Tag Archives: marble kitchen countertops

What Happens If You Don’t Seal Marble?

best kitchen countertop

Marble countertops are highly porous, and all experts agree that you should seal them the first thing after installation to protect them from damage. What happens if you don’t seal marble? You must be wondering, right? Well, plenty of things can happen:

They will be stained by foods and drinks

When you leave your countertops unsealed, it means that the countertops aren’t protected. This means that in the event of a food or drink spill, the materials will quickly absorb to the inner layers of the countertops, making them hard to remove.

An unsealed marble surface absorbs even the smallest amount of liquid. For example, you will leave a glass of juice on your unsealed countertop, then five minutes later, you find a large circular stain on your countertops.

Certain cleaning products will damage them.

If you are like other homeowners, you use commercial cleaning products to clean your surfaces. While many natural cleaning products are harmless to the surfaces, many products contain citrus and other materials that quickly eat away at the calcium on the marble countertop.

These products are harmful even to the sealed countertops, so you can imagine the damage they cause to the unsealed surfaces.

Water will discolor them.

One of the crucial roles of the sealing agent is to repel liquids and prevent them from getting to the inner layers of the stone. This means that if your surfaces aren’t sealed, the liquids easily get to the inner layers, making them hard to remove.

This means that even leaving a cold glass with condensation on the unsealed surfaces can change the color of the countertops as the condensation gets to the countertop inner layers.

How often do you need to seal marble?

To avoid the problems that come with failing to seal your countertops, you should make it a norm to seal them as frequently as possible.

How often do you need to seal marble? The frequency depends on how you use the countertops. If you love cooking, you need to seal the surfaces more often than a bachelor who rarely cooks.

Experts agree that you should seal the countertops at the time of installation, then at least once every 3-6 months, depending on how you use the surfaces.

How do you tell its time to seal the countertops?

You can’t just look at the countertops and reach a verdict that they are ready for sealing—you need to test them. Some of the tests you can do include:

Mineral oil test

Here you use a petroleum-based liquid or solvent. Put a few drops of the mineral oil on your countertops, then wait for at least 10 minutes before wiping the oil off the surface with a dry cloth.

If you have a dark stain upon wiping the mineral oil, it’s time to reseal the countertops.

Water drop test

If you don’t have mineral oil, you can always use water for testing. Find an inconspicuous area of the countertop, sprinkle a few drops of water then set a timer to track how long it takes for the countertop to absorb water.

Once the timer is off, check whether the marble stone darkens and absorbs water. If it absorbs the water and leaves a dark spot, it’s time to reseal the surfaces.

How to properly seal marble surfaces

If your surfaces are ripe for sealing, go ahead and do the sealing. You can do the sealing by yourself if you have the skills, but let an experienced professional do it for you for the best outcome.

The marble contractor should begin with thoroughly cleaning the countertops and removing any dirt and debris on the surface.

Once clean, the contractor should apply the sealing agent with a soft cloth, lamb wool, or any other material that won’t damage the marble kitchen countertops NC.

Of course, for the seal to last long, you need to use a high-quality one. Avoid cheap sealing agents as they won’t provide you with the protection you need. They also tend to fade after a short time.

Where Can You Use Marble Countertops?

Marble countertops are beautiful and luxurious, and they have been gracing structures for hundreds or even thousands of years, a classic example, being the Greek and Roman architecture that still stands strong to date.

If you are new to these countertops, you must be wondering where you can use them in your home, which is a great concern. The beauty of it is that there are plenty of areas you can use marble. Some of these areas include:

Kitchen countertops

These are probably the most popular areas homeowners use their marble countertops. If you would love to give your kitchen a luxurious look, marble is an excellent material to go with.

Before you install marble in your kitchen, you should know that the material tends to be highly porous hence highly prone to stains. This means that installing it in the kitchen might not be a great idea, especially if you have a busy kitchen or have small kids.

You should note that this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t install marble in your kitchen. It’s just that it will get damaged quickly if you are always in the kitchen cooking or have small kids that will jump on the countertops, hit the countertops, among many other things.

Marble will give your kitchen a classic and perfect look and even last for a long time if you are single and rarely in the kitchen.

Kitchen backsplashes

Well-installed marble gives the kitchen a dramatic look. The look is even more interesting if you have chosen a simple, rustic feel for your countertops.

For an industrial look, choose a subway tile. You can also go for a full, solid marble backsplash to display the various patterns provided by your marble.

Kitchen islands

Marble kitchen islands are an excellent way to make your island stand out from the rest of the kitchen. Install marble slabs of the same color and ensure they are installed by an experienced professional who knows what they are doing for the perfect look.

Tub and show surrounds

Marble walls are an excellent choice for bathrooms, especially tub and shower surrounds. Like kitchen islands, ensure that you have a professional expertly install the surrounds to reflect the bathroom’s theme.

How to choose marble countertops

Regardless of where you want to use marble, you need to ensure that you buy the right one. To help you out, here is a guide to help you choose the right marble counters:

Install white/graying marble in your kitchen

When people think about kitchen countertops, their minds automatically go to cream-colored marble. While you can still install this, install white/grayish marble in your kitchen for the best outcome.

The reason for this is because there are plenty of acids in the kitchen, from juices to fruits, and when they spill on your marble, they lead to acid etching that leaves a whitish mark that is more noticeable on cream and other colored marble than on white marble.

So, by installing white marble, you hide the stains that might come about.

Think about the veining patterns

Veining patterns on marble heavily rely on the quarry the marble is mined from, and it’s vital to factor this out when making the purchase. Two of the most common veining patterns are cross-cut and vein cut.

Cross-cut veining results in stone slabs with “an open flowered pattern” that looks fairy random and ideal for book matching.

On the other hand, the vein cut slices the block the other way to achieve a linear, striped appearance.

The veining you should go for depends on the look you want to create. If you aren’t sure about the right veining to choose from, get the input of a contractor highly experienced with marble kitchen countertops Raleigh.

Think about how the slabs will come together

Since they are natural, marble slabs are different from each other, so you should be cautious of the slabs you choose. As a rule of thumb, ensure that the slabs you choose will naturally come together to give you an elegant look you are looking for.

Again, to have an easy time, work with an experienced professional who knows what they are doing.

4 Excellent Kitchen Countertop Options

Kitchen countertops set the tone for the kitchen, so you need to be cautious and ensure that you buy the right material that reflects your style and stays in line with how you use your kitchen.

Thankfully, there are plenty of kitchen countertop materials in the market you can choose from, with the most popular ones being:

Granite countertops

Granite countertops are one of the most popular countertop materials in the market. The material is quarried into blocks and then sliced into slabs. Granite is obtained from different countries, including Italy, China, and South America.

Good quality granite doesn’t come cheap, so you should have a large budget to install the countertops of your dreams. You should have an even deeper pocket if looking to install countertops of unique colors such as red.

While anyone can install these countertops in their kitchen, they are best suited for those that love countertops with unmatched natural beauty and at the same time don’t mind occasional maintenance to keep the countertops in top shape.

You should note that while the countertops are tough, they are highly porous which makes them highly risky to own as the kitchen liquids can easily seep into the deeper layers in the event of a spill.

To protect your investment, ensure that you seal the countertops at the time of installation. You also should seal them at least once a year to maintain the sealant.

Quartz countertops

Quartz is one of the hardest materials on earth, mined and formed with binders and pigments. Quartz quality varies depending on the source so take your time when purchasing and ensure that you buy quartz with a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) rating. For a durable surface resistant to marking and staining, go for a countertop with 93% natural quartz and 7% binders/pigments.

You should highly consider quartz countertops if you are looking to give your countertops a high-class look without having to do a lot of maintenance.

Quartz also makes a great countertop material if you have a high traffic kitchen with plenty of young children, therefore, looking for a surface that is less susceptible to staining and marking.

Although quartz requires little maintenance, you still need to keep an eye on it especially if you have installed lighter colored surfaces.

Marble countertops

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they hear the term marble is the luxurious pillars and breathtaking sculptures. In short, elegance comes into the minds of most people.

If you want to give your low traffic kitchen a classic luxury look, marble is the way to go.

Marble comes in various textures and colors such as black, creamy white, slate gray, beige and many others. Your color of choice should be influenced by your likes and the color of the cabinets. For example, if you have white cabinets and a white backsplash, go with gray toned marble to create a unique premium look.

Like granite, the cost of marble varies depending on the marble species. If you don’t have a large budget but still want the high-end marble look, go for Carrara marble. Although the material has a high end look, it’s not as pricey as the other marble countertops in the market.

Carrara marble has also been shown to be highly effective at disguising unsightly chips and stains, so your countertops retain the spectacular look for a long time.

Before installing marble countertops, you should note that they are porous, so you will need to seal them at least once a year. You also should regularly clean the countertops to prevent dirt and other forms of debris from penetrating the deeper layers.

Solid surface countertops

Do you prefer your kitchen countertop surface warm to the touch, with a modern matte look that gives you seamless molding options for the sink and other technology integrations? Solid surface countertops are your answer.

Popularly known as Corian, solid surface countertops are made from a synthetic product formed from mineral derivatives and binders.

Unlike marble countertops NC, the countertops are nonporous, so you don’t need to seal them. While this is the case, the countertops aren’t resistant to stains and can scratch so you need to handle them with care and keep a keen eye on what you place on them.

What is the best type of kitchen countertop?

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Our countertop contractors have years of experience coming up with kitchen countertop ideas for countless homes throughout North Carolina.  Whether you are in need of kitchen countertop replacement or resurfacing of kitchen countertops, we have got you covered!  Our kitchen countertop design consultants will work closely with you to determine which discount kitchen countertops are right for you!

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