Calacatta & Carrara Marble: What’s the Difference?

Natural Stone: Marble

Marble countertops make a dramatic statement in the kitchen or bath, imparting a luxurious feel. Elegant and classic, marble slabs work beautifully whether used in traditional or sleek, contemporary designs. The two most popular marble countertop choices are Carrara and Calacatta marble slabs. Both provide the timeless white and grey tones of marble; however, they are not the same. 

Main Differences Between Carrara & Calacatta Marble Slabs:

Carrara and Calacatta marble are both sourced in Carrara Italy from quarries in the Apuan Mountain region. Though sourced from the same area, however, each has distinct differences and can be of varying quality.  

  • Carrara Marble Slabs
    Carrara marble countertops are less expensive than Calacatta and easier to find. Carrara marble countertops are typically muddier in color and not pure white, with softer veining. 

  • Calacatta Marble Slabs
    True Calacatta slabs are much more difficult to find than more common Carrara slabs. Because they are rare, Calacatta marble countertops come at a premium. Calacatta marble countertops have a crisp, white background and bold veining that can range in color from dark grey to beige or brown.  

Why Do Some Calacatta Slabs Cost Much More than Others?

If you’ve shopped for Calacatta marble, you know there are many different styles and price points. Just because someone has named a stone ‘Calacatta,’ however, doesn’t make it such. Some slabs may have been mislabeled. What differentiates Calacatta from the Apuan region is how white the background of the slab is, and the uniformity of veining patterns in the stone. The whiter and brighter the background, and the more consistent the pattern, the costlier the slab. 

To Splurge or Not to Splurge?

Contemplating whether you should splurge on Calacatta, or save on Carrara? If your countertops will be the main focal point of the room, and you want to make a statement, we suggest splurging on Calacatta. If you’re not meticulous at countertop cleanup, or you are on a budget, Carrara is a good compromise. Carrara still delivers the elegance of marble but at a lower price point. The darker coloring of the stone can also camouflage wear and food debris better than the bright white surface of Calacatta. 

Shopping for marble slabs? Because each piece is unique, we recommend viewing marble slabs in-person before making a selection. Browse our area showroom, uncovering the wide variety of marble colors and patterns available. Find your ideal marble match at your local Granite Imports today.

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