Marble countertops are considered a high maintenance material. Between the required resealing, tendency towards staining and etching, and risk of chipping, marble is a stone that needs to be carefully cared for to maintain its natural beauty.
Marble countertops should be resealed every six months and should be cleaned with pH-neutral cleaning products to prevent etching. Sealing marble is to prevent staining, not etching. Etching is very hard to avoid with marble, it comes with the territory. Marble can be repeatedly polished to remove any stains or scratches from the surface. In addition, if a stain occurs, a poultice can be used to help try to lift them to the surface. This is effective for some types of stains, but does require time and effort, and in some cases professional assistance. Knowing these attributes as you choose your countertop material is key. Marble can give you a beautiful look and last a lifetime, you just need to be ready for the more regular upkeep and maintenance.
Quartz countertops are virtually maintenance free. Quartz does not need to be sealed and can be cleaned with most standard household cleaners or even warm water and soap. In addition, quartz isn’t likely to etch or stain, so you don’t have to stay as vigilant about the surface the way you would with a marble countertop.
Both marble and quartz can have minor repairs such as filling in dings and small chips using an epoxy or resin repair kit in a color matching the countertop. In many cases you can do this yourself with a kit from your local home maintenance shop. We mentioned earlier that the surface of marble can crack if a heavy object falls on it, in that case you would have to bring in a professional for repairs.
In terms of maintenance, quartz has the advantage. The main reason homeowners, builders, and interior designers choose engineered quartz over marble is the ease of care. Marble is beautiful to look at, but it isn’t exactly carefree.