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What’s The Difference Between Cheap And Expensive Marble?

Why Is A Marble Countertop So Cheap Or So Expensive? The Differences Explained

Marble is one of the most exclusive materials used in interior design. Its presence in any room brings about a sense of timeless elegance. Being quarried from mountainous regions across the globe, this natural stone has a crystalline structure with natural veins of mineral deposits that traverse its slabs. Marble adds character and classic beauty to help level a modern kitchen or bring opulence to a spa-like bathroom. And when it comes to marble, quality matters. Here, we will discover X factors that set the price for the different types and styles of marble.

marble kitchen

Is Marble Expensive?

Realistically, marble is not a budget-conscious surface material. However, there is a wide price range. Marble countertop cost per square foot usually lands between $75 and $250, give or take. The fluctuation in price is affected by the location of the quarry, demand, availability, and actual slab choice and thickness. While all marble is formed the same way – limestone is exposed to high temperatures and pressures – they are not all equal in quality and beauty which will be a determination of the price.

Calacatta: The Prestige Marble

The reason Calacatta is the most expensive marble is that it is only available from one quarry in the world located in Carrara, Italy. Production is limited and controlled. Calacatta marble has a distinctive look with bold veining. The most expensive Calacatta slab has a pure white background with dark dramatic veins. But, there are other stunning hues and patterns as well. Colonial Marble & Granite offers this exclusive marble in dozens of variations including Calacatta OMG, Calacatta Lincoln Honed, Calacatta Viola, Calacatta Splendor, and Calacatta Bluete Marble, and many more. Variations have undertones of ivory, grey, brown, and gold with dramatic veining in different patterns

Calacatta Lincoln Honed

Carrara and Other More Affordable Marbles

If you’re looking for a more affordable marble, Carrara is a good alternative. It, too, is mined in the mountains of Carrara, Italy, but has a different design profile. Cararra has a grey background with soft and whispy veining. The Carrara marble countertop cost averages about $90 per sq. ft.

While Italy is the most exclusive location for marble to be mined, there are many other countries that have quarries including the U.S., China, Brazil, India, Canada, Afghanistan, and Turkey. Many miners from other countries try to pass off their marble as Italian marble and this is where the ‘cheap’ slabs come in. Also, some quarries will send the slabs to Italy to be cut, thus hiding behind the fact that they were not actually mined in the Carrara region. When shopping for marble, just be aware and ask questions about the origin of the marble.

How to Keep Costs Down

With proper upkeep and regular sealing, marble is worth the investment. There are a few ways to keep costs down if a pure Calacatta or Carrara marble slab is out of budget.

  • Work with a knowledgeable Colonial team member for all available options
  • Be flexible with shades and patterns – select darker tones
  • Pick up remnants for sale from leftover jobs for smaller applications
  • Select prefabricated marble vanities and countertops
  • Select slabs with slight imperfections

Buying marble for your kitchen or bathroom surfaces can be a bit overwhelming. Before starting the selection process, don’t be shy to get help from a professional at one of the Colonial Marble & Granite showrooms where there is a vast selection of styles and colors available for any location in your home or business. Get a jumpstart on the selection process by visiting the bathroom or kitchen visualizer where you can see our marble options paired with different design elements.

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