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How Much Do Marble Countertops Cost?

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Marble counters are simply timeless and have tremendous durability. In fact, to say that it is durable is an understatement. Marble has been used for centuries as both a countertop and flooring material. Marble is usually cheaper than many other stone countertop options, it brightens kitchens, it is easy to clean and it is great for baking. 

Continue reading to see all the costs that come with marble countertops. As always, if you're thinking of changing your countertops, ImproveNet has countertop pros ready to chat about your project!

Table of Contents 

  1. Marble Countertops Cost
  2. Marble Countertop Cost Comparison
  3. Cost Factors Of Marble Countertops
  4. Marble Counter Types
  5. Marble Counter Soundness
  6. Marble Counter Finishes
  7. Marble Counter Thickness
  8. Advantages Of Marble Countertops
  9. Disadvantages Of Marble Countertops
  10. Marble Countertop Maintenance
  11. Marble Countertop Repair Cost
  12. DIY Or Hire A Pro?
  13. How To Install Marble Countertops
  14. Find A Countertop Pro

Marble Countertops Cost

All marble was not created equal. As you’ll soon see, the average marble cost per square foot varies quite a bit:

  • The average minimum cost of marble countertops is $40/sf.
  • The average maximum cost of marble countertops is $100/sf.
  • The average cost of marble countertops is $60/sf.

The average amount of marble bought for countertops is 53sf.

Labor, tools and supplies are not a significant portion of the cost required to install marble countertops. The vast majority of the total cost is material alone. For example, the material cost for 53sf of marble at the average rate of $60/sf is $3,180. The time to install the countertops averages around 10 hours. Low-end, per hour labor costs are around $30, high-end, labor costs per hour are around $50. This puts labor costs in the $300 to $500 range for such a project. Even in the higher end, the labor is still only a sixth of the cost of the material. Tools and supplies usually run between $100 and $150.

Marble Countertop Cost Comparison

Marble Countertop Cost Comparison

More often than not, your chosen kitchen or bathroom countertop will heavily rely on price. Therefore, you need to know what other dominant countertop materials cost:

Countertop

Minimum Price

Maximum Price

Ceramic Tile Countertops

$4/sf

$8/sf

Acrylic Countertops

$12/sf

$23/sf

Formica Countertops

$16/sf

$28/sf

Laminate Countertops

$25/sf

$36/sf

Bamboo Countertops

$30/sf

$80/sf

Solid Surface Countertops

$34/sf

$63/sf

Granite Countertops

$34/sf

$75/sf

Soapstone Countertops

$36/sf

$100/sf

Engineered Quartz Countertops

$38/sf

$55/sf

Wilsonart Solid Surface Countertops

$38/sf

$75/sf

Butcher Block Countertops

$40/sf

$57/sf

Marble Countertops

$40/sf

$100/sf

Caesarstone Countertops

$40/sf

$100/sf

Paperstone Countertops

$40/sf

$112/sf

Avonite Countertops

$40/sf

$140/sf

Onyx Countertops

$40/sf

$250/sf

Swanstone Countertops

$41/sf

$63/sf

Corian Countertops

$41/sf

$65/sf

Terrazzo Countertops

$47/sf

$98/sf

Concrete Countertops

$55/sf

$185/sf

Quartz Countertops

$60/sf

$115/sf

Zodiaq Countertops

$65/sf

$87/sf

Limestone Countertops

$67/sf

$200/sf

Glass Countertops

$75/sf

$105/sf

Recycled Glass Countertops

$75/sf

$106/sf

Vetrazzo Countertops

$85/sf

$165/sf

Copper Countertops

$90/sf

$140/sf

Cost Factors Of Marble Countertops

While the actual cost of the marble will take up a majority of your marble countertop installation cost, there are of course other factors you should consider before embarking on such a project. Knowing each and every price factor will help you lower your marble cost per square foot.

  1. Material: Needless to say, as you saw above, your countertop price will largely fluctuate based on the chosen material. If you go with marble, the type of marble can affect the final cost. For example, White Carrara is much less expensive than Calcutta.
  2. Installation: Full slabs are always cheaper to install than smaller pieces. Larger pieces, while heavier, take much less time to install. In fact, some countertops require on-site assembly. This of course adds time, which adds money to your final countertop bill.
  3. Countertop Design: Perfect squares or rectangles are easier to install than intricate shapes. Simple shapes not only make it easier to cut, but easier to install.
  4. Colors: While you have numerous options when it comes to marble countertop colors, some homeowners opt for custom colors. If so, expect your marble countertop cost to rise.
  5. Thickness: Marbles comes in three different thicknesses and as you’ll read later on, the thicker your marble, the most expensive it will be.
  6. Extras: There are always smaller, hidden costs to any home remodeling project. When it comes to counters, you have to consider removing the old countertops, sink cut-outs, finishes and backsplashes. Doing anything more than the ordinary will raise your countertop project cost.

Cost Factors Of Marble Countertops

Marble Counter Types

Within that $40 to $100 price range are a few different types of marble. Knowing the common characteristics, pros, cons and prices of each will surely help you determine the right type of marble for your counters.

Carrara Marble

Carrara marble is by far the most common type of marble and, as previously mentioned, is usually the least expensive. Basic White Carrara is very affordable in most cases. Carrara marble's availability keeps its cost down.

Calcutta Marble

Calcutta marble is the most expensive. Typically, Calcutta has a more dramatic contrast between the white color and the larger, bolder veining. Carrara has more of an overall gray shade with softer veining. Both Calcutta and Carrara come in gold varieties that have tinges of gold throughout.

Statuario Marble

Statuario is perhaps the most precious marble of them all. Compared to Calcutta and Carrara, it has distinctive veining colors that range from gold to gray. Statuario falls in the middle of the price range. 

Other popular types of marble include Danby, Black Wood, Scandalous and Atlantis Grey.

Marble Counter Soundness

Marble is classified for soundness from A to D. Soundness is related to the appearance of the marble and how much of it was repaired at a factory before installation. An A rating means that the marble had very few flaws and more subtle veining. B ratings mean few flaws overall, but the marble may contain fissures or visible pitting. C ratings mean the material has some flaws that will be factory repaired, but the repaired areas may be visible. D ratings come as a result of many factory repaired flaws, but may also have bright colors and dramatic veins and swirls.

Marble Counter Types

Marble Counter Finishes

There are two primary types of marble countertop finishes. The first is polished marble and this results in a glossy, mirror-like appearance. The second is honed marble, and this leaves the finish with more of an opaque, satin finish. In order to achieve the honed finish, the top layer of the marble is removed. Just like granite counters, both finishes should be sealed to protect it against staining. Polished marble needs to be re-polished regularly.

Marble Counter Thickness

If you purchase your marble in slabs, you’ll likely have to choose between three different thicknesses:

  • 2 CM (3/4'')
  • 3 CM (1 1/4'')
  • 5 CM (2'')

The most popular thickness is 3 CM and the most expensive is the 5 CM. The thicker your marble, the more durable and expensive it is. As such, it’s no surprise most homeowners go with a 3 CM thickness.

Advantages Of Marble Countertops

Marble may be a pricier option than most counters, but it certainly comes with its fair share of benefits. For one, it has a beautiful, natural appearance that goes with any decor and remains stylish no matter how trends change. In terms of maintenance, the actual cleaning of marble is easy (making marble a popular choice for flooring as well). Usually, a simple wipe-down with water and a little bit of gentle soap is enough to remove most stains. Marble also brightens both bathrooms and kitchens with its shiny surface. White marble is especially proficient. For avid bakers, marble is the perfect surface. Kneading and rolling dough are much easier activities on a shiny surface without residual stickiness.

Consumers who are unsure about marble for kitchen countertops will find that marble is a beautiful choice for bathroom countertops, where etching is less likely to be an issue. On the other hand, consumers who understand that marble is supposed to etch and age naturally will find that it works wonderfully in kitchens as well.

Advantages Of Marble Countertops

Disadvantages Of Marble Countertops

Of course, marble comes with a few drawbacks as well. The primary issue with marble for kitchen countertops is etching. Consumers often confuse this with staining and believe that if they seal the marble, it will not stain. Etching will happen with marble and there is no way to prevent this. Because of that, salespeople often try to talk consumers out of marble for kitchen countertops. Etching typically occurs through contact with acidic food or drinks, and obviously this is unavoidable if the marble is used for kitchen countertops. Etching is more visible on polished marble versus honed, but both are equally susceptible to the problem.

In addition, scratching and chipping can also be a problem in kitchens, due to the use of knives and heavy pots and pans. Marble should be professionally installed, a potential negative for the DIY consumer. For white marble, it’s extremely difficult to maintain a "like new" appearance without significant and professional maintenance.

Marble Countertop Maintenance

Marble counters age, but there are ways to decelerate that aging process. First and foremost, both types of marble finishes need to be treated similarly. They both will need regular re-sealing as both are very susceptible to etching. Using non-abrasive cleaners and hotpads for hot dishes will help keep staining and etching to a minimum.

If you really want to be careful, avoid setting glasses directly on the marble. Depending on your beverage, it could leave a ring. Also, wipe up acid spills immediately and wipe the surface with a wet cloth.

Marble Countertop Repair Cost

If you’re considering adding marble countertops, you have to be aware of the associated repairs. Luckily, small scratches and stains are not difficult to remove, by a professional. However, larger cracks or heat-related damages will cost more. According to our countertop repair cost estimator, the average price to repair counters is $338. The best way to avoid this non-necessary bill is to follow the maintenance items above.

Marble Countertop Maintenance

DIY Or Hire A Pro?

Marble counters are very heavy and quite expensive. While installing tile countertops is rather easy, installing marble is simply not the same. Marble slabs are much heavier and often require three or four strong individuals to install. Nonetheless, some homeowners are ready for the DIY challenge.

How To Install Marble Countertops

If you’re undertaking this marble countertop installation project on your own, use the steps below to guide you through the project. For more details, please see How To Install Kitchen Countertops. 

  1. Make sure marble countertop size and cut are perfect. They must match your cabinets.
  2. Add the sink if you’re working around one.
  3. Drill holes for faucet and water lines if need be.
  4. Add support on your cabinets if the countertop demands it.
  5. Add some adhesive caulk on the top of the counter base or island.
  6. With a partner, carefully put the counter in place. An inch and a half should be hanging over the edge.
  7. Seal any joints with a color-matching adhesive.
  8. Connect the water lines.

Find A Countertop Pro

Ultimately, choosing marble countertops over another type of natural stone comes down to personal preference. As stated, marble is very durable and functional, but will not continue to maintain a like-new appearance without significant maintenance.

If you’re ready to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom and install marble countertops, let us help you find a remodeling pro in your town!

Get free estimates from local countertop contractors

Last updated on Mar 1, 2017

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