Marble’s a natural, metamorphic rock that’s long been loved, but in recent years, it’s become more and more of a feature in interior design. It’s very much on-trend, but at the same time, it’s timeless so you know that, when a new material takes the limelight, marble isn’t something you’re likely to fall out of love with.
Most of marble’s plus-points come down to its good looks – its veining is what gives it most of its character, whether you choose from pale grey lines to dark and dramatic ones, and its backdrop colour is both crisp and calm so brings light to your kitchen. Plus, in a similar way that oak does, marble is one of those materials that feels prestigious, a little bit of a luxury, historic – marble makes you feel good. But one of marble’s other advantages is its soothingly cool temperature. Marble is really quite cold to the touch which has a totally different sensation to oak’s warmth. It also makes it perfect for pastry making!
Now to marble’s downsides. Like oak, it’s high maintenance and not always a good choice for busy kitchens where there’s lots of cooking and lots of entertaining. Why? Because marble’s porous and will stain easily. That means culprits like red wine and spices including turmeric will be difficult to remove. Most marble contains calcium or magnesium carbonate, both of which react badly to acid. That’s why spills like lemon juice or vinegar can eat into the marble and cause small pits or little white etch marks in the surface. The bottom line is, marble needs to be handled with care, and when spillages happen, you need to move quickly before a stain sets in. We treat our Carrara marble with a special treatment (the same one used on the cladding of The Sydney Opera House) which adds a barrier of protection against stains, but not against etching.
Natural marble kitchen work surfaces are, without doubt, one of the most beautiful options, but they’re most suited to hawk-eyed people who will leap into action the moment something is knocked over or splashed; to kitchens that aren’t used as frequently; or to people who don’t mind the fact that their marble won’t stay pristine, and welcome the idea of the aged patina it’ll achieve over time.