Friday, June 17, 2011

FAQ Friday: Rain Forest Brown in a Kitchen?

Today I'm answering a reader question from Peter.
"We were told that we could not use rainforest marble in the kitchen due to susceptibility to damage both physical and chemical, especially any foods, cleaners, etc.. that are acidic.  I see on your website pictures of the marble in kitchens.  In your opinion, is it durable for kitchen use?"

Thanks for your question and email.  The answer is that it depends.  Marble is great for a kitchen countertop.  It's beautiful, it wears well, it's heat resistant, I could go on and on.  The downside of marble?  It's a calcium based stone, so it etches when anything acidic gets on it.  It also is more porous and will stain easier than granite.  Though I don't thinking staining is as big of a deal as etching because we can generally get stains out. 
One of the reasons that granite is so popular is that it's so durable.  If you want a countertop that will look perfect forever use granite or quartz.
So the answer really lies with you.  Do you like a countertop with patina and character?  Or would you like it to look perfect forever?  There isn't a right answer, it just depends on your taste and personality.
All this being said, Rain Forest Brown isn't technically a marble.  Yes, it is legally sold as marble in the US, but geologically it's actually a serpentinite.
Serpentinite does behave differently than a marble. It is harder and it's recommended that it's cut with a granite blade instead of a marble blade. It won't etch or stain as easily as a marble will.
Serpentinite is common beneath the oceanic crust, where it forms by the alteration of the mantle rock peridotite. But it is seldom seen on land except in rocks from subduction zones, where oceanic rocks may be preserved.
Most people call it serpentine, but serpentine is the set of minerals that make up serpentinite.  It gets its name from its resemblance to snakeskin, with a mottled color, waxy or resinous luster and curving, polished surfaces.
Rain Forest Brown is an amazing stone.  Just be sure to do your research and be prepared for the additional maintenance and expectations and I think you will be very happy with your beautiful countertops .

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