Calacatta vs. Carrara Marble

There is Calacatta marble and there is Carrara marble, and they are so easily confused. If you’re trying to become more knowledgeable about design and remodeling, you might be interested to know the difference. Here’s a quick minute in which you can become an informed marble maniac.

Calacatta Marble

MarblePhoto:, Lindsay Pumpa

 The easiest way to spot Calacatta marble is the larger veining. The patterns tend to be bigger, bolder and more contrasting than Carrara marble. This island brings drama to the kitchen, but doesn’t overpower any of the other design elements in the room. The look is luxurious and it should be – Calacatta is even rarer than Carrara.

Carrara Marble



Notice the veining is finer and the color is grayer over all. While Calacatta can vary in tones, Carrara is classically gray. Below you’ll see Calacatta Gold, which is a Calacatta marble with gold undertones. The veining is bigger and more contrasting than the Carrara above. It feels more opulent than Carrara, which isn’t good or bad. It just depends on what type of room you’re designing. The warmer marble can pair well with oil-rubbed bronze fixtures  or brass for a classic, European hotel feeling.

MarblePhoto: HGTV Remodels, Laura U Inc.

This Carrara kitchen below shows how the subtler stone can be used to create a sophisticated look. Carrara is a classic while Calacatta is a showstopper. They both look fabulous in kitchens, bathrooms, and are often cut into tiles and slabs for countertops.

MarblePhoto:, Rebekah Zaveloff

So now that you’re a Carrara/Calacatta connoisseur, tell me – do you have a preference?

Comments (10)

  1. Sheri McNamara says:

    WOW! Marble is always beautiful. Before reading this article I didn't understand the differences. Both are stunning and now I would say I would be very happy with either type. Boy that Calacatta is absolutely fantastic. Thank you Laurie for this article

  2. Jeremy says:

    I think you nailed it, Laurie. Carrara is more subtle (and less expensive) which means you can easily use more of it in a single space. Calacatta is more striking and can have a significant visual impact even when used with reserve. Carrara as a foundation and Calacatta as an accent or centerpiece.

  3. shelly says:

    Does marble contain Radon, like some granite counter parts do?

  4. kathy says:

    Is either more suseptical to staining than the other.Say for instance tomato sauce or red wine on a countertop?

  5. twoTERRIERs says:

    Striking and clean…

  6. StormyWV says:

    How elegant. I love the look of marble.

  7. Peggy says:

    If you choose marble countertops and light cabinets (white or cream) should you only go with wood floors and can you go with a stone also?

  8. Peter Brandt says:

    I prefer Carrara if you can find some bright pieces. Theses days its mostly a darker grey so I'm switching in my renovations.

  9. Katherine Brown says:

    I like the Carrara, but it is mostly gray. The gray seems dark to me. I would like it in my bathrooms, but I absolutely love the Calcutta Gold! I simply love the bathroom! So, my choice is Calcutta (Gold) I like shades of yellow! These colors simply mesmerizes me!

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