October 26, 2011
When it comes to which material to use on bathroom and kitchen countertops, there are many options to choose from. A longtime favorite for those looking for a luxurious and extremely dependable option, marble remains at the top of the list for homeowners across the greater New York City area.
Widely used in kitchens, like its counterpart granite, marble is considered an ultimate in luxury. The appearance of marble varies depending on its source, and therefore many color and visual texture options exist within the world of marble making it a good choice for a wide range of tastes. Marble is highly porous, so for use in a kitchen especially it requires a seal to avoid staining. On an unsealed marble surface, common kitchen culprits like wine and juice pose problems.
A rich option and an excellent way to give any space an extravagant appearance, marble is pricy. However, many homeowners do enjoy the boost that marble gives to a space without breaking the bank by installing marble as an accent to a larger space. For example, one might install marble countertops on an island or butcher block rather than an entire kitchen. Or, one might install a marble countertop to the wet bar area of a kitchen or dining room. Installing marble in a portion of a space still gives the benefit of a look of luxury without requiring that a homeowner purchase enough marble to cover an entire kitchen.
Another fine way to achieve a luxurious look without spending a lot of money is to utilize marble as a countertop material in a bathroom space. Although marble in bathroom spaces should still be sealed the way it would be in a kitchen space, the stains common to bathroom areas such as soap and water are much less prohibitive than the wine and juice stains present in a kitchen space. Homeowners looking to install marble throughout a bathroom should beware, though – marble’s luxurious look will give your bathroom a facelift of extravagance. If the rest of the home is not equally upscale, the bathroom may stick out!
For either kitchen or bathroom installation, a more affordable option may be cultured marble counters, which are formed of plastic and marble dust. Cultured marble countertops are lighter than true marble, and as they are more synthetic than true marble, they are more affordable and easier to install. Though they look just like real marble and will visually suffice, cultured marble is not real marble and therefore does not have the same weight or durability than its pure counterpart.
Whether true marble or cultured marble, marble countertops require maintenance and care. Marble countertops are extremely durable but they are not indestructible, and therefore they do need sufficient protection through seals and an attention to cleaning up spills as soon as they occur. It may help to think of marble as a wood product, which requires a lot of attention, rather than a stone product. Properly taken care of, though, marble countertops can last a lifetime and are therefore well worth the investment both in money and in the time you take caring for them.