I have a lot of friends moving into new houses right now and one of the first rooms everyone wants to re-do is the kitchen, which is a great starting point. And one way to totally refresh an old kitchen is with new countertops, so I get asked a lot about which one to choose. I am sure that every girl has drooled over dozens of white kitchens with marble countertops and wondered how they can get them, what's the maintenance like, and is there a more affordable option?? Well I love calacutta and carrera marble countertops as much as anyone else, in fact they are my favorite look for a kitchen but the good news is that there are actually some other great options out there that are a little more durable and affordable as well so I gathered them up for you today incase you are on the hunt as well. The great thing about marble is that it is a timeless and classic look that works well in lots of different styles of kitchens from traditional to more modern. The part that most people worry about is that acid spills can stain it and it can get scratched easier.
TIPS FOR MAINTAINING MARBLE COUNTERTOPS:
-HAVE IT HONED AND SEAL IT OFTEN [the color and pattern won't show through as much as a polished surface, and a honed finish is more prone to staining, but etch marks are much less visible.]
-INSTALL IT POLISHED AND LEARN TO RESTORE ETCH MARKS [a polished finish is very stain-resistant, but etch marks are more visible. On the plus side, etching is far easier to repair on a polished surface.]
-USE CAUTION WITH ITEMS THAT WILL STAIN [the most important items to be careful around your countertop are red wine, acidic juice such as lemons, and always use a cutting board when chopping as well as a hot pad for setting down hot items onto countertop]
But, after hearing all of this about how marble can be really high-maintenance and you still want it in your kitchen - there are ways to incorporate it into the design that make it more manageable. Such as just having marble backsplash, on either the entire wall or just a certain area like behind the stove. Or just use marble on the perimeter countertops and then have a different surface for the island countertop where most of the food prep happens. Or you can have some marble kitchen accessories just as an accent to get a little of that look in the room.
-Quartz [this is manmade material that is really durable and easy to maintain. A popular brand that is great is Silestone, which is one of the only ones that sells in a big box store like Home Depot.] Favorites: Silestone - Lagoon, Lyra, & Helix | Ceasarstone - Frosty Carrina, Calacatta Nuvo, London Grey | Pentalquartz - Calacutta Polished
-Granite [this is natural stone like marble, but it's super durable. You can easily wipe it down with a wet rag and soap and you can cut on it or even set hot surfaces down on it. ] Favorites: Dolomite, Bianco Montanha
-Laminate [this is not my first option, but it is definitely the most affordable option and good to know there is something out there that is DIY. Laminate is not as durable as the other options but you can easily clean it with mild cleaners, just avoid harsh cleaning products.] Favorites: Wilson Art - Calcutta Marble