What Are the Top Types of Marble? Comparing Marble Options For Your Home

If you’re looking for a countertop or flooring stone option that’s high-class, luxurious, and offers enough variety to meet any aesthetic, we recommend marble. And if you’ve ever stepped foot in a kitchen or bathroom to be greeted by striking, elegant marble then you already know what an impact this luxurious stone has. At the same time, there’s not just one marble to choose from. Formed by compacted materials inside the earth, marble comes in a variety of colours and textures, which means you’ll have a choice on your hands.  But don’t panic because you’re about to undertake a crash course on all things marble. Here’s everything you need to know about the most popular types of marble and which one will take your home or business to the next level. 

What are the most important characteristics of marble?

Marble is one of the most luxurious and varied natural stones, making it a unique option for both indoor and outdoor remodels.  But you already knew that. What you may not have known is that marble is available in a wide range of colours and types – and we’ll go through each of those right now.

Marble colours explained

You can practically find marble in all colours of the rainbow (well, almost all), including:   
  • White marble 
  • Black marble 
  • Red marble 
  • Brown marble
  • Pink marble
  • Green marble
  • Grey marble 
  • Yellow marble 
Plus, each stone has unique textures and porosity, depending on where it is found and how it is processed. This makes marble a truly one-of-a-kind wall, flooring, and countertop option.  Stuck between two (or more) colours? Use our Stone Benchtop Colour Guide for a little direction

What are the most popular types of marble? 

Calacatta Marble

Calacatta marble is widely considered to be one of the most luxurious marble types, due in part to its rarity. It has dark, thick veining and is generally a bright white in colour. Our own Calacatta Oro Honed variation has a beautiful golden hue that looks gorgeous in combination with white or black. It’s visually stunning and adds an aristocratic flare to any space. Due to its rarity and difficulty finding nice uniform slabs, it is one of the exotic priced marbles. Hence many people lean more towards the standard Bianco Carrara for a more cost effective option. Bianco Carrara Marble Bianco Carrara marble is a classic Italian marble and has been use in Europe for hundreds of years. It is a whitish marble with soft grey veining makes this a perfect option for a timeless kitchen. It is the perfect compromise between style and price. Usually with carraras, the whiter the background, the higher the price so we normally try to bring in slabs with the perfect blend at an affordable price for your kitchen.

Emperador Marble

Another wonderful marble variation is Emperador marble. This Spanish marble is available in both light and dark variations – we offer both Emperador Chiaro and Emperador Scuro.  This marble variation goes wonderfully in rooms that have gold or brass furnishing. It’s often used for sills, ornamental stone, interior and exterior wall, floor, or paving. You’ll also commonly see this type of marble used in design projects and around pools. Not that your options stop there because this variation of marble can be polished, sawn cut, sanded, sandblasted, and tumbled. 

Austral Dream 

Austral Dream is a Western Australian dolomitic marble (from Nanutarra in the Pilbara of our lovely state). Due to its location in the Pilbara the marble has been infused with magnesium from the area creating a tough Aussie dolomite which will stand up to a little more wear and tear in the kitchen than standard marble.  It has a few variations of colour from light cream to cream with warmer intrusions.  It’s commonly used in: 
  • Countertops 
  • Flooring 
  • Wall cladding
  • Exterior and interior walls 
  • Stairs
Though these are three popular variations, we offer 28 marble variations in total, so you’ll be sure to find a colour, texture, and style that works best for you. 

Breaking down the advantages of marble

There are many benefits to choosing marble besides its aesthetic appeal and luxury (although watching your friends and family drop their jaws when they see your new bench or countertop is almost enough reason on its own). If you care about value for money (let’s be honest, who wouldn’t?) then you’ll love the advantages that come with each type of marble.

✔ Marble is long-lasting

If there’s one thing we can gather from ancient Greek and Roman statues, it’s that marble is long-lasting. Extremely long-lasting. This makes it an excellent choice for home interiors, exteriors, decor, and more. Who knows, someone might marvel at your bathroom countertop a few centuries from now.

✔ Marble is durable 

Marble is reasonably durable but it is not as strong as granite so it will age and patina gracefully with you and your home. It is known to be resistant to heat but needs a little care when being used around acidic products such as lemon and vinegar as marble is a calcium based product. Marble will last the test of time and will never go out of fashion.

✔ Marble can be relatively affordable 

In many cases, marble can be less expensive than other stone options like granite or quartz. Here at Granite Warehouse we have some beautiful marble options in the low and mid price range for clients who need to watch their budget. Not all marbles are in the exotic price range.

What are the differences between each marble type? 

Marble is a metamorphic rock which means it went through a transformation. It started off its life as sedimentary limestone which forms on the floors of the ocean. Limestone is an accumulation of shells and coral and may have layers of clay or sand which create the different patterns you see in the marble. Besides differences in colour, these intrusions also create other differences, including: 
  • Varying hardnesses of the marble
  • The number of imperfections and interesting intrusions that are present that can create unique patterns in the marble.
That said, there is no such thing as “better” or “worse” marble. It all depends on your budget, your maintenance capabilities, the space, and your needs.  Need a little design inspo? Check out our project gallery before you go

Where can you use marble? 

Marble can be used in many spaces both inside and outside the home. This includes:   
  • Kitchens: Marble can be used in the kitchen and has been for centuries in Europe.
  • Bathrooms: Marble can turn any bathroom into an interior design haven. You can use marble for bathroom flooring, walls, bathtubs, countertops, sinks, and backsplashes. 
  • Walls: Marble can be used on walls for a spectacular alternative to wallpaper or traditional paint. This is particularly effective on an accent wall. 
  • Flooring: Marble is also an extremely elegant flooring option, and you can create many marble patterns, mosaic designs, and variations. 
Pros and cons of marble countertops  If you want to use marble for your countertops, it’s important to be clear about the pros and cons. Speaking of…
Marble Pros Marble Cons
Appearance: First and foremost, marble is a gorgeous and unique countertop stone. This pattern can not be found in granite. Good for cooking: Marble is naturally cool and smooth, making it a great surface for cooking and baking.  Long-lasting: Though it can require regular upkeep – particularly on a countertop – marble can last for years and years.  Valuable: Finally, marble can increase the retail value of your home and your kitchen.  Etching: Though it’s extremely durable and long-lasting, marble can etch if it’s exposed to acid. It’s porous: Marble is a porous stone, and it will stain if liquids are left on the surface. We recommend you seal your marble regularly if you’re going to use it as a countertop surface.  It can be costly: Marble can be much more expensive than other countertop options, if you are looking for something like Calacatta or Statuario for that perfect pattern and this can make it unattainable for some. However there are cheaper alternatives.

How to find a reliable stone mason to manufacture your marble benchtop

Installing marble in your home will, in all likelihood, be a lifelong investment – and you want it to be one that you’re proud of and happy with for years to come. To this end, it’s important that you choose the right professional to provide your marble and install it. Some things to keep in mind: 
  • The estimate: The right contractor will give you a free estimate for the job. This kind of transparency is important. 
  • Years in business: Ask any potential provider how long they’ve been in business and what kind of expertise they have installing marble. The more skill they have, the better. 
  • References: A good way of finding a reliable stone mason, is to talk to friends and colleagues who have had installations done.  Seeing finished jobs is a great way to gauge quality of workmanship. 

Final thoughts and what to do next…

Marble is a varied and long-lasting stone option that can be a fantastic choice for many different types of homes and spaces.  If you’re interested to learn more about marble options – or other stone ideas – feel free to contact us directly on 08 9209 2620. You can also contact us directly here for assistance on Marble selection and any questions you may have..