When designing your kitchen, many factors need to be considered. These include the style, cost, maintenance and the number of times that you decide to replace your worktops and other kitchen fittings. One of the most sought after surfaces are marble worktops. These are made from many different types of the stone, which are found naturally in several parts of the world. Marble worktops are very stylish and are available in many colours and grains (the mottled appearance) depending on the type of marble, the region it was obtained and the way it has been cut and finished (polished or honed).
One of the most frequently seen types is Carrara marble. This is the surface that is characterised by grey (can be almost grey-blue in appearance) lines that have a thin but tight mottle at the surface causing the overall appearance of a light grey surface, even though the rock behind the grey lines can be almost white in colour. This type of marble is the kind that has been used for centuries as the base material of many well-known sculptures (for example Michelangelo’s Pieta) and famous architecture. Due to the fact that marble is used in architecture and for sculptures that are hundreds of years old, it can be clearly seen why the material could be very suitable for your kitchen. Carrara marble is mined in north Tuscany, in our opinion one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Ancient Italian buildings, statues and monuments are made from this material. Marble arche in London for example utilises this type of rock in its structure.
Marble is very hard and dense. However, because it is a natural material formed through the use of sediment and heat over thousands of years, it can be scratched and small surface lines can be left as parts of the sediment that form the solid surface are eroded during contact with utensils used in the kitchen, such as knives used without the item being chopped being placed on a chopping board and when heavy metal objects such as kitchen accessories, kettles, cafetières etc. are slid along the surface. Some people may think that surface abrasion is a bad thing, but most do not. Any abrasions from normal use are often said to give the marble an aged appearance and character. This creates a look that is unique to the kitchen where it is fitted. We think that marble is timeless and with proper care can literally be used in a kitchen for a lifetime.
What is the density of marble?
Marble, depending on where it is sourced can weigh from 2.5g to 2.8g per cubic centimetre. This means that its density is in the range of 2.5g/cm3 to 2.8g/cm3. In comparison, the density of many popular woods ranges from 0.5g/cm3 to 1g/cm3. We can clearly see that a marble kitchen surface is much more dense (more than 2.5 times the density of even some of the denser woods), making it a very hard and heavy material.
What are the Finishes Available?
Most stone surfaces, including marble worktops tend to be polished or honed. Polished is where the surfaces has been smoothed and ground/sanded to a flat surface and then buffed into a high-shine, very smooth gloss like surface. Honed is where the surfaces have been smoothly ground to a flat appearance, but not buffed to a high gloss shine. Honed surfaces look slightly duller. Many people prefer honed to a polished surface because it, to them, has a more natural look and enhanced natural character. The finish you choose depends on individual tastes largely, although one could argue that a polished surface is easier to wipe clean when spillages occur, even though there is more chance of seeing smears.
What are the costs of Marble Worktops?
Because marble is heavy, mined in very specific parts of the world and harder to shape than other materials such as solid wood, it tends to cost more unless you are lucky enough to find reclaimed or second hand materials that are suitable. Check out the worktop.co.uk Buy Online section (or click the image to the right) because there are occasions where we link to adverts for second hand materials. The countertops tend to be quoted for individually rather than having a set price. Most larger retailers have a sample service, where for a postage cost (sometimes even for free) they will send a small (usually approximately 10cm2) sample of the stone so that you can gauge if it is the correct material to be used for your kitchen worktops. These kitchen countertops tend to be less deep than wood or laminate worktops. The average depth (thickness of the surface) tends to be between 20mm (2cm) and 30mm (3cm), which is not as deep as most commonly available solid wood and laminate surfaces.
What are the Available Colours?
Marble worktops are available with grey, white, black, blue, red, beige and amber tones. The most common types are the white/grey lined appearance of the Carrara marble. These surfaces also look great in a bathroom. In high end hotels with bars and bathrooms in the same suite, matching surfaces can create a look of continuity throughout and in our opinion should be considered.
Thank you for reading. We hope that you have found this page useful. Please look at the buy online section for todays deals.