Selecting the right countertop material is paramount for the effective functioning and the visual appeal of a kitchen. A time-tested material, marble has been the epitome of luxury and resilience for ages. Be it in the bathroom, kitchen, or any other indoor space, installing marble is viewed as a high-status symbol. It is also a sure-shot way of increasing home valuation and attracting more potential buyers for sale.
Many homeowners rush to buy marble worktops online before understanding their composition, benefits, and limitations. Given the abundance of kitchen worktop options available today, one doesn’t have to be constrained by a particular material just because of its grandeur and popularity. This all-encompassing guide will help homeowners decide if marble worktops are suited to their requirements or not.
How is Marble Formed?
As a prerequisite to buying a marble worktop, understanding its constitution is necessary. The finest marble varieties in the world are procured from Italy, while Spain, India, and China also have ample reserves. Limestone transforms into marble when subjected to extremely high temperatures and pressure under the earth’s surface. Known as metamorphosis, this process culminates in the random settling of minerals and resins. This results in the unique formation of veins and streaks in every slab. And just like snowflakes, no two marble slabs are identical.
Benefits of Marble Worktops
Before embarking on the process of worktop installation, weighing the pros and cons of marble is necessary. Here are the inherent advantages of installing marble worktops:-
- Aesthetic Superiority– Countless interior decor trends can pass by, but marble will never go out of fashion. From old-world classic designs and rustic country themes to bohemian chic and contemporary suave decor patterns, the compatibility of this splendid natural stone is remarkable.
- Longevity– When maintained properly, marble worktops can easily last a lifetime without needing renovation. It is a worthwhile investment if homeowners can dedicate themselves to its upkeep.
- Boosts Home Valuation– Marble worktops and flooring reinvigorate the visual splendour of any space. To sell a property at a high price, marble worktop installation is recommended as it immediately enhances the valuation with its high-end appeal.
- Perennially Cool Surface– Marble doesn’t heat up easily. The surface being perennially cool is an added advantage for avid bakers.
- Versatility– A luxurious and unique material, marble can be installed in staircases, fireplaces, fountains, feature walls, designer studios, and so on.
- Ample Customization– Before buying a marble worktop, customers can explore the various finishes like sandblasted, honed, leather, and polished. The design elements and edge profiles can be easily customized as per requirement.
- Ease of Availability– Unlike other rarer countertop materials, marble worktops are easily available online and offline.
Limitations of Marble Worktops
Whether it is marble flooring, feature walls, staircases, or worktops, there are several disadvantages of the material that homeowners should be well aware of:-
- Regular and Careful Maintenance required– Biannual sealing is a must to keep marble surfaces functional. Else, their high porosity will cause hygiene issues.
- Expert Installation is Necessary– Marble slabs are extremely heavy and can only be installed by certified professionals.
- Highly Porous and Stains Easily– Without regular sealing, marble worktops will easily absorb moisture and harbour microbial growth. Also, marble reacts immediately with acidic liquids (lime juice, wine, tomato sauce, and so on) to form a whitish patch.
- Prone to Scratches– Although the material is durable overall, the surface of the marble is prone to scratches. So homeowners must beware of the rough handling of pots and pans on marble worktops.
- Relatively Expensive– Marble is more expensive than natural stones like granite and quartzite. Especially if one is opting for rare Italian marble varieties like Calacatta and Arabescato, there has to be a sizeable budget for installation and maintenance.
- Oxidation-related Changes– Some marble varieties might undergo a slight colour alteration due to oxidation. Termed ‘Patina’, this is usually visible after a couple of years. Resin treatments can tackle these visible changes to a certain extent.
- Non-Uniformity in Design– Since no two marble slabs are alike, large worktops using more than one slab might look non-uniform. While non-uniformity prevails in granite and quartzite as well, their homogenous patterns make it less noticeable.
Whether it is in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other interior space, installing a countertop is a herculean feat. It involves a ton of research, time, and money. Thus, homeowners have every right to desire a worktop material that fulfils all their requirements- looks, efficiency, and durability with ease. Despite the introduction of highly efficient and attractive manmade materials, marble remains an extremely popular choice.
It might be high-maintenance and have several limitations, but its sheer opulence and innate magnetism surpass that of any other material, natural or engineered. Homeowners ready to invest in high-quality marble shouldn’t hesitate to install picturesque marble countertops to adorn their dream home.