Marble countertops have long represented the epitome of elegance in the kitchen. But, there are reasons other than aesthetics to choose this durable, natural stone for your kitchen.
Advantages of a marble countertop
Marble is a hard stone that resists scratches, dents and cracks. Marble countertops are available in a variety of finishes. While those finishes can be affected by everyday wear, repair is often easy and affordable. Marble can also be cut to your specifications, making a custom job easy.
The advantage of lasting value can't be underestimated. Whether or not your home stays in the family for a full century, Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value report suggests that an upscale, kitchen remodel that includes stone countertops can recoup almost 60 percent of a homeowner's investment.
Typical cost of a marble countertop
What kind of investment should you expect? Marble countertops are among the most expensive materials you can purchase for your kitchen. However, the benefits often far outweigh that cost. Marble slab countertops can run between $50 and $100 per square foot, or between $1,500 and $3,000 for a kitchen with 30 square feet of countertop space. Professional installation is typically included in that price. Keep in mind that custom finishes and cuts can increase costs.
Styles, colors, stains and more
Natural and cultured marble come in a wide variety of styles and colors. Natural marble offers the advantage of no two pieces being alike. Much like snowflakes, the color variations and lines in marble countertops are unique to that particular piece. Cultured marble is a mixture of crushed limestone and fiberglass resin. Stains and finishes can be added to both to enhance the color or slightly change it to your specifications.
Marble: highly durable, not invincible
Though marble can conjure images of timeless, Italian sculpture, it is a stone with some limitations. Marble is a bit softer than some other types of stone, such as granite; this makes it more prone to staining or etching from acids and cleaning agents. Heat, such as that from a hot pan set directly on the countertop, can discolor marble. Sealants are always recommended to keep your marble looking and feeling like new.
3 simple steps to help you get started
- Measure your countertops. While an installation professional will get exact measurements before ordering the marble, having a rough estimate helps for accurate cost estimates.
- Decide on the details: color, finish and style can all be customized. Alabaster, Georgia, faux, tumbled, slab and tiles are just a few of the options. Sites like reliableremodeler.com can help you learn more about these choices.
- Find a contractor, who can help you select and install the perfect marble countertop. The form on this page is a good place to begin your search for a contractor.
Take your time, when researching a contractor. Ask for references from previous jobs. Check for licenses and insurance. Settle on a timeline and price before you sign a contract to install custom countertops.