There are some truly amazing imitation products out there these days, but even the best imitations don't come close to the real thing. Marble has many attributes that can not be reproduced, for example the look - the look on your visitors faces when they stop by and see your beautiful, gorgeous kitchen and stone countertop, that is.
Wether your trying to outdo the neighbors in home remodeling or not, marble is a functional but unfortunately slightly less durable countertop material than granite or slate. Oils, common in the kitchen, can stain marble. So can high acid foods like citrus fruits or vinegar. And unlike granite, marble can also be stained by colored foods and spices.
There are some great sealant products available to help protect your marble countertop against these staining substances just like you might use on a butcher block countertop or other worktops susceptible to staining. Only you can decide if if the outstanding beauty is worth the slightly higher staining potential of marble.
One way around the staining problem is to use marble tile instead of slabs. Tile installers will usually order about 10% more tile than they expect to need during tile laying. By storing away the excess tiles, you always have a small inventory that can be used to replace damaged tiles in the future.
If the joints between tiles are a concern, you needn't worry - take a second look at what tile layers can do with this type of tile. Joints can be made very tight, and with matching grout are almost invisible. You can't always escape joints with slab anyway, since slabs often aren't large enough to cover an entire contertop area.
Don't take this all the wrong way, it's not like a slab marble countertop is so fragile and stain prone that it's not suitable as a kitchen countertop material. It is very functional - it is resistant to discoloration from hot pans, it resists scratching fairly well, it is easy to clean and maintain. It simply needs a little more thought than other more robust materials.
When choosing your marble countertop slabs or tiles, you have a range of colors and pattern effects to choose from to suite your kitchen design. Your task is to narrow down your choices to the one that you like best.
Marble countertops are very popular, and many find it difficult to choose between the beauty of marble and the durability of granite. However, the looks often win, and people tend to go for the marble and worry about the stains and cleaning later - that's fine. With prompt cleanup of staining substances, and a proper schedule of sealant treatment, there's no reason it can't resist staining for many years.