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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Marble Countertop?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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In terms of aesthetics, it is difficult to beat a marble countertop. The veins and tone of the marble will create a visually striking aesthetic, and a homeowner has the option of installing a countertop made of a variety of different colors of marble. This allows the homeowner to create the aesthetic he or she wants for the room, but this can come at a price. Marble is a fairly expensive stone to install in a kitchen or other room, and it will usually require professional installation to prevent chips, cracks, and other damage during the process.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage to a marble countertop is its susceptibility to staining and other damage. This type of stone is especially susceptible to damage from acidic liquids, which can lead to staining or pitting. This means more maintenance and care will need to be taken if the marble countertop is installed in a kitchen or bathroom, where caustic liquids are commonly present. Spills around a stove, for example, or a glass of orange juice left on the countertop, can lead to staining that can be extremely difficult or impossible to get out.

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Marble can also be susceptible to heat damage. This means the countertop can be pitted, discolored, or otherwise burned if a hot pot or pan is placed on it. This is also a common occurrence in a kitchen, so it may not be the best choice for countertops around stoves. If a heavy pot is dropped on the marble countertop, the stone is likely to chip or crack, and such damage can be difficult or impossible to repair adequately. For durability, many professionals recommend installing a granite countertop in lieu of marble because granite is generally more resistant to damage.

Of course, if the homeowner or inhabitant of a home does not mind performing a bit of maintenance to prevent damage to the countertops, the aesthetic of marble is unsurpassed. Treating the marble with mineral oil or other treatment products specially formulated for marble can help prevent stains and other damage; application of such oil is easy and usually does not take up too much time. Cleaning the marble is generally not difficult either, though the surface of the marble countertop is likely to have a high shine, which means streaking may be a common occurrence after cleaning solutions have been used on the surface.

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