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Everything you need to know about marble worktops, including Carrara marble

Posted on 28 September, 2017 by Juniper
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Work a little luxury into your kitchen with a statement-making marble worktop

Classic white marble is one of the most popular choices for worktops right now. Just scroll through Pinterest and you’ll see it trending in shot after shot with gleaming white marble surfaces showcased in every style of kitchen, from traditional to uber modern.

Browse all our kitchen ideas before you take on your next makeover

Marble has a luminosity, brightness and smoothness to the touch that sets it apart from other natural stones. A metamorphic rock, formed when sediment crystallises under heat or pressure to form hard rock, marble is a form of limestone, the whiter the marble, the purer the limestone.

Here’s everything (else) you need to know about marble worktops and their faux equivalents.

Why is marble a good material for a worktop?

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Image credit: Darren Chung

Because it is porous, marble is a poor conductor of heat, so stays cool to the touch. Pastry chefs love it because the cool surface is great for working dough – the marble absorbs heat, so the dough doesn’t overheat.

Does marble stain easily?

Its porosity is one of the downsides of marble, making it susceptible to staining. Liquids like red wine and oil will seep deep into the rock and are difficult to get out. Products like Lithofin can make marble more oil and water resistant but won’t seal it completely. It’s also easily damaged by acidic liquids, like lemon juice or vinegar, which leave a dull, pitted surface.

Does marble scratch easily?

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Image credit: Jonathan Jones

Because marble is soft in comparison to granite, it is prone to scratches. However, over time it will create its own unique patina, so is a great choice if you can overlook the imperfections.

What types of finishes are available?

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Image credit: Polly Eltes

When it comes to worktops, there are two main types. Honed, which is created by sanding the surface to give a soft, matte finish, which won’t show scratches so easily, but because pores are more exposed is more susceptible to staining.

Polished marble has a highly reflective, glossy surface which shows off the vibrancy of the stone and repels moisture better, so its less likely to stain, but will scratch more easily.

Where should I buy a marble worktop?

The Marble Workshop prides itself on its extensive range. View what’s in stock online or drop in to the showroom. Stone Age can offer help and advice when choosing a marble and skilled masons that can produce a bespoke worktop.

Gerald Culliford import marble from around the world and can help identify and source it if you’re after a particular type of marble.

How much is a marble worktop?

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Image credit: Jonathan Jones

Carrara marble (from the Carrara region in Italy) is one of the more readily available worktop materials and one of the least expensive due to its slightly grey tone and feathery veins.

Expect to pay more for rarer, luxury varieties such as Calacatta or Statuario, with their brighter white colourings and more pronounced veining. However, the average price is around £300 per square metre.

How do I look after a marble worktop?

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Image credit: Colin Poole

Marble worktops should be sealed professionally when first installed and then every six months or so, although this doesn’t guarantee complete protection, so spills should be wiped up straight away, especially anything acidic. Clean marble using hot soapy water and a soft cloth, buffing dry to avoid water marks.

Not sure marble is for you? Kitchen worktops – everything you need to know

Avoid abrasive sponges and lemon-scented detergents which can be acidic – go for a pH neutral cleaner like Lakeland’s Daily Granite & Marble Surface Cleaner spray.

Buy now: Daily Granite & Marble Surface Cleaner spray, £8.99 per 946ml, Lakeland

And if you’re looking for a final reason to choose marble? ‘A beautiful natural material, marble comes in an infinite range of colours, markings and veinings,’ says Gary Walters, Managing Director, Stone Age. ‘No piece is the same as the next.’

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