Reviewed By

Brinda GoswamiVerified Expert in Interior Design

As a founder of iii studio, Brinda has designed and executed over 100+ projects with a special focus on luxurious residential designing. She is the owner & principal designer at iii studio, Hyderabad.

Home » Design Ideas & Inspirations » How to Choose the Right Marble to Design Marble Countertops?

It’s no news that marble is a natural material that can instantly elevate the room it’s in. Being a natural stone and resembling nature’s elements, marble is a mark of luxury that homeowners desire, regardless of whether they own a palatial villa or an apartment. Of course, anyone can have marble at home.

But, it’ truly resonates with the space only if it is aligned with their preferences. A timeless piece like a marble countertop is an integral part of kitchen design and has been part of almost all interior design trends for decades. The warm, classic look of marble is unparalleled by other stones and color ranges. Their variety, veining, and movement are coveted all over the world. One of the best parts about marble is how the stone changes with usage, and the change adds to its depth and character.

It’s a material no one can get enough of. Speaking of beauty and functionality, depending on your client’s needs and lifestyle, you can design a marble countertop that serves both concerns — it is an instant hit every time they have guests over and an ideal place to cook meals for their family every day.

This guide will be super useful to you if you want to design a stunning marble countertop for your client’s home. 

Is Marble a Good Countertop Material?

Pros

Cons

A durable, elegant countertop that’ll last for a lifetime It needs regular, extensive maintenance
A hard, strong stone that embodies a natural beauty Needs to be sealed every 6 months, and special chemicals to be used for regular maintenance
Raises the resale value of the house, after remodeling Has to be kept moisture-free to protect the stone
Becomes an aesthetic focal point of the house Very difficult to conduct parties around marble kitchen countertops for fear of guests spilling liquids on it
Heat-resistant by nature Can be damaged if it comes into contact with extreme heat directly (without mats or coasters)
Great for residents who bake at home The surface can be too cool sometimes, given that marble is a cool stone

What happens with prolonged use?

Although marble is strong, it’s still softer than granite countertops, quartzite, and quartz countertops, which makes it more susceptible to scratching. It’s chemically sensitive to acid, so your client will need to keep red wine, ketchup, lemon juice, and turmeric away from it.

Advise your client to run a damp cloth across the spill immediately after it happens. The stain will permeate into the marble and change its look if it’s not cleaned up properly. If the countertop is sealed well, the chances of it chipping away or absorbing stains are relatively low.

Becca Cranfield, from Athena Stonecare says, “The more polished or sealed the stone, it will tighten up the marble surface ever so slightly. The sealant sinks into the stone and binds the capillaries of the stone together and it protects the stone. However, some marbles can absorb stains even if they’re sealed and need to be deep cleaned regularly. Resealing your marble countertop every 6-12 months is a great way to maintain and preserve your high-end marble.”

Popular Marble Stones in 2024

No two marble slabs are exactly alike. The stone is available in white and a range of other warm, rich hues. Veining and movement of the marble stone can be intense and dramatic, or soft and muted, depending on where the stone is sourced from. 

Carrara Marble

Carrara Marble Countertop Design

One of the most authentic Italian marble types to exist in the world. It’s a little budget-friendly, even if it’s a luxurious kind because it is available in plenty. Looks stunning and classic. It’s one of the hottest kitchen trends now and has a super-high resale value. Blends well with many different styles, such as traditional, modern kitchen, and farmhouse interior design styles.

Read also – Building an Open Concept Kitchen Living Room in 2024

Calacatta Viola

Calacatta Viola Marble Countertop Design

The Calacatta Viola has a gorgeous purple veining that makes it stand out. It also has a dramatic movement and can become the conversation starter and a WOW factor in your client’s kitchen, as a white marble countertop. The stone comes in quieter and more subtle tones and finishes, so you have a variety to choose from.

Read also – 15 Best Kitchen Design Tools And Software To Use In 2024 (Free & Paid)

Calacatta Vagli

A renowned marble variety, whose veins are 15-20 cm wide, and spread uniformly across the stone. It has a cappuccino color background and looks strikingly different than other marble stones.

Nick Lewis, a renowned interior designer loves the Calacatta Vagli. He says, “It shows timelessness and matches any kind of furniture and home decor. Its crisp veins and fewer flaws make it look more regal than darker marbles. It occasionally comes with gold veining, in a milky white background, and the countertop design steals your heart at first glance. “

Black Marquina

Black Marquina Marble Countertop Design

A Spanish marble variety and hands down the darkest, black marble you’ll ever find. Being pitch black with a matte finish, and occasional calcite and shells, the stone looks stylish and eye-catching regardless of whether it’s used as a stone countertop, backsplash, tile, etc. Comes with irregular white veins and suits any interior style you have in mind. Simply bring this stone home even before the client finalizes the decor theme, and you’ll be delighted at how Black Marquina fits in well at the end.

Read also – 20 Best Kitchen Wall Decor Ideas to Design Your Kitchen Wall

Imperial Marble

Imperial Marble Countertop Design

This particular stone is found abundantly in the US and is one of the strongest and most durable marble varieties. If you’re going for a strictly modern interior for your client’s home, you can bring in the Imperial marble confidently. It’s highly coveted, thicker than the average marble, and prevents damage from happening. If you want a marble with a fine mix of versatility and practicality, this is a good choice for you.

Read also – 4 Types of Kitchen Floor Plan

Marble Finishes and Edges

Marble Edges

Straight

Rectified, perfectly cut edges that utilize minimal grout lines for a timeless look. They are near perfect and look elegant in any interior style your client’s kitchen may have.

Beveled

It’s a flat angled edge that adds visual dimension to any home’s space. 

Chiseled

Commonly used in marble tiles, the edges of the stone look chipped, to create a lived-in or rustic look. Can be used in styles that prioritize rustic charm, and a homey vibe.

Read also – Top 5 DIY Interior Design Software to Design Your Next Design Project

Marble Finishes

Honed

It’s smooth, polished, and appears muted. It appears to have a matte finish and is less likely to scratch. 

Polished

Has a smooth shine and sheen. Works exceedingly well for areas in the kitchen that are less susceptible to wetness.

Brushed

It has a soft, worn texture and presents the visual effects of natural aging. It’s inherently scratch-resistant and is suitable for high-traffic areas in the kitchen where your client can cut vegetables and do all the prep for meals.

Textured

Add visual depth and difference to the space it is in. This type of marble can go well if you’re designing a stone countertop option for the client’s outdoor kitchen.

Read also – The Complete Guide To Use Textures in Interior Design

How Can You Choose the Right Marble Stone?

Select the marble stone for the kitchen countertop that will work for the entire family, based on their age group and lifestyle. If your client has children, they might spill liquids that will set in the marble and affect its look. If they have guests at home frequently and they get together to cook in the kitchen, there’s a good chance the marble countertop gets stained and goes unnoticed. When left to set for a long time, the stain sticks to the stone.

When looking for veins and patterns at the marble showroom, select slabs in sequence, the ones that came from the same bundle. When staked together, they look like a painting in the kitchen.

Most people go one out of two ways when they choose a marble countertop:

  1. They visit the marble store or yard and pick the stone first, and then go back to their designer and get the kitchen interiors designed – like the cabinetry material, colors, the Eden nook, chairs, kitchen island color, etc. 
  2. Or, they go the other route, pick out all kitchen decor items and styles, and identify a stone that matches well with the interior design idea they have in mind.

Experienced designers will tell you the first option is the right way to go about choosing a marble countertop. It’s the key piece, the focal point of your kitchen and it takes precedence.

Read also – Best Home Decor Ideas & Trends In 2024

How Do You Check the Quality of Your Marble Stone?

When you’re at the marble stone, or when you’re confused about which samples you can present to your client in the next presentation, you can perform a few easy tests to figure out.

Watch for Porosity

Take a few drops of lemon juice and pour it over the marble sample. If the stone absorbs the lemon juice instantly, it has high porosity, which means it isn’t of good quality. If the juice drops roll off, the stone has low porosity and can resist accidental spillage that can happen in the kitchen.

Check Scratch Resistance

Take a slightly heavy object and drag it over your marble sample. If it gives into scratches, it isn’t of good quality. If you’re going for colored marbles, and you do this test, run a damp rug after you scratch the surface. If the color comes off, you can do away with the particular variety.

Look at the Back of the Stone

Weaker stones generally tend to have mesh at their back to prevent them from damage. This mesh backing means that the stone is highly susceptible to breaking, cracking, etching, and scratching when the fabricator installs the countertop. It’s not suitable for a high-traffic area like the kitchen. 

Don’t forget the patch test

Look at the marble sample under light, from all angles. If it has a decent amount of patches, it’s normal. If it has none whatsoever, the stone’s pores and holes may have been filled from the inside. 

Verify With the Sound Test

Take a hard object and strike the marble sample hard. If the sound is hoarse, the cracks are minimal and the marble only has fine veins. If it has wide cracks, it can produce a sharp high-pitched sound or a dull thud, depending on the nature of the stone.

If your client is super-specific on getting the marble thoroughly vetted, you can have some extensive tests done too:

  • Chemical resistance
  • Modulus of rupture
  • Frost resistance
  • Thermal shock

Read also – How Can You Mitigate Electrical Hazards as an Interior Designer?

Design the Right Marble Countertop by Visualizing it on Foyr Neo

You’ve been to the marble showroom, you’ve done the tests and you’re now designing your interiors with the elegant, royal-looking marble as your focal point. You consider the sink position, where the kitchen cabinets will be, how high, how deep, and with what lighting provisions in them.

You experiment with different combinations, but how do you arrive at a design that’s as practical as it is beautiful? You do that by visualizing and deeply interacting with the space as if you were there in person.

kitchen design renders by bernice anastatia

How? By designing on Foyr Neo.

  • Create or import your kitchen floor plan: Attach or detach your kitchen layout from any plan, and make a hyper-personalized kitchen plan for your client.
  • Design in 2D and 3D modes and switch between them: Bring together fixtures, accessories, walls, appliances, furniture, and decor together, while watching how they fit in with the overall floor plan and in real life. Ambiguous about the lighting placement in the kitchen? Zoom in, zoom out, and switch to 3D and view how the space will look when it’s built.
  • Choose from 60,000+ 3D materials for your countertop: If your client has set their eyes on Cararra marble with a polished finish for their countertop, go into our material and simply search for the countertop you need, and drag and drop it in the design. Change the color, texture, pattern, material, size, or shape of the countertop and experiment until you find the perfect fit. 
  • Auto-punching feature to place your sink right: When you design the sink that suits the marble countertop with a butcher’s block, the auto-punching feature immediately recognizes your design and leaves a hole right where the water needs to flow out, thus saving you time. 
  • Wall snapping feature: Don’t spend time repositioning and reshaping walls when you can drag them to the respective position and have the system do the action automatically. 
  • Make instant iterations and take quick renders: Choose from 360-degree camera angles, save the best views, set the depth and POV you want, and hit ‘render’. Just as you explain your design intent for the next few minutes, the render will be ready for you to present to your client. Make on-the-spot changes and take multiple renders in minutes, to avoid waiting around for the client to share their feedback.

You can do all this and more with Foyr Neo! Want to get a sneak peek of all the ways you can spruce up your design? Sign up for our 14-day free trial right now.

FAQs

Yes, consider using marble for specific focal points, such as the kitchen island, or explore more budget-friendly marble alternatives that mimic the look.

Select flooring materials that complement the color palette and veining of the marble countertops, creating a harmonious design flow.

Balance bold veining patterns on countertops with more subtle patterns in surrounding materials like tiles or cabinetry for a cohesive look.

Thicker marble countertops, such as 2 inches, convey a more substantial and luxurious feel, while thinner slabs offer a more contemporary look.

Yes, neutral marble countertops can serve as a versatile backdrop for vibrant backsplash tiles, adding personality to the kitchen.

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