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What Are the Considerations of Marble Cost?

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Marble, as a noble and elegant building material, is often used in the production of luxury residences, commercial spaces and sculptures. However, as we all know, marble is not a cheap choice, and its price is high. Therefore, when choosing marble as a building or decoration material, various cost factors must be considered. This article will take a deep dive into the various factors that affect the cost of marble, helping you better understand why marble is so expensive and how to use it within your budget.

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Table of Contents

I. Main considerations for marble cost

There are several factors that affect the cost of marble countertops. Prices may vary from average due to quantity of marble required, grading, colour, edge treatments, finishes, labor costs and any necessary additional supplies and materials. When calculating the average cost of marble countertops, consider the following additional factors that may affect the cost:

1. Quantity of marble required

Different shades, grades, and thicknesses of marble are available. A marble will cost more than a marble that is more widely available if it is rare. Because of this, the price of marble per square foot can range from $40 to $100, with an average price of roughly $60.

● Marble slab thickness

The thicker the marble, the more expensive the marble countertops will be.

– Economy counters are 3/4 inch thick and supported by a layer of MDF underneath.

– Standard kitchen counter board thickness is 3 cm, or 1 ¼ inches.

– Premium boards are 5 cm (2 inches) thick and cost up to twice as much.

– Deluxe counters are 2 ¼ inches thick.

2 cm thick boards are standard for bathroom counters and vanities. The cost of 3 cm thick boards for kitchen counters is 35% to 50% higher. Premium quality 5cm boards cost up to 100%.

● Usage type

– Marble slab countertops cost 2-5 times more than ceramic tile.

– Marble slabs cost $30 to $130 per square foot and are best used for countertops.

– Marble tiles cost $20 to $40 per square foot and are best suited for flooring.

● Table size

The average American home has 40 square feet of countertop space. Full panels are always cheaper to install than smaller panels, and panel sizes vary from contractor to contractor. Some contractors may offer discounts for counters that exceed a threshold square footage.

● Countertop design

A perfect rectangle is the simplest countertop design, while other shapes are more difficult and more expensive to cut and install. If you’re not sure if marble is right for your kitchen, check out our in-depth guide to the best kitchen countertop materials.

● Floor size

Marble is less common and more difficult to install for large slabs of islands, breakfast bars, and peninsulas. The cost per square foot is at the top of the range.

2. Marble type

The type of marble you choose will have the biggest impact on your final bill. Some varieties are priced as low as $12 per square foot, while others are as high as $180 per square foot. Here’s a look at what you can pay for the most common varieties of marble, along with some information about what makes each option special.

Marble Type Cost
Type
Material Price per Square Foot*

Carrara marble

$175 – $200

Calacatta marble

 

$40 – $50

Cultured marble

$50 – $70

Pink marble

$25 – $30

 

Makrana marble

$12 – $15

 

Danby marble

 

$60 – $90

Statuario marble

$50 – $125

 

Black /Travertine marble

$75 – $80

3. Marble quality

The quality of the marble has a big impact on the price: between $25 and $180 per square foot of marble. Choice of color and finish can affect price.

● Marble color

Marble comes in different types of grain patterns and colors. Even marble slabs from the same quarry can look very different. Marble varieties are frequently called from the locations of their mines and certain qualities. Common marble varieties typically cost less than rarer, more difficult-to-find marble varieties.

Marble is available in a variety of colors, including white, light gray, light gold, dark gray, black, brown, even orange and pink. Both within and between shades of a color, prices might vary.

When it comes to determining the price of marble slabs, no other factor is more important than color. Color is a combination of gem tone, vein number and mineral color. The rarer the color, the higher the cost. Marble that is purer white and more evenly grained sells for more. Rare marbles command higher prices due to supply and demand.

The following are typical square foot costs for marble:

– Makrana (cloud white, limited brown and gray, $15), pink ($30)

– Carrara (white, blue, gray and gold, $42)

– Statuario (off-white, gray and gold, $48)

– Travertine (black, $76), Danby (pure white to off-white with gold and brown accents, $84)

– Red Jasper (rich red with dark or light texture, $90)

– Cipolino Ondulato (mixed white, grey/blue and purple, $100)

– Calacatta (white and dark gray, $125+)

● Upgraded performance treatments for seals and finishes

It costs more to upgrade from a standard edge to a polished marble finish. Additional charges may apply for upgraded sealing options or special finishes such as burnished or leather finishes. Discuss these options with your provider to understand how they affect your budget. Most marble has a polished surface. You can pay a premium of 10% to 15% to choose a honed finish with a satin look. A satin finish hides scratches, fingerprints, and water marks better, but is less reflective.

Marble Finish and Texture Cost
Finish
Additional Cost per Square Foot

Polished

No additional cost

Honed

$10 – $20

Leathered

$20 – $30

Caressed

$30 – $35

(1) Polished

Every type of marble countertop can have a smooth, shiny finish. The cost of this finish rarely exceeds the price of materials and labor. A polished surface will reveal pits and imperfections in the marble and reveal chips and dirt. Sometimes this type is the only finish available for softer styles of marble.

(2) Honed

Honing gives marble countertops a smooth, matte finish and can be used with most marble types. There are different grades of satin finish depending on the gloss. A heavily sanded countertop will have a slight sheen and show more scuffs and marks than a rougher sanded countertop. This finish can cost $10 to $20 per square foot.

(3) Leathered

Leather finishes run $20 to $30 per square foot. Manufacturers spin a diamond-tipped brush over the surface to achieve the uneven texture of this finish. Not all types of marble are strong enough to give a leather finish without chipping, and this finish does not have a reflective surface.

(4) Caressed

Costs for caressed finishes range from $30 to $35 per square foot. If your chosen marble countertop can accommodate leather trim, you can also choose a caressed finish. The highest part of the marble is polished so that in addition to the leather grain the finish has a slight sheen. Not all manufacturers will offer this type of finish, so be sure to double check that this is the countertop texture you want.

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4. The grade of marble

All marble is graded A through D, with A having the least imperfections or damage and D having the most, and grade A marble costs more than grade B through D material. Grading is primarily based on appearance and whether the marble slab has any blemishes or defects.

– A: Minimal defects and blemishes, no need for touch-ups, minimal texture, subtle color, little to no damage from shipping, and usually the highest cost.

– B: Contains minor imperfections, some visible pitting and cracks (or spots or cracks in the marble).

– C: There are both small defects such as pitting and cracks, as well as major defects such as large cracks or chips that require professional factory repair.

– D: Some or very severe damage in need of repair, with lots of bright vibrant colour, dark distinct grain, and minor and major imperfections. Usually the cheapest option.

You can tell a lot about a piece of marble simply by knowing its grade, including the price you can expect to pay. Here’s a quick breakdown so you can learn more at a glance.

5. Long-term value

While marble countertops may cost more, consider the long-term value they bring to your home. The potential increase in aesthetic appeal and home value may outweigh the upfront costs.

6. Cost of living

Prices for all goods are higher in coastal areas and major metropolitan areas than in rural areas and small towns in other parts of the country.

7. Installation and labor

Unless you plan on installing marble countertops yourself, you must also consider the cost of hiring a professional to do it for you. Countertop installation like this typically costs $35 to $45 per hour, and since the project usually takes about 10 hours, that means you’ll pay about $350 to $450 for the entire service.

Complex kitchen layouts that require multiple cutouts will take longer and therefore cost more labor. Labor prices will vary based on the cost of living in the area and the demand for countertop installers.

Because the slabs are so heavy, 2 to 5 workers are required to move them during installation, often using forklifts with specially modified extensions to move the slabs. Because of the amount of strength, specialized tools, and heavy machinery required to create stone countertops, most manufacturers charge by the square foot.

● Cabinet leveling and supports

1. Cabinets must be kept level to support the weight of the stone to avoid cracking or deformation over time. In older homes with uneven floors, leveling may require additional steps.

2. Factory cabinets may require additional frame supports or plywood sub-tops to support the heavy boards.

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II. Additional factors that increase the total cost of marble

When budgeting marble countertop costs, it is best to be aware of any other price factors and considerations that may add to the overall cost. These include old countertop removal, refinishing, repairs, and additional processing and installation.

1. Remove the old countertop

If you must remove the old countertop before installing the new marble countertop, there may be additional costs for removing and disposing of the existing countertop. Some countertop installation companies may include this service in the installation price, but it’s always a good idea to double check.

The cost to remove old countertops is $50 to $400. Most installers include this service in their countertop replacement estimates. Some companies may charge $100 to $300 for moving fees. Price range may depend on the condition of the old countertop. If it’s made of natural or man-made stone and can be refurbished, the company may offer a discount to have it removed.

● Disposal Fee/Waste Removal

The cost of removing the old countertop is another thing to consider when deciding to install new countertops. For such projects, removal and disposal services may cost $100 to $800.

2. Repair

Refinishing a marble countertop will restore its luster and remove surface stains. Refinishing involves sanding countertops and evenly polishing the surface. The cost of refinishing can vary depending on the size and condition of the counter, but it’s usually between $500 and $1,200, which is much less expensive than replacing another marble countertop. Keep in mind that refinishing will not remove deep stains, dents or gouges.

3. Repairs and additional processing

Depending on the type of marble, DIY kits can make minor repairs. Marble repair kits, available at your local hardware store, typically cost around $40 and can repair small chips and other minor damage. If the countertop is severely damaged, you can ask a professional to repair it. The estimated cost of repairs is $200 to $600, with labor costing about $75 an hour. Depending on the kind of sealer used and the amount of time required to apply it, further sealing to prevent discoloration may cost between $100 and $200. Certain types of marble require chemical treatments to ensure they are waterproof.

4. Additional installation

Some additional installation can also add to the cost of the project. Installing a 4-inch backsplash made of the same material as the countertop can add another $600 on average. Even if you decide to use a different material, the average price of a backsplash can range from $900 to $2,500. A sink cutout typically costs $100, not including pipes and connections. If a stove cutout is required, it will also cost about $100, although the price of the stove and installation can range from $500 to $1,000.

5. Additional functions

If you’re interested in a marble backsplash or kitchen island in addition to marble countertops, this will naturally incur additional materials and installation costs.

6. Backsplash and edge treatment

Including a matching marble backsplash or custom edging will incur additional costs. In addition to choosing a marble type, you’ll also want to choose an edge treatment often called a well edge detail. While the most basic edge treatments, like standard “fillet” detailing, don’t usually cost extra, you’ll pay $10 to $40 for fancier options like beveled edges and French bay edges. Discuss these options with your supplier to get an accurate pricing estimate.

● Edge processing

Square or slightly rounded “gentle” edges are standard. The cost goes up when you add complex shapes or layer edges or glue on the edges. Glued edges are also called laminated edges.

Like other types of stone countertops, marble can be given additional edge treatments. Marble edge treatments can cost $10 to $40 per foot, depending on complexity. Basic edge finishes are simple to make and can cost $10 to $20 per linear foot. Premium edging takes more time to fabricate and can cost $20 to $40 per linear foot.

Some edge treatments, such as squared or eased edges, may be included in the price of the countertop, so be sure to check with your installer. Other edge finishes that cost between $10 and $12 per linear foot are beveled, half-rounded and full-rounded. Some edge options, such as Hyperbolic, Miter, DuPont, and Weird, run $20 to $25 per linear foot. Decorative French bays run between $30 and $35. Built-in edging, such as double bevel, DuPont square, and Cole Smith, can run between $36 and $40 per linear foot.

Marble Edge Treatment Costs
Edge
Price Category
Description

Eased

No additional cost

Simple, not too sharp, gently softened edge.

Square

No additional cost

Very tiny bevel on a straight edge.

Quarter round

Basic ($)

Rounded top edge.

Double quarter round

Basic ($)

Rounded top and bottom edges.

Bullnose

Basic ($)

Top edge is more drastically rounded.

Full bullnose

Basic ($)

Converts the edge to a perfect half-circle.

Beveled

Basic ($)

Edges that are beveled on the top, bottom, or both.

Ogee

Premium ($$)

One convex and the other concave, two sweeping arches.

DuPont

Premium ($$)

Straight edge dropping down to a curve.

Cove

Premium ($$)

Concave bevel on the top edge.

Stair tread

Premium ($$)

Curved undercut lip.

Waterfall

Premium ($$)

Three cascading convex arches.

● Incision

Cutting marble and trimming the cut edges is time-consuming and expensive. Extra cutouts for extra sinks, appliances, and outlets add to the cost.

7. Manufacturing upgrades

● Number of seams

Large kitchens or unusual kitchen shapes may require more joints, increasing costs.

● Waterfall side

Extending the countertop from one side of the island to the floor increases material costs.

8. Plumbing installation

– The average cost for a plumber to disconnect and reconnect pipes is $45 to $150 per hour.

– New sink installation costs $330 to $1,300.

– A new kitchen faucet costs $120 to $250 to install.

9. Additional supplies and materials

The additional supplies required for marble countertop installation typically account for around 5% of the total cost. On average, fees range from $100 to $200. These supplies include countertop installation essentials such as caulk, screws, and bolts.

10. Other services

– The average price for an electrician is $50 to $130 per hour.

– When marble counters are part of a larger remodeling project, the cost of removing a complete kitchen is $500 to $2,500.

– The cost to repair or refinish your countertops ranges from $5 to $25 per square foot.

– Shipping costs: If the marble needs to be shipped from a distant location, additional shipping costs may apply. This should be factored into the overall budget.

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III. Conclusion

We can conclude that while marble is a beautiful and long-lasting building and decorative material, its cost factor needs to be carefully considered. Understanding the cost factors involved in all aspects of mining, transportation, processing, design, installation and maintenance will help you better plan how to use marble within your budget.

At the same time, we should emphasize that marble is not only a building material, it also carries historical, cultural and artistic values. It is also crucial to take these values into account when making decisions. Ultimately, the choice of whether to use marble should take into account budget, design vision, and the long-term value of the material.

Whether you plan to use marble for residential renovations, commercial spaces, or the creation of sculptural art, smart decisions and sound cost management will ensure that you achieve your project vision while staying within your budget. So when working with marble, keep these cost factors in mind and work together with a professional to ensure the final product is both satisfying and financially sound.

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