Carrara marble countertops are a popular choice because of their timeless elegance and natural appeal. Carrara marble has been used in European homes for countertops and backsplashes for many centuries, but it is a relatively recent addition in American homes. It first became popular in American kitchens in the first half of the 20th century. Since then, Carrara marble has become one of the most popular choices for countertops in recent years. This is one of the most universally popular natural stones in existence, and it will always have adoring fans.
Despite its beauty, Carrara marble is a more problematic material for countertops than other choices. In this article, we will take you through the basics so that you understand what you are taking on before you invest in a marble countertop.
White Carrara marble is a classic choice for countertops, but it is not the best option for some people or situations.
- Appearance – Carrara marble countertops have a traditional and elegant look that is hard to match. The veining is attractive and brings a natural texture to the kitchen or bathroom.
- Resale – Using this stone on a kitchen or bathroom countertop can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
- Longevity – With the proper maintenance, marble can last for many years and remain beautiful.
- Cost – Carrara marble is one of the least expensive varieties of marble. If you are set on having marble countertops, this is a cost-effective choice.
- Cooking prep– Marble stays cool to the touch, so it is a great work surface. However, it is not resistant to all heat, so do not set a hot pot on the surface of marble.
- Scratching and staining – Carrara marble is a soft and porous material that is easy to dent and scratch. It will also stain if you leave spills of tomato sauce or wine on the countertops.
- Etching – The finish on the marble will etch or dull if acidic substances like citrus juice are left on the countertops.
- Cost – Compared to countertops of other varieties like wood, laminate, and quartz, Carrara marble countertops are expensive.
- Maintenance – These countertops are not low maintenance but require constant upkeep to keep looking beautiful.
Marble is a metamorphic stone that has been subjected to enormous pressure over time. It begins as limestone and is transformed into a harder and denser stone through recrystallization. Carrara marble is quarried in mountains in the Carrara region of Italy and is one of the most common types of marble in home design.
Carrara marble for countertops goes by many names, such as white Carrara marble or bianco Carrara. Carrara marble has a white or light gray background with feathery gray veining throughout. No two slabs ever look the same, as some have more dramatic veining than others. This means that it is vital to get your marble from the same slab when choosing Carrara marble for countertops.
Carrara marble is similar in appearance to the pricey Calacatta marble and Calacatta gold marble, but Carrara marble is one of the least expensive varieties of white marble. Even so, the look of luxurious Carrara marble countertops elevates the style of any kitchen or bathroom.
Countertops in a busy kitchen or bathroom can take a beating, but with care, your Carrara marble countertops can be gorgeous for many years.
Maintain with a sealer
Make sure that you are sealing your marble countertops on a regular basis, or at least once a year. A sealant is not difficult to apply. First, make sure the countertop is clean and dry. Next, apply a penetrating sealant with a soft cloth. Let the countertop dry before use.
Keep it clean
The most important thing is keeping the countertops clear of things that will etch or stain them. Wipe down the counters every day to make sure they are dry and clean. Do not use abrasive cleaners on a regular basis.
Deal with stains and etches
If your countertops are etched or stained, use a more aggressive and specialized cleaner to deal with these marks. Once you have cleaned with a stronger cleaner to the best of your ability, you will need to reseal the area that you cleaned. Honed Carrara marble countertops will hide more imperfections than polished marble.
Avoid harsh chemicals
Do not use harsh cleaners that contain acid or allow acidic substances like lemon juice or vinegar to sit on the counters. These substances will quickly etch the surface of the countertop and mar or dull the finish.
Actively prevent damage to your countertops by always using cutting boards when working with knives. Also, use trivets or hot plates for hot cookware. Marble is susceptible to scratches and heat damage, so prevention of damage is vital. Chipping and cracking are also common on marble countertops. Be careful when handling heavy objects around the Carrara countertops, and use preventative measures when possible.
Learn to live with imperfections
Carrara marble will develop imperfections over time, but this is part of an overall patina that can be attractive in its own way. Learn to appreciate this patina by accepting that the wear and tear on the countertops is part of a well-used and loved kitchen.
Carrara Marble Countertop Designs
Marble is a luxurious addition to any room of the home. Carrara marble is a popular addition to the kitchen, but Carrara marble bathroom countertop options are beautiful too. We have rounded up some stunning images so you can gather inspiration.
Carrara marble kitchen countertops and decorative backsplash
Carrara marble countertops are a timeless option, but they can look fresh and modern too. These owners have paired the classic look of marble counters and white cabinets with these stunning mosaic tiles. These tiles and countertops work well with the warm textural decor, like the window blind and wood floors.
Carrara white marble countertops with earthy tones
The contrast of these medium toned green cabinets with the white Carrara marble countertops is striking. The designer has added earthy elements, including the woven sconces and basket, to balance the smoothness of the counters and backsplash.
A marble backsplash with Carrara marble countertops
A continuous marble slab is also popular as a backsplash option. The simple and unfussy look of this backsplash complements the flat and modern cabinet style in this kitchen.
White Carrara marble countertops
Give your kitchen a look of quiet sophistication with a pairing of white marble and dark blue cabinets. The key to this look is a sense of openness and space. The white open shelves blend with the white walls and the marble countertops, creating a harmonious color story.
Carrara marble for a luxurious bathroom
In this bathroom, the designer uses a blend of Carrara marble on every available surface, giving it an opulent yet simple look. Gold fixtures, the bright element of the design, are used as spare accents.
Marble counters in a modern kitchen design
This kitchen has a modern and sleek design with flat fronted cabinets and leather pulls. The soft gray color echoes the veining in the marble and provides contrast to the white subway tile backsplash.
Carrara marble laminate countertops
Carrara marble may be out of the price range for some, but you might consider a laminate option. This kitchen is from blogger/designer Sarah Jane Christy. She chose to use a thick laminate marble look-alike with a crescent edge for the laminate countertop. This choice means that there is no exposed raw edge, creating a more authentic marble appearance.
Carrara marble in a historic inspired bathroom
This bathroom is a meeting place between the old and the new in the style of modern-traditional. The homeowners have paired the sleek and tailored mirrors with a sumptuous vanity. The interplay between the dark mahogany vanity base and the white Carrara top is effective.
A Carrara marble kitchen sink
Beyond just the use of marble for a counter, marble sinks elevate the look of the kitchen. The drain lines on the countertop leading to the sink are practical as well as elegant.
White Carrara marble in contemporary design
White marble works with many house design styles: modern, traditional, and farmhouse. It also looks beautiful with a clean and airy contemporary style. The woven pendant lights and bar stools bring a comfortable warmth to the sleek design.
Classic farmhouse with white Carrara marble
One of the benefits of marble countertops is their timeless character. They look stunning in many different styles, including this traditional kitchen. The contrast between the elegant countertops and the simple shaker cabinets is striking.
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