Marble Maintenance, Are You Up to It?
When deciding on a countertop for your home, you might consider carrara marble. This high quality natural stone is available in varying shades of white and/or grey and is quarried in Italy. Before deciding to make this marble a part of your home you need to know it requires special care. Carrara marble is very light in color thus requiring maintenance. Because marble is porous, stains will absorb beyond the top surface and into the pores.
Marble is composed of calcium carbonate and it will react with any acid. Acid will eat away at the marble creating dull spots known as etches. This means any lime juice from your icy margarita glass will leave a mark. While researching I found most interior designers that have worked with marble say the marble will etch. The etching lends itself to the character of the stone. If you are a type A personality and this will bother you and you may want to look into another choice.
Regular Maintenance – Clean the marble with warm water and detergent. You can use a marble specific cleaner that can be found in most stone/ tile stores. Do not use soap or abrasive cleaners on marble. The marble will need to be sealed two to four times a year with a marble specific sealer. This prevents the naturally porous stone from absorbing anything. If the marble has any rough areas you can purchase a marble powder and buffing cloth from the stone/tile store. Simply sprinkle the powder and use the cloth to buff out the rough area followed by wiping with a clean damp cloth. If your marble has any deep cracks, hire a professional to repair.
Stains – The following will etch your marble and should be dealt with as soon as possible. Cola types such as Coke, Dr. Pepper and Pepsi, vinegars, acidic juice such as lemon, lime and orange, cleaning products with contain harsh chemicals, and anything tomato based such as spaghetti sauce and ketchup. Food stains can be removed with hydrogen peroxide followed by rinsing with water. You must use a 12% concentration of hydrogen peroxide not the household 3%. Making a mixture of baking soda and water can also be used to remove food stains. To get rid of water spots Mix the 12% hydrogen peroxide with 3 drops of ammonia for spot cleaning. To kill mold and mildew mix ½ cup ammonia with 1 gallon water. Removing oil based stains requires grease fighting dishwashing detergent. As always remember to rinse the stone with clean water and buff it dry with a clean cloth.
Carrara marble may have a small amount of maintenance but the look that it will bring to your bathroom or kitchen far outweigh the work to keep it looking its best. Blythe Strait SCM Design Group Sources: The Woodlands Remodeling Services TWRS Painting Contractors Granix.com Design Guide Fordham Marble