Calacatta Marble Countertops vs. Carrara Marble Countertops
What are the differences between Calacatta marble countertops and Carrara marble countertops?
Even though these two Italian natural stones share a similar name, they have distinctive personalities. Essentially, Calacatta is bold, and Carrara is subtle. Continue reading to discover which natural stone is the right selection for your home!
Generally, Calacatta marble countertops have a bright white background with large, bold, gray veining. This ‘whiter than white’ appearance is one reason that this stone is often associated with luxury. The pattern is typically larger and thicker than that of Carrara marble. Even though Calacatta marble, is, of course, white, dramatic effects can still be created when using this material in waterfall countertops, vanity countertops and fireplace surround applications.
Carrara marble countertops have a grey-white background with subtle grey veining. The veining is typically linear and very fine; it may even appear ‘feathery.’
Unlike Calacatta, Carrara is the most common marble found in Italy. Calacatta is a much rarer stone and can oftentimes be seen in luxury residential and commercial properties.
Carrara, Italy is the origin of true Carrara marble. Carrara marble has been mined in this location since the times of ancient Rome. A true, all-white Carrara marble, called Statuario marble, was considered the very finest marble for most of history. Many of the world’s great buildings and statues are made with this marble stone.
Nowadays, Statuario marble is no longer commercially mined in quantity from Carrara. The finest Carrara marble coming from the area is the gray-white, grey-veined Bianco Carrara.
Here’s where it gets tricky: Calacatta marble is also found in Carrara. So a Calacatta marble can have a Carrara origin. So technically, some Calacatta marble is also Carrara marble or “Carrara Calacatta marble.” In fact, a Carrara Calacatta marble can look just like Carrara marble, and vice versa.
Calacatta Marble Countertops vs. Carrara Marble Countertops: what’s your favorite?
Let’s look at a few examples that support the traditional descriptions of Calacatta and Bianco Carrara marble.
This beautifully light and airy bath, designed by New York architect Joseph Scarpulla, features custom fabricated Calacatta marble. Like its use in ancient Rome, this stone still exudes sophistication and poise.
This kitchen by Chelsea Atelier features large and a stunning waterfall Calacatta marble countertop. Using Calacatta marble for waterfall countertops is a traditional twist on a contemporary interior design look.
New Jersey design studio Town & Country Kitchen and Bath remodeled this kitchen in a historic home in Rumson, NJ using Bianco Carrara marble countertops. To create a dramatic effect, their design team complemented these luxury countertops with Bianco Carrara marble subway tiles.
Massachusetts Certified Kitchen Designer Cathy Stahopoulos designed this kitchen with Bianco Carrara marble. The project, completed in Boston, is a good example of how soft and delicate Bianco Carrara can appear when used with other elegant stones.
Benefits of Calacatta marble or Carrara marble countertops
Marble is a strong natural stone material made in the Earth under extreme heat and pressure. It’s a strong material that is also heat resistant.
A marble countertop that’s regularly sealed and cleaned is a beautiful and durable option for kitchens and baths. However, it can be scratched by knives or etched by acidic liquids like wines and fruit juices. Marble countertops should be protected by cutting boards and wiped immediately after each use.
Marble countertops are ideal for neat chefs and slightly less desirable for families with young children who help in the kitchen.
Calacatta marble or Carrara marble alternatives
If you love the look of Calacatta marble or Carrara marble but need something a little more suited for a family kitchen, there are many beautiful alternatives that deliver the look.
Quartz countertops are made of natural stone combined with resins or other materials that make their surfaces completely smooth. As a result, they are resistant to staining and scratching. Because quartz countertops are manufactured they can come in larger slabs than quarried material. They can also be used when matching materials are needed for large areas or in multiple rooms. They are slightly less heat resistant than natural stone, so placing any hot pans on a trivet or silicone countertop protector is advised.
The Alleanza Quartz Lifestyle Collection features a material called Calacatta Bettogli that features the classic Calacatta pattern of white with large grey veining. It’s a close second to the actual stone!
Silestone manufactures a Carrara-style marble substitute called Eternal Statuario. It’s available in polished and matte suede finishes.
The team at Academy Marble & Granite is ready to help you select the perfect countertop for your home. Come in to our Bethel, CT or Rye, NY showroom and choose your own slab of Calacatta or Carrara marble, or take a look at all the manufactured options that mimic their classic looks. If you already have a specific stone you’d love to see in your home, you can request a free quote here.