Marble countertops — impressive and mesmerizing — come from nearly all corners of the world. However, the most famous are Calacatta and Carrara slabs.
The two are easily confused, especially given the alliteration of the names, but there are big differences between them. Both are Italian, and both feature a white foundation with gray veins. To make things even more interesting, a lot of Calacatta marble actually hails from Carrara!
Calacatta is often spelled “Calcutta,” which is in India. While India boasts some gorgeous marble made famous by the Taj Mahal, Calacatta marble is different. Generally speaking, Calacatta marble is white with darker gray veins. Carrara marble is grayer (though still with a white base) and has subtler gray veining.
Subtle Marble Countertop Differences
Carrara veins are often linear, making tiles easier to match than with Calacatta marble. Cararra is a popular choice for bathroom and fireplace tiles, and even backsplashes.
Calacatta is preferred for larger slabs, such as marble countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. However, either type can be used just about anyplace marble is desired. The vein features will vary slab to slab, and from Calacatta to Carrara, but all that really matters is that you love the look.
A big factor that influences price is rarity. Calacatta is rarer than other types of marble, including Carrara, which inflates the price.
The veins, which are less linear and more random, increases the wow factor of large Calacatta slabs. Carrara veining is often fine, small and subtler. Many consumers love this look, and it’s especially popular in homes that are being flipped, renovated for investment purposes or about to go on the market.
Carrara is a safer choice, since it’s less striking, but still beautiful. However, homeowners who adore a standout look will probably be more drawn to Calacatta.
Something to “Marble” At
Every slab is different, but since Carrara is often lighter with fewer dense veins, it offers a brighter look. Carrara marble countertops and flooring can help make smaller rooms like bathrooms appear larger. Alternatively, some Calacatta slabs can have dramatically large, dark-gray veins. In some cases, this might distract from a room’s aesthetic or make a room seem smaller than it is.
It’s always important to see the full slab of marble countertop before you buy, whether in person or in photos. Seeing the small, square samples won’t give you a genuine idea of what your slab will look like in your home.
To find out more about marble countertops, call Intermountain Stone and Marble.