Friday, April 9, 2010

Imperial Danby marble

Note: My Danby staining/etching tests can be found here.
- Imperial Danby sample test
- Imperial Danby patina
- Imperial Danby sample test, round two
- Imperial Danby, meet Barkeeper's Friend
- Life with Danby marble

Article as originally written:
Another step on the road to kitchen nirvana. In doing this reno, I've tried to use local resources as much as possible. Our Trikeenan backsplash is made in New Hampshire. Our cabinets will be built by a local custom cabinetmaker. So when I was thinking through countertop possibilities, Danby marble came to mind.

Danby marble is quarried in nearby Vermont. It has the reputation of being a denser, harder marble. The Danby website says, " its low absorption rate of (0.07) that makes it highly suitable for use in the kitchen." Indeed, this absorption rate is less than some granites. However, it does still need to be sealed. There are many beautiful Danby marbles from Eureka (which compares to Calacatta) to Appalachian Green to the muted veining of Royal Danby to the dark green true serpentine, Verde Cavendish.

My husband finally had the opportunity to see Danby marble in person when he visited the good folks at Marble & Granite Inc. in Westwood, MA. They have an enormous selection of granite and marble. He'd made an appointment, and they pulled out a number of slabs for him to view. He brought home two samples. One, Monte Blanc, was polished quartzite. The other was honed Imperial Danby.

We both fell in love with the Imperial Danby. The honed finish was so wonderfully soft and tactile. I found myself petting the sample whenever I was in the kitchen. My son also loved it. The orange-y, gold veins perfectly brought out the antique heart pine that we're considering as flooring. Lovely.

Honed Imperial Danby with Farrow & Ball Cooking Apple Green (cabinets), Trikeenan backsplash, and antique heart pine (floor):

Honed Imperial Danby with Farrow & Ball Cooking Apple Green and Old White (cabinets), Trikeenan backsplash, and soapstone (for the Old White cabinets on refrigerator run):


  1. the danby is so lovely! congrats! everything is looking great.

  2. Thanks. It feels like things are slowly coming together. Now if I could decide on the paint colors!

  3. i am considering using danby imperial. would you mind telling me a ballpark cost if you have one. i moved from newton to westchester county in NY and am curious about price differences

  4. For a long run of Imperial Danby (1 slab) and a short piece of soapstone, it was $93/sf. To do my whole kitchen in Imperial Danby would be $132/sf because I'd need two slabs. I hope this helps!

  5. I too have fallen in love with Imperial Danby. This, however, has proven problematic. I'm in Philly and went out to the warehouse this weekend where they supposedly had my slab. The "Imperial Danby" they had looked far more like Royal, Montclair, or Mountain Danby from the Vermont quarry website -- basically a lot of heavy grey-green-blue veining, and no gold. Apparently, my marble contractor has called around to the four largest suppliers in the region and apparently this is what's available. Would that I could find slabs that look like yours. Sadly, at the moment, that appears to be a bridge too far.

  6. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time finding Imperial Danby! I agree that the gold/caramel veining is so beautiful. Is Connecticut too far from you? The place I got my Imperial Danby sample also has a location in CT. It may be worth a call. Here's their contact info:

    Now, I haven't actually used them yet, but they were very nice to deal with when we were looking at slabs. Good luck! I hope you find your slab!

  7. Thanks! I gather you guys haven't bought your slab yet? If not, then you may want to hang on to some of that luck for yourself! I'm going to shop around a bit, myself, and may also contact the quarry. It doesn't make a ton of sense to me that the quarry would be shipping stuff that looks more like Montclair Danby than Imperial Danby, unless this was just some improperly labeled shipment that made it to my region.

    Anyway, I have to say, your blog has been quite informative about how the marble holds up. The "stress test" and "barkeeper's friend" entry were really interesting! In the meantime, I'll check out the warehouse you've dealt with. Maybe they have a larger selection of slabs and will do business with my guys.

  8. Hi,
    we are looking at imperial danby for our kitchen, but are concerned about durablity and spotting. We have marble in bath and it stains. heard this has a low absorbtion rate, but can you tell us your experience - do you have it in a kitchen as well?

  9. Hi,

    Marble will stain unless it's sealed. You can seal it yourself with a good quality sealer like 511 Porous Plus. I suggest doing that for your bath if you haven't done it yet. You'll need to redo it every so often (once a year perhaps).

    We don't have our Danby installed yet, but we will be using it in the kitchen. Our sealed sample didn't stain much at all, even with leaving red wine and coffee on for an hour. However, even sealed marble will etch. This is a slight change or roughening in the surface texture, not a color change.

    Hope this helped! Good luck with your kitchen.


  10. Any chance someone can tell how the Danby has held up now that you have lived with it for a while? Thank you in advance for any feed back! Barbara

  11. Barbara,

    We love, love, love our Danby marble. I accidentally left a tomatillo sauce smear on it overnight after a huge dinner party. It wiped away cleanly the next morning. No staining. There are some small etches. Marble will etch no matter what and eventually develop a little patina. We really are thrilled with how our counter looks and functions. Good luck with your project, and thanks for stopping by!

  12. Gena - I ran across your blog as I was researching stone and other surfaces for our kitchen counter remodel here in Vermont. Since I am also interested in potentially using Imperial Danby marble for my counter tops - I was pleased to read all about your decision making process.

    You have lived with your marble for almost a year now - how is it holding up and do you have any updated photos that you would like/be interested in sharing?

    Much thanks,

    Janet in Vermont

  13. Hi Janet,

    I'm so sorry I've been slow to respond. I've been taking a sabbatical from blogging and haven't been checking in. You've probably already chosen your counter material, but just in case, here are my belated thoughts.

    The Danby marble has performed beautifully! Our kitchen is not huge so although it is not the main prep area, it's used daily for prepping. It has not stained, despite my leaving drips of random stuff on it for hours. Sometimes...gulp...overnight. The only major etch came from leaving lemon juice puddled on the counter overnight (a cocktail party). That etch came out with barkeeper's friend.

    I absolutely love my Danby. Its texture and look is gorgeous. It's still as beautiful, if not more so, as the day it was installed. I currently have an event I'm prepping for, but I'll try to take some photos soon.


Thanks so much for commenting. I love reading your thoughts and responses.