Marble vs. Quartz Countertops: A detailed review

Marble vs. Quartz countertops?

This is a question we’ve given a lot of thought to over here and one I receive all the time in emails.

So much so, I’m bringing back this post on my favorite countertop material debate-

If you’re in the market for new countertops, you’ve come to the right place.

marble counter tops in white kitchen(all decor sources listed at the bottom of this post)

The Benefits of Marble vs. Quartz Countertops

When you’re building a kitchen or bathroom, there are dozens of choices to make, from cabinetry to paint colors.

Every choice you make determines the style and aesthetic of your kitchen and how it relates to the rest of your home.

Countertop materials – the choices can seem endless, but this is obviously such an important (and expensive) decision.

Since your countertops are one of the main focal points of the design, when you select a particular color or type, it can determine almost everything else about your kitchen’s overall look.

Nowadays, countertops come in nearly endless colors and patterns, shades and grains, but the most common stone to use is either marble or quartz.

Marble vs. Quartz countertops!

Both are excellent options for your kitchen countertops, but depending on your needs or your budget, there are a few considerations to take into account before you make your choice.

Since I’m familiar with both, through trial and error,  I thought I’d address this popular question here today.

Let’s dig into the pros and cons of marble vs. quartz countertop options.

flowers in blue and white vases on white marble kitchen counterMarble counters in our kitchen.

The Benefits of Marble Countertops

Marble countertops are known for being a classic, timeless option.

Surprisingly, marble and quartz prices can be almost the same these days, although certain marbles can be quite expensive.

A few major reasons to consider marble include:

1.Natural marble counters often contribute to higher re-sale value.

2.Marble counter tops look beautiful.

traditional white kitchen with calcutta gold marble countersOur former home with Calcutta Gold white marble countertops. These weren’t mitered, might be why they chipped a lot less.

The Drawbacks Of Marble Countertops

Marble doesn’t come without some drawbacks, including:

1.The range of price does tend to be higher.

2.It’s porous and softer than other options which means it’s MUCH easier to chip and crack.

3.It requires regular upkeep such as sealing and re-sealing to keep it functional and protected.

5.Chemicals, lemon juice, some solvents and cleaners will all cause marks.

6. As a natural stone, each slab is so unique – you really need to inspect the actual material for your home before purchasing, having it cut and installed! This last point I can’t emphasize enough.

modern white kitchen with marble counters
Our mitered marble countertops.

My opinion of our kitchen marble countertops.

Our kitchen counters (seen in the images above) are white Statuario Altisimo marble and the edges are mitered (built up) to create a thicker visual look.

We went with a honed finish, as opposed to a polished (shinier) finish.

There are some chips and dings on some of the edges which does bother me.

At some point I plan on repairing the chips, but I don’t think it will ever look “perfect.”

I’m also trying to be a bit more careful when using heavy pots and pans.

There’s also some uneven staining from either lemon juice or vinegar.

By stains I really mean colorless etching, which you have to look closely to see.

These stains really don’t bother me at all.

I’m pretty sure a polished finish would mean less etching, but I really love the look of honed marble.

However, I do plan on getting my counters resealed soon – we’ve been here almost six years and have not done this yet.

Hopefully resealing will remove some of the stains.

The short answer is yes, for an expensive finish they don’t wear as well as other stones or counter tops.

However, because I love the look so much, I would choose it all over again!

For more info, details and our kitchen design sources.

wallpapered bathroom with white marble counter

PRO TIP: I did want to mention one more thing about marble counters.

I picked up this budget friendly tip from a few interior designers through the years.

When we renovated our guest bathroom, (seen above) we chose a white natural marble remnant for the small counter top.

It was MUCH more cost effective than quartz.

Since it’s a bathroom, we don’t need to worry about heavy pots and pans dinging the surface.

Something to consider if you’re looking for a small bathroom counter top.

White Quartz Countertops in white kitchenQuartz counters in our current renovated beach house kitchen.

The Benefits of Natural Quartz Countertops.

Quartz is becoming a more and more popular choice for counter tops.

There are a variety of colors to choose from, in fact the color options increase every year!

There are many additional benefits to quartz countertops:

1.Natural quartz tends to be more affordable, depending on the type you choose.

2. It is more consistent in pattern and coloring, so you can select from a sample and the margins will match up well.

3. Quartz is more durable because it is non-porous and needs almost no upkeep.

4. It also contributes to resale value.

5. Like marble, quartz can be mitered for big savings.

mitered white quartz kitchen counter islandOur renovated kitchen from our former beach house with mitered quartz counters.

The Drawbacks Of Quartz Countertops

There are, of course, some drawbacks to quartz, as with any option:

1. Quartz countertops are heavier and more difficult to install, which means while the stone might be less expensive, the costs to get it installed are typically higher.

2. While quartz counter top options continue to improve every year, they still don’t capture the subtle beauty of marble.

3. I’ve heart quartz isn’t heat resistant (and marble is?) but I’m not about to place a hot pot or tray directly on to my counters either way…

white mitered quartz counter with apron front stainless steel sinkOur former beach house renovation.

Marble vs. Quartz Countertops: Conclusion

Hopefully this discussion of quartz vs. marble will help you with your own kitchen and bathroom countertop decisions.

It’s important that you make a careful selection to be sure that your kitchen or bathroom counters stay beautiful for years to come.

You can’t really go wrong with either option, but your countertops are not just the focal point of your kitchen.

They also get a lot of use (and abuse) over time.

Keeping in mind, you want to be able to use your kitchen as much freely, without worrying about long term damage to your counters.

Years ago, when we first replaced countertops we went with marble, recently we’ve switched to quartz and that seems to be the trend nationally.

So, that’s our take on marble vs. quartz countertops!

If you’d like to see a similar review of granite and marble or quartz vs. granite countertops, let me know in the comments.

Good Luck!

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