Marble although beautiful, is not always the best choice for every kitchen. Quartz is a man-made alternative is that offers many look alike options.
Man-made Quartz derives its name from the natural mineral quartz which comprises about 95% of its make-up and then about 5% polymer resins. The combination of strong natural quartz gives quartz countertops great durability while the resins help to make the product non-porous (unlike natural stones IE: Granite). Quartz is typically more consistent in pattern and offers a wide range of colors, patterns, styles, and brands to choose among. It is scratch, stain, and heat resistant (but not heat proof! Trivets recommended). Pricing will vary among quartz brands and styles. The brand, along with the popularity of a color, and the complexity of its design will influence the raw slab price from the manufacturer. Quartz will typically range from low/mid-range to high price points. Quartz customers typically appreciate the low maintenance and consistency quartz products offer.
Marble is a natural stone characterized typically by its soft veining. Although it comes in a variety of colors and patterns, most commonly marbles are shades of grey and white with veins rather than speckles. Marble is much softer than quartz so as a result will show wear over time. Marble is very porous and therefore can easily stain, sealers can be applied slow this absorption down. Etching however is an issue with marble, which cannot be easily fixed. Etching is a chemical process that alters the marble’s appearance and structure. This occurs when anything acidic comes into contact with the stone (IE: lemon, ice tea, citrus, wine, salad dressing). Etching will remove any shine to the stone and then leaves a dull rougher spot on the countertops. Since this is a chemical reaction, it is not reversible. Honing is a process by which polish of the stone is pre-worn away in fabrication on the countertops. While this makes the stone more porous (the polish acts as a barrier) it also minimizes the appearance of etching on the countertops. Marble customers understand appreciate this timeless look but evolving finish. Just look at Europe, thousands of years old and the wear and tear is what has made it even more beautiful!