5 Reasons Marble Countertops Are Popular

Marble countertops, like granite countertops and quartz countertops, are stone products. However, marble has distinct properties from quartz and granite. This makes marble countertops uniquely suited for certain functions or looks in your home. Here are five reasons to use marble countertops:

Clean, Bright Appearance

Marble is the material that Greek and Roman statues were sculpted from. It has a white, off-white, or marbled appearance -- no pun intended. As a result, it can brighten up kitchens when used as a countertop. Since it was used in ancient Greece and ancient Rome, it can give a kitchen a clean, sophisticated, and classic look.

This color comes from the chemical makeup of marble. Marble is a natural stone product sourced from marble quarries. Marble's main components are calcite and dolomite — two chemical compounds that include calcium and carbonate. After being mined from a marble quarry, the marble is cut into sheets and polished.

When it is used as a countertop material, marble is usually sealed. Sealing marble closes the natural pores in the stone so the marble is better able to resist stains.

Thermal Properties

Marble countertops have thermal properties that provide unique functionality in the kitchen. Since marble is a stone product, it has high thermal resistance. Thermal resistance is the physical property of a material to resist heat flow. This means materials like marble change temperatures very slowly. A cool marble surface resists warming and a warm marble surface resists cooling.

Because of its thermal resistance, marble is valued by pastry chefs, chocolatiers, and candy makers. Pastry chefs use marble countertops and marble rolling pins when working with buttery doughs because the marble stays cool. As a result, working the dough using marble surfaces and rolling pins will not melt the butter in the dough. This allows the butter to form a flaky pastry.

Similarly, chocolatiers and candy makers value marble work surfaces because melted chocolate or melted sugar poured onto the surface cools very slowly. That is, the heat from the melted chocolate or melted sugar remains in the candy rather than being drawn into the marble surface. This gives a cook time to work with the candy before it solidifies. Moreover, since the candy cools slowly, it can develop the crystals that give candy its distinctive texture.

Surface Properties

The surface of marble is smooth and non-stick, perfect for baking and candy making. As melted chocolate, melted sugar, or doughs are worked on marble surfaces, they will not stick to the surface. This facilitates the pastry chef or candy maker in producing their creations.

More importantly, marble provides a flat, uniform surface. It does not have joints like a wooden surface or a laminate surface. Like other stone products, marble allows a cook to work on a smooth clean surface that will not mar the end product.

Microbe Resistant

Marble is a stone product unlike wood or bamboo. As a result, it does not provide an organic surface for bacteria and viruses to grow and multiply. Moreover, when it has been sealed, the pores in the marble are closed off. This means that microbes cannot hide inside them.

Marble's smooth surface allows it to be sanitized against microbes that can cause foodborne illnesses and other infections. While microbes can gather in cut marks or even in joints and between grains of wooden surfaces, they have nowhere to hide on a marble countertop.

Environmentally Friendly

Marble is very durable. If you have visited or seen pictures of Athens or Rome, you know that marble can last thousands of years. While your countertops do not need to last for millennia, no homeowner would object to countertops that last as long as the home remains standing. Properly sealed and properly cared for, a marble countertop might never need to be replaced.

Consequently, marble, like granite and quartz, is viewed as an environmentally friendly building material. Although energy is used to extract marble from the quarry, it lasts so long that the actual environmental impact is fairly low. Moreover, since it never needs to be replaced, the marble will never end up in a landfill. More than 10 million kitchens are remodeled every year but those that use marble countertops may never need to dispose of them.

Marble countertops provide substantial functional, aesthetic, and environmental benefits.

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