Quartz has the ability to look like marble but doesn’t come with the same drawbacks. In fact, new quartz counters look so much like marble that many people aren’t able to tell them apart at first glance.
Open up any home improvement magazine, and you’re likely to find a photograph of a kitchen featuring marble or marble-look countertops. Marble has a classic appearance with nearly universal appeal, which may be why it’s often featured so prominently.
While marble photographs beautifully, most homeowners find that it’s actually impractical for their kitchens. It stains easily, can etch or dull, and needs a lot of vigilance and care to continue to look its best over time.
That may be one of the reasons why quartz has been ranking as the number one countertop choice for the last few years according to the NKBA. Quartz has the ability to look like marble but doesn’t come with the same drawbacks. In fact, new quartz counters look so much like marble that many people aren’t able to tell them apart at first glance.
Why Quartz Instead of Marble
Marble has a very unique appearance. This metamorphic stone is actually heated and compressed limestone, a sedimentary rock made mostly of calcium. Different minerals, such as iron, present in the stone as it formed give marble its distinctive veins.
Unfortunately, while marble is harder and more durable than limestone, it’s still made mostly of calcite. And calcite can react poorly to both acids and alkaline substances – including those that you use in your kitchen every day, such as lemon juice, wine, and tomato sauce.
Marble is also porous, so it may absorb liquids and stain. While sealing and wiping up spills quickly can prevent some of these issues, even the most vigilant homeowner will still see some degree of etching and staining over time.
Quartz countertops that look like marble are made very differently. Instead of calcite, they’re made of roughly 90% quartz – one of the hardest substances on earth – combined with pigments and resins. These resins ensure that the surface of your counter is non porous – it won’t require sealing and it won’t stain. It also won’t etch or dull when it comes in contact with acids or alkalis.
So, quartz that looks like marble may have similar veins, colors, and patterns, but it will perform very differently.
The Style of Marble-Look Quartz
Quartz countertops that look like marble are a man-made product. This means that control can be achieved over the pattern, color, and style of every slab. So, while marble may have odd pigments or colors, or a marble slab may have veining or colors you don’t care for, quartz slabs will always have a consistent veining and color that you can count on.
This includes quartz that looks like Carrara marble or Calacatta marble – two of the most popular marble colors. One has a soft background with gray veins, like Italian Waves and the other has a bright white background with a deeper gray vein, like Chantilly.
Quartz counters that look like marble can also be pure white or they can have a soft bisque color, such as Aspen. So, no matter what style you’re attempting to achieve in your kitchen, you can easily find a quartz countertop with the look of marble without the maintenance.
Kitchen styles come and go, but the look of a marble countertop has enduring appeal. Whether you want to create a contemporary design or a more traditional one, there is a quartz counter that will work for you.
For contemporary spaces, consider a quartz counter that has a crisp white background and minimal veining such as Tranquility. Pair it with Espresso cabinets in a slab style and a white subway backsplash for a clean, minimal look that still has personality and character.
Traditional spaces may do better with a softer looking countertop, particularly if using a classic cabinet design in cherry or mahogany. Consider a marble-look quartz like Empress, with its soft color and subtle veining.
If you’re opting for a kitchen that’s more up to date but still nods to tradition, consider a quartz like Monterey. The soft gray background calls traditional Italian marbles to mind, but the veining has a fresher look to it that will give your kitchen a more modern appeal.
Get the Look - Not the Maintenance
Marble may be beautiful and elegant, but it’s also a lot of work and upkeep. Quartz counters that look like marble can offer you the same beauty and elegance, but without the need to seal, poultice, and clean the way you must with marble.
Quartz counters give you just as many options for veining, color, and interest as marble counters, but are better suited to today’s busy lifestyles. Invest in quartz countertops for your kitchen to get the look you want and the low maintenance durability you need.