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Marble Countertops for the Kitchen - Pros and Cons

Submitted by DovetailMarketing on Mon, 10/19/2020 - 15:42

So your customers fell in love with a Calacatta Gold Marble slab in the stone yard. Or they saw a picture (or two) in Veranda, Architectural Digest, Pinterest or Houzz.  They can't stop thinking about it and talking about it and imagining how it will look in the new kitchen you’re designing for them.

It’s your job to tell them that installing marble in their new kitchen is like dating a super model – both are beautiful, elegant and enticing with gorgeous good looks, but they are both high maintenance and so very expensive.

Marble has many excellent qualities. One of the best is its variety of color and veining, the result of impurities in the original limestone. Also, marble maintains its value and adds equity to any home. Marble always feels cool. It’s the perfect surface for rolling pastry dough. It can withstand hard use – think of marble walkways in public spaces.

From the time of the ancient Greeks, people have had a love affair with all things marble. Now owning it is no longer limited to the wealthy. Quarried slab marble is cheaper than in in the past, due to more effective quarrying methods and less expensive shipping costs. 

On the negative side: marble costs more than granite or quartz. Your clients’ new marble countertops need to be sealed when installed, and they will need to refresh that sealer a few times a year.

They need to be cautious when working with anything acidic (tomatoes, wine, vinegar, ketchup, lemons and limes) because of staining and etching, where the acid eats into the stone.

But if they can live with these potential negatives, then they can look at Mother Nature’s beautiful piece of art every day.

Whether or not you should recommend marble for your customers or whether you should steer them towards a more hard-wearing surface like quartz depends on them. If they understand the nature of marble and can see it and love it for what is, then marble is most certainly for them.

But if having marble in their kitchen will keep them from actually using and enjoying their beautiful countertop for fear of ruining it, then they should opt for a different material.

A new product on the market, Azerocare by Antolini, offers superior, industrial strength protection for marble surfaces, both in the home and in restaurants and bars. You can read about its properties here.

As an alternative to marble, quartz countertops offer beautiful marble imitations. (At KBIS 2017, more quartz countertop vendors were exhibiting than any other category.) With the look of natural stone, without the maintenance, these surfaces give marble and granite lots of competition. Their main ingredient is ground quartz (about 94 percent), combined with polyester resins to bind it and pigments to give it color. The resins also help make these counters stain and scratch resistant and nonporous, so they never need to be sealed. 

Some of the most well-known brands include Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone and Zodiac. And many, many more. (We’d go with Silestone, simply because of the Cindy Crawford ads.)

But you know if your customers have fallen in love with marble, there can be no substitute. Just make sure they know what they’re getting into before they throw their first margarita party to show off their new marble countertops.

Bob Aungst Cabinet Sales is a full-service rep agency whose goal is to match kitchen and bath designers and remodelers with the cabinet manufacturers best suited to their business’ style and clientele.  Owner Bob Aungst III represents  Brighton CabinetryUS Cabinet Depot, PresidentialJay Rambo Cabinetry, Great Northern Cabinetry, and StyleCraft