This post is for the naysayers. For all of the people that gasped and asked “Are you sure???” when I told them I was getting carrara marble countertops in my kitchen. This post is my resounding “YES I AM SURE”. Every home decor blogger has an obligatory carrara marble post. I’ve read many of them and here is the bottom line. Yes, carrara marble is difficult to care for. It is porous. You have to seal it at least once a year and even then, you will get stains and marks no matter what you do. BUT, it’s gorgeous and it’s a great countertop to work on, especially if you bake.
Many people say that if you are a perfectionist, don’t get this countertop. If you are happy with the imperfections that will develop over time (what is referred to as patina), then get it. I had my heart set on carrara from the beginning and nothing was going to change my mind. So I wanted to prepare myself for the future which is why I decided to perform this stain test with this sample that I got from a local fabricator.
First, let’s talk scratches. You can see the long diagonal scratch that goes through the middle of the square. I’m not even sure how that happened but you can see that this sample is a little beaten up around the edges. From the start, the scratch is pretty visible so the moral of the story is, don’t scratch the marble.
The contestants! Wine, Soy Sauce, Ketchup, and Water! I’m sure there are lots of other things to test but these were the ones that I thought were most relevant for me and my home.
I added a drop of each substance to a corner. Wine (Top Left), Soy Sauce (Top Right), Ketchup (Bottom Right), Water (Bottom Left). And then I waited about 5 minutes.
Starting with the Red Wine. First of all, I dropped a bit too much wine the first time and wiped it off immediately. That left no visible stain or marking.
This is what you get after leaving Red Wine on the surface for approximately 5 minutes. I took these photos so that the glare was focused on the spot of interest. You’ll see later that when looking straight on, this mark is not immediately noticeable.
Soy Sauce was an interesting one. I used a dark soy sauce for maximum damage and because that’s what I tend to use in my household.
This is very difficult to see but you can see a slight discoloration in the top corner. It’s just a little bit yellow. When I washed it off with soap, you could barely see any difference at all!
The Ketchup is my proxy for any tomato sauce. We eat a lot of spaghetti bolognese and burgers in my house, so the ketchup was my catchall for these types of foods.
And the Ketchup left a spot! The pattern so far seems to be that acidic things almost “burn” a spot into the surface.
After 5 minutes, the water had no discernible effect. I think that the only way water will damage the surface is if it is allowed to dry like a waterspot on a car. So the lesson is as long as you mop it up within a reasonable time (5-10 minutes), you should be fine. I happened to have some strawberries lying around and decided to try that out too.
This one is especially hard to see but you might be able to make out a light arc near the middle of the square. That was the effect of the strawberry.
So let’s take a look at the damage. The wine stain in the top left corner and the ketchup spot in the bottom right corner are the most visible. And keep in mind that this is me tipping the tile into the light purposefully so that you can see them.
And here it is from the top! Clearly, the scratch is still the most visible and you don’t really notice much else unless you really look. All in all, the marble held up to my stain test. If you look at the last photo and still think that it is beautiful, then Carrara Marble is for you! If those little dots and stains bother you, maybe take a look at more durable countertop products.