Our Marble Countertops | Weighing the Risk & Benefits

Risks & benefits of marble countertops & an alternative to Carrara marble

One of the questions I frequently receive over a year later is about our marble countertops in our old Colonial. I thoroughly researched countertops evaluating all of the options including quartz & the various types of marble & ultimately decided against Carrara marble in favor of the less porous Danby marble. I wasn’t at all disappointed.  Carrara marble is beautiful, but a little more expensive & as I mentioned, more porous. Therefore, staining can be an issue.

Alternative to carrara marble counters

We opted for Mountain Danby marble. The way that marble is mined is that they decide at the quarry how many feet will be considered each type. One variation of marble might be cut directly next to the other. I had originally wanted Olympian White, but it is significantly more expensive & I waited to find a slab with the right amount of white in Mountain Danby. Danby marble is mined in Vermont. Who knew we could find such beautiful marble natural to the States?

Carrara marble alternatives

One of the reasons I selected Mountain Danby was that when honed, if it did stain, you could remove it by using comet! I spilled wine, left a few messes overnight, & nothing seemed to impact the marble in the slightest – except oils. Butter & olive oil needed to be removed immediately to avoid yellow marks. I was unsuccessful in eliminating them, even with dish detergent, but they blended well into the marble coloration & didn’t phase me. Sure, I cringed when I’d come home & see a babysitter left a bottle of olive oil or butter knife directly on the countertop, but if you’re selecting marble, choose it for it’s character. It only looks more beautiful with time & wear.

Risk & benefits of marble counters including an alternative to Carrara

I never used a seal on the marble – I couldn’t get a straight answer from our fabricator of what to use & ultimately, it didn’t seem that I needed it. I kept my butcher’s block cutting board on the countertop & wiped the countertops when I was done cooking – simple as that! If you plan to have an island, it would be a fun & easy alternative to do your countertops in marble & your island in butcher’s block if you’re worried about damaging them.

Beautiful white marble countertops

Ultimately, I loved them. They made our budget kitchen into a beautiful sanctuary. They’re classic, timeless & age beautifully. Read more about how we selected our countertops & see our full kitchen remodel.

What do you think? Is marble for you?


33 comments on “Our Marble Countertops | Weighing the Risk & Benefits”

  1. I am so glad you posted about this. I am obsessed with marble counter tops but i don’t know anyone that has them and have not got the real low down on them. I think I decided that if I get the chance to build sometime soon then I am going to go for it!

  2. I LOVE the look of marble. And I love how much white yours have. If I can ever build a new kitchen or renovate one I’ll do marble in a heartbeat if the cost is in the budget!

  3. I am about to redo our kitchen, and I am going to use a Danby Marble as well! Just saw the imperial in a warehouse and it’s beautiful! I want to see the Olympian and Mountain in person too before making my final decision. Thank you for posting this so that I know I’m not crazy to get marble with two small children. =)

    • If you’re crazy, you’re my kind of crazy! Europeans embrace the beauty of flaws that come from wear & use, I think we should too! What did you select?

  4. Pingback: The Great Kitchen Counter Debate | Alternatives to Carrara Marble

  5. Thanks for your update on your countertops. It’s a gorgeous kitchen. How do your countertops hold up with heat? Can you put hot pans/pots directly on the countertops like you can with Silestone?

    Also, is there a difference between Danby marble and Mountain Danby marble or is it one in the same? Besides butter and oil have you had any other issues with specific food/drinks (e.g., lemon juice, etc?) Thanks so much!

    • Thank you! As with any natural countertop, you never want to put heat directly to it. You can with Silestone because it’s manufactured. Danby and Mountain Danby are just different areas of the same quarry. They look at the stone and decide which they’ll call which…I believe they’re next to each other. Other than oil, we didn’t have any issues at all.

  6. I’m another marble obsessed person as well. What about scratching and chipping? Any issues with that?

    • I didn’t have any chips, but you wouldn’t really notice scratches when honed…we never had any significant ones and if we had minor, you couldn’t see them.

  7. I have a danby sample and I just tested olive oil this morning. I left it on for a minute and cleaned w windex it did not leave a mark! NEXT I left some lemon juice on it and yes first it etched but then I cleaned it further w bar keepers friend (similar to comet I guess) and the etch was gone too!! Is this too good to be true?! I’m now thinking I can handle putting marble on both the perimeter and island counters 😀

  8. I am installing honed Carrara in my kitchen. Everybody thinks I’m crazy, but I’ve had a large sample of it for thirty years (can’t rush the dream), that I have used as a spoon rest, pot rest, and any other abuse I could throw at it. It has a lovely patina of age now, still white, no chips. I did use a poultice on it once after an overnight spaghetti sauce incident. Worked like a charm!

    I also worked at a renovated 150-year-old school that had Carrara marble bathrooms that were original to the school. Perfect condition, with the patina of age, of course. I’m betting that marble was never sealed.

  9. Our designer tried to talk us into Viaterra, a quartz product by LG. We saw it installed in a hotel and it was horribly chipped all along the edges, plus the pattern just repeats every eight inches or so. Love the natural look and feel of marble!

  10. I am having my Danby installed next Friday and I CANNOT WAITTTTT!!! I am so excited!

  11. Love that I stumbled upon your site. All the info is certainly helpful with my kitchen remodel decisions. I noticed in your last post that you MISS your Danby Marble countertops….You don’t have them anymore? Please explain why….

  12. It is good to know that oil and butter can leave yellow marks if they aren’t taken care of quickly. I really like the look of marble, I think it is the most fancy looking of counter top materials. I will have to check out some different types of marble and see if it would look good in my kitchen. Thanks!

  13. Hi Julie,

    I caught your blog when I was researching marble. I too am looking at Vermont Danby Marble. I am considering the Honed Mountain White; however, the veining is really strong. I am wondering if it will over power the white kitchen cabinets. We are in the process of building and my island is 4’x11’ so it will need a seam.

    How did you luck out to select your slab? Did you use a distributor that offers several slabs of the marble you wanted? Are you still happy with your selection? I see that some Granite suppliers say it must be sealed but I didn’t see that on the Danby website. What do you use for your daily cleaner? Any input you can provide is greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards,


    • I would wait until you find the right slab. It’s my understanding that anything that comes from the quarry is the same type of marble, it’s just the location that gives it it’s name. So for example, one slab could be taken 3′ from another and by called a different name. It’s worth the investment of your time to visit a few suppliers to find the “right” slab. I absolutely loved our marble and ran into the same issue with veining. Eventually, they had a delivery and I found my match with little veining. I couldn’t get firm information on sealing it, either. It seems they have varying opinions. Right or wrong, I used soap and water and regular cleaning sprays. Enjoy!

  14. Love the Dandy Marble look and want to get it in my kitchen (90 sft counter top space). Where to order (in Los Angeles) and what is the approx sft price ?

  15. Where can i get Dandy Marble installed in Los Angels and what is the price?

  16. Indeed marble has some pros and cons but I think using marble in your residential can increase the value and it also make the floor/kitchen or countertop more long lasting and solid.

  17. I know this is an old post, but we just returned from 7 weeks in Italy. There’s white marble galore that’s a gazillion years old and it’s all beautiful. And there is a favorite Thai restaurant -dive near us with white marble counters, believe me those counters are abused. Gorgeous. I do understand it’s better to be honed. I read a movie star type got white marble counters and immediately flooded them with lemon juice “to get it over with”. The part about oils I don’t understand because it’s always been the best surface on which to make candy and bake. It’s just So Beautiful.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Nancy! Apparently though ours were honed, they were not sealed before. I loved them so much that we’re having them installed again this Friday. Marble only looks more beautiful after wear and tear, doesn’t it? I hope you enjoyed your time in Italy!

  18. I would love to see pics of the new marble u got!

    • There are several – search “classic kitchen” or even look at the recent kitchen Christmas post to see. I’d send links but I’m on the road. Enjoy!

  19. So u can’t seal the marble if it’s honed? Did u get mountain Danby again? I was wondering which danby has the least veining, I like more of a muted look.

    • You can and we did – honed is more susceptible to staining, polished to etching. Even sealed, oil stains it. We have Olympia because it has very little veining. It’s 2x the price of Mountain, but I went for it because I wanted a soft, subtle look. Hope that helps!

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