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This post is all about the Carrara marble countertops I chose. For a full overview of the entire kitchen, check out My Dream Kitchen Reveal post.
Why I chose Carrara marble countertops
The other major element (besides the cabinetry) of the kitchen that caused me sleepless nights was the countertops. Marble, or the look of marble, has gained tremendous momentum in the past few years as it is a beautiful complement to all-white cabinets. Granite is still an option, but I just fell out of love with the speckled grainy look. No matter what color you choose, the dead giveaway of granite is the little specks. It can never look like marble. So that was out for me, as it really didn’t fit the vision I had for my kitchen. I love marble but was hesitant at first because of its qualities – soft material, easily stained, chipped, and etched. Stay away, everyone says!
Quartz or marble for kitchen counters?
Many people choose quartz – a man-made material with the look of marble and the hardness of granite. Non-stain, non-scratch. Faux materials are just not something I’m comfortable with and I never go for that option. Quartz lacks the depth and variation of marble and granite and to my eye, that distinction is important and immediately obvious. I could never be fooled to think quartz is actually marble.
But as much as I tried to stay away from marble, the heart wants what the heart wants. And after months of back and forth and self-examination, I decided that no other material – natural stone, or man-made quartz – would make me happy in its perfection the way marble makes my heart sing with all its natural imperfections. When I saw these Carrara marble slabs at the fabricator site my heart skipped a beat and I almost cried! I love using natural materials in my home instead of man-made substitutes.
These are my exact slabs from the fabricator’s warehouse. For comparison, the ones behind them are quartzite – also very pretty natural stone but a different look from marble.
It’s like hardwood floors – it can scratch and dent and will show wear with time – but I will never put tile in my living space to avoid that. It comes with the territory. I am not saying I’m not going to be regretting it and eating my words years from now (or maybe months, yikes!) but for now, I’m happy with my choice. (Read if I still love my marble countertops 4 years later.)
The marble slabs I chose are supposedly Carrara. I thought Carrara had a more uniform veining and mostly gray color background. The pronounced veining of these slabs make them look more like Statuario but either way, they’re absolutely gorgeous! I love that the gray veining is bold and pronounced against the white background. I also like that the vein lines go across one another in opposite directions (as compared to veins that all go one way).
Care – Staining And Etching Prevention
We made sure to seal it to prevent stains and I try to quickly wipe down any spills that might happen. I use 511 Impregnator to seal it. It’s as simple as wiping the liquid sealer on and then wipe it off and buff out.
To diminish the look of etching (that’s a dulling of the stone that happens when it comes into contact with acids), we went with a honed finish. Etching is most obvious when it happens on polished reflective surfaces. Honing the stone makes the etch marks not as obvious. I already made one by placing a wine bottle that had a drip on it on the counter. It left a circle mark where the acidic liquid pooled around the base of the bottle. But it doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s only visible if you bend down and look at it from a certain angle in certain light. Eventually, all these marks and stains will get absorbed and enmeshed to create the uniform surface of a piece of stone that has been loved and enjoyed.