It is no secret that I despised my kitchen counter tops. The first thing you see when entering my house is the kitchen, so naturally it should be good. Shockingly I loved everything about the kitchen when moving in (the subway tile back-splash, the simple cabinetry, the pulls, appliances, and layout) except, and this is a pretty HUGE except, the counter tops. I will acknowledge that the old quartz counters were very durable [good quality], but the color was straight up yellow. Yuck.
Someone told me once that according to the “design laws” you’re supposed to match your back-splash to your cabinets and the counters to the floor. My floor is an walnut engineered wood, which I love, but I don’t see any yellow….so if they even tried to follow this “rule,” they failed. And side-note, I don’t follow any rule when it comes to my home, style, decor, etc.
The counters had to go. It took years (well, a year and a half) of convincing to get Paul on board. He was definitely being Richard-y throughout this process. How did I convince him? Well, for starters, we spoke $$$. I shopped around, asked for discounts, did research, and had multiple fabricators come out to give me estimates. All in all, they all said it would be a pretty easy job, aka take no longer than a couple days. I also had to explain the hours I waste whitening the counter-tops in all my photos, as a yellow background is not cute. And if that wasn’t enough for him, I had to demonstrate how I drag the entire kitchen to my tiny marble coffee-table when shooting for the blog, which alone is a good enough reason in my eyes to change them. Um, hello, write-off!
Oh, also, I had to remind Paul that this would obviously increase the value of our home 😉
Let me remind you what the kitchen used to look like. Pay attention to the overall coloring of the kitchen because of the counters, as well as those pendant lights over the island, which have been replaced by my copper ones.
I was able to neutralize it by accessorizing with cooler-toned items (and lots of Photoshop for pics LOL), but ultimately, the counters were ruining everything. And in case didn’t notice, I also swapped out the faucet (another easy project that my dad helped me with).
Now, onto the good stuff. The marble.
I realllllllllly struggled with selecting slabs. In my heart I wanted marble, but usually I would get the look of death from people when I told them I wanted marble counter-tops. Things like “it’s not durable” “it stains” “it’s not practical for someone who cooks” “it’s expensive” “wine will ruin it” were all thrown my way. I cook, I drink wine, I love lemon, I sometimes make a mess, but I never leave my kitchen dirty. I take very good care of my things (especially when I’ve paid a lot for them), so none of those comments really got to me.
When I arrived at the slab yard, I was obviously drawn to the gorgeous natural marble slabs. I kept getting steered towards the quartz. It’s the most durable. I had decided to go with a solid white quartz, but was finding that pure white is still slightly different than my pure white back-splash, which would end up looking yellow. Clearly that wasn’t an option, as I’m trying to get rid of the yellow problem. I ended up finding a quartz with man-made veining. Basically a faux marble. It was okay.
Here is the quartz slab I was looking at:
I didn’t purchase it that day because I wanted to think about it. After all, a $2800-ish purchase requires some serious thought, right? That same night I messaged a blogger I follow (@simply_may) who has the most beautiful marble counters, is a mom, and cooks often. I wanted to know what her thoughts were on it. She told me her and her husband are just cautious–they use coasters, clean up spills immediately, and just overall take extra care of their counters. Sounds doable to me! And I don’t even have kids!
I went back to the slab yard and contemplated. I spoke with someone who deals with the slabs (not a sales person). He told me marble is plenty durable. It’s a natural stone, it’s strong. He also told me all of Europe (including their train stations) are all marble. Clearly there’s no issues with marble there. That was all the validation I needed. If a damn train station uses marble, my anal retentive self can have marble. That day I purchased 2 slabs of Carrara marble, which shockingly, was less expensive than the quartz (with fake veining). Um, SOLD!
Read on to see how I’m doing with the marble so far.
I’m now 30 days into living with my [beautiful] marble counters and I thought I should share how we’re doing. We, as in, me and the counter-tops. I’ve never been one to place anything hot directly on the counters (it’s called a trivet) or to leave spills. So those things haven’t affected me (yet). However, I have a husband who loves to leave cups around the sink (not in it), and the condensation on the cups have left a nice little ring on the counters near the sink. You can only see it when you’re looking at it from a certain angle with a glare, but it’s there. Also, someone (names will not be mentioned…) came over and dragged a metal vase across my island and I now have a lovely scratch right where I eat my breakfast every morning. Luckily, my place-mat (a new thing for me) covers it.
So, yes, they are a little more maintenance than, say, a quartz. But overall I am more than capable of living with marble. I would say aside from the typical complaints I listed above, things to be aware of:
-Use coasters & place-mats (for hot or cold drinks and plates)
-Do not drag anything
-Place heavy objects gently on the counters
-Use a rubber mat under things like a microwave or mixer
-Only wash with soap and water (no harsh detergents)
-Do not leave stray water laying on the counters, wipe them down
-And then the obvious: clean up vinegar, citrus, or wine immediately to avoid any staining