On average, marble countertops cost $22 to $85 per square foot for one-piece tops in a straight, “L” or “U” shape. However, some marble can cost as much as $180 to $250 per square foot to install. Similar to granite and other natural stone counters, the cost to install marble countertops can be much higher depending on the countertop's size, the complexity of the job and labor costs in your area.
What’s in this cost guide?
Cost per sq. ft.
There are several different types of marble you can choose for your new countertops. Carrara slabs tends to cost less because it’s so widely available. On the other hand, Calacatta is rarer and may cost more as a result. Because the slab prices vary so widely, it’s best to chat with a pro to get an accurate estimate.
Types of marble
Calacatta marble is seen by many to be a rare and luxurious choice for a countertop for a kitchen renovation. As a result, prices may go up if you choose this option over more budget-friendly alternatives.
Calacatta slabs have a white background with gray veining (however, the veins can range in colors). The veining often has a thick, leathered pattern to it, which complements a variety of subtle kitchen colors.
Carrara marble is a common choice for marble counters, cut-outs and backsplashes. Carrara slabs feature gray veins and subtle coloring, making it a good choice for kitchen counters with a smooth, polished marble finish.
Statuary marble a white background and a shiny finish. These slabs are excellent alternatives to white marble countertops.
Emperador marble comes from Spain and is widely used by interior designers and contractors. It tends to feature darker browns, similar to Oniciata marble. For this reason, it’s often used to complement fireplaces or other areas of relaxation.
Crema Marfil marble also hails from Spain and offers a more rustic appeal. You can find these slabs in various shades of yellow and beige, which makes it a good match for a variety of different types of wood and tile floors.
Contractors calculate the cost of installing a marble countertop by considering the size, finish, material grade and specific installation requirements. If the installation is very complicated, such as involving many small cuts to make the countertop fit in an irregularly shaped space, the cost may increase.
The details of the countertop itself are usually essential factors in the overall cost. This holds true for granite, quartz, Carrara marble, Calacatta marble and natural stone. Here are some elements of marble countertops that will likely affect how much they cost.
Design, color and pattern
The kind of marble you get typically plays a significant factor. Marble slabs have unique veining, and customers prefer some types over others. As a result, the veining may drive the price up — or down — depending on the style, color and pattern.
The edge finish you choose may, in some instances, have a small effect on installation prices. The price per linear foot could be adjusted if finishing the edges will require extensive extra work, such as the case with an ogee edge.
Buffing and polishing
If you wanted a rough marble slab without a glass-like finish, it might cost less than one that has been thoroughly buffed and polished. The buffing and polishing process takes time, so choosing an unfinished slab could save you some money.
The backsplash protects your kitchen walls and can serve as a nice transition between the marble or natural stone and the wall. If you were to choose to have a countertop installed without a backsplash, you might be able to save some money because that means the provider has to use less marble.
Related content: How much does it cost to install a tile backsplash?
The number of sink cut-outs can affect the price per square foot. When an installer prepares the countertop for your kitchen, it takes time, energy and the right tools to make sure it fits nicely around your sink openings. Therefore, if you don’t need a sink cutout, you may pay a little less per square foot.
Lower-quality marble may cost less to install than higher-quality marble. In some cases, lower-quality marble has already been rejected by other customers. As a result, an installer may choose to give it to you at a discount. The same goes for quartz and granite countertops.
There are several ways to save on your marble countertop purchase. For example, opt for Carrara or even an alternative material that resembles marble, such as Corian. These countertops can resemble marble and cost about $40 to $65 per square foot.
You can also save money by shopping around for different contractors. The installation prices vary widely depending on the time of year, how busy the professional is and the material costs. For this reason, it’s not uncommon to find professionals who offer an excellent product but with installation costs that are significantly less than others. To save money, be sure to consult with at least four or five different pros before you commit to one.
Because labor costs are often static, one of the most effective ways to reduce the total cost is choosing a less expensive material. The best way to do this is to be flexible when it comes to the pattern, color, design and type of marble you’re willing to have installed. You may find that one type of marble you like is significantly less expensive than others that most people prefer. Due to the reduced demand, you may be able to get that marble for less than you’d expect.
To save money on the installation, be sure the professional comes by and takes accurate measurements of your kitchen. The installer should do a full assessment of all the needed cuts before giving you a final quote. Otherwise, the price could go up if the installer realizes the job is more complicated than initially thought.
If installing marble countertops is out of the question due to its price, compare other similar materials such as granite. Or, you can opt for a more affordable material. For example, ceramic tile countertops cost $11 to $18 per square foot, and engineered stone ranges from $35 to $77.
For more options, read our countertop installation cost guide.
Marble countertops have a distinct advantage over several other countertop options, including granite and quartz. For one, marble is beautiful and elegant — each slab is unique. For many homeowners, marble evokes a classic feel because it has been carved, polished and installed for centuries by some of the most influential civilizations.
Marble also boasts heat-resistant qualities. And if you properly maintain it, a marble countertop can last for many years.
Before hiring a countertop installer, communicate with them beforehand to eliminate any misunderstandings and get an accurate quote for your new counters. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Ask lots of questions. By the time the conversation is over, you should understand what the professional is offering and what to expect during the installation process.
- Give them information about your space. If you know there may be some difficult cuts involved in installing your countertops, let the professionals know ahead of time. When they come out to take measurements, knowing about potential issues upfront can help them save time.
- Get several free estimates before you commit to an installer. Keep a written record of their answers. After you’ve spoken to several professionals, compare their answers to see who offers the best deal for high-quality services.
- Check their credentials. The professional you hire should have a proven work history and several satisfied customers. Ask if they’re licensed in your state, and read online reviews before hiring an installer.
A marble countertop can add a touch of class and style to your kitchen. With its timeless, classic appeal, a marble countertop can be a centerpiece of your kitchen or bathroom. And with its durability, it can last for many years to come. If you’re ready for a new marble countertop, start contacting countertop professionals on Thumbtack.
Is marble or quartz more expensive?
Marble is typically more expensive than quartz countertops.
Which is more durable: quartz or marble?
Quartz is more durable than marble. Marble countertops are also more porous than quartz countertops.
Is marble OK for kitchen countertops?
Some homeowners believe marble is a good choice for kitchen countertops because it’s attractive and heat-resistant. However, remember that you’ll need to be careful with marble due to its delicate and porous qualities. Instead of marble counters, you may want to consider installing granite or quartz kitchen countertops.
Related content: How much do granite countertops cost?
Additional sources: 2020 National Repair and Remodeling Estimator