Cultured marble is essentially a blend of pulverized natural marble and resins, forming what is known as Cultured marble. Similar to Cultured onyx and Cultured granite, the natural stone-based material makes for a great countertop material in place of natural marble, and are more affordable.
Cultured marble is also sustainable, being able to utilize the scrap pieces from carving out raw marble. Cultured marble colors in a variety of natural and artificial dyes. Like Cultured onyx, Cultured marble has specific differences from the real thing. Most notably, the overall value of Cultured marble is much lower than that of real marble. However, Cultured marble is not considered as an imitation for real marble, as the former is in its own category.
Due to its moldable properties, Cultured marble has the versatility that natural stone cannot achieve. Comparable to corian and quartz countertops, Cultured marble countertops offer a natural-looking finish without the high prices.
Cultured marble products come in a vast array of color options, which can depend on the stone particles mixed in. Same color stones create a minimalistic and monotone coloration, which different natural stone mixes create a stunning display of colors perfect for marble countertops, shower walls, and other conspicuous areas.
As a raw material, Cultured marble can be made-to-order to fit into specific home designs. Molds are prepared in advance, and the structure is created upon order to a specific blend of stones, as well as specific materials, finishes, and other details.
Care & Maintenance
Unlike natural marble, cultured marble is a low maintenance material with very little cleaning requirements due to its non-porous, protective gel varnish. To maintain the condition of Cultured marble, better to use pH neutral cleaners for the best results. However, a chemically-damaged or stained Cultured marble surface may need to be re-polished.
1. Use non-abrasive cleaning implements
While the surface is non-porous, the resin is still in danger of scratches and stains. Stains can happen when scratched surfaces create microscopic pockets that lock in dirt and oils. Brushes like steel wool, scouring pads, and hard sponges are not ideal, as they may scrub away the protective gel layer.
2. Use mild cleaning solutions
Bleach, strong alcohols, and concentrated cleaners can corrode the resin, and make the surface look cloudy or have a rough feel. The protective coating has limitations in the strength of cleaners used on the surface, so best to stick to mild cleaning solutions.
The type of resin used is also dependent on the manufacturer of the Cultured marble, with some resins more durable than others. Certain cleaners, like skin-safe multi-surface cleaners can be used with caution. When in doubt, test the cleaner on a small patch first and observe for any reactions.
3. Apply a layer of wax or protective material
As an added protection, apply a wax or oil seal on your Cultured marble to give it a shiny finish, buff out shallow scratches, and protect the Cultured marble from moisture. Applying a thin layer of seal helps to keep the Cultured marble in pristine condition for a longer time.
Other Facts about Cultured Marble
Cultured marble is preferred by a handful of designers for its ability to be customized in shape and pattern. Traditionally, Cultured marble was made using extra pieces of marble to create a product out of what is essentially a waste.
Today, however, artisans make use of different stones, materials, and marble slabs to create designs ranging from a mimicry of natural marble, to specific designs using a mosaic-style pattern. An alternative to Cultured marble is to use pieces of glass, broken CDs, and coloured resin, but they don't give off the same luxurious feel as Cultured marble made with natural stone.
Choosing Cultured Marble
Cultured marble is a great option for homeowners who want a touch of class in their homes without the heavy price tag or high-maintenance cleaning. Cultured marble offers the right mix of durability and sophistication that mimics real marble well. Its veining and patterns may be artificial, but the luxury that Cultured marble brings into homes is a genuine feeling.
To read up on more types of marble suitable for your home, check out our blog!