Should you Choose Real Marble or a Marble Effect Worktop?Rebecca Hinshelwood
Choosing the aesthetic for your new kitchen worktop is one of the most exciting parts of a kitchen refit or extension. And we find that marble is a really popular choice. It’s a classic and elegant look which can make a space feel light, bright and fresh. If you can appreciate the loveliness of marble stone, the potential of a marble effect worktop may cross your mind too. When other materials can give the appearance of marble, should you opt for the real thing?
What is Marble?
Marble is a naturally formed metamorphic rock. It’s essentially a limestone or dolomite which has been subjected to severe pressure and heat. As the stone gradually recrystallises it forms natural marble. Mineral impurities present within the rock create characteristic patterns and veining. This means that marbles vary depending on the geology of the landscape. The mined slabs which are used for your kitchen, therefore, are completely unique.
What is Marble Effect?
Any material could be termed as ‘marble effect’. This refers simply to the aesthetic appearance of the worktop. Most specifically, the characteristic ‘veining’ of a classic marble. Dekton and quartz or even laminate can give the appearance of marble but are clearly materials with very different properties to each other and to authentic marble.
Of course, you may prefer a marble with minimal veining or even none at all. This is one thing that natural marbles hold above a marble effect worktop. As a naturally mined stone, each slab is unique. It’s art produced by the natural world. This appeals to so many of us – but not all. Perhaps you seek uniformity for your kitchen. If so, look towards marbled quartz ranges.
Marble is more porous than engineered stones like quartz. But by choosing marble you will not have to compromise on durability. Remember that some of the world’s most ancient buildings and sculptures have been built with marble. And they’re still standing! It’s an extremely strong material. When sealed (as your worktop would be) marble is super hygienic and resistant to heat, cracking and scratching. Yes, it may pick up some minor nicks and stains over the years. However, the nature of the stone allows these characteristics to add depth to its appeal.
The range of marble in the world is vast, and that’s all down to the variety in minerals and sediments across the globe. Admittedly, it’ll never match up to the variety that manufactured marble effect worktops can offer. So your choice may be between authenticity and colour matching. However, true marbles offer a kaleidoscope of neutral tones. This makes marble one of the most accessible natural stones for a kitchen worktop.
The cool natural temperature of marble will always remain below room temperature. So if you’re a keen baker this will make a huge difference to your gingerbread! Its tactile properties are something that a marble effect worktop will struggle to replicate. Whether you choose a smooth polished or rustic honed finish, the feel of the stone is inimitable.
Yes, a marble effect laminate may be a cheaper alternative to authentic marble. However, remember the extent of varieties of this stone. Depending on the availability and locality of a marble, its price can vary massively. Conversely, you may decide that you prefer the bulletproof function of engineered stones such as quartz and dekton. These stones are manufactured with marble effect appearance, but you may actually be looking at a higher price tag than authentic marble.
So, really, your choice between an authentic or marble effect worktop comes down to your own priorities. Weigh up cost, authenticity, durability and aesthetics. Once you have properly considered these four priorities, you should have your answer! If not, we’re always here to talk it through.