Marble as a Countertop? Pros and Cons

A common response among natural stone fabricators when it comes to marble kitchen countertops is “bad idea.” Granite is the advocated material used for kitchen counters since it can handle more wear and tear. Within U.S. kitchens all across the country, granite is in much higher demand than marble.

Marble is an igneous stone that occurs naturally by the metamorphoses of limestone. Marble is made up of many different compounds but mainly consists of calcium carbonate, which is why marble is usually light and creamy in hue. Color variations of white marble occur from impurities from other substances. Generally, however, in the stone trade, marble designates any crystalline calcitic rock capable of being used as building material and taking on a shine.


Marble is used primarily in other settings than the kitchen as countertops. Marble was the favored stone of artists and sculptors in ancient Greece and Rome because of its durability and waxy look due to its low index of refraction. Nowadays in construction, it is primarily used in bathroom vanities, fireplace surrounds, hearts, and tile stone. Marble’s elegance and beauty gives any home an appealing quality.

Marble fireplace surrounds are gorgeous and marble is capable of sustaining the heat without getting damaged. Marble hearts are unsurpassable in homeliness especially when made out of white marble. Marble tile in yellow marble, white marble, or other colors give a smooth expanse of warm earthly color to a room, lifting it out of the doldrums. Marble vanity tops and marble bathrooms work incredibly well and dazzle the eye. Marble is applicable in many suggestible places, giving environments a clean, pure, and graceful look.

Yet, granite is by far the more optimal natural stone; it is better to make granite counters rather than marble counters, right? There are several reasons this is the usual conclusion. Granite is a more durable stone than marble stone. It is less likely to break, chip, crack, or scratch. Granite stone also doesn’t stain as easily as marble stone. Being made up of calcium carbonate, marble is very susceptible to acids, which will eat away leaving stains very quickly. These problems are very real, that is why granite is always recommended above marble tops especially kitchen countertops.

The general consensus is that the conditions that arise in a kitchen will undoubtedly leave marble stone damaged with blotches, spots, scratches, and chips. The same conditions with granite would leave no damage behind. With hot pans being dropped and wine glasses being left over night, a marble countertop will not last as a clean, beautiful asset. So why take such a risk?

Even with the majority following this general rule, there are people out there who ignore such advice and get cerrera marble countertops in their kitchens. Actually, this trend is increasing in various places around the country. And in Europe, to see a granite countertop in the kitchen is not a strange thing at all, they have been doing it for generations.

It’s typically a requirement for companies to educate clients about the different stones before they go ahead and do the work. In the case of marble countertops, there are a whole lot of don’ts. In the U.S., fabrication shops are so weary about marble kitchen countertops that some require clients to sign a waiver ensuring that the company is not blamed for the customer’s carelessness and are entirely released from paying any costs or damages arising from normal use.

Although marble countertops aren’t exactly flourishing within the market, there are still some people out there who have marble countertops in the kitchen working out just fine. The assumption that steers the argument clear of any rationality is “everyone is equally careless.” If this were true than why are some houses spotless while others are filthy? People form a spectrum of personalities, some capable of handling marble maintenance and others incapable. It will take a neat person (or persons) to maintain a marble top and still use it functionally. Or perhaps the home or kitchen is just for show, a house uninhabited for the most time since the owner is always out on the road or a person who just doesn’t cook. Either way, marble kitchen countertops, kitchen islands, or marble tables are going to be in good condition under certain circumstances.

And then there are those who like a little wear and tear to show up on their marble countertop to give it a used quality like a pair of worn out jeans. Some say marble grows better with age and takes on an amazing quality when it is worn out by time and use. The same thing happens in Europe, where marble has been used in countertops for hundreds of years. Some argue the patina is worth it in the end.

The reason people want marble over granite is not because it’s weaker. Granite and marble are not only made up of different materials, they also have generally very different appearances. Pure white marble is the basic type of marble most people think about. Yet, marble comes in different shades and is usually covered in veins. For the most part, marbles are creamy light, almost translucent stones, made up of earthly hues. This is very different from the solid, dark majority of granite that is usually polished to a mirror-like finish. Marble is better when it is honed smooth and soft since it absorbs protective sealer a lot better with its pores open. Also, marble is warmer than cold granite.

The Marble Institute of America sorts marbles into four groups based on soundness. A, B, C, and D class marbles are the groupings the MIA came up with. Originally, this system was in no way associated with the market value of the marble stones and was meant to help specify how to use certain marbles in construction applications. Class A marble requires the same attention as hard granite as it has no voids or fissures. Many popular white marbles are Class A, such as the carraras and the calacatas. Class B’s are similar to A except they have some geological imperfections. Class C marbles form the largest group and are greatly repaired and reinforced, making visual and physical quality differ greatly from stone to stone. D’s are heavily imperfect C’s and tend to break apart very easily.

Seeing the trouble marble countertops develop, it makes sense why this classification system was created. Fabricators and installers can educate clients on marble classification, giving them better opportunities to make the right choice. Also, this way, fabricators and installers can prepare and shape the marble with greater care to avoid unnecessary damage.

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