Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Life with Danby marble

I was cleaning up today after breakfast and realized that our kitchen has been a working one for about a month now. Has it been that long? And the walls still aren't painted?!? Sorry. I'm getting off-track...

Forget the lemon, wine, et. al. tests I did with our marble samples. How is the Danby marble holding up after some real life use and abuse? I actually had to think about this. And go hunting for etch marks. Because the marble has been so functional and easy to take care of that I'd started taking it for granted.

I have to admit that we babied the marble the first several days. It was reserved for sandwich prep and other clean tasks. I wiped up spills right away. Then slowly, slowly, we slipped back into our old, sloppy ways. Last weekend, I used our marble counter to make a really messy pumpkin puree and left pumpkin splats on the counter for...gasp...hours!

And here's the counter...still unstained after all that abuse. It has etched. A few etch marks. The circular etches show up very clearly in the photo, but only because I took the photo at an acute angle. If you stood over the counter, you really couldn't see them at all.


Here's an etch mark in the dark veining of our Mountain White Danby marble. I know it's there, but I still had to hunt to find it for this shot.






What do you think? Remember that the photos were deliberately taken to highlight the etch marks. They're nowhere near as visible in real life. If just knowing that these marks existed would make you reach for your Brillo pad, then perhaps marble isn't the right surface for you. If you can shrug off these etches, Danby marble can be a wonderful countertop. Classic. Beautiful with such a subtle shimmer. Durable.

Now if only my soapstone counter were as problem-free...

14 comments:

  1. So glad to hear that your marble (if not your soapstone) is working out well. I am in the middle of honed-marble HELL at this point. Even after scouring The Garden Web for months to educate myself about honed marble, I am completely discouraged dealing with the pushback I'm getting from everyone, from distributors to fabricators. Sigh. I also have a supplier question to ask you. We relocated to the Boston area from NY over a year ago, and are currently renovating our house (including kitchen). Since we are new to the area, we are also new to suppliers. I have to pick out my marble slabs (I need 2) in the next few days and I am finding that there is a dearth of honed marble slabs out there. Do you have any suggestions for marble distributors? I've been to Marble & Granite--nothing there really works for me; and I've contacted the Boston Granite Exchange, but they only have 1 honed slab and I need 2, and they don't expect another shipment for two months. I may be looking at plywood countertops for the holiday season. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. Oh no! So sorry for all the marble stress! We used Marble & Granite. They had (and I think still have) a gorgeous lot of honed Mountain White Danby that we used. It was SO budget friendly! But its veining leans the slightest bit green which doesn't work with everyone's design.

    Have you checked Elemar (http://www.elemarnewengland.com/)? They're in New Haven, CT. I haven't worked with them, but had heard about them...oh...somewhere. Possibly Garden Web. I'm sorry I've forgotten.

    Are you using Danby? Perhaps you could contact them directly? Good luck and please keep me posted about how you're doing!

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  3. Thank you so much for getting back to me! I would love to use Danby or Calacatta gold but the budget just can't bear the cost--we have a lot of perimeter counters and we need two slabs, so I'm going with White Carrara, which is not as grey as Bianco Carrara. M & G has a great selection of the more expensive white marble, not so much for the less expensive. I'm headed out today to check out two other places. If they don't pan out, I'll contact Elemar. Thanks for the help. I'll keep you posted once we get further along.

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  4. Gena, your marble is beautiful. The etching is from loving use. Happy memories of time spent in the kitchen with people you love.

    The Imperial Danby in the bakery is not used as heavily as yours. I keep looking for etching or staining, and so far nothing. Anything that stains, blueberries for one, stays on the Napanee Kitchenet. Marble is tougher than I first thought. It does not scratch like the soapstone. But that's okay, too. Happy memories . . .

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  5. Margcooks, not to be a Danby pusher, but if cost is a concern, ask Marble & Granite about their honed Danby Mountain White. Their chart shows it's less expensive than White Carrara, and it's quite white. Good luck with the search. I hope you find your perfect slabs!

    Thanks, Cotehele! Your kitchen was one of my inspirations so it means a lot hearing it from you! I agree. I thought marble would be the delicate belle of the kitchen ball, but it's quite tough.

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  6. plainjanemeetsvictorianNovember 11, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    Was at Dente Trading Marble and Granite today and they had lots of Vermont marble slabs that were beautiful... I just selected mine, very white and flowy marbles

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  7. plainjanemeetsvictorianNovember 11, 2010 at 10:57 PM

    Thanks for posting all of these wonderful experiments and creating a forum on this material. We did the same testing. Danby is an amazing stone and it is cool that it comes from Vermont!

    FYI, on the Vermont quarries site there's a guide to removing etching! The etching factor was our last hesitation but now we know we will be able to wipe it out with some comet powder and a scotch brite pad. Check it out! : )

    http://www.vermontquarries.com/downloads/treatment_interiors.pdf

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  8. Thanks, plainjane. Congratulations on finding your slab (and thanks for the Vermont quarries link)!

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  9. I am going to link you Danby post on GW...someone has a question about it!

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  10. Thanks, Deva! I haven't been checking GW as often as I'd like. I really should read it more frequently.

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  11. Gena, thanks for your report. I'm wondering what kind of soapstone you have and what are the problems you have experienced? thanks...

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  12. We have Beleza. However, our slab of Beleza looks quite different from the plain, dark slabs I'd seen online. I wonder if it was the last of a Beleza vein (if that makes any sense). In any case, it may need to be replaced. Cracks run through the slab, a few major cracks and many smaller ones. The folks who sold us the slab are coming to look at it soon. I'm hoping we'll have good news to report.

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  13. Nice blog about Danby. You can download a document from their website, www.vermontquarries.com which gives you simple instruction using comet to take out all etching on honed marble. Beautiful!

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  14. Hey, Gena. Love reading your trials with Danby. What are your thoughts 2 years later? We are considering for all kitchen countertops/backslash/bar area. Cook a lot with kids. More concerned about entertaining. We drink lots of red wine and have visions of myself running around placing coasters under everyone's wine glasses... Don't mind the gets used a lot look, just don't want it to look stained and soiled.

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