Low Maintenance Quartz Alternatives To Marble Kitchen Countertops

Quartz Kitchen Countertops That Look Like Marble

Nothing is as luxurious and quite as beautiful as Carrara marble countertops in your dream kitchen. There's no question marble has an aesthetic appeal that is second to none, and Italian marble gives your kitchen an exotic connotation. 

Unfortunately, those beautiful Carrara marble countertops come with some challenges. Marble is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock. That's a fancy way of saying that as a natural stone that is predominantly calcium carbonate, it is highly prone to etching if an acidic liquid like vinegar or wine comes into contact with the stone. It's also naturally porous which leave it open to staining from wine, and some spices. 

Carrara marble is also somewhat prone to chipping and cracking if, for example, you drop a pot or pan onto the kitchen countertop. Plus, marble requires frequent resealing and ongoing maintenance, and it's an expensive option that might not fit into your remodeling budget.

If you love the look of marble but are concerned about the challenges, you have some excellent options in manmade stone.

Consider Quartz

Quartz has been gaining in popularity with both designers and homeowners in recent years. It's an easy to maintain surface as opposed to natural stone products like marble, granite or quartzite. In the past, the function seemed to come with a bit of sacrifice when it came to the aesthetic qualities. Even when they had pattern and movement, it could never shake the look of a stamped or “fake” stone because the pattern repeat was always too tight. Not anymore!

Today, improved manufacturing technology is delivering quartz that rivals natural stone in look and feel, with all of the benefits of an engineered stone product. Engineered quartz is made using 93% (or more) crushed natural stone combined with polymers and resin. Using computer-aided manufacturing processes allows manufacturers to mimic the look of natural stone more closely. In fact, it's often difficult to tell the difference without very close examination. 

Quartz is non-porous which means it's stain resistant, more durable than granite and marble, doesn't etch, is scratch resistant, and today rivals natural stone in terms of its aesthetic beauty. It's a smart, affordable alternative to natural stone.

Quartz Alternatives to Carrara Marble Kitchen Countertops

If you love the way marble kitchen countertops look, but not the high maintenance needs and the big price tag, there are plenty of high-quality quartz alternatives that give you the luxurious look of Carrara, plus all of the benefits of an engineered stone product. Here are some of the best marble alternatives available on the market today!

Wilsonart Quartz that looks like Marble

Sangda Falls quartz by Wilsonart was used in this kitchen, helping to achieve a lighter color appearance instead of using Carrara marble.

• Sangda Falls by Wilsonart

Wilsonart Quartz was a game-changer when it arrived on the scenes a few years ago. The light colors, including whites and greys that are inspired by Carrara marble, price at affordable price points whereas some competitors charge premium prices to achieve these looks. In addition to the Sangda Falls color, look for Santiago, Coastal, North Cascades or Marble Falls color choices to get the marble look you desire.

• Ariel by Silestone

This marble alternative is actually off-white, but the realistic veining gives it the classic look of marble. Like all Silestone products, Ariel is 94% natural quartz making it extremely strong and durable. It is scratch and chip resistant, and unlike expensive Carrara, it resists staining from coffee, red wine, olive oil, vinegar, and other acidic materials. Ariel is available in large formats and in polished and matte finishes.

• Cambria Quartz 

Cambria Quartz is used in this kitchen, also pictured at top of the page. The desk area is Fairbournce color, while the rest of the tops are Ferndale.

Cambria is one of the top manufacturers in the kitchen countertop space. Their products are known for their durability, price point and the fact it is 100% Made in America. They're also known for the aesthetic depth of their stones. Recent additions like Torquay and Dovetail are excellent, but their newest product lines including Britannica looks absolutely natural, luxurious and fabulous! In fact, Britannica is by far, one of the best marble alternatives on the market today. 

Another top contender is Ella. While it's not quite as dramatic as Britannica, it has the movement, depth and subtle veining of natural marble.

• Caesarstone 

Silestone Himilayan Moon quartz

Himalayan Moon quartz by Caesarstone was used for both the island and backsplash of this kitchen.

Caesarstone is one of the most trusted names in manufactured quartz. Two lines offer homeowners beautiful, durable, alternatives to natural marble. Calacatta Nuvo is an extremely close match to natural Calacatta marble. Like it's namesake, it has wide, cascading grat veins on a white base. It can be a strong visual focal point in any kitchen and like all quartz is durable, scratch resistant and will not etch.

If you love Carrara marble, Caeserstone's Frosty Carrina is an excellent affordable substitute. Like Calacatta Nuvo, it's composed of 93% natural stone, but it has a longer veining that gives it more of an appearance of Carrara marble. It offers the depth and luxury to make your kitchen shine, and it's almost indistinguishable from the real thing! 

• Lyra by Silestone

Many designers feel that Lyra is the closest match possible to Carrara marble with its white base and gray veining. It's a luxurious product that's made with 94% quartz, so it's incredibly durable. Lemon juice, wine or vinegar won't etch or stain the countertop because like al quartz it's completely non-porous. It's also one of the hardest stones available and resists chipping, cracking and scratches.

Today, you have more choices than ever before. Quartz a more realistic look than ever before. Whether you're looking for a Carrara substitute or an elegant Calacatta, these manufacturers are providing homeowners and designers with the highest-quality, most natural looking marble alternatives on the market. Your designer or design-build contractor can work with you and provide samples of quartz kitchen countertops that can meet your aesthetic needs and offer even more functionality, easy maintenance, and will last a lifetime. 

If you're planning a kitchen upgrade or remodeling project, give the experts at Degnan Design-Build-Remodel a call. We work with some of the top manufacturers of high-quality quartz kitchen countertops and can help you find the perfect, durable, affordable marble substitute to match your personal style.

This article was updated by Abe Degnan on 1/28/2019.

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