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Marble has practically become synonymous with kitchen renovations. Calacatta, Carrara, Arbascato—it would be impossible to count all the updated spaces in which we’ve seen white-gray variations of the natural stone. But unlike other popular features such as subway tile backsplashes, this countertop material comes with a catch: It requires maintenance every three to six months. 

In a recent survey conducted by Formica, 70 percent of homeowners admitted to not knowing that marble requires sealing in order to protect against everyday staining and scratches—something you don’t have to worry about with man-made quartz or laminate. Another little-known fact: Because marble is softer than even granite (meaning there are more pores in the rock that cause it to absorb things that touch it), the protective finish needs to be reapplied at least twice a year, according to one brand

Now that we are all up to speed, the question is: Should the extra step deter you? We say go for it. As designer Stefani Stein recently reminded us, engineered options aren’t as indestructible as they’re made out to be. “In a honed finish, and with basic upkeep, marble is much more durable,” she says. It’s just a matter of finding the right sealer, something your countertop installer will definitely be able to help you with. (Psst: HomeAdvisor can match you with the right pro as well.) Or consider one of the two options, below. 

More AntiEtch is a company that makes a scratch-resistant sealer for acid-sensitive stones, but its gel-like coating is on the expensive side (it cost photographer Teri Lyn Fisher around $3,900 to treat her small Los Angeles kitchen). If you’re up for a DIY (the process really just involves wiping the treatment on the surface, letting it sit, and wiping it off), consider buying StoneTech’s BulletProof Sealer. The Amazon favorite has more than 1,000 positive reviews, sealing the deal. 

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