Skip to Content

Marble Countertops: Pros, Cons and Some Alternatives

Marbles can vary in color because of the minerals present in it. This makes for a unique and elegant kitchen countertop that can accommodate a variety of personal tastes.

Marble is one of the most popular, most beautiful and oldest natural stones. It’s so beautiful and so old that it dates back in the days of antiquity when the ancient Greeks and Romans chose it for sculptures, pillars and buildings. Its original name “Marmaros” is a Greek word that means something that’s shining and beautiful.

Since it’s a natural stone, marbles can vary in color because of the minerals present in it. This makes for unique and elegant kitchen countertops that can accommodate a variety of personal tastes. Marble countertops, however, has their own imperfections. That’s why we also set out a list of alternatives in the section below.

Classic, dirty white marble countertop with gray details.Source:  Houzz


  • One of the most attractive countertop choices, marble will instantly improve the appearance of your kitchen and add value to your home.
  • These countertops are heat-resistant, which allows them to stand up to hot pots and pans being placed on them when you are cooking, making them ideal in a busy kitchen.
  • Every marble countertop will be different from others because of the way that the slabs are cut. There won’t be anyone else in the world who will have the same countertops.


  • It’s important that you seal your countertops regularly so you can be sure that they will last for a long time. Without proper sealing, it is possible to stain your marble countertops.
  • Marble is a very porous material and spilled liquids will be quickly absorbed. This means that they can be difficult to get out of the material if not cleaned up right away. Any spilled coffee, red wine, or punch needs to be wiped up immediately.
  • While this countertop can take the heat, it is rather easy to accidentally chip it by setting a heavy pan down too hard so you have to be careful.


1. Granite

Black pearl granite with high-resistance to heat, scratch and stain.Source: Home Depot

For unique countertops that will be so polished that they seem to shine, granite is the way to go. They do stain easily, though not as easily as marble countertops do, so professional sealing is important to keep them looking as great as they did on the day they were installed.


  • This material comes in a wide price range, which is nice because it allows homeowners to have amazing countertops but still be sure that they are within their budgets. You won’t have to worry about spending your whole kitchen remodel budget on countertops unless you choose to.
  • Most homeowners dread the large seam that is common in countertops but since granite can be cut in such large slabs, it is often possible to avoid this seam. This makes it great for large islands or expansive counters where you want to avoid the visual defect.
  • All slabs will be different from each other since they are mined.


  • Heavy items falling on the countertop can cause it to crack.
  • If you are in the market for a single-color countertop, then granite may not be your best choice as it comes with many variations and striations.
  • Similarly to concrete, granite is so heavy that you will want to make sure that your cabinets can support the increased weight of the countertops before installation.
  • It’s important to regularly seal your countertops, not just to prevent staining but also to keep them from harboring dangerous bacteria. It’s not unheard of to have to complete this task on a yearly basis.

2. Quartz

A fusion of brown, cream and black quartz piecesSource: Home Depot

This manufactured material is very popular because of how durable it is, making it a great choice in any kitchen. There are many colors to choose from and due to the variations in each countertop, you will be able to easily decorate the room, drawing colors from the quartz itself.


  • No matter how heavy the pots and pans are that you are using, chances are good that you won’t have to worry about accidentally chipping your quartz countertops.
  • These countertops are not very porous, meaning that you won’t have to worry as much about staining them or making sure that you get all of the bacteria out of them so your family is safe.
  • They do not have to be resealed the way that other countertops do, which actually decreases the overall cost of these countertops over their life.
  • Professionally installed quartz countertops should last for many years as they are so durable and not weak as stone is.
  • They look very similar to natural stone but do not come with many of the drawbacks that are common with that kind of countertop.


  • This is a solid surface material and most homeowners do not have the skills or tools to correctly install them. This means that you will have to take into consideration the cost of professional installation so that they will look their best and last for a long time.
  • While they will stand up to heavy pots and pans, they are not a great choice if you tend to put your hot dishes directly on your counter as this can damage the quartz.
  • Due to all of the patterns in quartz, it can be very tricky for even professionals to match up the designs if they have to use more than one piece for your countertop. In addition, the seam may be very obvious because of this.

3. Wood

Dark walnut countertop with a smooth texture.Source: Home Depot

Sustainable and renewable, wood countertops are quickly growing in popularity. They look great and make your home feel very warm and cozy when you have them installed in your kitchen. There are some options that will work better as cutting boards than others but for the most part, these are strong and solid countertops as long as you take care of them.


  • One of the main benefits of wood countertops is that they will work well in any home. No matter if you have a farmhouse feel to your home or something more modern, there will be a color and a finish that will complement your house and improve the overall appearance.
  • These countertops are a lot warmer to the touch than some of the natural stone options, making them enjoyable to work on even in the cold of winter.
  • With the right care and sealing on a regular basis, these countertops can actually last for the entire life of your home, making them an investment in your future.
  • Reclaimed wood is becoming more and more popular as an option as homeowners become more aware of deforestation and trying to save trees.
  • They are not as noisy as other countertop options and will muffle some of the sounds of cooking.


  • Similarly to other porous materials, to ensure that you don’t have bacteria in your countertops, you will have to make sure that they are correctly sealed on a regular basis. Some homeowners simply refinish the surface while others take this opportunity to once again have a blemish-free countertop and sand down the whole countertop before refinishing it.
  • The wrong kind of wood can dull your knives so you do have to be careful if you want to use your whole countertop as a cutting board, which many homeowners do.
  • Dropping heavy items and even banging cans onto the countertop can leave marks and dents.

4. Laminate

Laminate countertop with granite etchings.Source: Home Depot

This is one of the least expensive countertop options available. While it does not have the professional appearance of some of the other choices, it’s great if you are on a tight budget, like to renovate your kitchen regularly, or simply need to install a new countertop to improve the appearance before you move out of your home or apartment.


  • Laminate countertops are very easy to install and with the right tools, even most homeowners can complete this update by themselves without professional assistance.
  • Because of the lower price, homeowners can update their kitchens as many times as they want to without sinking a ton of money into the countertops.
  • This type of countertop is very low maintenance, does not need to be refinished, and can be wiped clean with water and soap.


  • While most countertops will improve the value of your home, you are not going to be able to recoup any of the money that you spent on these countertops.
  • They are not a sturdy surface and are easily damaged during regular cooking. Hot pans, sharp knives, and even dropped cans can damage the surface, causing unsightly marks that are impossible to get rid of.

5. Concrete

Concrete countertop with a matte and smooth finish. Source: Houzz

This is a great countertop option if you want your countertops to stand out and make a statement. It will be able to stand up to very hot pans and is not easy to damage.


  • Even very heavy pans dropped on the surface of your concrete countertop will likely not cause any damage due to its strength and stability.
  • You can choose from a number of different stains or create your own design to have a countertop that is really one of a kind.
  • Professionals can even mimic the appearance of other countertops when they design yours, allowing you to get the look of granite and other choices without the price tag or issues that these countertops have.
  • This is a very heat-resistant material and it won’t be damaged if you put hot pots and pans directly on the surface.


  • While some concrete countertops are very affordable, custom designs tend to be pricey and can get quite expensive.
  • Sealing is important and has to be done religiously or you will have problems with stains.
  • Because of how heavy they are, you often have to have your cabinets reinforced or custom-built to be able to stand up to the weight of concrete.