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Marble countertops have become exceptionally popular choices for kitchens, bathrooms, and other parts of the home because of the stone's exceptional beauty. The price of a marble countertop can vary, however, according to several factors, including the size of the countertop and the source of the marble. If, for example, a consumer lives relatively nearby a marble quarry where the materials can be procured, the price of a marble countertop is likely to be lower for that person than for someone who lives in another country or part of the world.
The reason the price of a marble countertop can vary based on location is shipping costs: marble can be an exceptionally heavy material, and it is relatively fragile. This means the shipping procedures need to account for the protection of the stone as well as the weight of the material. A person who lives far from a marble-producing quarry or manufacturer is likely to incur considerable shipping costs and markups from retailers who carry the shipped product. Locally sourced marble will always be less expensive, though the quality of the stone can also have a significant impact on the price of a marble countertop, regardless of where the marble came from.
Quantity will also affect the price of a marble countertop. If, for example, a homeowner intends to furnish the entire kitchen and bathroom or bathrooms with marble countertops, the price of materials will be much higher. Installing marble can also be somewhat difficult, so the homeowner is likely to need to hire a professional to install the countertops, which will raise the overall price. If the countertops feature unusual angles or a high number of angles, the work needed to install the countertops will be increased and the price of the installation can go up.
The quality of the stone will have an impact on the price of a marble countertop as well. High end stone with few or no defects will fetch a higher price than blemished stones with defects. Sometimes these defects are almost unnoticeable, though in other cases, the defects can compromise the integrity of the countertop, increasing the likelihood of damage.
The stone is likely to undergo several price increases before it reaches the consumer. Marble quarries will sell the raw materials to a manufacturer, who will then finish the stone and sell it to distributors for a higher price. The distributors will then turn around and sell the product to retailers, who will set another price for the consumer.