When it comes time to choose a natural stone countertop for the kitchen or bathroom, it’s no surprise that marble is at the top of many homeowners’ wish lists.
The timeless beauty of marble has been on display for centuries in some of the world’s most famous buildings, the Parthenon, and sculptures, Michelangelo’s David. In modern homes, marble remains the standard natural stone for all kitchen and bathroom countertops, with granite being the second most popular choice.
There are so many types and colors of marble to choose from that your first order of business should be to find 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 the same. Thus, you are guaranteed to have a unique marble countertop in your kitchen or bathroom.
While there are many types of marble to choose from, there are five popular options that stand out above the rest. They are mined in Italy, home of the world’s finest and most popular marble, and in Spain.
Let’s look at each of the five:
Simply, this is the jewel of marble. Mined from the Carrara region of Italy, the stone is somewhat rare, making it more prized and expensive. This is usually a white marble with dark gray veining running through the natural stone and a hint of gold.
Its popularity is due in part to its historical importance: the stone was Michelangelo’s favorite. But its stunning beauty is unparalleled in the world of natural stone and hard to resist.
This could be considered the younger brother of Calacatta marble, not because it is less beautiful or functional, but because it is found in greater quantities, thus less expensive than the rarer Calcutta.
Still, it is a beautiful stone. While it is also white like Calacatta, it is not as bright. Also, its grain is not gray but another shade of white.
This marble, quarried in Milan, is nothing like Calacatta or Carrara marble. It is executed in dark gray with light gray streaks. Homeowners with a contemporary design often prefer Milan Gray for its fresher, more uniform appearance. 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 of Spain and comes in a variety of colors. The most popular among them is known as the Dark Emperor. Its color, a deep chocolate brown with irregular veining, gives the stone a warm touch that translates into a cozy feeling in any kitchen or bathroom where it is used. A popular choice among homeowners, Dark Emperador is especially popular as flooring or edging fireplaces, but is also a good choice for kitchen and bathroom vanity tops, depending on the color schemes in play.
Although this Spanish marble comes in a variety of colors, the most popular, and widely known, is a creamy yellow with many vein variations. Like Emperado, Crema Marfil is a warm natural stone and brings a homey feel to any home.
Crema Marfil is a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops where its color blends well with the appropriate color scheme. It is also a popular choice for backsplashes, flooring, and wall coverings.
Since marble is a naturally porous stone, oils and stains can seep into its surface. It is also softer than granite or quartz. This means it can easily chip or scratch if you’re not careful. Therefore, care is required when you have marble in your home. Many homeowners choose to seal their marble countertops to eliminate any staining issues.
As mentioned, your first step in deciding what type of marble you’d like to use for your kitchen or bathroom vanity top is selecting the right dealer. When you work with an established and reputable cultured marble dealer, you can be sure you will find the right natural stone for your dream kitchen or bathroom.