Well, its been about 9 months since we revamped our kitchen layout by adding new marble countertops, allowing us to extend and make the kitchen bigger, while using the same cabinets and footprint. We went into it wanting a countertop that was durable, yet matched the feel of the home.
The kitchen had homemade butcher block countertops from 60’s which had gone sticky and the creases had mould from moisture over the years. Our first thought was to replace with new butcher block but turns out butcher block is one of the most expensive countertop materials, especially if you need custom sizing, which we did. So our second thought was to do Quartz. We knew it was durable and the pricing was good so we headed into Livingstone back in February of last year and took a walk through their warehouse to pick out what quartz we wanted to get. We found one that looks like marble that we loved and were about to head back to the showroom to get the process started with Rob brought up marble and we then found out that it was the same price point. So, we thought what the hell, lets go look just because we were there.
The difference between looks will actually shock you. Marble has such a crazy depth and realness to it. its colours change with the angle, the light penetrates through it and it just looks for lack of a better word ‘Real’. Quartz, compared then looked flat and modern and cold. It was a no brainer when it came to deciding between the two. Our home is old, from 1917, and we felt like we wanted to add a countertop to the kitchen that felt like it could be original and also continue to age with the home. You wouldn’t get that with Quartz. So, we signed all the paperwork saying we understand its porous and needs upkeep, stains etcetera and we went into this journey thinking we knew what we were getting into.
If you want to know how many messes you make, get marble. I mean, we wanted it to stain and ‘patina’ and to feel aged, but I don’t think we knew the extent. The say, if you buy a new car throw a rock at it. That way, when you notice that first dent, it won’t hurt your heart so much. Welp, even when you are on top of your cleaning game, boulders get thrown ALL THE TIME! If you are a coffee drinker, a tea drinker and make splashes often, this might not be the countertop for you as it shows each mark.
Our biggest mistake was buying cork trays to protect the counters from stuff on them. Unfortunately, Cork is its own natural material and created stains on the counter worse than what was on top of the trays would have. It hurt a lot and we tried everything to get the stains out, but nothing works.
In saying that, Have we ruined our counters? No.
Like I mentioned before, we went into this expecting stains and aging. We actually love imperfections as it shows life. Because the counters are natural stone, each stain almost looks like it was there from the earth. It adds to it and helps make the counters look like they have always been in the house.
But, I can’t stress this enough, If you are a person who loves perfection THESE AREN’T FOR YOU!!!
Would we do marble if we could do it all over again? 100%
Marble gives our kitchen a homey feel, it suits it. Quartz, I feel, with its printed markings, would have felt out of place in our home. Like we were trying too hard instead of taking the home back to its glory. I will say that I may have chosen a different color if I could do it again. We went with one that has a very white base color and grey veining througout but had originally fallen inlove with a more warmer coloured base, still with grey veins but also with gorgeous golden rust veins throughout. That slab wasn’t big enough for our kitchen layout. But, knowing we are avid coffee and tea drinkers, the warmth of that original choice would have caused the stains to be totally hidden in its natural colouring.
So, if you read this and are still wanting marble because, like us, you want that aging, here is my advice. Get a warmer color to help hide stains, but let yourself live. Throw those stones and realized that each mark shows you’ve been there. It still has my heart over Quartz and even in my next home, I will probably choose marble.