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The kitchen is the heart of the home, and you want it to be a welcoming and beautiful space. Choosing the perfect countertops can come down to a lot more than just aesthetics. Countertops can be a big investment, so you want your marble countertops to last a lifetime.

Marble countertops are an attractive, natural stone countertop option. But buying marble countertops can be confusing. There are many things to consider before making the jump to buy marble countertops. Before you purchase marble countertops, be sure to ask the right questions.

Will the Samples Match the Finish Product?

It is nearly impossible to have your finished marble counters match the sample that you were shown in the showroom. Since marble is a natural material that comes from the earth, it is some variability in how it looks in a sample and how it could look in your home.

Try to get a large sample to see what you are more likely to get in your home, kitchen, or bathroom. The larger sample can show you what your supplier has in stock so that you are not shocked once the marble comes to your home.

How Thick Does the Countertop Need to be?

The industry standard for marble countertops is usually ¾ inch to 1 ¼ inch thick, however thicker countertops are becoming increasingly popular in the Boston area. Kitchen islands with 2-inch thick marble countertops are a hot new trend. But when it really comes down to deciding on thickness, there are some factors to keep in mind.

The look that you are trying to achieve for your kitchen, bathroom, or home will have a large influence on how thick the countertop needs to be. A more contemporary look usually features a thick countertop. Second, you want to consider the quality of the marble.

Since marble is a finer natural stone than some other countertop materials, thinner marble countertops can be more prone to chips. Always ask an expert how thick the countertop needs to be to have a sturdy home, bathroom, or kitchen counters. 

Are There Any Fissures?

Natural stone materials like marble are not perfect. Sometimes they can contain fissures which can weaken certain areas of the marble slab. Fissures are natural fractures or cracks in the marble. These cracks are often sealed with resins to improve the surface quality of the marble countertop.

But even after these fissures are repaired on the surface level, the fissures inside of the marble remain. This is important because anywhere that your marble countertop may have a fissure is a potential weak spot. The location of fissures can prevent you from using certain cuts of marble in certain places where a strong surface is needed like around the sink.

Fissures can make the marble fragile in some places and so when buying marble countertops, try to buy more marble than you will need to cover your counters. In any case, the best practice is to work with a professional who can pinpoint any fissures to save you any countertop grief.

Will it Withstand the Test of Time?

Whether or not your marble countertops will withstand the test of time will come down to your lifestyle. Depending on the wear and tear that comes with how you live your life, the marble may be affected.

The answer to this question hinges on how you plan to use the marble countertop and the amount of care you are willing to put into cleaning it. Certain cleaning products are not safe to use on marble countertops since they can etch the surface.

If you are prone to spilling coffee, food, or drinks, you have to be careful when it comes to potentially staining your marble countertops. However, staining can also come down whether you seal your marble countertops and which sealant you use, something we will discuss next.

What’s the Deal with the Seal?

Marble sealers are applied to the surface of marble countertops

Marble sealers are applied to the surface of marble countertops. This surface treatment helps smoothen the surface of your marble countertops. There are two things to keep in mind when considering sealing marble.

Sealing your marble countertops is both a practical and aesthetic consideration. In terms of aesthetics, sealants can alter the color and finish of the natural stone. Since sealants can change the look of your marble countertops, always ask for a sample showing differed sealant options so you can envision how your finish marble countertops will look.

Looking at sealants from a more practical point of you might sway you in another direction. This treatment clogs the pours of your marble countertops to help prevent food and drink particles from seeping into the pours. Sealants can help protect your marble countertops while giving them that extra level of sanitation.  

What Is the Finish?

Once you have made your decision on the marble you want in your kitchen, bathroom, or home, you then need to choose a finish. Two of the most popular finishes for marble countertops are polished and honed.

A honed finish means that the marble has been ground down to a consistent and smooth surface. Honed finished marble countertops are visibly lighter than the natural stone. They are also quite porous since they have been ground down. A positive feature of having a hone marble finish for your countertops is that it is durable and has a contemporary look.

A polished finish is highly reflective and can show off the character of the stone more than a honed finish does. The polished finish can give your marble countertops a better feature of the natural stone, meaning that the depth, crystal structure, and full color are more visible with a polished finish. A bonus is that polished finished are easier to maintain and clean.

What Else?

Talking to an expert about buying marble countertops can put your mind at ease. Often, experts can bring up the questions and considerations that might have never crossed your mind.

Speaking with a professional like those at RSK Marble & Granite can answer all of your questions and more. Visit them in Wilmington, MA, for all of your marble countertop questions and needs.