Marble countertops are gorgeous.
Yes, we know other materials have been rage recently, and this beauty has passed some years away from the limelight after reigning in the last century…But it’s back with a bang!
Not unlike many trends that have been revived this year (like the victorian look in a bathroom), marble has been brought back but with a new twist. There were previously some limitations to its usage, including excessive usage of its white variety among many others, but those are the things of the past. The modern home is all about novelty and convenience…and marble is not far off from providing just that.
In fact, homeowners are going all gaga over marble countertops this year. And why not? The wonderful display of its elegance in a variety of white, black, grey, green and rose colors adds a spectacular edge to your kitchen and bathroom landscape. And it’s a hit with prospective buyers too.
All right. We’ll get to the point. You’re not reading this for us to tell you why marble countertop is a great idea — No, you already know that. In fact, if you’re reading this, you are already quite obsessed with the material and have definite plans to make it a part of your kitchen and bathroom renovation. But you’re not sure how to make the right purchase. And we get it.
You want to mistake-proof your purchase. Well, the answer is simple. Why not scan the upcoming blog to prep up? After all, behind every successful purchase is a homeowner who’s informed. This may be all you need to save some bucks and incorporate it in a way that ACTUALLY makes a difference to your kitchen/bathroom space.
Start with a Blueprint
No amount of luxury can ever fix the horror of haphazardly placed items in a room. Marble won’t magically solve your layout issues either.
So, ideally, before you even buy anything, you should have a sketch showing where you want the countertop installed along with other elements like cabinets, shelves and the existing sink in the kitchen. This goes for bathrooms too. All this should be labeled with proper dimensions.
This will help you to explain your point to the supplier which in turn will help him to plan out the space as per the given dimensions more accurately. Only then should you consider making any purchases.
Understanding the Basic Nature of Marble
Why should you choose marble? We’ll tell you why.
Marble is wonderfully heat-resistant. It’s a favorite among bakers, especially. But just like any fine thing, it demands care. It’s advised to prolong the life of the material by using mats and pot holders for placing your hot dishes and pans. You know, just in case.
It’s also waterproof after sealing — which solves so many issues. All you need is a good quality sealant every few years…and voila.
Now, the flip side is that marble is delicate and may scratch and stain easily. It’s a good idea to do all your cutting on a chopping board rather than on the countertop. Yes, you guessed it. Marble is much softer than its sister material, granite. Consider sealing the countertop once a year to fight the stains and the scratches.
Cost of Marble
For anyone heading towards a renovation, getting a basic idea of the cost of the project at the onset of the task will help to get it right in the end.
Talking of marble countertops, expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $150 per square foot. However, the cost of the material and installation also depends upon the type of material chosen, the particular grade, size, transportation charges and more. We suggest visiting your supplier’s showroom in person, picking a slab you like and taking it from there.
Compare and Contrast the Cost of Marble and Installation
If you plan to hire a contractor, ask for a breakdown of the cost of the material as well as the installation. This will help you to compare the pricing with other contractors.
Consider the Utilization of your Marble Countertop
No doubt marble countertops are a hot choice for a kitchen. After all, they come with their disarming flavor of colors and patterns. But we advise you to refrain from going in for marble countertops for the entire kitchen and use it in parts instead.
Reason? Marble easily reacts with coffee, alcohol, soda or acidic substances. The result? Etching that will damage the polish — leaving ugly whitish stains on the stone. Also, as mentioned before, marble is prone to scratches and that makes it a wee difficult to use it for a kitchen surface without taking proper precautions.
But hey, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it at all in a kitchen. They do add a wow factor to your kitchen…and with some smart planning, you can use it without any headaches. Sealants are one option. Another option can be to use it for a part of the countertop, rather than the whole thing. For example, you can use it for the kitchen island or the area where you bake, etc; and layer it with laminate or quartz for the other parts.
On the other hand, using marble in the bathroom is a piece of cake. After all, you are not likely to spin up salad dressings in the bathroom, right? Go ahead and spruce up your bathroom by using the material for flooring, vanity, tub, and shower surrounds — it’s waterproof, it’s luxe and it’s gorgeous!
Selecting the Right Marble Slab
Selecting the right marble slab is like choosing different pieces to complete a painting.
That’s because every stone slab is different. It’s a natural stone; so different slabs will have different veining patterns. Essentially, you have to pick up the exact slab that you want for your countertop. You will need to get the veining located on the countertop in a pattern that makes it look like a piece of art.
It may help to know that the longer the piece without any seams, the better it is. But hey, the price for intricate patterns will be higher too. On the flip side, if you are on a budget, you can still make the best out of that situation. For instance, if you find one with seams, go in for identical pieces to get a mirrored look.
Match the Marble Color to the Theme of the Space
Marble is available in a range of exotic tones like blue, gold, matt grey, orange, red, green, white and black; to name a few.
With its characteristic veining variations, every shade adds an accent to the space. In the same go, it is advised to match the shade to the rest of the design elements pervading your kitchen or bathroom for that classy ambiance. The last thing you want is for your countertop to look like it’s from Paris while the rest of your kitchen seems to be from India.
Measure your Countertop Space
This should be the prerequisite that will include considerations like whether you want a sink along with the countertop and the likes.
This will need professional intervention where your contractor may need to visit your house to measure the available counter space. This is a crucial aspect as exact measurements are needed to get a perfect fit or you may run the risk of unnecessarily delays and expenses.
In case you are planning to include a sink in your countertop, your contractor will work out where the sinkhole will go and make the required cutouts for plumbing. Remember edging and sealing of the stone too impacts the cost.
As per the industry standards, approximately 1 and ¼ inch or 3 cm thickness works well for marble kitchen countertops and ¾ inch or 2 cm for marble vanity tops. But there is always scope for creativity in the design world where thicker versions are the preferred option.
There are designers who believe fervently that if you feel it is right, it must be right. A completely different perspective from the usual and can be fun to indulge in too. But again, speak to a professional before making a call.
Also, be mindful that thicker slabs are typically costlier and used in smaller areas like kitchen islands. But those who prioritize style over the cost sometimes prefer the thicker variety as it makes the colors and the patterns stand out.
Marble Countertop Edging
Marble is a beautiful material and comes with a lots of cuts to choose from. But the bull’s nose that resembles a half-circle is a winner all through. It takes away the sharpness from the corners and prevents chipping as well.
Then there’re styles like flat polish, rock face, Dupont, mitered drop apron, bevel, quarter round, half bullnose and many more that set apart your design from the regular. Make sure you speak to your supplier to understand what works best in your kitchen or bathroom before making a decision.
Sealing your Countertop
Though already mentioned, we thought it was a good idea to bring up the point again to reemphasize its importance.
Since marble is porous, you can take it that whatever you spill on to it, unless cleaned immediately will leave a stain behind. On top of it, it scratches easily. The best solution here is to periodically seal the countertops that will substantially protect the stone.
Find out about Permits
This is another aspect to be considered before starting the project. All big-scale home improvement projects that involve plumbing and electric works need permits. It is best to consult a professional contractor who will guide you about this aspect.
Deciding Between DIY and Professional Installation
It all depends upon the scope of your project.
If it’s a smaller project, you may be able to take this up yourself without blowing money on professionals. On the other hand, if you are planning a renovation on a big scale, it is better to hire the experts for the job. They will be able to deliver the type of expertise that may be beyond your scope or knowledge.