Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Lincoln Kitchen?

Well, not exactly the Lincoln kitchen, but I'm using the same marble.
Alabama White.

Isn't it lovely? After much debate, I decided that if I used anything else, I'd not be satisfied.

In a way, it's a "greener" kitchen because of the stone selection. By choosing a regional stone, not only am I supporting a local industry, but also reducing the consumption of fuels used in transportation. Don't you think we should all try buy local?

Here's the exact slab that we will have cut. It has an antiqued finish. It has a bit more tooth than honed and no shine at all.

We've had honed granite in another kitchen for almost 10 years. We've loved it. It shows nothing and truly seems indestructible. I say all of this because I've gotten used to basically not caring for it, other than routine cleaning. So, I was a bit concerned about selecting marble.

I did my research and decided to do an experiment on a honed sample slab. I sealed half of it with a stone impregnator. I put coffee, water, cooking oil, cranberry juice, and lemon juice on it.

On the unsealed side, the oil, cranberry and lemon were the worst.
The oil soaked in and appears deep. The cranberry and lemon etched
the surface, causing it to appear more matte than before.

On the sealed side, the lemon and cranberry were still problems. The lemon was the worst. Anything with acid will cause etching. It certainly appears that stains can be avoided by using a good impregnating sealer. Etching on the other hand, will happen with acids even on a honed marble--therefore, I chose the antiqued finish.

Any of you have experience with marble in a kitchen or bath? I'd like to hear about it. Even better, send me pictures!


  1. I absolutely love white kitchens. When I redid my old kitchen, I wanted to use marble for the counters. My kitchen person and, believe it or not, the marble people talked me out of it. That was 7 yrs. ago, and I am still sorry I let them talk me out of it. I love the way it looks in a kitchen! I used it in our bathroom, and have never had a problem.

  2. No experience, sorry, but I'm looking forward to seeing the end result in your kitchen! I'm sure it will be lovely. And, yay for local!

  3. I love marble. It's my top choice, but I know it's probably not in my budget. I posted pics of my 'before' kitchen on my blog and I'm looking for ideas. I hope you'll share your after pics!

  4. This will be gorgeous! I love the Alabama White. We had carrera in our former master bath and enjoyed it.

  5. I LOVE marble. I wanted to use a Carrera basketweave on our bathroom floor and my dad (a tile guy) talked me out of it b/c I have little boys peeing all over the place.

    I have honed absolute black granite in my kitchen. It looks really stained but I still love it.

  6. Beautiful. I hope it endures.

  7. I have marble in my kitchen... Basically, we don't use it for anything because it is so impractical. And yes, the marble people tried to talk me out of it too. I have a large wood counter and a stainless steel counter that we use for everything. I have trained my husband and children that NOTHING sits on the marble. I cringe if we have someone over and they use it. It scratches, etches, discolors, and stains. I would not recommend it if it is your only kitchen surface..... That being said - it is absolutely gorgeous. But, we never touch it either!

  8. I have marble in all my bathrooms and my kitchen and I love it. I am really OCD and thought I would hate it because I too had heard horror stories about it staining, etc., but so far I have had no problems. The only thing that sort of bothers me is that it shows water rings like wood does, but of course, it is not nearly as obvious!

  9. That is going to be fabulous! I love white in a kitchen!

  10. We have marble in every bathroom counter in our home (and showers too) and our kitchen island counter top. Some are honed and some are polished. It does etch a bit no matter what with wine and lemon or tomato (anything acidic). I did the same thing you did testing the samples. and in my experience the sealed polished repels all stains the best...but I was not knowledgeable about the antiquated finish.

    I am at a point where I don't care about etching too is patina:) Ours has never stained but I have a friend whose did with red wine...we don't pour red wine on the marble. We use the black honed granite counter for pouring.

    It is beautiful...Best.

  11. Good choice! This will be stunning!

  12. It will be stunning! Exciting!! Countdown to DD time ;-) xoxo

  13. Yeah!--you made the right choice. Who cares if it stains or scratches or whatever...what doesn't? My new house is white marble from top to bottom in the kitchen and bath and I am crazy about it. Can't wait to see how yours turned out.

    We finished a house a couple of years ago and wanted to use Alabama White but the slabs that summer all were coming out really pink and splotchy. The recently quarried stuff I've seen is looking much better (like your slab)--good for you for keeping it local!

  14. So many of my clients want granite, but I am not a fan. I love marble and quartz the best. Much more elegant in appearance, and sooooo wonderful for pastry!! You will love it, I'm certain!

  15. No but I'm waiting for mom is 95% there for marble on the counters & backsplash & white granite on the island where she does her work & behind the stove.
    Good luck.

  16. We remodeled our kitchen last year and have carrera countertops. Both my husband and I really wanted them since we know they serve as a nice contrast to our dark cabinets. The guy we purchased them from warned us but it was what we wanted and we've been so glad we did it. My husband is the cook and while he doesn't sut right on it, he's not terribly careful. It has etched and there are a few stains, but they really just look like gray spots so they kind of blend in. I love them and wouldn't change them.

  17. I LOVE your marble selection! Great info on the staining/sealing deets, too - I'll file away for safe keeping.
    I can't wait to see pics when installed!

  18. Hi GSG!
    I LOVE your marble! It's beautiful, and has great movement to it. Mine has a lot of movement too and you will love that aspect. Now, when you say "antique finish" do you mean honed??
    I have done a lot of research too, and what I have found (and found to be true) is that even though marble has a horrible reputation for staining, it actually isn't that bad- especially if sealed. But... no matter what it is going to 'etch'. The funny part is that I read someone say she had etching but couldn't figure out what had been there to etch it and thats what happens to me all the time- like "how did that get there?!" But, to see it you have to stand at an angle and the light has to be just right. The first couple of etchings are the worst then it starts developing a soft, loved, used look! At least that's how I see it!
    I am loving marble island (especially sans the sag;)! Love the way it looks, the way it feels, the presence it gives the room... everything about it.
    I do think it funny how sooooo many people try to talk you out of it. My response to that is that the French have been using it for 100s of years... and they are masters of design. You can't have it if you want a perfect surface forever- you should pick something else, but if you want warm and patina then just use it and love it. It will be what it will be.
    Can't wait to see you new kitchen!

  19. Since this is an older post, do you have after pictures? You got a gorgeous piece of Alabama White. Most of the Alabama White I have seen around Atlanta is not good - pinky, as Doug said.

    I am definitely going to do marble in the new kitchen, and although I am over the 'marble fear', I do wonder how we will adapt - we have a 22 year old corian countertop that takes such a beating, and we are used to not being careful.