting for this undeniably charming material, here's everything you need to know about marble countertops.

Marble In a Nutshell

By way of introduction, let’s start by stating that marble is a natural stone derived from limestone, and is part of the metamorphic group of rocks. Its formation results from the crystallization of calcareous sediments. Note that marble typically comes from Italy.

Benefits of a Marble Countertop

marble countertop with coffee cup_Choosing and Maintaining a Marble Countertop

Simply looking at a marble countertop is enough to be charmed by its beauty and by the elegance it exudes. Though available in a wide range of colours, each piece of marble has the added benefit of being unique due to its veining pattern. This differentiation is directly related to the type of minerals and soils contained in the area where the marble was quarried. This variety is also reflected in the many finishes available, including matte, glossy, and aged, just to name a few. 

Given its highly varying appearance, marble can complement both classic and modern styles. Also, this material is renowned for being very heat resistant and durable when properly maintained.

Last but not least, marble appears to be a great countertop material for cooks who aren't bothered by natural wear and tear, which occurs over time. In fact, as a sterile material, marble doesn't support bacteria growth on its surface.

Drawbacks of a Marble Countertop

marble countertop with Swiss chard_Choosing and Maintaining a Marble Countertop

For starters, marble is a porous material, which makes it particularly vulnerable to stains and acids such as coffee, vinegar, lemon, and red wine. It'll also be less resistant to scratches and will definitely wear out over the years. 

To partially offset the adverse effects of its porous nature, marble countertops should be sealed at least once a year, however, many experts recommend applying a sealant every six months. Nevertheless, even the application of this protective coating won't render the marble perfectly impermeable to acidic substances spilled on its surface. Therefore, it's best to use a non-toxic sealer.

As evidenced below, we also have to point out that marble definitely isn't a material suited to all budgets.

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How Much Does a Marble Countertop Cost?

marble countertop with cookies_Choosing and Maintaining a Marble Countertop

Given that marble is a rather rare and luxurious material, it's quite a financial investment. On average, marble costs from $48 to $240 per square foot, installation included. Note that this price also applies to white marble, which is a very trendy and sought-after material. 

Precautionary Measures When Cleaning a Marble Countertop

To ensure that your countertop will last through the years and maintain its lustrous shine and beauty, several measures must be taken, among which the following are the most important:

  • Clean your countertop as frequently as possible by simply using a soft rag dampened with soapy water (using a mild soap);

  • When cleaning more stubborn stains, gently scrub in a circular motion;

  • Use acetone to remove stains on dark surfaces;

  • Use hydrogen peroxide to remove stains on light surfaces;

  • Always wipe the surface with a wet rag, ensuring that no water is left on the surface, as water could mark the marble;

  • Avoid dragging objects across the countertop when moving them, or put felt pads under decorative objects;

  • Make a habit of using placemats and coasters to avoid placing dishes directly on the marble top;

  • Avoid cutting food directly on the countertop;

  • Apply a non-toxic sealer once or twice a year;

  • Never use harsh cleaning products on your countertop.

How to Remove Scratches and Stains from Marble

marble countertop_Choosing and Maintaining a Marble Countertop

For minor surface scratches, simply wipe the area with a soft, slightly damp rag. Is the scratch more serious? Use very fine sandpaper and gently buff the area.

When it comes to stains, cleaning tips will vary a lot depending on the type of stain. For example, a foolproof cleaning tip for water rings on marble isn’t likely to work on an acid stain. Also, note that the colour of your stone can also determine the type of product that will work best to rectify a certain scratch or stain. For a light-coloured stone, hydrogen peroxide is likely suitable, while acetone will work best on dark-coloured marble.

Is sanding necessary? 

Whether or not you need to sand your marble countertop is relative. While some say that after 10 years, the wear and tear of marble will demand the surface to be completely buffed, others will choose to keep the countertop as is and appreciate the natural patina resulting from its use.

Overview of the Pros and Cons of a Marble Countertop



  • Exudes beauty and elegance
  • Available in a wide range of colours
  • Available in numerous finishes
  • The uniqueness of each slab
  • It suits a modern aesthetic just as well as a traditional one
  • Sterile material (little propagation of bacteria)
  • Porus (vulnerable to stains)
  • Not very resistant to scratches
  • Needs a yearly/bi-yearly coat of sealant
  • Will never be fully impermeable
  • Rather expensive

Are you looking for more diverse countertop materials? Check out our Countertop Renovation Guide

Looking to get a cost estimate for your kitchen countertop renovation project? Try out our cost calculator!

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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