Marble Countertop Ideas for Any Kitchen Style

white cabinets kitchen with brass hardware
Photo: Adam Albright

Marble countertops bring natural beauty to your kitchen. However, there are a few key factors you need to consider before purchasing this natural stone material. Learn more about marble countertops, get maintenance tips, and follow our favorite design ideas.

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Should You Choose Marble Countertops?

marble counter kitchen sink with blue cabinets and decorative bowls on wood shelves
Anthony Masterson

Can marble make a suitable kitchen countertop? The answer is yes, for those willing to take on the extra care necessary to keep this fragile stone in good condition. "Marble is a luxury item, and you have to take better care of luxury items," says Atlanta kitchen designer Mary Kathryn Timoney. "You're going to pay more to buy a beautiful dress, and then you are going to pay to dry-clean it every week, but you'll feel beautiful every time you put it on. Now consider how marble takes your breath away when you first see it. Do you want that feeling for the next 15-20 years? Because that's how long people keep their kitchens." Learn more about marble kitchen counters, including price, maintenance, and styles.

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Marble Maintenance Pros and Cons

modern farmhouse white kitchen with marble counters
Laura Moss

Here are some of the most important cleaning and maintenance tips for marble. Clean up spills immediately, and to avoid scratching or otherwise damaging the stone, use cleansers made specifically for marble. Don't place hot, wet, or abrasive objects on marble—always use trivets and mats under plates, glasses, and bowls. Never cut directly on marble, always use cutting boards. To further ward off stains, you'll need to have your marble professionally resealed periodically, and evaluated every few months.

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Marble Countertop Expense

white cabinets kitchen with brass hardware
Adam Albright

According to HomeAdvisor, marble slab countertops cost in the thousands. Marble is generally more expensive than other stone countertop materials, including granite. Before making an investment, take a sample home to be sure you've found the perfect material for your space.

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Contemporary Marble Countertops

modern kitchen marble island green chartreuse door
James R. Salomon

For a modern kitchen, customize the width and cut of your marble countertops. This one is made using a 2-inch-thick marble slab, and finished with a square edge for a clean contemporary look. Machining capabilities have made precision cuts possible and seams nearly invisible. Mick de Giulio of de Giulio Kitchen Design favors using woodworking techniques, such as book-matching and picture-frame joints. "You don't need the largest, thickest, most expensive slab to arrive at a stunning design," he says.

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Colors and Types of Marble

large kitchen island sliding door pictures
John Bessler

Marble comes in many colorways, including pink, green, red, black, white, brown, and gray. Some of the most common types include Carrara (soft gray feathering), Calacatta (bright white with dramatic veining), and Statuary (or Statuario), known for its distinct gray veins. All three come from the Carrara region of Italy. This kitchen features a large island with a honed Statuary marble countertop.

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Mix Stone Countertop Materials

gray shaker kitchen cabinets stone backsplash
Michael Partenio

Don't be afraid to use multiple countertop materials, whether it's to make a statement or to save on expenses. Here, a 2-1/2-inch-thick slab of Carrara marble on the island contrasts with the dark granite countertops in the rest of the kitchen. The gray veins in the marble match the soft gray cabinetry and stainless steel appliances.

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Marble Veining

classic white kitchen island chandelier
Michael Garland

Each slab of marble is unique, so before purchasing, take the time to look at several options, and pay close attention to the color and veining. A honed marble countertop on this island features dark veining that ties together the mix of black and white materials and finishes throughout the room.

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Marble Countertop Edges

traditional kitchen alder cabinetry
Emily Followill

You're not limited to crisp, straight corners on marble countertops. There are many options for edges, including ogee (a concave arch), waterfall, bullnose, cove, and bevel. Here, Alabama white marble with a double-ogee edge contrasts with stained alder cabinetry on the island. The marble brings a sophisticated touch to the cozy, hardworking kitchen.

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Add a Marble Backsplash

bright white kitchen marble backsplash
Alise O'Brien

Marble counters paired with a slab backsplash create a clean-lined look. A marble tile mosaic over the range adds to this kitchen's high-end elegance. "Book-matching is critical," says Karen Williams of St. Charles of New York. "Seams are always a part of the plan, so why hide them? I like to think about how they can enhance a design." Line the seams up vertically with a cabinet's width, or where seams are needed, change the size or type of marble.

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Traditional Marble Countertops

traditional white kitchen marble island
Werner Straube

Marble countertops complement a wide variety of decorating styles. For a traditional look, pair white marble countertops with crisp white cabinetry and walls. In this kitchen, for a cohesive look, white marble is also used in the backsplash.

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Contrasting Calacatta Marble Countertops

calacatta marble counter traditional kitchen
Jean Allsopp

Calacatta marble countertops in this kitchen are smooth, while the backsplash is marble tile. The crisp white marble contrasts with dark-stained cabinetry and the custom-cut marble tiles for the backsplash create a dramatic focal point.

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Country-Style Marble Counters

kitchen marble-topped island warm tones
Ed Gohlich

A marble-topped island stands out against the warm, caramel-toned cabinets below and pale yellow counters around the perimeter. The sleek, white marble matches the white cabinets and provides a clean work space for meal preparation.

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