‘I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.’
Marble is considered to be a classical, elegant, durable, versatile and timeless material both for internal and external finishes.
Its smooth, rich in veining surface exposes sophisticated and natural beauty of the stone.
Its glowing, subtly translucent and full of light appearance ages with dignity .
Recently I had to do some research on white marble for the current project and I got totally hooked on its allure. Here I share what I found:
Marble quarries can be found in mountainous territories across Turkey, Greece and the US, but the most famous are located in southern Italy. One of the most renowned areas in Italy for marble is Carrara mountain region.
The use of marble in art, architecture and interior design dates back thousands of years to ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures. From Latin ‘marmor’, from Greek ‘marmaros’, marble means gleaming stone or sparkling stone.
Marble is a metamorphic rock, a limestone that is crystallized by metamorphism. The white marble is formed from the purest limestone and it comes in a all shades of white adorned with delicate, varying in tone, grey veins – like Carrara marble (greyer softer veining) and Calacatta marble (whiter background with bolder veining).
The marble finish can be honed, polished or sandblasted.
A honed finish is satin, smooth, with relatively little reflection of light. It appears flat and lighter in colour.
A polished finish has a glossy surface that reflects light and emphasizes the colour and veins of the stone.
A sandblasted finish enhances the natural look of stone, it reminds traditional finishes such as bush hammering. A sandblasted finish can be used for decorative motifs or on exterior paving where a non-slip finish is required.
Marble can be book-matched. Book-matching refers to matching two or more slabs of stone, so that the two adjoining surfaces mirror each other, like an opened book. Usually, slabs are cut and laid flat ready to be polished. When slabs are book-matched, instead of polishing the same side of each slab, they’re polished on opposite sides. When book-matched slabs are placed next to each other, they open up like a book and show a mirror image of each other.
Book-matching exposes the material at its most statement-making aspect and it should be treated as creating a piece of art. However beautiful, book-matching is often more expensive than standard marble application because of layout restrictions. It is a time-consuming, labour-intensive and wasteful process.
The average marble slab sizes are between 90"L x 60"W and 110"L x 70" W. The industry standard slab thickness is ¾’’ (20mm) or 1 ¼’’ (30mm).
Marble can be applied to walls, floors, columns, stairs, kitchen countertops or mantelpieces. Marble is also a good furniture material and can be used for bathtubs, sinks, tables or benches. It comes in big slabs or tiles in a variety of sizes.
Use of marble can instantly elevate the appearance of a space, giving it a sophisticated charm, classic, elegant and timeless beauty
Marble is unique - every single piece of marble tile is a one of a kind
Marble has a natural look. Even if the material is heavily refined, there is an inherent feel and presence of nature connecting to the outside world.
Marble has its natural translucent property that allows light to penetrate through it slightly and to make it glow.
Marble is a great conductor of heat, making it suitable for a variety of below surface radiant heating systems to be installed.
Marble comes in all sizes and shapes. Tiles can be cut to squares, rectangles, and triangles of varying sizes in order to create complex mosaic piece installations.
Marble is widely available from nearly any stone fabricator or stone yard.
Marble can be scratched, scraped, and chipped easily under the wrong conditions and the scratches can not be easily repaired without replacing the damaged material completely
Marble can easily stain (it is base on the PH scale, which means that it will have a chemical reaction whenever it comes in contact with acidic substances). This can include a wide variety of foods, beverages and cleaning products. The discoloration stains that come from these processes are permanent
Marble is prone to water and liquids penetration due to its porous texture. This can be prevented by applying below and above surface chemical sealers
Being relatively soft, marble floor tiles can suffer from cracking, breaks, and chips
When polished, marble can become an extremely slick and slippery surface (especially if the material gets wet), which may be a hazard for accidental falls
Marble is expensive. Prices fall on the high-end range as far as natural stone costs, while having a shorter lifespan than harder, more durable materials like slate and granite. Carrara marble is one of the least expensive types of marble.
Images: via Pinterest: