Friday, March 24, 2006

Sealing Marble: The Acid Test

I wanted to seal the marble with something to protect it against some of the nasty elements of the kitchen. I have a 111 year old marble vanity in the bathroom that is doing great but the bathroom doesn’t have red wine and tomato sauce in it. Well, at least not normally {cough}. I forgot to ask the guys I bought the marble from if they recommended anything.

So last Friday I posted a message over at The Old House Web asking if anybody had used a particular product they liked. I got a number of responses but most were along the lines of, “Oh no, marble in the kitchen, that’s bad”. I got the standard responses like “Marble is a soft stone”, “Marble stains easily”, “Marble chips easily”. It’s like everyone has a set of Marble Talking Points they read from. One person even suggested that I keep it covered all the time unless company comes over or something. Isn’t that the idea behind those tacky plastic covers people used to put over sofas and lamp shades.

First, let’s start with “Marble is a soft stone”. So T F what. It’s a stone for cryin’ out loud. Saying marble is a soft stone is a bit of an oxymoron, don’t you think? Yes, in the whole family of stone marble is not as hard as others, but in the context of a kitchen counter it is a hell of a lot harder than other materials. It’s a freakin’ rock people!

{I want to take a moment here to say that if anyone says that granite is harder than marble as a comment, your comment will be deleted for the sheer stupidity of it.}
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Now for the “Marble chips easily”. Well, let’s go back to the whole rock thing. Marble is a rock and rocks chip if you bang on them. Here’s a helpful tip: Don’t bang on it! For that matter, don’t bang on your Formica, linoleum, tile… fact, don’t bang on your counter tops with hard things that are likely to chip, ding, or scratch them. It’s a little something I like to call “common sense”.

Finally we have “Marble stains easily”. The word “easily” is, of course, a relative term. A lot of things stain, and yes marble does stain. However, there are ways to treat the marble so it doesn’t stain as “easily”. It’s called a sealer and that was the whole point of the question I posted on The Old House Web forum. You apply the sealer to the marble and it protects the marble for several years. Of course, even if you do seal it there is always the little trick my mother beat in to my brain everyday for 18 years, “Wipe up that mess! Is this how I raised you?!?!” That’s right, you guessed it, don’t leave heaping piles of rotting matter on the counters and they won’t stain.

So, anyway, I looked locally and found 3 different stone sealers. The people who sold me the marble buy a product called Stone Shield 611 but the receptionist told me they buy it in bulk and don’t sell it retail. A tile center had another product, and I don’t recall the name of it, but it was really cheap and I just didn’t feel good about it. The sales girl had never used it and knew nothing about it. Oh, and when I asked for a price on marble tiles because I was thinking about putting them in the foyer she said, “You know, marble is a soft stone and stains easily”. It was all I could do to keep from punching her in the face. I honestly felt like asking her if she was issued a set of Marble Talking Points some place.

As another aside, I saw on This Old House last week or the week before they took a tour of the recently renovated Union Station in Washington DC. The football field sized floor was done in white and black marble. It looked stunning. And if you like Beau Arts style architecture, it doesn't get much better than Union Station.

At the only Home Center in town called Pierson’s they carried a line of products called Stonetech. I bought a 1 quart bottle of the Stonetech Professional - Maximum Bullet Proof Sealer. The guy who sold it to me said he used it many times professionally and swears it’s the best on the market. At $48 a quart it better be the best. To be honest, Pierson’s is notoriously over-priced so I wouldn’t be surprised if I could get it much cheaper outside the area. It took about a third of the quart for 2 applications on the counter and it says it lasts 3 to 5 years. So I bought about a 12 to 15 year supply.

Naturally, because I’m neurotic and obsessed about these sorts of things I wanted to perform a test to see how well it works. When I picked up the slab they gave me some scraps of marble from the same slab because I want to do some tests with the router before I cut the hole for the sink and finish the edges. I used a piece of that for the test. I wrapped a piece of electrical tape around the middle and left one side untreated and treated the other side the same exact way I treated my marble slab. So here’s results.

At first I tried basic spill tests for 10 second durations. I spilled wine for 10 seconds and wiped it up. That was too short of a time and didn’t effect either side at all. I then went to 1 minute and that didn’t do a thing to the untreated side either. So I went to 10 minutes as the first test period. I used red wine, tomato paste, and lime juice. I also did a cutting test and a chip test. After the 10 minute tests I did a 1 hour test with all the ingredients and set the wine glass in the whole mess.

Here’s the results.

Here it is before any tests. The treated side is on the right.

Red Wine

This is after about 7 minutes. You can start to see some change.

After 10 minutes. I only rinsed with water between each test. I'm not sure how well it shows up in the pictures but the untreated side has some discoloration.

Tomato Paste

Ten Minutes Later.

I cut the lime on the marble and I wasn’t careful at all. I cut hard enough to slice through the electrical tape. There are a few marks in the marble. To be fair, if you’re going to use any counter top surface as a chopping board, unless it is designed for that, you should just get plywood counters.

The Lime Test

Ten Minutes Later.

The Chip Test. I smacked it good several times with the blade of a standard flatware eating knife. There are some minor nicks. Again, though, if this is how you treat your counters then get plywood.

This one was really telling. Before I did the final hour long test I took the tape off. The difference is dramatic. It is obvious which side was treated.

Here is the final torture test. That is tomato paste, red wine, and lime juice with the wine glass smooshed in to it. It sat like this for more than an hour.

Afterwards I rinsed it with cold water.

I think the treated side looks pretty good and it will lighten back up after it dries. The day I picked up the slab it was raining and they had been storing it outside. After a few hours of being in my house it lightened up a bit. The next step will be to get some marble cleaner and see if I can clean the untreated side any.

Granted 10 minutes isn't a long time, but it seems to be a good test. If I was cooking and I spilled something I would probably wipe it up within 10 minutes. The hour long test was to show what would happen if you left something there during dinner and then wiped it up afterwards. I think I'll try over night next and see what happens.

(Read about what happened The Next Day)


The Old Man said...

What a fantastic post! Nothing like cold hard facts to beat down some urban legends. I think that your treated marble passed all of the tests except the "hardness" test with flying colors.

Thanks again for taking the time to document this.

Gary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greg said...

I warned you Gary. Didn't I warn you?

Gary said...

Ha ha ha! You do realize that by deleting my first comment you have deprived the world of information that could have made everyone rich and famous. You have also deprived everyone who reads your blogs comments of vital information about that secret that I revealed to you. Now they will never know about that insider stock trade tip.
Oh well, it was your decision.....

Maria said...

Loved this post! I've spent some time catching up a bit... your marble counter looks amazing! I'm curious ... I truly believe that mustard is the worst stain-producer of all. I've had difficulty getting it out of Formica counters in the past.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it ... a mustard test. Any interest?

Bill said...

Great post, Greg!

Entertaining, scientific, and useful!

We've been doing the same kinds of tests to samples of antique heart pine flooring to test various finishes and and stain resistance. Fun, ain't it?

The island looks great.


Trissa said...

I hope you like your post to the old house web so they can have a new response other than marble is soft and it chips and .stains easily. Another good test would be a mix of spices and water to make a paste...

Becky said...


Do remember when you are beating your head against your counter that heads are a fairly soft material and that bones do chip easily.

modernemama said...

Wonderful. I laughed so much I cried. I did the same test with a piece of bamboo flooring and a piece of brazilian redwood because my contractor told me bamboo was grass and therefore wouldn't stand up to daily use with two dogs.
So, I scored them with nails and a boxcutter and hit them with a hammer and persuaded the dogs to walk up and down the flooring samples.
When I told my contractor what I had done, he damn near wet himself laughing. But the results were conclusive: if you hit anything with a hammer it dents, and if you score any wood with a knife, it scars.

Marg. said...

We had a lovely white marble counter in my grandmother's master bath (in her former home in Rockridge - a 1931 "fairytale neigborhood" tudor) and we used some kind of marble paste wax polish on it when we cleaned. This stuff actually prevented hairdye stains from setting in (I was an arty highschool kid).

However, as it's been ... uhhh ... many years since we moved and we haven't had that much marble to polish since, I am not sure which of these two polishes it was:

Vandyke's or Goddard's

I think it might have been Goddards - the tin looks the right shape.

HomeImprovementNinja said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Suzanne said...

Greg, I really enjoyed that. You forgot to try blood, beets and Red Zinger tea. The latter will stain anything!

steve said...

Dear Greg,
I'm a garanite fabricator in Michigan. Client are always asking about marbles durability. You have proven what i have been saying all along. i want to start a fabricators blog and will definately link to your blog. Thank for the fantastic effort. Steve

Valerie said...

Greg -
Any chance you can tell us whether you used polished or honed marble? I was told that if I wanted to avoid "dull spots" in the finish from things like lime and tomatoes, I should have the entire slab honed to remove the shiny finish...

Greg said...


Sorry, I don't know whether it was polished or honed. I can say that it did not have a real shiny surface like glazed tile.

Anonymous said...

I sealed my marble countertop (calcutta) and it doesn't stain, but it does pit, especially near the sink. what am I doing wrong?

Sam said...

Greg, I'm so glad I found your blog and this post about sealing carrara marble. We really want to use it in our kitchen we've been bustin our asses in for the past few weeks, redoing everything. We've gotten the standard talking points from everyone also --

Now that it has been 9 or 10 months or so, how is it holding up? Would you recommend it?

Thanks so much for taking the time to do these experiments and for the photos and posting it all.

Greg said...


It’s holding up beautifully. The kitchen island with the marble slab is THE work space and general dumping ground in the kitchen. I’ve spilled just about everything you could imagine on it with no problems. Because of my bathroom project I’ve been letting the house go lately and over the weekend I finally cleaned everything off the marble for the first time in a few weeks. There were a few small spots of this and that had been under newspapers or something else for a few days and it just wiped up. No problems. I highly recommend white marble.

Anonymous said...

tumeric and curry paste. Go on I dare you.

Anonymous said...

nice, ty i am doing a report on marbles and it was very helpful

Piper said...

Thanks so much. I have been doing handyman/construction for many years and believe in k.i.s., so I bought oriental marble tiles for my kitchen counters. Heard the same criticisms you did. Makes you want to take your left over 2xs and hit some heads.
I really needed the tip for the sealer, never installed marble.
Would you recommend grout or caulk for fine grout lines on 12x12 marble tile in a kitchen. Want it water tite,but still be able to remove a damaged tile if need be.
Thanks again. I love your candor. Breath of fresh air for a change.

Greg said...

Piper, Use 100% silicone caulk. It comes off easily with a utility knife if you need to make repairs, and seals well against water, especially with very tight lines.

I would caulk the joints as I go, applying a bead of caulk to the edge before the tile is set. Then wipe off the excess.

JAS said...

Just the post I am looking for. My wife and I would really like to use white marble in our kitchen countertops and island countertop and have heard the parade of horribles from just about everyone.

Our contractor has given us two samples and I've been experimenting with them. They are not sealed. I put a small round puddle of vinegar on one and left it for ten minutes. It reacted with the surface leaving an 'etched' spot. We did another experiment where we left a small blob of ketchup and a small puddle of coffee on the sample all day. The ketchup also etched the surface and the coffee left a brown discoloration. I'm at a loss about what to do, so my question is, do you think my results would have been different had the sample been sealed like your marble? We are reluctant to look at man-made materials since we think they'll look cheap against our white cabinets making them look cheap too. Also, I cook a great deal and intend to use the island as a buffet/bar for parties. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. How has your marble held up?

Thanks again for your great post.

Greg said...


Unsealed marble will discolor from liquids. Even plain old water will discolor the marble. When it dries the discoloration goes away. it is just the nature of the stone.

I use my marble counters. I prep food, eat, pile junk....everything. I don't worry about subtle etching. This is a kitchen counter and not a sideboard in the dining room. My marble island is not a polished surface and it never will be.

It is a working counter. Not eye candy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting your test results. We had thought of using marble in our new bathroom, but hesitated because all that we'd heard of how easily it can be etched with anything acidic.
After reading here I went out and bought a marble tile. I sealed half of it with something called Stoneguard, by stone Care International (had some in the house from a previous tile job). I put a teaspoon of vinegar on each side and left it for five minutes. The unsealed side was badly etched, but the sealed side was untouched! I feel so much better about using marble for a bathroom vanity after this test.
Thanks again Greg for taking the time and trouble to post all this.

Carly in NJ

mikeandmcgee said...

Thank you so much for posting this! We are considering marble countertops for our kitchen and master bathroom, and we've also heard all the same comments about it being soft, staining easily, scratching easily, etc.

I want to scream when someone tells me to get a different type of countertop material because, "you can put a hot pan on it, and it doesn't leave a mark." Who does that??? Seriously, I've never placed a hot pan or pot on my counters, and I never would!

K.Line said...

OK, fair enough, but I just spent a fortune on marble counters in my bathroom. No one told me there might be staining issues. Counters were sealed. I've had to have them sealed again and I do not let water sit on the marble for more than 5 minutes or it marks it up. And it's not even white marble. So, I think it may very much depend on the kind of marble whether you have to babysit that stuff. I WOULD NOT do marble in a kitchen based on my experience.

Greg said...


The subtle discoloration of water isn't really staining and it is not permanent. Also, if the sealer you've put on twice now doesn't work then switch sealers. What is the old saying about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The marble in my kitchen looks just as good as the day I installed it 2 and a half years ago, and admittedly, I'm a slob at times.

Renee Finberg said...

i love you !!!!!!!!!!!!

i have been making this argument for years, but the ' talking heads' and the granite pushing stone store all say the same thing !

i will use your post to show my clients.

finally , i feel validated.

thank you

Greg said...

My work here is done.

Chris said...

Great post. I made black concrete counter tops for my kitchen and white concrete for my master bath. Both times I made sample pieces and did very similar test with multiple sealers. The bottom line for me was that concrete is eventually going to get messed up. I need to resurface my Kitchen counters from all of the abuse they have received. In my tests the worst stainer I found was Fritos chips.

Greg said...


According to the date on this post my marble counters are going on 3 years now. I don't baby them in the least and they still look great. I can't speak for concrete, but marble is much more durable than people think.

I chuckle now when people use the word "patina" to describe how their marble counters may look in a few years, as if it is inevitable that they will stain and discolor.

Carice said...

Great Post!
I'm very sympathetic to your point of view- my counters are copper and their evolving finish is why I love them.
However, I'm an architect and unfortunately there are a lot of folks out there who don't understand anything that's not plastic and perfect forever. I'm sure that all those people who gave you the "talking points"have had their share of people coming back to them and whining because "you didn't tell me it would stain..."Not their fault, but no one wants an unhappy customer (even if the customer is being unreasonable).
So now they hit you over the head with it.

I'm still not sure that I'd be brave enough to do white cararra kitchen counters (I like beets and turmeric too much) but this is perfect proof that sealing works great.

Greg said...


Turmeric, beets, blood, etc, etc, etc

It doesn't matter. A properly treated counter can withstand anything. I think I proved that.


Nora said...

Thank you so much for this post. Like many of the others my husband and I can not find anything we love as much as marble. Unfortunately everyone has negative things to say. Problem is, none of those people actually have them. I emailed a friend who had them and she has three young boys. She has had no problems with them in 3 years and just recently noticed the first ding in her counters. I am fully convinced. I'm going to get them because I love them, that's all that matters :)
Thanks again.

kristjohns said...

Great post! I am an interior designer in Atlanta and LOVE marble countertops- have Calcutta myself. I also use the Stonetech products and have been very pleased with them - an FYI, they have a marble/stone cleaner which, when used, continues to seal the stone.

Jenni said...

Where have I been? How have I not seen this post until now and found it through google!?!

I had this issue yesterday with a client. She wanted the marble and the marble sales person freaked out her husband. Yes I said sales person. *SALES* !!!!
Whatever she was stupid, anyway.

What I do not understand is where are the marketing people with the marble places? la-la land I guess.

Best * Marble * Post * Evah!

shelly said...

I love my kitchen Marble. Nothing stains it. My FIVE boys have not even chipped it (yet), but DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY SEALERS THAT WILL PREVENT ETCHING? My only complaint is all the little dull spots left behind by the morning OJ.

Houstonhomeowner said...

Are the etching problems mentioned limited to polished, as opposed to honed, marble?

Greg said...

I'm not sure, but I think both.

Greg said...

I'm not sure, but I think both.

Jarboe Initiative said...

Great work. Love the information and before/after pictures. Im rehabbing an old building in Kansas City, and we have a stack of 3/4" marble in 5' x 5' ft slabs. I cant wait to use them for the floor in the kitchen were installing.. I will definitely link this post to ward off the marble haters. Well done sir!

lovemusic said...

I have been battling over marble or soapstone and really appreciate your post. I was very nervou about going with marble but now I think I will definately go with Marble perimeter and soapstone island!

Houstonhomeowner said...

I really want the white marble but did a test use for a few days with a tile sealed with the DuPont product Bullet Proof. Any thing with oil still etched the marble, even when wiped off immediately, and the etching is visible. I assume you must have many, many of these etched spots on yours. Is that right? And you just don't let that bother you? I haven't given up totally on the idea but am not sure I could live with the visible etching.

Greg said...

It sounds like that is not a very good sealer if things etch the stone after a few seconds. Definitely try another product.

To be clear, mine is honed marble not polished. I personally would never put polished marble in a working environment (bath, kitchen, etc)

I do get the occasional etching. For instance, 2 months ago I left a leaking tub of salsa on the counter over night and there was a ring etched in to the counter. To see it you would have had to lean down and look at the counter at the proper angle and in the proper light. I doubt most guests would have notice it, but I sure did.

It is gone now, though. I clean the stone with a soft scrub cleanser. Each time I scrub it etches like that become lighter and lighter.

I'm not going to say it looks exactly like it did when installed 4 and a half years ago, but it still looks damn good and I still get compliments on it.

boohoo said...

Is the sealer/impregnator at all toxic? (I am concerned about using a sealer on counters used for food.)

Should you seal a marble shower floor & maralbe shower walls? Others have told me the sealer traps moisture, so don't do it in a shower at all. What do you think?

Greg said...

I really can't say about the level of toxicity. I don't prepare food directly on the marble so I don't really worry about it. I can't speak to showers either. I have some marble in the bathroom, but not in the shower stall.


1da2d040-b573-11e1-96cc-000f20980440 said...


I think you gave the bottom line when you said that this was not a side board in the dining room but a working surface, not an art piece. That it is not polished and never will be.

If it cannot be polished and cannot be an art piece, why have it. If one is to put expensive, imported in one's kitchen, that marble is to be an art piece.

I am sorry, but I am not convince by any of this. Putting agents on a marble counter for 10-15 minutes does not indicated whether a sealer will work.

At this point in time, there are no products which really prevent acid etching on marble that can be applied by the homeowner.

Greg said...

Couple of things...

First, the point of the article was not to prove that marble would not be etched, it was to prove that marble does not "stain easily". That is to imply that, as with a lot of things, marble will stain, but not easily. Second, while most tests were only "10 to 15 minutes", if you read the entire article and the follow up article ( there is a link at the bottom of this article) you would see that there was both a hour long test and a 24 hour long test, which both the treated and untreated marble passed. Finally, my kitchen is not a show piece room in the same why my dining room is. Just because it is not a show piece room does not mean I don't want it to both look nice and be functional. The marble slab cost me $350, which is not a lot of money for a counter top which will last decades, and as I have proven both with this article and now with six years of use, is durable and resilient. So if I can have both function and beauty at an affordable price why not get it.

Now as for the etching, yes it is true that marble can be etched by some acidic  foods, but my real-world experience tells me marble does not etch easily. Hmmmm, perhaps I should write blog entry dispelling the myth that marble etches easily. At least that is the case with sealed, homed marble, which is what I have in my kitchen.


Michelle Madsen said...

I've been looking into a Azul Cielo (blue) marble for a kitchen. LOVE the stone. I have granite in my other kitchen and take no special care, it's sealed 1x and no problems. The fabricator suggested honing the stone to take polish off because of the possibility of etching in kitchen environment. He also recommended a sealer called Dry-Treat. 15yr sealer. I have also found another product by Aldon, which supposedly prevents etching to a great degree...this is made to go ontop of a sealer, Aldon also makes a "restorer" product and has images on their website which show how to buff out a deep etch using this product and a special grade of steel wool. I think I'm going to do it!!!

Michelle Madsen said...

I've been looking into a Azul Cielo (blue) marble for a kitchen. LOVE the stone. I have granite in my other kitchen and take no special care, it's sealed 1x and no problems. The fabricator suggested honing the stone to take polish off because of the possibility of etching in kitchen environment. He also recommended a sealer called Dry-Treat. 15yr sealer. I have also found another product by Aldon, which supposedly prevents etching to a great degree...this is made to go ontop of a sealer, Aldon also makes a "restorer" product and has images on their website which show how to buff out a deep etch using this product and a special grade of steel wool. I think I'm going to do it!!!

Samm Spangler said...

This is awesome!! Thank you so much! I have a love affair with Marble but my husband wasnt 100% on board until he read your post!! Thank you!
Samm @

safieh said...

I love this post, and you are so right! Having spent a lot of time in Europe growing up, I never really questioned the "durability" of marble. It has been used everywhere, literally, for centuries! I've always been told to properly care for marble-topped tables and marble inlay in the floor, and there's never been a problem.

Just as I wouldn't leave a glass sitting directly on a nice antique piece of wood furniture, I wouldn't leave red wine to sit on ANY type of countertop for hours! And, as you said, ANY countertop will eventually show some wear and tear. I'd rather have slight aging on my marble countertops, and still have marble countertops than not have what I wanted in the first place.

Again, thanks for the great post and the excellent follow up, I will be sure to link to it when I show pictures of my updated space!

alisaquint said...




Deborah said...

Hi there, I'm considering buying a dining table with a marble top and brushed SS legs. I have no idea if it is polished or honed and with two young kids who love spaghetti and making a mess in equal quantities I'm a bit nervous. Is there any way to tell? The sales assistant has been a bit clueless so not completely confident I'd get the right answer! Thank you for the post - great to see it has passed all your tests :)

Deborah said...

The table is honeycomb marble - any advice?

Adolph Consulting said...

Great! I grew up with marble floors in Europe, so honestly I have been shocked with all of the downer comments.

Susan Fitzgerald said...

Hi Greg,
Thank you for this informative post. Each of the photographs appear to be of an identical piece of marble, so I'm wondering, if that is so, did you use some kind of cleaner on the marble in between tests?

Greg said...

No, just rinsed with water between tests.


tree said...

Hi-thanks for posting great information!
Would you mind sharing the brand of sealer you use?

bumbu pecel bali said...

isinya menarik yaa
sangat memberikan motivasi

berkunjung ke sini juga yaa...

tanks very much.... :)

ArtsLinkLondon said...

I would love to have white carrera marble countertops in my kitchen but had been deterred by negative comments. (I have three sons and two lodgers). However today a friend pointed out that my white carrera marble dining table (in the kitchen) was still looking great! I had to laugh at myself. This table I bought for £50 second hand on ebay years ago. It has survived three growing boys, eating on it (tomato ketchup, baked beans, mustard etc) plus plenty of red wine (not the boys) and many arts and crafts activities. I have never used any special cleaner, nor sealed it - I just used my normal kitchen spray cleaner. There are a few chips round the edges now which I think add to the character but NO STAINS!!! I also have a Victorian washstand inherited from my grandmother which has a white marble surface which I still polish with Sparkle - again - looking good. My own experience plus your brilliant post has convinced me to go for it for worktops and to ignore all the negativity!

SPoole said...

Question: We bought a beautiful polished marble vanity for our bath and sealed it with the most expensive sealer they sold, however, within days it started getting etched. Decided to stop fight the battle and am in the process of trying to etch the whole surface. I'm guessing that will make it honed??? How do we make sure it doesn't etch again? Do we need to get a different sealer? As it's so expensive, don't want to waste more money on another one that doesn't work any better to protect the surface!!! Please advise, if you would be so kind! Thanks for giving hope that it doesn't have to be a constant battle...

planit stone said...

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Finlay said...

You are an engaging writer - and something of a mad scientist, too - perhaps? Thank you so much for documenting your marble tests. We are remodeling our kitchen and I want organic counters and keep returning to marble. White with grey veining, to be accented with slate grey floors. Your blog was EXACTLY what I needed to see & you've def persuaded me in favor of. As a family w/no children, I think we can manage the maintenance and when we do have parties no red wine! That seems fair, right? <--- asks my OCD self. Done w/granite & laminate (2 of the easiest surfaces to maintain EVER)and I was flip-flopping b/w marble and soapstone, with a side of slate thrown in. Thank you again!

Jscerba18 said...

I can't thank you enough! You have truly eased my mind and this blog should be known by all dealers, purchasers, naysayers, etc. Thank you!!

Linda Lewis said...

Does anyone know if one does get etching on stone if it can be removed and how then resealed? I was wondering about a very soft sanding using a small grit sandpaper?

Thiago daLuz said...

Awesome test! I was already fairly convince that etching on marble is unavoidable. It's so important to be aware of before committing to buying it. Marble cleaners can do a lot, but the miracle of removing etching hasn't been discovered quite yet. Thiago |

Allyson/HBMomof2 said...

I love this post so much and to know that you posted it 8 years ago and is so relevant today, thrills me more. We are moving soon and this is what I want for my new house. Your post has given me the courage to make that happen.

Also, I currently have a huge butcher block island that I love and I was apologizing for the "wear and tear" that it has endured to a friend of mine and she said to me, "Don't apologize for that. It is evidence of a life." I have never apologized about the state of anything in my house after that. Thank you for a great post.

Sue said...

Gary~~ Love your post. I am sick of granite, and have been considering soapstone, but don't want that dark color. Marble would be a perfect choice, and your experiment and experience makes me feel much more comfortable about using it. It brought back to mind a Victorian side table I grew up with that had a white marble top. The thing was not well cared for in a house with 5 children, and I recall that when my mother passed and it went on it's way, (I don't know where it ended up), that the marble looked worn, but not disgraceful. Of course, we weren't 'supposed' to be eating in the living room, my parents were teetotalers (sp?), so no wine stains, and no one drank coffee..... I would love the look of marble in my kitchen. How are your counters looking today? Could you post some pictures? Thanks~~Sue

Shannon said...

I just had a marble backsplash installed. I was warned about sealing because it would darken the marble. Did you notice a significant difference?

Tupppi said...

These are very sensible and useful tests, Gary, so I don't want to criticise. But I do want to let people know my experience, which was somewhat different. Your untreated marble didn't show anything much at all from the lime.

I have absolutely gorgeous dark brown marble benchtops with white veins and random red smudges. Did I say it's gorgeous?

I treat it with a lot of care, wiping spills immediately with an non-acid cleaner, then cleaning that off with plain water. All was well until...

One day I cut a lime, squeezed one half onto my fish and not realised that the other half was upside-down on the kitchen bench. When I went back into the kitchen after dinner, it had etched a perfect imitation of it's face into the stone, in ghostly white.

I read somewhere that sealers are the enemy and shouldn't be used on marble, but I'm not so sure about that now!