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August 14, 2019

The Answers to Your Questions About Imitation Marble Countertops 


imitation marble countertopsWhen you love the look of a luxury surface, you may be wondering if imitation marble countertops can give you all of the appearance and features of the natural stone, but at a fraction of the price.  Unfortunately, only real marble will ever equal its beauty and specific advantages.  That said, you still may like the look of imitation marble countertops and they may suit your décor very well.  It’s all a matter of deciding whether or not they meet your needs and expectations and suit your style and personal taste.  The answers to the following question should help you to make this decision.

What are imitation marble countertops?

The term imitation marble countertops refer to a blend of crushed limestone and fiberglass resin, also known as cultured marble.  This form of surface is a combination of natural and synthetic materials and is usually categorized within the cast polymer family.  Cast polymer is created by mixing pigments and inorganic particulates within an unsaturated polyester resin.  The particulates are fillers that are typically made of engineered calcium carbonate.

How are imitation marble countertops made?

Imitation marble countertops are the result of the precise blending of the ingredients which are then mixed thoroughly and poured into special molds.  These molds are left open at the top and are coated with a clear gelcoat substance.  This substance ensures that the surface of the imitation marble countertops will be durable, strong, shiny, non porous, highly resistant to staining, and yet very easy for the homeowner to maintain.  The shape of the sheet that results is dependent on the shape of the mold. 

The formulation and techniques used by the manufacturer creates the various colors and vein patterns in the final product.  A catalyst is used once the mixture is in the mold, to make it polymerize and harden, forming a single durable solid.  This is a chemical process and takes several hours, after which the slab is taken out of the mold and trimmed to the desired size.  The edge is then added, and the whole thing is polished and inspected.  At this point, it is ready for installation.

Are there advantages to imitation marble countertops?

Because of the way that imitation marble countertops are made, and the strength of the gelcoat, the finished product is quite strong, is nonporous (making it resistant to staining, as well as to mildew and bacteria growth), and resistant to scratching and chipping.  Though it is would not be mistaken for the real natural stone, it is still very attractive with a glossy shining surface.

Are imitation marble countertops appropriate for use in a kitchen?

As durable as imitation marble countertops are, they are still softer and easier to scratch or chip than typical kitchen counters.  For this reason, many people use these counters in others areas such as in tub or shower surrounds or vanities, instead of for food prep areas that will take much more of a beating on a daily basis.

Imitation marble countertops are an attractive and interesting surface.  Though they are not used for kitchens as often as say granite, depending on your décor and expectations for maintenance, they could work nicely for your home improvement project.

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