White Marble Kitchen Countertops

Photo courtesy of Kitchen and Bath Ideas

I am often asked questions about marble countertops in the kitchen, specifically about the durability of them when I am working with clients on their kitchen design. The fact of the matter is that they are more porous then granite, softer and stain more easily. But….they are gorgeous! Every decision that you make when you are considering a material for your home will have it’s pros and cons. Marble will stain- so if you want perfection then don’t use it. But it is so rich looking, light and bright, and has interesting veining patterns that are so exquisite that I think it is worth the trouble. Besides, perfection is boring anyway! What ever happened to patina – getting better with age and showing some character? Here are some amazing kitchens with marble counters for you to drool over – including my own kitchen!

Photo via Kitchen and Bath Ideas

This is the sink area from the same kitchen as the first image. It looks like carrara marble was used for this countertop, backsplash and sink. The warm dove gray cabinets, brushed nickel hardware are an incredible combination. this kitchen is elegant, rich and unique. I love that sink!!

Photo courtesy of Icon Stone and Tile

Bianco Carrara is one of the most popular choices for kitchen counters. It is bright white with blue-grey veins. Carrara is readily available and one of the less expensive marble choices. Also, Carrara tiles come is a huge variety of shapes and sizes, so if you want to pair your countertop with a matching tile backsplash this is a great option.

Photo courtesy of Icon Stone and Tile

Calacata marble is a little bit warmer in tone then the carrara. It is bright white but the veining is gray and beige so the overall effect is softer. It has distinct veining patterns that move across the slab. It’s also important to note that marble is available in a polished, shiny finish or a honed, matte finish. The polished finish is more stain resistant then the honed. However, the polished finish is more likely to etch then the honed if acidic products are left on the counter, like lemon juice. Marble cleans easily with a mild soap and water mixture.

Photo via Kitchen and Bath Ideas

The backsplash in this kitchen is finished with a slab of marble like the countertops. The look is simple and since there are some other important elements like the tin ceiling and checkerboard floor it makes sense to keep the backsplash simple. The Wolfe 48″ range looks great in here too.

Photo courtesy of Kitchen and Bath Ideas

A marble backsplash was also used in this kitchen to complement the marble countertops, but instead of a slab, tiny subway tiles were used. This creates an interesting texture, and is also less expensive then a solid slab. The open shelves have also been clad in marble. Notice the island countertop is a different, darker stone material in this kitchen. This is something to consider if you want to have counters that will be more stain-resistant in another area of your kitchen.

Kitchen design by de Guilio Kitchen Design

Here is another great example of using marble in just a small quantity in your kitchen. This furniture style island has a beautiful slab of marble with an ogee edge that makes the unit look like an antique credenza. The rest of the countertops are a darker color with a really simple square edge. This treatment makes the island stand apart making it the feature.

Kitchen design by Christopher Peacock Cabinetry photo via Home Porfolio

This kitchen was in an ad for Christopher Peacock Cabinets and has been in all the design magazines. Again, the marble countertop is only used in a small quantity around the perimeter of the cabinets and as a backsplash detail. The light cabinets and counters are a dramatic contrast to the rich wood floors, island top and stools.

Photo courtesy of Kitchen and Bath Ideas

There are many options when it comes to countertop edge profiles. This countertop has an ogee edge detail which makes it feel more traditional and furniture-like. A contemporary kitchen would look better with an extra thick, simple squared off profile.

Photo courtesy of Kitchen and Bath Ideas

Marble countertops can work in contemporary kitchens too. I love the interesting furniture style islands in this kitchen. The white marble tops are such a nice contrast to the rich, dark stain on the lower cabinets and island detail making this room feel crisp.

Photo courtesy of Canadian House and Home Magazine

This sleek, contemporary kitchen has marble counters and a backsplash that pop against the dark Macassar ebony cabinets. It’s a dramatic combination and shows that marble can also be paired with wood cabinetry.

Kitchen design by Corea Sotropa Interior Design

Just to prove that I practice what I preach, I recently installed lovely honed Calacata marble counters in my own brand new kitchen. Wrapping the marble over the edge of the island really highlights the veining in this slab and Icon Stone and Tile did an incredible job of matching up the pattern so that the vein just rolls over the edge. The honed finish is soft, and irresistable to touch! It does stain but I like the character. It reminds me of antique marble counters in Europe.

Kitchen design by Corea Sotropa Interior Design

One of my favorite details in my kitchen is the hidden spice racks on either side of my range. I had my wall built out so that I could squeeze in 4″ deep shelves that are concealed by sliding marble panels that match the countertops. The panels slide across behind the range to reveal the spice shelves.

I absolutely adore my white marble kitchen countertops! Marble is such a lovely surface to prepare food on, and personally, I think the patina that marble gets with age and use adds to its appeal. Generally, I find that when we are working with clients on their Calgary kitchen or home renovations they are attracted to the look of marble but afraid to use it. Marble does require more careful attention then granite, but its worth the effort. I think the above stunning kitchen photos prove that point!




4 comments to White Marble Kitchen Countertops

  • Thanks for this great post Jacqueline! I often have clients who want marble counter tops for their kitchen. I too love the look and wish it was an easy sell. It doesn’t help when the stone companies make you sign a waver ~ I find that scares people off, sadly. You have made some great points here that will help in the endeavour to end the safe selections of granite! Sounds like you had an amazing trip to Italy. Thanks for sharing!! (oh and LOVE your kitchen)

  • Thanks Nyla!
    I am hoping that this post will help Calgarians warm up to the idea of marble for their countertops. You are right, signing the waiver scares people off, but as long as they have reasonable expectations it’s still a wonderful product to choose. I wrote this post just before my trip to Italy to learn more about marble and I am even more convinced and attracted to it’s beauty after what I have learned (watch out for a series of upcoming posts on my trip highlights). Have you used marble in kitchen reno for a backsplash? I am interested in knowing how frequently it is used here in Calgary.

  • Great post Jacqueline…I’ve been a big proponent of marble for years. It’s educating ourselves & our clients on how to properly maintain it….but for crying out loud it’s all they use for EVERY surface in Italy & France….they would look at us North Americans as nuts for being so delicate with marble…funny!

    • Thank so much Sharon,
      It’s so true about how Europeans use marble compared to North Americans. We’re always looking for a surface that is completely stain resistant and indestructible. We just don’t always appreciate patina and are uptight about it! When I was in Italy, I visited a factory and the floors were carrara marble!!!

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