Mar 4, 2013 Tips Sander Coovert
Why are we suggesting alternatives Carrara marble countertops? Carrara, and all marbles, travertines, and limestones are calcium based stones. This means that anything acidic that sits on the stone’s surface can etch it. Etching is caused by a chemical reaction between the calcium in the stone and the acids that exist in common household products such as coffee, wine, soda, juice, citrus fruit skin, etc. This being said, no amount of sealer will prevent this from happening. The amount of etching depends on a host of variables, such as how reactive the stone is, the length of time the acid sits on the stone, and how concentrated the acidic solution is.
Some people are ok with their marble etching as it adds character and patina. If this is the aesthetic you are looking for, by all means, marble is one of the best work surfaces there is and its timeless beauty is unmatched.
Etching is not permanent and can be repaired by mechanically polishing the surface. This should be done by a stone professional with the proper equipment. Vermont Danby Marble is the exception and can be resurfaced with a 3M pad, Comet, and a little elbow grease.
Although etching is very pronounced on polished marble, honed marble makes the etching less noticeable. Most varieties of marble come in a honed surface as well as polished. If you love the look of white marble, but could not bear to see it age, the following materials are excellent alternatives.
Quartzite is in a category of its own. It is a hard, metamorphic rock formed from sandstone. Although harder than granite, it is sometimes more porous. The one downside to Super White is it is more expensive than Carrara marble.
Bianco Romano is often used when the customer originally wanted Carrara Marble but didn’t realize that etching would occur. The great thing about Bianco Romano besides its beauty is the price.
Similar to Bianco Romano, Kashmir White Granite is a very popular alternative to white marble and comparable in price.
Caesarstone is one of several quartz manufacturers we represent. Quartz is an engineered product made from mineral quartz and polymer resins. Caesarstone Countertops do a really good job of mimicking Carrara marble with this color.
Silestone is another large manufacturer of quartz slabs used for countertops. They have a fantastic color selection and do an amazing job with Lyra. This particular color comes in Jumbo slab sizes which measure 63″ x 128″. This may enable you to maximize the usage and potentially limit the number of seams in the surface.
I know what you’re thinking, “Danby is a calcium based marble and it can etch too, right?” The short answer is yes, it can. However, Danby Marble has characteristics not found in other marbles. For one, it is extremely dense and has been used on interior and exterior surfaces for years. If and when it does etch, resurfacing it is a simple DIY project as mentioned above.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please feel free to contact us… our professional staff will be more than happy to assist you.
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