The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a home, which is why people in the UK spend an average of £1,700 every time they renovate. Of course, you may spend more.
Many property owners are turning to marble because it has a reputation for being luxurious, yet it also has negatives you should consider.
Should you choose the material for your kitchen? Here are the marble kitchen worktop pros & cons that will help you to decide.
What Is Marble?
Marble starts life as limestone, a less durable and robust rock that wouldn’t be suitable for interior design. However, this metamorphic rock is subjected to intense heat and pressure, transforming it physically and chemically. Essentially, the soft crystals begin to recrystallise due to exposure to magma and the Earth’s tectonic plates.
As a result, you get the beautiful and elegant stone that has been in demand for centuries.
The Pros of Marble for Your Kitchen Worktop
Marble Is a Focal Point
The stunning nature of marble makes it an unbelievably gorgeous addition to your kitchen. As a result, it’s the perfect focal point that will grab people’s attention as soon as they walk into the room. The bold statement is something that homeowners love as it highlights the best kitchen features, propelling it to another level.
A knock-on effect of being a focal point means it hides a room’s flaws, too. Your vision will be surrounded by the pure or speckled stone that you won’t notice the small details that usually drive you crazy. Everyone deserves a dream home, and marble is the material that will take your house to the next level.
It Could Increase Your Property’s Resale Value
Here is a selection of reasons why the value of your house is imperative at the moment:
- House prices fell for the third time in May 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic
- Although they have bounced back, the uncertainty caused by the health crisis might make selling harder in the future
- The market is slowing down already
- You need to get the most out of your property to command the £250,000 average asking price
Even if you don’t plan on moving anytime soon, it’s always savvy to keep your finger on the pulse of the housing market to ensure you’re in a healthy position to react to any changes. Often, renovations are expensive and time-consuming, which means you don’t have time to wait for a contractor to complete a garage conversion or conservatory.
Thankfully, using marble in your kitchen is a relatively quick and affordable way to add value to your home. While the amount depends on several factors, the luxurious stone is typically sought-after by buyers because it combines practicality with style. Not only is marble beautiful, but it’s durable and shouldn’t require too much maintenance work.
Marble Is Long-Lasting (in the correct conditions)
For a robust material, marble does have some downsides that we’ll get to later on in the post. One you should remember is that marble can scratch easily, leaving your expensive focal point appearing ragged and rugged. The good news is, there are ways to avoid doing any additional damage.
An excellent example is to avoid using harsh cleaning products as the chemicals can seep into the worktops. Instead, organic cleaners are advisable. It’s worth adding a waterproof seal to make sure it doesn’t collect moisture, too. Heat-wise, it’s heat-resistant, so there’s no reason to worry about placing scorching baking trays and oven-proof dishes on the countertops.
If you manage to take it easy in the early stages, you’ll be rewarded in the long-term. This is because marble is a living finish, which means it continues to change with time. And, it embraces the knocks and scratches to appear more charming and personable. Everything from spills to flaws looks less accidental and more purposeful.
Marble Is Naturally Occurring
In a world where taking care of the planet is essential, opting for a naturally occurring material is always better for your home’s carbon footprint. Surprisingly, studies show that marble is an incredibly effective absorber of carbon dioxide. For example, researchers found that:
- Waste marble powder performs better than commercial calcium-carbonates for capturing CO2
- Marble powder absorbs 90% of carbon
- Commercial sorbents’ carbonation rates are only 78%
These figures are promising, particularly as there are different types of marble worktops you can choose for your kitchen. As it’s an organic material that is easy to source, you can pick between a host of options, mixing functionality with the latest trends that will boost your property’s listing value in the process.
The Cons of Marble for Your Kitchen Worktop
Marble Is Expensive
This won’t come as a surprise because of all the marble kitchen worktops pros and cons, this is the most well-known. To put it into perspective, you can expect to pay between £30 and £145 per square foot. Therefore, it’s vital that you measure the countertops to the millimetre to get the exact specifications.
The numbers above don’t include the type of marble you choose or the fitter you hire to install your worktops, so the figure could easily rise. Most people are very happy with their purchase, making marble worth the investment, but you need to be certain you can afford the expenses before signing on the dotted line.
Marble Is Heavy
Before you get creative with your cost-cutting ideas, you should know that installing marble worktops alone is probably out of the question. Why? It’s due to the mass of marble. The rock is a natural stone that is formed by volcanoes, so it isn’t going to be light. There are ways to make the weight less of an issue – you can cut it into tiles – but you’ll still need to calculate the size before proceeding.
As a DIY project, marble kitchen countertops are out of the question, unless you have a team of professional kitchen-fitters you can rely on for free.
Marble Is Porous
Considering the weight and durability of marble, you might assume that it’s water-tight. However, the way marble is formed means it retains minute interstices through which water and air can pass. Air isn’t much of a big deal, although you will need to watch out for warning signs just in case.
The biggest issue is that the small cracks let moisture in, allowing the water to gradually breakdown the robust rock formations inside. As you want to use marble for your kitchen worktops, the odds are high you’ll need the countertops to be practical. Therefore, it’s essential to factor in the costs of making the material water-resistant to negate long-term problems.
Here are a couple of examples of common products that can cause stains:
- Liquids from food (peppers/tomatoes)
- Tea and coffee
It’s a Lot of Work
It’s worth noting that marble has pitfalls, but they are quite simple to negate. For instance, a quality sealant will ensure your kitchen worktops don’t absorb water, while natural cleaning products will prevent scratches and stains. Considering how incredible the finished product looks, it’s easy to see why homeowners are willing to go the extra mile.
However, it’s not as straightforward as doing it once and leaving it forever. Regarding the sealing process, you’ll have to repeat it at least once every six months for peace of mind. Also, it’s almost impossible to eliminate every scratch, so you’ll have to get used to seeing them pop-up out of the blue.
Not only is using marble hard work, but it adds to the maintenance costs.
Other Things to Consider about Marble
You shouldn’t be too confident once it’s prepared. Yes, the material is naturally heat-resistant, and a top sealant should ensure it remains water-free for a couple of months. Still, there’s no need to take undue risks, especially since marble is a living, breathing household feature. It takes on different characteristics based on what it has been subjected to – burns, stains, etc., – so you will want to take care to keep your worktops at their best.
Marble breaks down over time. There’s nothing you can do to stop the process because it happens to every organic material, particularly stone. Therefore, you must be careful not to speed up the process unnecessarily. If you care for your countertops the right way, you should get decades out of them before they require major maintenance work.
At Zen Kuchen, we pride ourselves on our range of incredible worktop materials that are suitable for every home. To learn more about marble and how we can make it work for your home, you can visit this web page. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to contact us straight away to speak to a trained and knowledgeable team member.
Our expert opinion is only a phone call away.