As a new owner & caretaker of white Carrara marble countertops, I learned all about the stone the care & the consequences of my choice.
I know many of you want to de-mystify marble & have, or want, it in your kitchen too. So I am sharing what I have learned in a series of posts:
Marble Countertops 101
Today we’ll talk about the pitfalls of choosing marble ~ namely staining & etching. ( and why the pitfalls are not as dire as you might have heard )
So if you decided, like I did, that marble is what you really have to have, read on and learn all about living with this gorgeous stone.
Marble ~ does it Stain and Etch
Staining & etching of marble are too entirely different things.
It is unlikely your polished or high-honed marble will stain.
It is very likely it will etch.
Let’s learn about the differences and then you can decide whether you can live with etching.
A marble stain is when a substance is absorbed into the pores of the marble.
Marble is not very absorbent, so it does not stain easily. This is because the pores are closed down in the polishing process. So closed in fact that marble often cannot absorb even a sealer ( stay tuned for my Marble Sealing post )
Etching is physical damage to the stone caused by contact with certain substances. Substances containing acids, such as: juice, coffee, citrus, wine, tomatoes and the list goes on.
Etching is not a stain, it is a corrosive reaction which strips away the surface layer revealing raw marble. This results in a dull, lighter area where the substance came into contact with the stone.
Further confusing the issue, people commonly refer to rings left by a glass of juice or wine as “water marks” or “water stains” These are not stains – this is etching.
More bad info out there… I had read somewhere that honed marble etches less.
That made no sense to me as honing by definition must result in a more porous marble. So I kept on researching. The fact is honed marble looks less etched when it happens, as honed marble is marble with the surface layer already worn away.
So honed marble doesn’t etch less – it is just less noticeable when it does.
psst…this is my new bridge faucet – it is shiny now, but in time it will take on a beautiful patina as I chose an unlaquered brass finish .
Bottom Line on Marble staining and etching:
Stains – areas where substances are absorbed are unlikely.
Etch marks – areas where marble is corroded away are likely.
There is a product that can help remove etch marks. It is called Stone Care Etch Remover Marble Polishing Powder.
I haven’t tried it as my marble has yet to be etched. But I ordered a bottle to have on hand for the envitable etch!
It is early in the life of my marble countertop. It and I are definitely in the honeymoon stage.
I am head over heels for it. I am prepared for the bumps, or shall I say etches, that come with every relationship. (And I am stocking up on gorgeous french cutting boards!)
Stay tuned and see what I learned & if I seal the deal with my marble in the second installment in my series:
Marble Countertops 101 – Sealing.
** Kelly **