Marble countertops have a universal popularity for their appearance and style. Marble has a subtle beauty that enhances the look of many kitchens, bathrooms, and restaurants.
But marble isn’t always the best material for use in these areas. Marble is a calcium- based stone and reacts negatively to a number of substances often used in these areas. This means that it will eventually lose its beauty and luster if not maintained properly.
Thankfully, quartz countertops come in many of the same styles and patterns as marble but without the inherent issues.
Understanding the Makeup
Marble is a metamorphic stone which is a stone that is created under immense amounts of heat and pressure. Originally, marble was once limestone - a sedimentary rock formed largely from shells and other calcium deposits.
While harder and denser than limestone, marble still carries the same mineral makeup. The process of forming the stone give marble its beauty, variable vein patterns, and color, but it also means that the stone is just as susceptible to certain substances as the softer limestone.
For users, this means that putting marble in a kitchen subjects it to stains when things like wine land on it. It also means that the material is susceptible to dull spots known as etches.
Quartz countertops are made differently. While at first glance, they can look similar to marble, they are two completely different products.. Quartz countertops are made of roughly 93% natural quartz - one of the strongest materials in use today. The quartz is held together with polymer resins as well as pigments which give it its color and pattern.
Quartz is not susceptible to the same substances as marble. It won’t stain or etch; therefore, it keeps its appearance and good looks for longer.
In order to preserve a marble countertop, you need to do a lot of regular maintenance. First, the material needs to be sealed on a semi-regular basis to fill up some of the pores and microscopic holes. This can help impede staining but doesn’t completely prevent it. Sealing also does not prevent etching, so a marble countertop owner must pay close attention to the material and wipe up any spills on its surface immediately to prevent damage.
If a substance sits too long and a stain occurs, special cleaners known as poultices must be applied to lift the stain out. If the material becomes etched, then shine enhancers may be applied. In addition to all of this, even some household cleansers can etch the material. A special marble cleaner should always be used.
On the other hand, quartz countertops require much lower maintenance. They don’t require sealing or special cleansers. They’re also stain and etch resistant. Any spills can be cleaned with your normal household cleansers, and it will keep its good looks for years.
Marble is a natural material which means that it can have naturally occurring flaws in its surface. Two of the most common are known as pits and fissures. A pit is a small hole in the surface while a fissure is a thin crack. Sometimes, these may be masked by a layer of epoxy before the countertop is installed. Other times, they may be just below the surface, and they will not appear until it comes in contact with heat.
While most pits and fissures are only cosmetic, it can still become a collection place for debris. They may also grow in size over time, and if they run deep enough, it can be enough to crack the countertop completely at that site.
Even at their most benign, a pit or a fissure is a visual flaw that can detract from the beauty of your countertop.
Quartz is a man-made material produced in a controlled environment which limites these types of flaws. A quartz countertop will always be more durable than marble.
Marble is a natural material. Its color, vein pattern, and style are all completely random. While there is some degree of uniformity amongst different quarries, you may still find a slab of Carrara that’s mostly bright white with a few grey veins and a slab of Carrara that’s nearly completely grey with a few white spots.
For some people, the natural variation can be a plus, but others, it’s not something they want to deal with. The stone you have installed could have odd markings, different colors, or a complete lack of any character at all. You may not notice some of these marks until you have it installed in your home.
Quartz countertops are always consistent. They have a range of different styles and markings to choose from as well as a variety of tones and colors. You can find exactly what you want for your home without worrying about the unknown showing up at a later time.
Get a Better Countertop with Quartz
While marble countertops are beautiful and classic, they’re also a lot of worry and work. With quartz, it’s possible to get the same beautiful appearance and classic good looks without the intensive maintenance and care required for marble. Consider making the switch to a quartz countertop to get the looks and style you want!