Marble Counter Tops:
Classic Luxury Modern Style

Ahhhh marble counter tops... Perhaps more than any other stone, marble evokes images of sophisticated elegance. Once found only in the homes of the wealthy, marble countertops are now a much more accessible luxury due to improved technology and availability.

Marble Colors

The rich tones of the marble color palette are plentiful.

Delight in many creamy whites and neutrals, dreamy yellows, soft oranges, ocean greens, amazing blacks and even pink marble.

The dramatic veining looks spectacular on marble countertops and will easily complement most other design elements and themes.

Choose a similar or complementary pattern/material and color shade on your floors, walls and backsplash to avoid a chaotic look.

marble vanity top - pink marble

Installation Considerations for Marble Counter Tops

Marble countertops are available in 2 cm and 3 cm slabs as well as the full range of tile sizes from 1-inch mosaic tile up to large 24-inch floor tile.

Marble is a crystalized limestone and therefore big machines (and skilled pros) can polish marble to a mirror-finish, which really brings out the depth of it's color and looks gorgeous.

However, marble polishing is only recommended for counter tops that are lightly used such as a powder bath, tabletop, pass bar or furniture piece, but NOT for kitchen countertops or the wet bar.

Why? . . .

Marble is made of calcium carbonate, which is reactive with acids (fruit juice, soda, coffee, alcoholic drinks, salad dressing, etc.) and will "etch" upon contact with these acids.

Etching destroys the polish by corroding the stone leaving a dull, light-colored spot. You'll get these dull spots all over with marble countertops in the kitchen. It's simply impossible to prevent.

Often a "honed" (matte) finish is recommended for kitchen countertops since etching is less noticeable, but etching still occurs on a honed surface so it doesn't really solve the issue.

Also, marble is softer and more prone to scratching than granite.

Polished marble is very stain resistant though and even honed marble can be sealed to essentially prevent stains. However, sealing doesn't prevent etching, so marble kitchen countertops are high-maintenance and not recommended.

If you had your heart set on marble kitchen countertops, then I'd suggest instead considering other countertop materials that look like marble for far easier care and cleaning in the kitchen. 

Or for a budget option check out our cultured marble vs marble page. 

Etching and maintenance is typically not a problem in bathrooms on marble vanity tops though, since exposure to acidic substances is minimal.

Love to bake? One exception to the "rule" stated above is if you are a serious baker.

A marble slab is "the" countertop of choice for making dough--that is pies and bread, not money! Although it may feel like you're making money on such a luxurious countertop.

Natural Beauty. If you just love the look of marble and insist on installing marble counter tops in your kitchen, a honed finish will hide etch marks better, but etching is easier to repair on a polished finish. And always use coasters, cutting boards and trivets to protect against spills and scratches.

Marble Care. You'll find more information about marble care and how to avoid expensive marble restoration at the cleaning marble page. Also, it's worth noting that traditionally marble is left to age naturally letting friends and family rub "life" into the stone--stains and all.

Natural Aging. Over the years marble stains and etching may occur gradually changing the color and tone to reflect the essential character of your home.

Of course, you can prevent stains and etching by following the recommended marble cleaning Do's & Don'ts and some DIY marble repair is possible.

It's hard to resist the quintessential beauty and the feelings of warm opulence that marble conveys to any room. Marble counter tops will add immeasurable value and years of pleasure to your home.


Read Other Marble Counter Top Questions & Answers

Learn even more! Click on the links below to see questions submitted by other visitors with complete answers and great info.

Comparing Carrara Marble Countertops to Other Types of Marble  
QUESTION I have seen the Venatino, Giola and standard carrara marble, honed slabs. Is one marble slab color better over the other for kitchen countertops? …

Is a Marble Kitchen Countertop Really That Bad? 
QUESTION: I really, really want a marble kitchen countertop. I have researched this to death. Although I am on the verge of being frightened off marble, …

Is Rainforest Green Granite or Marble? 
QUESTION: 1-Is Rainforest green 'marble' better than the standard marble counter top surface? Does the same precautions apply to it? ANSWER: Rainforest …

Marble vs. Granite Kitchen Countertop 
QUESTION: I'm in the process of making the decision on kitchen countertops. I love the look of marble, but I'm worried about the maintenance. …

Pink Marble Design Choices 
QUESTION: I've been searching marble suppliers for a delicate very light pink marble? Does this type of marble exist? ANSWER: The answer is yes... …

Is Marble Kitchen Countertops Island a Good Idea?  
QUESTION: Will I regret getting a marble countertop for my island instead of granite? The marble looks so pretty! ANSWER: Yes marble is pretty, …

Comparing Quartz Countertops to Marble Bathroom Countertops 
QUESTION: Hi, Will soap, toothpaste and mouthwash stain or etch a marble bathroom countertops? I am trying to decide whether to use quartz countertops …

Will Dishwasher Steam Damage Marble 
QUESTION: We just installed honed marble (Calcutta Gold Vein) in our kitchen (and I LOVE it, by the way). When my dishwasher is running, it seems like …

White Carrara Marble vs. Crema Marfil Kitchen Countertop 
QUESTION: We are considering marble for our kitchen perimeter counters. We are interested in a honed white carrara or a brushed crema marfil. Do you …

Choosing Marble Bathroom Countertops Advice 
QUESTION: Is marble is a good material for bathroom vanity countertops? ANSWER: Yes, for a bathroom marble countertops are fine. You still need …

Average Cost For Marble Countertops 
Often seen as the epitome of luxury and elegance, marble countertops are at the top of most homeowners wish list when remodeling kitchens and …

Installing Marble Tile Kitchen & Bathroom Countertops 
QUESTION: I am installing 12 X 12 marble tile squares in my kitchen and bathroom countertops. Is there a recommended width for the grout line between …

Restoring Cultured Marble Bath Vanity 
QUESTION: How can I remove yellowed finish on counter. I think it was refinished with clear polyurethane or other in the past. I tried stripper not …

Honing Marble Kitchen Counter Tops 
QUESTION: I am wondering about honed marble kitchen countertops. I have been told that the honing can be done with a 400 grit rather than the 200 grit …

Tips On Carrara Marble Countertop & Floor Tile Design 
QUESTION: I am considering a Carrara marble vanity bathroom countertop. Must I also incorporate marble floor tile? Could you think of any tiles that …

Is Marble Flooring A Good Choice 
QUESTION: A condominium is contemplating installing marble flooring (Emperador). Most want it - some opposition is that the marble will scratch and …

White Carrara Marble Kitchen Countertops 
QUESTION: I am considering using Carrara marble for kitchen countertops in the condo I am currently having built - is this product going to be really …

Removing Grout Haze on New Carrara Marble Tile Installation 
QUESTION: I just had my bathroom remodeled with white Carrara Marble with the grey veins running through. We accented it with the opposite, black tile …

Hot Pan Damage on Marble Kitchen Countertops 
QUESTION: Can you set hot pots and pans on a marble kitchen countertop without hurting it? Also using the lemon juice test on a sample anything else …

Carrara Marble Kitchen Countertops 
QUESTION: I soooooo love the look of carrera marble for my kitchen counter top. But everyone is telling me it will stain and scratch as it is too porous........get …

Danby Marble Kitchen Countertops 
QUESTION: Is Danby marble from Vermont better for a kitchen countertop than white carrara as far as durability, stain resistance etc? I have heard …

How Fast Does Marble Etch? 
QUESTION: I am wanting to use Crema Marfil marble for two of my kitchen countertops. I have received much conflicting information .... Is a …

Dull Marble Coffee Table & Floor Tile 
QUESTION: How can I polish the marble top coffee table and get the shine back as it was when new? ANSWER: Well, if the entire marble coffee table …

Dark Emperador Marble Tile on Kitchen Countertops 
QUESTION: We would like to use Dark Emperador marble tiles to tile our kitchen counter tops. I realize that there are some downsides to marble in the …

Supporting Marble Slab & Tile Countertop 
QUESTION I recently had a 3/4" carrara marble slab with an 1 1/8" mitered edge installed over my washer and dryer. Beforehand, I had a 5/8" sheet of …

Green Marble Kitchen Countertop 
QUESTION: We just had a beautiful polished green marble countertop installed in our kitchen. Obviously I did not do my homework before hand, or we …


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