Marble Countertops: Colors, Cost, and Care Guide

by Joanna Stewart

Wed, Nov 28, 2018

white kitchen cabinets with marble countertops

Ah, Carrara Marble - the holy grail of kitchen countertops! Yes, you can have marble in your kitchen for less than you might think. Like granite, each slab of marble is completely unique.

You’ll notice that marble has a much different appearance than granite in both color and pattern. More specifically, marble usually has long veins that run through the stone giving it a distinct look and feel.

Due to the limited amount of color options outside of white, marble is a timeless and elegant choice.

Editor’s Note: Need help finding your dream countertops? Purchase a copy of The Complete Guide to Incredible Countertops!

Marble Care and Maintenance

marble countertops sample

While marble is one of the best looking countertop materials available, it is also requires significant maintenance.

One of the most common arguments against having marble in the kitchen is that it is susceptible to scratches and stains. Marble stains are common for two reasons: it is a very porous material and is sensitive to acidic solutions (i.e. lemon).

To prevent these stains, you’ll need to seal your countertops regularly. Even on sealed countertops, you’ll need to be quick to clean up an spills to prevent staining and etching.

A proven way to keep your marble countertops looking great is by having them honed. The matte finish is more forgiving to scratches and stains compared to a polished finish.

Cost of Marble Countertops

TL;DR: $75 - $125+ per square foot, installed

Surprisingly, when cost is a factor, marble countertops can be an affordable alternative to quartz or even solid surface countertops.

Unlike other countertop materials, you can’t stop by your favorite home improvement store to start your search. Instead, you’ll need to visit a local marble distributor. Since every piece of marble is unique you’ll need to shop around to find the perfect slab in your area.

Even though we live in an era where almost anything can be shipped to your door in two days (for free!) there are still certain things you need to shop locally for. One of those is marble.

Before I reveal how much marble countertops cost, we need to talk about the countertop commandments.

The first commandment of installing marble countertops is to eliminate seams.

A seam occurs where two separate pieces of marble meet. When this happens there will be a visible line in your countertop. Not to mention, the style and direction of the marble veins will be different on both sides of the seam.

To avoid seams you’ll need to find a marble slab large enough to accommodate your countertop layout. The size of your countertop can greatly affect the cost of marble.

For example, a large marble slab can cost well over $7,000.

On the other hand, one of my friends has a small kitchen with short sections of counter space. She was able to purchase small remnant marble pieces and saved thousands.

Ok, now on to the good stuff. Marble countertops cost anywhere from $75 to $125 per square foot, including installation.

As I mentioned above, these prices vary greatly depending on the availability in your area. You’ll also notice price differences depending on the style and demand of popular marble colors.

When shopping for countertops don’t forget to account for edge costs. Ornate edge styles can cost anywhere from $20 to $50 per linear foot, potentially adding $1,000 or more to your budget.

Available Marble Colors

Marble is a timeless choice because it compliments a wide range of kitchen color palettes. While marble can be found in a variety of colors and patterns, the options are limited compared to granite.

The most popular marble color is white. Usually when homeowners think of white marble they think of Carrera. If you want a pure white marble you should actually be looking at Calacatta. In comparison, Carrera has more grey tones than white.

Don’t want white? Consider looking at Botticino, Crema or Sahara Gold.

P.S. Need help finding your dream countertops? Purchase a copy of The Complete Guide to Incredible Countertops!

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