Marble countertops make your kitchen look beautiful and luxurious. Marble, a natural stone that is often associated with prestige and sophistication, is very attractive to the eye, and is ideal for countertops. Marble will add world-class value to your kitchen and give your home great resale value. Home buyers are particularly impressed with marble or granite countertops rather than ceramics, plastics or laminates, and don’t mind paying more for marble.
Marble countertops are unique, as each slab displays various patterns of veins and naturally formed designs that are difficult to imitate. Every slab of marble looks different. This provides a distinctive element and adds a unique design and style to your kitchen.
Marble countertops come in a wide range of natural colors such as white, gold, pink, purple, green, blue, brown, gray and black. So it is not difficult to choose one that matches the color scheme of your kitchen.
When polished, marble countertops get a mirror finish. They look brighter and the color looks richer.
Being a natural stone, marble is durable. Although it is at a high price, it can serve you for a lifetime if properly maintained.
Bakers prefer marble as it does not heat up and is ideal for rolling out dough, pie crusts and other baked goods.
Cost of marble countertops
If you want to buy marble countertops, you have to be prepared for the cost as they are on the higher side, and on par with that of granite. Pricing starts at $50 per square foot, and this may sometimes include installation fees.
The price of marble depends on several factors such as the manufacturer, the origin, the color, the size, the thickness, the content of soft minerals and the style. Marble countertops that show color movement, veins and other distinctive patterns cost more.
If you want a less expensive deal, marble tiles are comparatively much cheaper. They have all the properties of natural marble and also look good, but the only drawback is that the borders are visible and a little difficult to clean even though they fill them with grout.
For a more economical alternative, you can use a combination of marble and laminate.
Tips for buying marble countertops
1. First and foremost, you need to keep in mind the color scheme and style of your kitchen, and the color of your cabinets. Your countertop should blend in with your kitchen decor.
2. If you are not sure about the color and style, you can consult an interior designer. You can also look through some interior design magazines so that you get a fair idea of what looks good and also know the current trends.
3. If your kitchen cabinets are dark in color, you can choose a light colored marble slab, as it will brighten the area. Likewise, dark-colored marble countertops look good on light-colored cabinets.
4. If you are choosing marble tiles, you must choose tiles with a somewhat consistent color and pattern.
5. If you are using a combination of marble and laminate, see that the action areas such as the cooking and washing areas are covered with marble, and the rest of the countertop, with laminate.
Installation of marble countertops
Marble is heavy, and requires an experienced hand to level and install it. Therefore always let a professional installer do the work. The installer will create models keeping in mind the sink, electrical appliances and plumbing fixtures. The marble is precisely cut based on these patterns.
In order to obtain a strong base, the installer can use metal rods, plywood and adhesives. If the base is strong, the countertop will not crack during installation or later. Next, the marble slab is attached to the base and the seams are filled. The borders are ground or made smooth. A sealant is applied to the surface and the countertop is polished to a glossy finish. The sealant protects the slab by preventing liquid from entering the porous surface or eating into the soft minerals. It also keeps the slab from staining. So you have to seal it regularly.
Maintenance of marble countertops
Always ask the supplier for instructions on how to maintain marble countertops. He should be able to guide on polishing, sealing and cleaning the countertop.
Always use warm, mild soapy water to clean your marble countertop. Harsh cleaning liquids eat into the soft minerals and make the surface rough. Also handle lemon juice, vinegar and other acidic foods with caution, as they can cause surface etching.
Although marble is hard, it is not as hard as granite and can be scratched or cracked. Therefore do not drag heavy utensils or devices on its surface. Also, never cut directly on the surface as you can scratch the sealant and the surface of the countertop.