You have probably seen a lot of master bathrooms with cultured marble counter/sink combo. People use it a lot for their lower-level bathroom and for kids’ baths, etc.
However, not everyone recommends cultured marble in the bathroom. Apart from being dated and cheap-looking, there are some disadvantages of cultured marble that you should be aware of.
So, stay with me for a while and see for yourself whether those drawbacks are major deal-breakers or not.
Cultured Marble Drawbacks
It’s affordable and aesthetically pleasant to look at. So, why some people don’t like this marble? Is this only a misconception? Let’s check out those reasons:
- Scratch Prone
Its durability is not in question but it’s definitely not indestructible. This man-made marble is subject to scratches and once scratched it’s nearly impossible to remove those scratch marks.
For most people, this is the biggest downside of cultured marble. If you have active kids, you will have those scratches on the marble sooner or later.
Even if you don’t have kids, using abrasive cleaning products will leave scratch marks on the countertop and dull the protective coating.
- Stain Prone
Not everything can stain the cultured marble but there are certain substances like hair dye, juice, toothpaste, and liquids with acidic compounds that can still stain it.
Besides, hard water stains can develop over time.
That’s another big reason why not everyone is in favor of cultured marble. Not everyone is fond of putting efforts to keep the marble stain-free.
It gets serious if you buy any low-quality cultured marble. But on the positive side, you should be able to clean the stains with some effort. And it does not happen to high-quality cultured marble.
It does not happen to high-end cultured marble anytime soon, but for low-quality cultured marble, discoloring is a major problem. There are some reports on this issue available on the internet.
Usually, the protective coating disappears fast on low-quality cultured marble. And when it does, discoloration happens really fast.
- Less Durable Than Quartz
Cultured marble is tough and durable but it’s not the strongest material on earth. And being porous in nature, it absorbs liquids quickly. Also, it reacts with acidic liquids.
Quartz is free of such problems. It’s completely non-porous and resistant to staining and scratching. So, when compared with Quartz, cultured marble is less durable.
So, a lot of people prefer Quartz over cultured marble. Besides, Quartz is not so expensive as cultured marble either.
- Quality Variation
Lots of brands are manufacturing cultured marble and there is no unique measure to control the quality. All of them have different quality standards and not all of them offer warranties.
So, the market is full of cultured marble with so many different qualities. You can mistakenly buy the low-quality cultured marble and suffer a lot in the future.
Low-quality cultured marbles are structurally weak and they are definitely not reliable to be in your bathroom. You need to be super careful about the supplier you choose.
- Inconsistent Aesthetic
Cultured marbles are man-made and made from various miniature materials by different manufacturers. So, there is a huge chance that the aesthetics will be inconsistent with your bathroom.
To be more clear, there is a chance that the color won’t match if you install several different items or the texture will be different on some parts than what you intended.
And discoloration (yellowing) will happen even after many years of usages.
- Out of Style
At least some people think that cultured marble is out of style. They believe that because it’s been here with us since 1960. Back then, it was highly popular.
Being dated, some people find it out of style and inconsistent with the modern bathrooms.
- Disappearance of Protective Coating
Almost all the cultured marble is coated with a protective gel. That’s what protects it from scratching and staining and keeps it in good condition for years.
It will not happen soon but as the marble ages, the protective gel will begin to crack. Often starts with a small area but eventually spread to the whole marble.
You can imagine the rest if there is no protective gel, right?
- High Maintenance
All the disadvantages mentioned above demands higher maintenance of cultured marble. It stains and scratches easily. So, you need to wipe the surface up as soon as you spill anything on it.
You need to be extra careful if you spill acidic liquids like wine and citrus juices to prevent any staining or permanent damages. You can’t leave it uncleaned for too long.
You must protect it from extreme temperature and use the right cleaning materials and processes to keep it clean.
Not everyone is fond of frequent complex cleaning. So, those people literally hate cultured marble and many of them prefer Quartz since it requires less maintenance than cultured marble.
Is Cultured Marble Worth It?
To me, yes. In fact, lots of people still prefer cultured marble over modern options like Quartz and so on. Nobody is saying it’s the most perfect and strongest material but you can’t just ignore it either.
You can’t reach a decision unless you know both the cultured marble pros and cons, right? So, let’s debunk some misconceptions and fear about this marble.
When some people think it’s dated and cheap-looking, they are just not being practical. Yes, it’s affordable but definitely not ‘cheap’.
There are pricey cultured marbles in the market just like the Quartz. Sometimes, even more expensive!
I have a vanity countertop that is cultured marble. It’s 25 years old and still, I love the look of it. So, don’t be concerned about the durability of high-quality cultured marble products either.
Besides, all those problems mentioned above can be easily avoided if you pick the right cultured marble manufacturer and installer. Some of the manufacturers do the installation themselves as well.
It’s easy to clean, maintains a beautiful look for a long time, and saves a lot of money. I am 100% for it!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Weaker finishes, difficulty to get rid of any scratches, not so durable, etc. are some of the major drawbacks of cultured marble countertops.
It’s true that cultured marble was widely used during the period of 1960 to 1980 for countertops, sinks, bathtubs, shower walls, vanity tops, etc. But it’s still popular today.
Yes, it’s still a good choice to have the look of expensive marbles without the cost. Being non-porous and durable, cultured marble can resist lots of abuse and stains. And with the right care, the surface of the cultured marble remains beautiful for many years to come.
Yes, but only if not cared for a long time. Old water buildup causes the yellowing of cultured marble.
With the right treatment and proper care, cultured marble should last around 20 years.
Look…even the most expensive marble has its own drawbacks. Nothing is free of limitations.
So, don’t let those easily avoidable disadvantages of cultured marble deprive you of having this amazing and affordable marble.
It’s not the perfect material but it’s versatile and offers multiple benefits. Just choose your options carefully and make sure to take care of it at a regular interval if you decide to have this marble.
With the right care, your cultured marble will be good for many years to come!