Read Part 1 of this series.


If you want to impart a luxurious and classic look into your kitchen or bathroom, this is the stone for you. It does require a bit more tlc than granite but properly cared for it will give you decades of use.


Attributes of marble countertops

  1. A beautiful, solid stone material mined from quarries from around the world
  2. Available in a wide spectrum of colors from whites, creams, beiges, greys, rust, gold and black
  3. Marble island

    Coloring tends to be fairly consistent with veins of concentrated color running through

  4. It’s available in a wide variation of finishes such as leather, brushed and honed (aka suede) and of course, the traditional polished finish. TIP: Each manufacturer may have their own name for each finish and may not offer every one
  5. It makes a great accent on an island or wet bar, if your budget won’t stretch to using it on all your countertops
  6. Slightly softer than granite but still offers good durability
  7. Look for the marble that is mined on Vancouver Island


Things to know about marble

  1. Requires a similar type of care to granite. With some TLC both granite and marble will keep their fantastic looks for years
  2. Etching

    It’s porous and will therefor stain without proper sealing

  3. Be prepared to seal your countertops every 1-2 years
  4. It’s especially vulnerable to acidic foods and liquids, which will etch it. TIP: Etching will be less noticeable on white marble than other colors
  5. Care for your marble by keeping it sealed, avoiding acidic material and wiping spills up quickly



  • See costs for engineered stone



Engineered Stone

This man-made material is commonly known as quartz countertops, due to its high content of crushed quartzite. It’s a good choice if you are looking for consistent coloration and pattern.


Attributes of engineered stone

  1. Also known as Quartz and manufactured around the world by companies such as Silestone, Caesarstone, Hanstone, Cambria, and Icestone to name a few
  2. It was originally developed in 1963 in Italy as Bretonstone, and was designed for use as floor tiles
  3. Manufactured from 80-92% crushed quartzite, mixed with pigment for color and polyresin as a binder
  4. Engineered stone is used in about 70% of the kitchens of the supplier that we spoke to
  5. Quartz countertop

    Rich and luxurious in appearance it’s great for contemporary homes with its modern look and consistent color and patterning

  6. There is a wide range of color choice and pattern. Some of which can mimic traditional marble, granite and limestone or have their own unique patterns and effects such mirror flecks or speckles
  7. Available in a wide variation of finishes such as leather, brushed and honed (suede) as well as the traditional polished finished. TIP: A honed finished is higher maintenance as it shows marks more easily
  8. Seams can be less noticeable due to more consistent coloring
  9. Some manufacturers offer integral sinks made out of engineered stone for a seamless look. TIP: This would make bathroom sink cleaning a breeze
  10. It has a softer feel than other solid countertop materials
  11. Very durable yet also more forgiving and doesn’t chip or crack easily
  12. Has a non-porous finish that is extremely stain resistant without the need to seal the surface
  13. Canadian manufacturer, Hanstone makes the majority of their products in Ontario with Canadian quartz

Things to know about engineered stone

  1. Not as resistant to heat. Take care with hot pots and hair-styling tools



  • Price ranges from $85-$200 per sq ft. TIP: The complexity of the job, number of seams , corners, and the style of the edge profile will impact countertop costs too
  • Standard eased edge is the standard profile. There are several others to choose from costing around $30-$40 extra per linear foot
  • Consider fluting beside your sink. This is where the fabricator creates channels in the countertop similar to a built-in drain-board

Continued in Part 3