Choosing the Right Marble: Calacatta or Carrara?


Marble can look great in any part of the house.  From vanity finishes to kitchen countertops, the classic beauty of stone gives any room a more sophisticated and elegant feel.  Marble is often considered a luxury, and its presence in a home can give any room a boost in status.  Made from crystallized limestone, marble is a metamorphic rock, and can be a great natural resource for renovating your home. Marble can be used in a variety ways, such as for floors, counter tops, staircases, ledges, and walls; marble can even be used to help small spaces seem bigger.  Wherever marble is exhibited, you can always depend on it strengthening the allure of any room.

Maybe you’re considering a home renovation and want to trade out your old granite counter tops for marble finishes instead, but you’re not sure how to start.  Knowing where to begin can be a daunting task, but we have some basic answers that can get you headed in the right direction, and have your home looking superior in no time.

The most notorious marbles have their origins in Carrara, Italy, and are some of the finest, highest quality marbles available today.  Carrara and Calacatta marbles often look very similar and are difficult to differentiate to the untrained eye. So, how can you be sure which type of marble will be better suited for your home renovation? Ultimately, it all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, as well as personal preference.

Calacatta marble is a pure white with thicker and more spidery veining, while Carrara is more off-white or gray in color, and tends to have more supple veining. The veins in Carrara marble tend to be more linear in definition, and the veins in Calacatta marble are usually free-flowing and less precise. Calacatta is rarer than Carrara marble, and is often considered to be somewhat of a luxury.

Luxury Bathroom

The Calacatta marble in this bathroom gives it an open, specious feel. The large marble slabs that cover the floor help make the bathroom seem even bigger than it is, complementing the white tub, glass shower walls, and extensive mirrors, which make the bathroom appear twice its size.

Shower Tub Combo

The grayish, white Carrara marble gives this bathroom a darker and more hypnotic edge, but is still beautiful, as it graces the walls, floor, and tub.

Calacatta Bathroom2

The Calacatta stone lacing almost every inch of this decently sized bathroom, along with the glass shower walls and large mirror, give the room an air of superiority and sophistication.

Whirlpool Bathtub

The natural lighting and white walls accentuate the Carrara marble in this picture.  The pure lighting and soft colors give this contemporary bathroom a clean, refreshing tone.

Calacatta Kitchen

This large kitchen divider is made from Calacatta marble and gives the entire kitchen a more contemporary and airy look. The thick lines thick, spidery veins of the marble allow it to stand out as Calacatta stone.

Large Kitchen

The off-white, linear veins of this kitchen counter top make it easily distinguishable as Carrara marble. The almost tan colored marble makes it the perfect addition to a household with wooden floors or similarly neutral colors.

Marble Wall

Although different patterned walls can often give a room a stubby, uneven effect, here we see that the strategic placement of this slab of Calacatta marble actually helps this somewhat small kitchen to seem much more open and spacious.

Kitchen Renovation

Even kitchens that can’t be completely renovated can look as good as new with the addition of marble counter tops. This small, somewhat older kitchen looks very alluring with the exchange of plastic laminate for sophisticated Carrara stone.


Whether your preferences lean toward Calacatta or Carrara, marble serves a variety of purposes, from enlarging a room, to re-birthing an old space. If you could exchange any part of your living space for a slab of marble, what would it be, and which type of marble would you use?

Mila Hose (321 Posts)

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