Scared of marble, but love the look? Today we’re rounding up the best Carrara marble alternatives. If you’re concerned about the cost, staining, etching and maintenance of marble, we’ve got option!

If you’ve long dreamed of adding spectacular white Carrara marble countertops in a kitchen renovation, stop what you’re doing and read on!

Taking the leap with a kitchen remodel is complicated, and you only get one chance to get it right. Learn about how we chose our Danby marble and our quartz that looks like marble, all the alternatives we considered, and so much more!

A kitchen painted Benjamin Moore Simply White.
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For nearly two years before our Cream Kitchen remodel, I dwelled over kitchen counters. I had my heart set on Carrara marble.

The price is right, I’ve long been in love with them, and yet everyone I knew continued to steer me away. I finally decided that I should be more practical, so I started considering the alternatives.

Unfortunately, not only are the Carrara marble alternatives often more expensive, but you never truly see a price per square foot to compare prices.

So again, I dwelled. I got quotes, and then even more quotes. I looked at product and just wasn’t overjoyed with any of them, no matter how beautiful. So begins the journey towards our Danby Marble countertops – we’re sharing in the hope that others can learn something from our decision process!

A white kitchen with white quartz countertops in a guide to carrara marble countertop alternatives.

What is Carrara Marble?

First of all, what is this fabulous white Carrara marble that is so coveted (and evidently, also loathed) in the world of kitchen design?

Carrara is a soft gray marble with soft veining hailing from Carrara, Italy. It is one of the most popular natural countertop materials available today, and can be surprisingly inexpensive.

Carrara marble, like all marbles, is heat resistant and excellent for baking. It’s been used in European kitchens and bakeries for centuries, but not without a fair share of imperfections.

Marble tends to chip, show stains and etching, and need more frequent maintenance than other countertop options on the market. These are all things to consider as you move forward with your decisions!

A white kitchen with white quartz countertops in a guide to carrara marble countertop alternatives.
Read all about our Danby Marble and StoneTech Marble Sealant here, as well as my favorite natural Marble Cleaner.

Quartz that Looks like Marble

Let’s start with marble-look quartz as an alternative to Carrara marble. It’s engineered with quartz (natural) and resin. This makes it highly durable, but can give a fabricated look because it’s not a natural material. Quartz countertops are not natural quartz, so keep that in mind.

We went with Quartz countertops for a marble alternative at our lake cottage. The surface is non-porous, so quartz is antimicrobial and can be cleaned easily. However, it’s not heat resistant, so be careful.

The cost of both quartz and quartzite (discussed next) can range between $80 and $200+ per square foot of material, not including installation.

Check out Ceasarstone’s Calcatta Nuvo, Pental Quartz, or Lyra by Silestone for excellent quartz alternatives to Carrara marble. Our countertops, pictured here, are Calacatta Arno.

A white kitchen with white quartz countertops in a guide to carrara marble countertop alternatives.


Another option? Quartzite, which is a natural rock that is glossy and can resemble Carrara marble and others.

This natural quartzite material is excavated into slabs and then sealed or coated in polyurethanes, wax, acrylic etc for durability and longevity.

One of the biggest differences between quartz and quartzite is that quartzite is more expensive and difficult to install, so keep that in mind.

Look into White Fantasy quartzite and White Princess Quartzite as Carrara marble alternatives.

Granite that Looks like Marble

Granite seems to be waning in popularity these days, but there are still plenty of beautiful options for alternatives to Carrara marble in this category.

It can be a little less expensive, starting at just $50 a square foot.

Check out Casa Blanca granite, Glacier White granite, and Bianco Romano granite for options to compare to white Carrara marble.

A white kitchen with white quartz countertops in a guide to carrara marble countertop alternatives.

Danby Marble

During our St. Louis renovation, I was not satisfied with the quartz alternatives on the market. I truly just wanted something natural!

So I kept searching, researching and finally, I found Danby marble, from Vermont! It is denser than most marbles, making it less susceptible to stains. While etching can still occur, there is actually a cure for it!

This option is similar in pricing to Carrara and less expensive than Calacatta marble, with a very similar look, but often in the same range as quartz. However, because it is both beautiful and more durable, it made it a win for us.

We used Mountain Danby marble in our previous home in Kansas City, and Olympia Danby in our current home. The difference between the two is simply where they are taken from the earth. While both are beautiful, Olympia has less veining which seemed to be a better fit for our current kitchen.

Win? I think so. It has heavier grey veining, but I’m thrilled with the outcome next to our Cream Kitchen Cabinets.

A cream kitchen with Danby marble countertops with an eased edge.
Olympia Danby marble

Frequently Asked Questions

What looks like marble but is cheaper?

Depending on the specific marble you’re hoping to mimic, a quartz countertop is an excellent option to consider. Many varieties and brands of quartz countertops are so good that it can be difficult to distinguish between the two countertops!

Is granite less expensive than marble?

Granite is generally less expensive than marble, starting as low as $50/square foot installed. Marble countertops tend to start at around $100/square foot and can go well over $200.

A white kitchen with white quartz countertops in a guide to carrara marble countertop alternatives.

Learn all about the different types of Countertop Edges here!

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  1. Your marble choice is an inspiration, and helped re-invigorate me to look at marble for our kitchen island (I had previously decided against the Carrara). I am in North Carolina so need to determine if I can even get a slab here (there appears to be no distributors or fabricators in the state–closest is either Virginia or Georgia) and also get estimates on costs. Can you tell us–what was your final Square foot cost for this beautiful stone in your kitchen?

    1. Unfortunately, I can’t remember, but it was more reasonable than Carrara and Quartz. I’d call the quarry and see if there is anyone unlisted – ours was.

  2. I’m building my own house with my husband. We are just at the stage where we need to make a lot of design-kitchen decisions! I love your aesthetic, and really enjoyed reading through some of your posts – thanks!

  3. I see you are choosing quartz for your new home … in retrospect do you regret the marble? We are getting ready to choose countertop. Quartz breaks our humble bank. I really feel granite is a mistake in my small kitchen (and I dont really like it anyway). Thanks for letting me know!

    1. I don’t regret it at all! I felt like in our small kitchen, it was easy to keep clean without worry {oil is the only issue, not wine, lime, etc}, but it would be a little more difficult in our new kitchen, especially with the girls cooking at the island with me. It was a huge savings & SO beautiful!

  4. I was excited to read of someone with the same delema as myself! We are in the7th. week of a complete kitchen reno. Ceiling, floors, walls ,even a bigger window and new insulation. I ordered my Carrara Marble and we drove the 2 hours to the tile co. to view our slabs.Bottom line is i can’t have it because it would be ruined in short order. I’m beyond dissapointed! I ordered a gray quartz instead because my options are limited and it’s durable.We live in a small community with only a small HomeDepot to work with. ILOVE the marble, nothing compares!

    1. Oh no! Sorry, Vicki! The good news is that quartz is effortless to maintain. You’ll avoid a lot of stress. I am actually choosing quartz for our new home because we have a lot more counter space to maintain. Best wishes for your beautiful kitchen!

  5. I love this kitchen!! The bright space makes it look all the better, I also like how you have fresh fruit out on your counter top!

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