When it comes time to choose a natural stone kitchen or bathroom countertop it’s no surprise marble is at the top of the wish list for many homeowners.
The timeless beauty of marble has been displayed for centuries in some of the world’s most famous buildings – the Parthenon – and sculptures – Michelangelo’s David. In modern homes, marble remains the natural stone standard for all kitchen and bathroom countertops, with granite the second most popular choice.
There are so many types and colors of marble to choose from your first order of business should be finding an experienced and well-qualified natural stone dealer to help you decide. The most important thing to remember about marble is this: No two slabs are alike. So you are guaranteed to have a unique kitchen or bathroom marble countertop that is one of a kind.
While there are many types of marble to choose from, there are five popular choices that stand above the rest. They are mined in Italy – home of the world’s finest and most popular marble – and Spain.
Let’s look at each of the five:
Simply, this is marble’s gem. Quarried in Italy’s Carrara region, the stone is somewhat rare making more prized – and expensive. This usually is a white marble with dark gray veins running through the natural stone and a touch of gold.
Its popularity stems in part because of its historical significance – the stone was Michelangelo’s favorite. But its stunning beauty is unparalleled in the world of natural stone and hard to resist.
This might be considered Calacatta marble’s poorer sister, not because it’s less beautiful or functional but because it is found in greater quantities so is less expensive than the rarer Calcutta.
Still, it’s a beautiful stone. While it’s also white like Calacatta, it’s not as bright. Also, it’s veining is not gray but another shade of white.
This marble, quarried in Milan, looks nothing like Calacatta or Carrara marble. It runs deep gray with light gray veining. Homeowners with a contemporary design often favor Milan Gray for its cooler, more uniform look. Although it can be used for bathroom and kitchen countertops and as flooring, one of its most popular uses is as a shower wall or tile backsplash.
Emperador marble is found in various regions in Spain and come in a variety of colors. The most popular among them is known as the Dark Emperador. Its coloring – a deep chocolate brown with irregular veining – gives the stone a warm feel to it which translates into a cozy feel in any kitchen or bathroom where it is used. Dark Emperador, a popular choice among homeowners, is especially popular as flooring or bordering fireplaces but also is a good choice for kitchen and bathroom vanity countertops, depending on the color schemes in play.
Although this Spanish marble comes in a variety of colors it’s most popular – and widely known – is a creamy yellow with many veining variations. Like the Emperado, Crema Marfil is a warm natural stone and provides a homey feel to any house.
Crema Marfil is a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops in which its color blends nicely with the right color scheme. It’s also a popular choice for backsplashes, flooring and wall coverings.
Since marble is a natural porous stone, oils and stains can seep into its surface. It’s also softer than granite or quartz. This means it can easily chip or scratch if you are not careful. So care is required when you have marble in your home. Many homeowners choose to seal their marble countertops to eliminate any stain issues.
As mentioned, your first step in deciding what type of marble you’d like to use for your kitchen or bathroom vanity countertop is selecting the right dealer. When you work with an established and reputable dealer of cultured marble you can be sure you’ll find the right natural stone for your dream kitchen or bathroom.