Marble Countertops

More beautiful than practical, this material brings luxury to a low-traffic bathroom

Marble Vanity Breathes New Life in Older Bath

Photo by: Scripps Productions

Scripps Productions

By: Kim Hildenbrand

Marble countertops are a timeless addition to a bathroom that last for years and age gracefully. A metamorphic rock formed from crystallized limestone and other materials, marble contains dramatic veining and lovely colorations.

Though types vary, most marble can be easily scratched or stained, and the porous surface is prone to tough stains. Save it for baths where it's likely to receive gentle treatment and proper maintenance and sealing.

This rich, elegant stone is a staple of traditional and period designs. When it comes to sheer beauty, few materials rival marble. Consider these factors when choosing marble:

  • Measurements: Countertop thickness are typically from three-quarter inch to an inch and a quarter (preferred) Standard overhang is an inch to an inch and a half. Edge options range, though straight remains the most popular.
  • Color: Choose from a wide range of shades, including white, brown, green, gray, black, red and pink. Depending on your style, opt for a quiet backdrop or an eye-catching statement.
  • Finish: Marble comes in various finishes including polished (for a glossy shine), honed (for a matte appearance) and antiqued (for a slightly more weathered look).
  • Where to purchase: When choosing marble, do your research and seek out a reputable dealer. Quality varies a great deal depending on factors such as where the stone is quarried.
  • Practicality: Marble requires maintenance and sealing, and that still may not protect from scratches, gouges and stains. Use extra care with hair dyes, perfumes, colognes and bathroom cleansers, as these kinds of liquids can cause staining or etching.
  • Sink types: Options include drop-in, undermount and vessel styles.
  • Budget Considerations: If you love the look of marble but it's out of your price range, consider cultured marble countertops. This engineered stone is composed of approximately 93 percent marble and seven percent polyester resin and pigments. This creates a more durable surface that better resists stains and scratches. Cultured marble also has a lower absorption rate and requires less maintenance. The surface is more consistent than quarried marble—either a pro or con, depending on how you look at it—and comes in a range of colors.

Marble Bathroom Countertops

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Engineered Stone Countertops

Usually made of quartz pieces mixed in resin, this surface makes a durable bathroom counter

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