The pros and cons of marble countertops

Marble is a beautiful stone choice and has remained popular throughout history in many famous buildings around the world. From Greek statues to Roman baths, it has been used for centuries and is a sophisticated and timeless choice. Popular uses for marble include fireplaces, countertops, bar-tops, bathrooms and flooring.

Opinion is divided on whether or not to use marble in kitchens for countertops. Some people love the patina and “lived-in” look that marble can develop over time, appreciating the beauty of the stone as it evolves. Others want a material that does not require maintenance and can be heavily used without showing much change in appearance. Here are the main pros and cons of marble, to help you decide.


Classic Beauty – The elegant look of marble is one of its most appealing features, and many people select marble for this reason alone. The fact that it is a natural stone and no two slabs are exactly alike also adds to its appeal, since each piece is unique.

Heat Resistant – Marble is heat resistant which explains why it is very popular for fireplace surrounds. Although it is heat resistant, like quartz and granite you should always use a trivet for hot pots and pans in the kitchen instead of placing them directly on your countertop.

More design options – Marble is a softer stone for fabricators to work with, making it more workable than some harder stones. If you’re looking for fancy edges, or an unusual or complex shape, marble may be a good option.

Naturally cool – This is a plus point for any bakers. In the kitchen, marble countertops are a naturally cool surface to work with.


Stains and scratches – Due to its soft nature, sharp knives can scratch marble and acidic food or liquids can cause etching. This is not a problem for those willing to accept the natural patina that will develop over time. Having the surface sealed when it’s installed and re-sealing it regularly will help to protect it but cannot totally alleviate this issue.

Maintenance – Marble requires more care than granite or quartz. Regular sealing is important, and because the stone is softer, heavy pots or mugs could chip the marble, or in rare cases even break off a corner.

Porosity – Marble is more porous than granite, and as a result, any liquid spills tend to penetrate further into the surface more easily, making them harder to remove.

Is marble right for you?

This depends on how much maintenance you are prepared to do, how heavy your household traffic is, and whether the beautiful look of the marble will make you happier than any other surface choice. Ultimately you need to either accept the maintenance required to keep your marble looking fresh and new, or accept the natural patina that will occur with use over time.