Marble continues to be the material of choice for kitchen worktops for a lot of homeowners. The popularity of marble backsplashes, kitchen islands, and countertops is not surprising given that the material has been a favorite for millennia. Principal architect of Groves & Co. Russell Groves states, “Marble is a natural material with great variety, depending on which species you select and how it’s cut.” “It produces a truly beautiful organic design that is uncommon with many synthetic materials.” White marble is one of the most popular choices for marble countertops. According to New York-based vice president of Stone Source Evan Nussbaum, “you won’t find anything as white in nature as white marble.” “No other natural stone kind quite has that color and kind of figuring.”
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1. Choose white marble if staining is an issue for you.
Despite the fact that most people associate marble with creamy, white stone, “there are hundreds of varieties,” according to Jason Cherrington, founder and managing director of the UK-based stone firm Lapicida, which includes taupe, green, gold, red, and black varieties. In terms of kitchen worktops made of marble, Nussbaum often advises staying with white marble. Acid etching is significantly more visible on colorful marble than on white marble because it produces a yellowish trace. He states, “It’s a personal choice, but we put a thousand caveats on any dark marble or nonwhite marble being used for kitchen countertops.”
While traditional Italian white marbles like Statuario and Calacatta are typically of exceptional quality and make wonderful kitchen accents, Nussbaum notes that similarly fine marbles, such as Vermont Danby and Colorado Yule, are accessible closer to home.
2. Examine the how the various marble slabs will blend together.
Since each stone slab varies somewhat, it is best to choose the precise stones that will be utilized for your countertops. Knowing where the veining will appear on the countertop and choosing the right slabs are two aspects of the art of marble, according to Groves. “The markings should be placed artistically to make it look almost like a painting.”
However, it’s also critical to take into account the ways in which various parts work together. Groves said, “The longer the piece without any seams, the better.” “Book-matching the marble is usually great if you do have seams,” giving the impression of mirrored neighboring pieces.
3. Consider the veining patterns.
Although every quarry is distinct, there are two techniques to cut several types of marble blocks to get various veining patterns. According to Nussbaum, cross cut, also known as fleuri cut, produces stone slabs with “an open flowered pattern” that appears somewhat haphazard and is perfect for book matching. A striato, also known as a vein cut, cuts the block in the opposite direction to provide a linear, striped look.
According to Cherrington, “designers have used both cuts to create some fantastic looks.” “They could use cross-cut on the floor and vein-cut on the wall.”
4. Marble may have its appearance changed by applying various treatments.
There are now more options than ever to finish stone, including various brushing and polishing procedures, according to Cherrington, who also notes that “the whole stone industry has been going through a massive wave of technology that’s transforming the product.” He mentions that a texture resembling an orange peel may exist and that it “might be called a leather, brushed, or river-wash finish.”
However, polished, which seems glossy, and honed, which appears matte, continue to be the most popular options. Nussbaum suggests an honed finish for those who are worried about acid etching. “Etching will turn a polished finish dull and more noticeable,” he claims. “It hides it because you’re dulling an already dull finish with honed.”
5. Take into account sculpting the edges of your marble worktop.
Marble has long been used for sculpting for a reason other than its inherent beauty: it is simple to manipulate with tools. With the use of contemporary computer numerical control milling machines, practically any design for a kitchen may be realized.
Though there are many other edge profiles available, Groves favors a straightforward eased edge because it softens the edge of a sharp 90-degree corner. According to Cherrington, a bull’s nose—which has a half-circle profile—is likewise a time-tested favorite and practical victor. “If you hit a 90-degree corner with something hard, it will chip because hard stones like marble are brittle,” he explains. “It is extremely unlikely that something with a curve will chip.”
Groves believes it’s feasible to create a thicker face with an almost seamless appearance to thin 3/4-inch stone by using a miter junction at the countertop’s edge. “You don’t need to use a thick slab to build up a really nice thick-looking piece,” he claims.
According to Cherrington, it’s even feasible to engrave a design of your choice on the edge of a white marble countertop. Lapicida, in partnership with designer Bethan Gray, has created marble tables with an edge carved with a brogue pattern.
But perhaps accepting that your marble countertops will eventually become worn down is the best way to coexist with them. “This might be the ideal material for you if you’ve been to an old bakery or pizza place and liked the way white marble patinas.” adds Nussbaum.