Is Marble Good for Kitchen Backsplash?

Marble is one of the most luxurious and elegant materials commonly used for kitchen backsplashes. With its beautiful veining patterns and polished finish, marble undoubtedly makes a gorgeous statement in any kitchen. However, given its delicate nature, marble does require some careful consideration before installing it as a backsplash. Here is a comprehensive guide on whether marble is a sensible, practical choice for your kitchen backsplash, and how to make it work successfully in your space.

The Benefits of Using Marble for Kitchen Backsplash

There are several compelling reasons why marble remains one of the most popular backsplash materials:

Timeless Beauty and Luxury

Marble has been used in palaces, temples, and homes of the wealthy for centuries due to its grandeur and natural beauty. The unique veining patterns and swirls make each marble slab one-of-a-kind. As a backsplash material, marble instantly elevates the ambiance of the kitchen by adding a touch of luxury. The sheen and glossy look marble has after polishing also enhances the aesthetic appeal.

Easy Maintenance

Many homeowners opt for marble backsplash as it is relatively easy to clean and maintain, compared to other natural stones. Marble has a non-porous surface that does not require sealing. A simple wipe down with a damp microfiber cloth or paper towel is often enough to keep marble backsplashes looking pristine. For grimy messes, a gentle pH-neutral cleaner diluted with water can remove stains effectively. Avoid abrasive cleaning products.

Durable and Long-Lasting

Marble is quite a hardy material that can endure the test of time. With proper sealing and maintenance, a marble backsplash can remain in impeccable condition for decades. Marble gets better with age as it develops a patina and does not wear out or degrade easily. This makes marble a sound investment for those seeking a durable, lasting backsplash material.

Low Maintenance Costs

Once installed properly, marble backsplashes require minimal maintenance. Just simple soap and water cleanings whenever needed. No need for regular sealing or special cleaners. This saves homeowners recurring expenses on backsplash maintenance. The long lifespan of marble also prevents the need for repairs or replacement.

Cooling Effect

Marble can help beat the heat in kitchens. It has a naturally cool surface that helps regulate ambient temperatures. The veins have minerals that aid heat absorption. This provides a practical cooling effect to maintain comfortable temperatures in hot kitchens.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Marble Backsplash

While marble backsplashes provide elegance along with practical benefits, there are some things to keep in mind before making your choice:


  • Veining patterns – Backsplashes done in marble with heavy veining can appear busy and dark. Subtle veins may suit some home aesthetics better.
  • Color – Bright white marble shows staining easily. Soft greys or creams hide better. Darker marbles like black and green provide dramatic contrasts.
  • Polished vs. honed – Polished marble has a glossy shine that emphasizes veining. Honed marble is matte for a more subtle look.
  • Matching countertops – Using the same marble for backsplash and countertops creates a seamless, fluid appearance.


Marble is pricier than ceramic or glass backsplash tile. Cost varies based on marble type and color. White Carrara and Calacatta marble tend to be high-end. Dark grey marbles cost comparatively less. Factor in professional fabrication and installation costs too.

Maintenance and Care

  • Acidic substances like wine, citrus, vinegar can etch and stain marble permanently. Requires extra care.
  • Sealing needed for marble with heavy veining or very porous types. Adds to maintenance needs.
  • Marble can chip or crack if hit forcefully. Must handle with care.
  • Annual resealing recommended for all marble backsplashes.

Installation Considerations

  • Heavy material requires specialized masons for proper installation.
  • Marble slabs prone to cracking – careful handling needed.
  • Irregular kitchen walls need shims and supports for secure mounting.
  • Accurate measurements must to avoid slivers or gaps in installation.


Marble is softer than granite, quartz or ceramic tile and can stain, etch or scratch over time with everyday use. Consider durability required for your home.


Marble quarrying can harm the natural environment. Consider alternate eco-friendly materials if this is a concern.

Popular Types of Marble for Kitchen Backsplash

There is a diverse range of marble options that homeowners can choose from for their backsplash project. Some of the most coveted and suitable types of marble for kitchen backsplashes include:

Carrara Marble

The most classic marble for backsplashes and countertops. Quarried in Italy, Carrara is bright white with subtle grey veining that gives depth without looking too busy. Adds elegance and brightness to kitchens.

Calacatta Marble

A high-end Italian marble in stunning white with dramatic thick gray and gold veins. Provides a very bold and luxurious look. The gold undertones add warmth.

Emperador Marble

This marble from Spain has a white background with smoky grey veining. The coloration is bolder than Carrara but more subdued than Calacatta. Great for a transitional style kitchen.

Statuario Marble

A very white Italian marble with minimal thin gray veining. Has a clean and bright look. The near pure white color complements both modern and traditional kitchen designs.

Crema Marfil Marble

From Spain, this marble has a creamy off-white background with subtle veining. The soft warm tones provide an airy elegant feel that enhances light-filled kitchens.

Bianco Dolomiti Marble

A light white Italian marble with very faint gray veining. More uniform in appearance than the above types. Offers a breezy, coastal vibe.

Eramosa Marble

Quarried in Ontario, Canada, this marble has dramatic blue-grey veining against a soft white background. The striking contrast adds a modern flair.

Classic Gray Marble

This gray marble has muted white veining on a mid-tone gray background. Adds upscale sophistication to kitchens through its neutral palette.

Black Marble

A dramatic dark charcoal marble with white veining. Makes a bold statement for modern industrial kitchen designs. Needs extra sealing.

Arabescato Marble

Has a white background with pronounced brownish-gray veining. Provides an earthy feel that works well for Tuscan style kitchens.

How to Choose the Right Marble for Your Kitchen

Picking the perfect marble requires balancing your kitchen’s existing elements with the look you wish to attain. Follow these tips to make the right choice:

  • Take inspiration from your cabinetry, flooring, appliances and other finishes to gauge the appropriate marble color and veining. Aim for cohesive style.
  • Factor in the size of the backsplash area and design elements like stove backguards. Busy marbles suit small sections, while open spaces do better with subtle veining.
  • If pairing with marble countertops, select the same slab for backsplash for seamless uniformity.
  • For resale value, stick to evergreen white or gray marbles instead of trendy colored ones.
  • View marble slabs in person before purchase to assess real color and pattern. Photos can be misleading.
  • White marbles show Less staining and etching. Go for darker shades if concerned about maintenance.
  • Honed marble hides etching better than polished. Or use sealed and treated marble for protection.

What to Avoid When Selecting Marble for Backsplash

While marble offers beauty and practicality, there are some aspects to steer clear of when picking your backsplash slab:

Marble with Heavy Veining

Intricate bold veining looks lavish in large wall expanses like lobbies. But it appears too busy and dark for a small kitchen backsplash. Go for marble with minimal, thin veining.

Soft Colored Marbles

Delicate marbles in colors like mint green, peach, pink etc. may appear dated or candy-esque. Timeless marble backsplashes are white, gray, black and beige.

Marbles with Pitting

Surface pitting makes cleaning tedious. Check slabs thoroughly for dents and pockmarks. These become more conspicuous after installation.

Fussy Patterns

Marbles with very pronounced swirls, odd banding or uneven color distribution look gaudy. Seek a slab with subtle natural-looking patterns.

Unsealed Marble

Unsealed marble stains and etches easily. Opt for slabs pre-treated with sealants. Or apply treatments post-installation.

Soft, Brittle Marble

Marble has varying hardness based on mineral composition. Softer types crack easily. Opt for a microcrystalline dense marble for resilience.

Mismatched Pieces

For backsplashes using smaller marble tiles, batch variations in tiles can stand out. Inspect carefully to match grains and patterns.

How to Make Marble Backsplash Work Successfully in Your Kitchen

Installing a flawless marble backsplash requires careful prep and execution:

Choose the Right Marble

Pick a marble variety that aligns with your kitchen’s style, color scheme, lighting and existing elements like cabinets.

Optimal Placement

Limit marble to the backsplash area alone if concerned about maintenance. Use it as an accent rather than for full countertops.

Precision Cutting

Any intricate tile-work or outlet cutouts should be pre-cut by the fabricator for a seamless fit.

Proper Support

Reinforce walls optimally to bear the weight of marble slabs, especially above stoves.

Experienced Installers

Hire specialized installers trained in mounting heavy marble backsplashes. They seal joints perfectly.

Handle with Care

Ensure installers and transporters avoid hitting or shocking marble. Cracks become unfixable.

Matching Grout Color

Use grout matching the backsplash marble shade. Avoid high contrast grout colors.

Quality Sealants

Seal backsplash properly with top-grade stone sealants to prevent etching or stains.

Gentle Cleaners

Always use pH neutral stone cleaners. Avoid vinegar, citrus, bleach that can damage marble.

With apt marble selection and meticulous installation, your marble backsplash can be a timeless focal point that embellishes your kitchen for decades. While marble requires some precautions, the grandeur it offers makes it a perennially desirable backsplash choice. Arm yourself with these insights to make the best decision for your home.

FAQs About Using Marble for Kitchen Backsplash

Is marble really suitable for kitchen backsplash?

Yes, marble is an excellent backsplash material due to its elegant appearance, longevity, and low maintenance. Marble backsplashes require minimal care compared to countertops. Limiting wine, oil, citrus contact minimizes etching. Annual resealing maintains water resistance.

What are the best marbles for kitchen backsplash?

Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuario marble are ideal choices. Their white backgrounds with soft gray veining have timeless appeal. Crema Marfil and Bianco Dolomiti are other suitable white marbles. Dark Emperador, Eramosa, Gray and Black marble work for bold contemporary kitchens.

Does marble backsplash need sealing?

It is advisable to seal marble backsplashes as an preventive measure. Annual reapplication of sealant ensures moisture does not seep into the porous marble surface and cause stains over time. For heavy use kitchens, consider using pre-sealed marble.

How to clean and maintain a marble backsplash?

For routine cleaning, wipe down the marble gently with a soft microfiber cloth and plain water or a mild pH-balanced soap. For tough stains, use a specially formulated stone cleaner. Avoid harsh chemicals and acidic cleaners. Reseal the backsplash annually.

Will a marble backsplash get stained easily?

Quality marble with minimal veining is quite stain-resistant for backsplashes. However, oil and acidic fluids can discolor it over time. Prompt cleanup of spills prevents stubborn staining. Pre-sealed and professionally treated marble has added protection against stains.

How much does it cost to install a marble backsplash?

The material and installation cost for a marble backsplash is $60 – $100 per sq.ft on average. Type of marble, intricate designs, specialized cutting and professional installation adds to the total costs. Luxury white Italian marbles cost more.

What’s better for backsplash – marble tiles or slab?

Marble tiles have more grout lines that can get grimy. Slab backsplashes provide a seamless look and feel. Slabs are also stronger. But tiles may be a cost-effective option for small spaces. Choose minimum grout for tiles.

Can you put marble backsplash behind a stove?

Yes, marble slabs or tiles can be installed behind stoves. Ensure the wall is properly reinforced to bear the weight. Avoid porous or heavily veined marble which can absorb oils. Have a professional fabricate any cutouts to fit the stove backguard.

What backsplash goes well with Carrara marble countertops?

Use the same slab of Carrara marble for backsplash and countertops for a streamlined look. Or pair with marble mosaic tiles, metal or white glass tiles. Contrasting dark marble or porcelain tile can complement the light marble countertops too.


Marble backsplashes undoubtedly make a spectacular design statement with a touch of luxury. Choose marble wisely based on your kitchen’s needs and style. Limit etching and stains through proper prep, sealing, care and cleaning practices. This ensures your investment in marble backsplash stands the test of time while heightening your kitchen’s elegance.