Marble Kitchen Countertops: All You Need to Know

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If you’re in the market for marble kitchen countertops it’s important to know all the pros and cons of marble so that you can make an informed decision before making your purchase. Today I’m sharing all you need to know about marble kitchen countertops.

When we remodeled our Virginia home’s kitchen, almost three years ago, I was torn on which countertops to use. I loved the look and feel of marble kitchen countertops, but every contractor working on our kitchen discouraged us away from marble and toward quartz. I began to look into quartz and after gathering sample after sample I soon realized quartz was just not for me, but I was worried about marble and all the negatives the contractors were saying.

Carrara Marble countertops are elegant, beautiful, and durable. They are a timeless option for kitchens and bathrooms and have been used as a building material since antiquity. They are still popular today; no matter what your contractor may say.

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marble kitchen countertops in a white kitchen with stainless steel gas range and microwave in the island

Instead of taking a bunch of mens word for it I began researching marble for myself and in the end installed Carrara Marble in our kitchen and have zero regrets.

Today I’m going to share with you what I discovered before purchasing marble and my real life experience after installing the marble. Trust this will help you make the best decision for your kitchen.

What is Your Lifestyle?

Before we move into breaking down marble countertops pros and cons (they have plenty) let’s first understand how you live. Ask yourself some serious questions. Are you a very busy person who is always running late or going from one thing to the next and don’t have time to clean up countertop spills or are you meticulous about keeping your surfaces clean and regularly sealed?

Be honest with yourself and I would say at times many of us are a mixture of both. Sometimes running late and leaving a mess and many other times keeping things clean. Ask yourself what side you lean toward most. No judgement here, but it is important that you answer this honestly. There is a perfect stone for you and in this post I am only going to break down marble countertops. Yes, there are many other options for countertops but today I’m delving deep into marble so get ready! Keep your lifestyle in mind and let’s explore marble.

white and blue stripe towel next to a jar of soap with a white vase and a blue hydrangea stem sitting on marble kitchen counterop

The Beauty and Pros of Marble Kitchen Countertops

1. Marble is a Real Stone

Pro #1 is marble is real; not man-made. I like real natural elements in our home and marble is just that! However, I tried really hard to love quartz, after learning of all its wonderful features I even brought home over a dozen quartz samples from various manufacturers. I tried to love them because I was told I would, but every piece I held felt plastic-y, too uniformed, too perfect. It lacked genuineness to me and I guess you could say I choose my countertops how I choose my friends. Real, genuine and with imperfections.

I’ve seen images of gorgeous kitchens that use quartz and they are lovely, but I encourage you to touch and feel quartz before making your decision. Going back to my first point; how you chose your countertops is based on your lifestyle and we will explore this further as to why your lifestyle is so important in selecting countertops.

white kitchen with quartz countertop, marble tile backsplash with a blue gas range

Quartz Countertop/Source: HGTV

2. Marble Can Be Less Expensive Than Other Countertops

Marble has a price tag rather in the middle, but don’t hold me to that exactly. Let me explain.

Not only did the beauty of the look and feel of marble have me convinced but the price tag did too. Marble can be less expensive than quartz and for us that was the case. Our marble was about $1500 less than if we would have gone with a marbly looking quartz. Some information says quartz is less expensive, but for us it was not. This can depend on location, marble selection and quartz selection. Price out products in your area.

marble countertop slab

Even though marble cost us less; not all marble is the same price point. Just like I would assume quartz or granite would have different price levels as well. We used Carrara Marble which is not the most expensive marble you can buy, but it is a very popular and lovely.

Note: Price out your desired countertop options so you can make an informed decision.

marble Countertop cost chart

3. Marble Kitchen Countertops Offers Value to Your Home

Marble says “luxury.” If you’re thinking of selling your home in the future marble will add value to your home.

When we sold our home in July 2021 the main selling point was the kitchen…of course. Who doesn’t love a brand new updated kitchen? But you want to know the main feature that potential buyers loved most? The marble kitchen countertops. We had 48 showings and 17 written offers in less than 3 days and 6 of the potential buyers commented on how they LOVED the countertop. Marble has a warmth about it that quartz does not.

Note: Careful not to use a product in your home that you don’t like or won’t work for your lifestyle in order to sell your home. Use what you like and suits you best.

bowl of apples with a fern sitting next to it sitting on a marble kitchen countertop

4. Marble is Durable and Heat Resistant

Durable you say? Marble? Let me explain. Marble has been around for centuries. Bakers and chefs through the ages have used marble; statues and museums are made of marble. Steps are made of marble at museums or other attractions and millions of people walk on marble floors and staircases and yet the marble is withstanding. It might have some discoloration or staining, but it’s still gorgeous and functional while embracing its imperfections.

construction of white kitchen with marble countertops installed.

When I visited a marble fabricator they said that Americans want everything to look perfect, be easy care and take abuse while expecting it not to retaliate. They were Egyptian and said they would use marble hands down and yet they sold all different types of countertops. Marble probably has more cons than pros, but in the end they felt the way I did: marble is real, feels real and embracing the imperfections to come was part of what makes marble so wonderful! I was sold!

Marble tells a story of the person who cooks in that kitchen.

Cons of Marble Kitchen Countertops

With the positive also comes the negative. This is true in every area of life and as much as I hate to say this (cover your ears marble), marble has more cons to the American mindset than pros. And they are pretty significant and determining how you live will help you to understand if marble is for you or not.

1. Marble countertops will scratch

Marble is composed of calcite and can easily be scratched if using a knife or if you bang a pot or bottle onto the surface too hard. Marble countertops will scratch. I have scratched and dinged up my marble in a few places with just every day kitchen activity. A quartz countertop is not going to scratch at all they say.

bowl of green apples sitting on a kitchen countertop and white subway tile backsplash

2. Marble Countertops Will Etch

You have to be careful with anything acidic; think lemons or tomatoes. If you cut directly on your countertops (which we never do) then you will etch the stone. The acid from the lemon/tomato, etc. dissolves an area of your marble surface because it reacts to the calcite. It eats away at it in a sense. Cutting on a cutting on a board instead of directly on the countertop will help!

wooden cutting board with cut figs sitting on a marble countertop

3. Marble Kitchen Countertops Will Stain

Marble Countertops will stain. If you spill something on the countertop it’s best to clean it up right away. This is where your lifestyle comes into the picture. If you spill red wine or tomato sauce and run out the door to your kids’ soccer practice without cleaning it up until the next morning; you will be left with a stain.

Just because a drop of ketchup gets on the marble doesn’t mean instant stain; it stains if you let it sit there for a time. I wipe spills up instantly anyway; unless my kids spill something and I don’t know about it and it sits. This has happened and we do have some stains.

white kitchen, blue rug and sink overlooking window

BUT…the one thing that makes marble stain is the same things that ensures marble absorbs it. We’ve had oil stains, ketchup stains and pasta sauce stains, but you know what happens? They soak into the marble after a period of time and somewhat vanish. This has come from personal experience. Now, not every stain absorbs completely and vanishes, but it fades over time and becomes less noticeable.

4. Marble Countertops Have to Be Sealed Regularly

Unlike quartz, marble requires regular maintenance to look its best. The company that brought our marble sealed it upon installation. We seal it every 6 months to help with water stains and other food/oil stains. If sealing your countertops is something you don’t think you will do then I would suggest not going with marble. It’s not difficult to seal your marble and we use this sealant and do it ourselves, but it is an extra maintenance step and not everyone wants to add it to the to do list.

wooden cutting board with knife and bells peppers cut open and blue and white stripe towel sitting next to board

5. Marble Kitchen Countertops are Expensive

Ok, so earlier you said marble was less expensive. Yes, I did, but there are many, many different types of marble and some can be very, very costly. It really depends on what marble you select.

Since marble requires more maintenance it can be more expensive in the long run. You will have to buy a sealer to keep your countertops in their best shape. Sealing it yourself will save you money, but if you hire someone to seal the marble that is also a cost to consider.

Polished vs. Honed Marble Countertops

Polished marble is gorgeous, if you like shiny, but it shows scratches and etching easier. We aren’t shiny kind of people so we had our marble honed and love it.

The flip side of honed marble is the pores of the stone is more open causing them to stain more easily but not show scratches and etching as much.

white kitchen with island and marble kitchen countertops with antique vase and greenery

Final Thoughts on Marble Kitchen Countertops

After all my research we selected marble for our kitchen remodel. After living with marble for three years would I install it again? Yes, yes and yes!!! We plan on updating the kitchen in our home here in Tennessee and plan to use marble for our countertops again.

Scratches, etches and a few darker spot shadow stains and sealing it regularly have to be ok for you. They are for me. For me the cons are outweighed by the pros. Real stone, a look all its own and feels real to the touch.

Even though granite is real stone and more durable; it’s too busy and lacks the look I wanted. Quartz felt too predictable and like plastic to me. Both of these stones would be better options as far as maintenance goes, but the look at feel of the marble was more important than the cons of marble.

We love our marble and can’t wait to pick out a new slab for our next kitchen remodel.

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Marble Kitchen Countertops: All You Need to Know

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