There has never been a time when marble table tops have been more popular in the hospitality sector – and for good reason: marble is a gorgeous, tactile natural material that is also heat resistant and, if you shop carefully, can be found at a reasonable price.
However, there are several compelling reasons why this should not be the case. Because of this, marble is unexpectedly susceptible to staining and etching by common acids (wine, vinegar, tannin…) and is prone to cracking and chipping along the edges. It is also quite heavy, which makes shipping and installation both time-consuming and expensive. This weight also makes it unsuitable for use on various lightweight and flip-top table bases. may also be prohibitively costly — Carrara is typically the only marble option that falls into the “budget” category. Finally, some consumers express concerns about marble being a ‘cold’ material.
It is impossible to overstate how important it is to take proper care of marble table tops in order to maintain them in good shape.
This has resulted in the development of highly acceptable alternatives to marble for table surfaces. Our list of 10 marble alternatives, together with its advantages and disadvantages, should be taken into consideration when picking a replacement tabletop for your designs.
Terrazzo Table Tops
Terrazzo is a common building material that is made of stone fragments (typically marble) mixed with cement. Terrazzo’s primary advantage is the wide variety of finishes that are available; aside from this, its characteristics are similar to those of marble; it is heat-resistant, but it is also a brittle material that is susceptible to chipping, staining, and etching. Terrazzo is available in a variety of colors and finishes.
Granite Table Tops
Granite is available in a variety of colors and is frequently used for kitchen work surfaces. Due to the fact that it is a tougher stone than marble, it is less susceptible to scratches, staining, and etching; nonetheless, it is not completely impervious to any of these conditions.
Silestone Table Tops
Silestone is a brand name for a kind of quartz that is made; other producers use other names for the same material. This material is robust, resistant to damage, and stain resistant; nevertheless, it does not hold up well at high temperatures. It is available in a variety of finishes, including polished and matte. A Silestone counter top is more costly than a traditional marble counter top.
Lightweight Marble Table Tops
Fine pieces of real marble are bonded to a lighter core (such as fibreglass) to create table tops that are both light and durable, making them suitable for applications requiring large marble surfaces. The tops are incredibly thin, making them ideal for flip-top tables and huge indoor tables that would otherwise be too large to fit in a restaurant’s interior design scheme. Because these tables are made of real marble, they will have all of the same disadvantages as traditional marble tables, such as etching and chipping, but will be far lighter in weight.
Ceramic/Porcelain Table Tops
Dekton, a durable alternative to real stone, is another (expensive) substitute for marble. Its primary benefit is that it is very resistant to all types of stains.
Corian Table Tops
Corian is a man-made substance made of acrylic. The fact that it is stain resistant and difficult to fracture or shatter means that it is more durable than marble (or granite). Furthermore, it has the ability to be shaped and mended invisibly. Because of its low(er) heat resistance and greater susceptibility to scratching, it is less popular than marble (although scratches can be sanded away).
Versital Table Tops
Versital is a resin-based imitation marble that has been created by humans. Unlike marble, it is stain and scratch resistant, as well as being non-porous and slightly lighter in color. Available in a variety of natural-looking marble and granite finishes, in addition to RAL colors with sparkling effects, it is extremely versatile.
Laminate Table Tops
An MDF base is used in conjunction with a marble look laminate (for example, Formica, Egger, Polyrey), which is installed on top of the base. The tables will be far less expensive, lighter in weight, and more stain resistant. The disadvantage is that the majority of laminates available have a gleaming appearance. Despite the fact that matt laminates are becoming more widely accessible. Laminates are likewise restricted to a single edge profile: straight. If the edge is to be laminated, it must be a minimum of 50mm thick in order to adhere, and the design will not be consistent.
Compact Laminate Table Tops
Table tops labeled as ‘compact laminate’ are constructed of a man-made substance with a very solid (black) core and a laminate top surface available in a variety of finishes (not yet one that mimics marble). The tops are less expensive, lighter (because to their thinner construction), and totally waterproof. They are available in a limited number of finishes, some of which have a ‘natural feel’ to them. They are a very durable and reliable alternative.
Topalit Table Tops
Topalit, the brand name for a chipboard table ‘wrapped’ in a sealed, waterproof membrane and available in a broad choice of (printed) finishes, including marble-look, is a popular budget alternative for ‘marble-look’ tables. Although it is available in a limited number of sizes and seems less authentic than other alternatives, it is scratch and stain resistant, waterproof, and lighter than the majority of the competition — making it an excellent choice for flip-top bases.
MDF Marble Table Tops
In order to get the appearance of real stone on a table, MDF may be “painted” to have a marble finish applied; this combines the advantages of natural stone’s appearance with the lightness, durability (and warm sensation) of a hardwood table. The finish is stain- and etch-resistant, and it is more suited for lighter table bases than other finishes (including flip-top bases). It cannot (at this time) be used outside.
Tabletop materials should be chosen in accordance with your needs. Due to the large number of available colors, textures, and quality variables to consider, you may wish to consult with expert interior designers for assistance..