Several years ago, you finally had the kitchen of your dreams put into your home. You pored over all the details of what would go in like cabinets, backsplashes, sinks, and of course, countertops.
Maybe you chose that Calacatta marble you’ve always wanted or perhaps you found a Carrara Marble that came out just perfect. No matter which type of marble stone you chose, within a few years you’ll probably have some noticeable wear and tear, including a common issue we routinely service called marble etching.
Read on as we explore what marble etching is and new and innovative tactics you can use to treat and protect your marble to keep it looking great for years to come.
What Marble Etching Is (and What it Isn’t)
The process of etching is a chemical reaction where a caustic material like vinegar, red wine, tomato sauce, lemon juice, or some other acid eats away at the stone. With a polished surface, etching will present a noticeable “scar” where the top layer has been removed and the raw marble beneath shows, usually appearing dull.
Etching is sometimes grouped with stains but stains are simply when a substance gets absorbed within the pores of the stone. Etching is a chemical reaction that eats away at the surface of the stone.
Etching often appears as water spots or a ring from a glass being set down. A glass of wine with just a little bit of wine on the bottom can quickly cause etching to occur when it’s set on the marble countertop.
While some stone repairs and cleaning can be DIY—the etching repair process typically requires a skilled professional stone craftsmen.
How and Why Marble Etching Happens
Marble is known as a fairly soft stone in part because of its proneness to marking. Etching occurs when the calcium carbonate present in marble reacts with the acids in everyday items like lemon juice or a vinegar-based cleaners. The reaction strips away the top layers of the marble leaving the dull, raw marble beneath.
Etching is a common issue that comes up with marble because of the many different household products that are acidic. Because these products are common to most every household, and will spend a good deal of time on, or around, a home’s countertops, the likelihood is high for etching to occur at some point.
Think a few errant drops of glass cleaner left on the countertop, wine stain circles from your glass, or the spaghetti sauce that’s spilled and accidentally left overnight. All these examples can cause etching in your marble countertops.
When DIY Fixes are Enough and When to Hire a Professional
There are some DIY methods that can help extend the life of your stone and help it to keep its luster longer.
- Regular maintenance is absolutely vital.
- Keep the counters free of dirt, grime, and liquids. Even the crystals from a little spilled sugar can act like sandpaper, grinding away at your stone’s surface.
- At least weekly, or anytime there’s a mess, wipe your countertops down with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.
- If a mess needs a cleaning product, use a very mild soap or, better yet, use a cleaning product that is formulated for stone – we recommend MB Stone Care.
For the best DIY results, every six months or so you should use a product that maintains the stone’s sealant. This sealant helps protect the stone’s surface from scratching, etching, and staining.
When you do have deep scratches, etches, or stains, it’s generally the best idea to call in a professional refinisher. Our stone craftsmen will take a detailed assessment of the present condition of the stone and then employ the proper grit progression to safely remove stains, scratches and etches. Once free of these defects, the marble can be refinished, polished, and finally, sealed to protect the surface.
New Products, New Capabilities: MORE™ AntiEtch™
At Fabric & Tile Masters, we have the professional experience to expertly take an old, dull, and worn piece of stone and make it sparkle like new again. To do this type of work requires incredible skill and experience.
Adding to our capabilities, we recently have become the only certified applicator for a product developed by MORE™, called AntiEtch™. With so many years in the industry, we were absolutely ecstatic to see this innovative product in action and are thrilled to be able to offer this service to our customers.
MORE™ AntiEtch™ can be applied to a variety of stones and stops scratching, staining, and etching for 10 years! When applied, the finish comes out crystal clear, with a low odor, and is 100% safe for the environment and your family. As an added bonus, the product has zero porosity (something that is porous has many tiny holes), meaning that liquids can’t get through and so stains, germs and bacteria have no place to hide out. This product is truly a game changer for any homeowner with marble countertops.
When it Absolutely Has to be Done Right, Hire a Pro
The best course for keeping marble countertops looking brand new is a combination of regular maintenance combined with professional refinishing, polishing, and sealing.
Putting off proper maintenance will always cost more down the road. At Fabric & Tile Masters, our name says it all—we have the skills and experience and are true masters in this craft.
We take the trust our clients put in our services seriously so never offer anything less than professional, diligent work.
If you’re interested in having your stone assessed, or specifically in learning more about MORE™ AntiEtch™, contact us for professional marble etching repair specialists. We’ll walk you through all the steps we’d take and provide you with a quote detailing everything needed to make your stone look great again.