The Silver Marble stain test

We’ve been struggling with the choice of granite or marble for our kitchen countertops. From day 1, we were drawn to grey marble countertops for its natural beautiful veining and tones but everyone discouraged us from it citing reasons like the stone was porous, soft, high maintenance + we expect to be using the kitchen heavily.

We ruled out quartz/casearstone because it was so expensive and it just couldn’t not capture the same beauty and natural grain of marble/granite that we adored.

The contractors we met recommended granite for its practicality and durability but the only granite I could visually somewhat stomach was the black Chinese galaxy granite. I hated the grainy busy look of the stone. To make things worse, when we asked about grey granite, one contractor recommended us to look at the MRT flooring and I’ve never been able to shake off the image ever since.

To quell our own insecurities (from hearing all those marble horror stories!), we took a sample of the beautiful silver mint marble and decided to abuse it.

The Setup

1. Here’s the original sample piece. We demarcated test areas with black tape to test various kitchen condiments. Given that this was a sample piece, there were no sealants or treatments applied. Also, no edits were done to the pictures.

2. The culprits (starting from top left to right): sashimi soy sauce, squid ink, grape seed oil, balsamic vinegar, mala chili oil, BBQ sauce, red food colouring, paprika and dark sticky soya sauce. 

Test #1: the 10 minute stain test. We left these on for 10 minutes to simulate the situation where the stain would be cleaned up quickly.

The results for test 1:

1. For the piece below, we just wiped off the stains with a dry tissue. As you can see, the balsamic vinegar, Chili oil, food colouring and dark soya sauce have left stains.



2. After washing the slab with detergent and water, other than the red food colouring, most of the stains were no longer visible. Generally, we were pleased – we could live with this.



Test #2: the 1hour stain test. This was to simulate the situation were stains were left to sit for a while e.g having dinner before cleaning and washing up. Feeling confident from the 10min test, we decided to stress the slab more by smearing more on.


The results for test 2:

1. After a full hour of waiting, Lance decided to start taking videos because he saw the stains and decided that this was gonna be a good one!
Based on a simple wipedown, the most obvious marks were made by the balsamic vinegar, soya sauce but the biggest stain was from my favourite Chili oil! The sneaky unexpected culprit.

2. After washing the slab with detergent and water, the balsamic vinegar and soya sauce stains faded significantly. The Chili oil stain faded slightly + having known where we tested the oil, the stain was more obvious to us.

Also, to further test the outcome, we studied it under different lighting situations. Under yellow light, we couldn’t tell where the stains were. Under white light and careful reflection, I could see the etch marks left behind due to acidity of the balsamic vinegar.

 

Overall, we were pleased with the results despite some light staining (especially since the marble was not treated prior to testing). I brought the “stained” slab to my parents and sisters – none of them could tell where the stains where. To be perfectly honest, the color variances were actually more obvious in the video than in person. Overall, the grey veining and tones helped to conceal the stains.

It’s not perfect but the sealant will help. Also I’d like to think that we are generally neat cooks + we also plan to take decent care of it.

The day after, in natural morning light:


We went to sleep happy to confirm our selection. This piece is just beautiful in the morning light, I’m in love with it even more and after this test, there’s no turning back to ugly granite anymore. Goodbye granite, hello Marble!
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