Some of the most beautiful kitchen countertops are created with marble slabs. Classic color combinations and beautiful veins make the stone highly sought after. Traditionally, marble has been used extensively in bathrooms and furniture countertops due to its delicate nature and artistic qualities. Since Greek and Roman times, marble has been known as one of the best options for sculpture and decoration with its relatively soft nature that is reasonably resistant to breakage. Perhaps one of the most unique characteristics of the stone is the smooth way it reflects light. On a polished marble surface, light is scattered in a broad smooth spectrum creating a gloss or waxy appearance. This effect gives the stone a lifelike quality that enhances value and reinforces why this stone has stood the test of time in the art and construction industries.
A popular choice for today’s kitchen design is to use marble on the countertops, the backsplash, or both. Marble feels smooth and creamy to the touch, making it desirable in casual kitchens where the main focus of the room is to create a social gathering place that is comfortable and beautiful. The large scale movement and grain in the stone is a nice complement to the small scale grain in wood cabinets. The organic movement of the grains offers a welcome contrast to the floor that is geometric tile or linear of wood plank. Unlike standard granite colors with small chip patterns, marble brings a touch of whimsy and soft elegance to the kitchen through asymmetrical grain and a wide range of whites such as Carrara, Calacatta and Danby, to name a few. Marble in any color, but especially white, is considered haute couture for the home and is especially suitable in both traditional and modern styles.
Although marble is visually appealing in the kitchen, it requires a lot of maintenance due to the very characteristics that make it so desirable. The smoothness of the stone makes it more susceptible to stains and scratches, so it is necessary to pay special attention to protect and clean the surface to keep it in optimal condition. Marble is not recommended for medium to heavy duty kitchens. With such a wide range of colors, the hardness of the stone varies according to the geology of the rock. Relatively speaking, lighter colors are “softer” and darker colors are “harder.” This means that today’s popular white marbles are on the softer end of the spectrum and require more care and prevention to maintain their beauty. One of the strongest and most appropriate white marbles for the kitchen is Danby Marble, quarried in Vermont, USA Danby includes several color variations, such as Montclair, Imperial and Mountain White. Although this family of white marble is more forgiving than the others, it can still be stained and scratched without due respect.
Another viable option for kitchen countertops is engineered marble. These surfaces have gone a long way in providing the beauty of natural stone with the durability and uncomplicated look that is desirable. The engineering process includes the combination of natural marble particles with fillers and polymers to improve the quality of the stone. These hybrid countertops require little maintenance and are more resistant to stains than natural marble.