Marble and granite counters are in hot demand, but they can cost a substantial amount of money. People who don’t have several thousand dollars to sink into a countertop may decide to go with a more budget-friendly laminate, but this isn’t the only option.
With wholesale prices on marble tiles from Nalboor, you may find that putting marble tiles over plywood counters will fit your budget nicely. The question is whether it will work with your lifestyle. Before you make this decision, here are some pros and cons you may want to consider.
The Colors and Visual Appeal
Marble is known for its delicate veining that adds dimension and visual interest to any area. Many people are drawn to this, and that makes it a top choice for a place as visible as your kitchen counters. While you can find beautiful styles in marble slabs for the kitchen, you can also find them in marble tiles. The color variations are every bit as attractive, and you can turn the tiles to create more appealing patterns. While this isn’t possible when you’re installing a slab, it’s an easy process when you’re working with marble tiles.
Natural Elements Can Take the Heat
Natural elements that are forged by nature are typically very durable and can withstand some extreme situations. As with most natural stones, marble can take the heat and the higher humidity levels. This means that you won’t have to put down a trivet before moving that pot off the stove. The colors won’t change in reaction to the heat, and water that spills across the counter won’t cause any harm.
Overcoming the Porous Nature
One of the potential problems with marble is its porous nature. Marble stones can become stained if you spill a drink and don’t clean it up right away. However, this is easily overcome by applying a protective sealer once a year. The process for sealing counters is very easy. In most cases, you just have to apply the sealer with a sponge or spray bottle, allow it to penetrate the stone for a moment and then wipe away the excess. Not only will this protect your marble, but you’ll also help keep the grout looking fresh and new when you follow this process.
Protection from Scratches
People love granite because they can cut right on it, but marble is a touch softer. Knife marks will easily show, so you’ll want to be aware of this when buying accessories and setting up the kitchen. Rather than fussing with cutting boards that are constantly moved, one option is to simple lay a glass cutting board down in the space where you do most of the food preparation. You’ll always have it ready to go when you need to cut meat or vegetables, and you’ll also give the marble an extra layer of protection from stains.
You want to be sure that the marble is properly installed to avoid problems with cracking later. It all starts by making sure that your counters are perfectly level from side to side as well as front to back. It may take a few moments to make minor corrections with shims, but the impressive results make it worth the extra effort.
Once the plywood is in place, install ¼- or ½-inch cement backerboard to further stiffen the installation surface and prevent any warping. While ceramic tiles are typically installed with a sizeable gap that’s filled with grout, marble doesn’t require this much spacing. The tiles should be set close together so that there is a minimal grout line. This gives the appearance of a completely smooth surface.
Living with the Grout Lines
One complaint with tile countertops is that the grout lines create an uneven surface. While this may be a problem on writing surfaces, it’s not usually an issue in the kitchen. Ceramic tiles have a slightly beveled edge that dips down towards the grout line, but marble tiles are smooth all the way across. The grout lines are minimized by putting the tiles closer together. While you’ll be able to see the lines and may choose to use contrasting grout to make them part of a desirable pattern, the lines shouldn’t interfere with your work in the kitchen. If you still have concerns, then put out a few glass cutting boards in your key preparation areas so that you can have that smooth surface without losing any of the view.
Have Fun with Patterns
Some people also choose to truly embrace the concept of a tile counter and have fun with patterns. You can use contrasting grout lines to highlight a unique shape or a special feature in the kitchen. Add in borders, create harlequin patterns, or choose different colors for the main counters and the breakfast bar. The choices are endless because you’ll have the freedom to incorporate as many different colors as you want.
One of the driving factors behind marble countertops is the low cost. While you can easily pay $60 a square foot or more for granite and marble slabs, individual tiles are a fraction of the expense. Even when you add in the extra cost for your plywood, backerboard, adhesive and grout, the costs still won’t compare. This makes it the top choice when you have damaged counters but need to replace them on a tight budget. It’s also a great solution for anyone who’s already spent a small fortune on quality cabinets and needs to save some on the counters.
When you’re working on a kitchen renovation and need to bring the costs under control, take another look at your countertop choices. Granite and marble are in high demand, but there are more cost-effective ways to create a great look. With quality natural stone tiles from Nalboor, you can still have the benefits of a marble slab counter without the high cost. You also may be able to do the work yourself to save even more. We maintain tight cost-control measures throughout all levels of our business, and we pass the savings on to our customers through lower prices. Contact us today to place your order and see how you can make your kitchen look great for less.