Marble has been one of the most sought-after materials for centuries as it's been a material associated with luxury and status. But because of the long history of marble use, this beautiful material has mostly thought of in a traditional sense. There have been so many new quarries discovered around the world in recent years. More and more methods of fabricating and finishing the stone are being developed. Yet, it's mostly associated with traditional building material use such as flooring, walls, countertops, and furniture.
Indeed, marble is undisputedly one of the most popular types of natural stone. But do we know enough about this spectacular material? Even people in the industry have yet to explore the boundaries and potential marble can bring us. We are going to open your minds and share with you some of the most exciting ideas about how you can use marble.
What do you think the uses of marble is? Most people immediately think kitchen countertops, flooring, sculptures, tables, or shower walls. Little do most people know, this material is quite versatile. There are so many applications with marble, especially with the technology we have today. For instance, did you know marble can be grounded up into a fine powder and be used for glue, toothpaste, and soap?
I first learned this visiting our friends at Teresa marble who owns several quarries in the Philippines. When they toured me around the plant, I was informed a percentage of their business is to supply to companies that make soap an toothpaste.
Other applications as you know are:
As you already know, marble kitchen countertops really bring out the luxury feel of a home. But did you know marble can be cut as thin as 1mm thick (the thickness of a credit card) and be used for ceilings and cabinets?
Traditionally this would be either too dangerous or too expensive to achieve. But with modern technology, we are able to help designers expand their design abilities, even in such a traditional industry such as natural stones.
Because marble is a natural material, the patterning of stone is always different. So when you use marble in your designs, no two slabs of the marble will ever have the same exact pattern as porcelain. It is perfect for those who want something unique. And with the thin stone technology, for appliances, we can go thinner to 0.3mm ~ 0.8mm depending on the applications.
Items that you didn't know utilized real marble in their designs:
This one is my favorite to tell and show people. Try sharing this image with natural stone industry people or "marble experts". You will get a high percentage of them telling you it's impossible or it can't be real marble, because they know marble and they have never seen marble bend.
The concept is not so far off from the same reason why wood can bend. If you take a piece of wood and bend it, it will snap in half right? But when you cut wood thin enough, it becomes flexible and allows it to bend. When you understand that concept, it really isn't that surprising.
And because the thin marble slabs can be curved, it is oftentimes asked to be used as a decorative piece as designer walls to be one fluid piece.
Marble is a metamorphic rock that forms when limestone is exposed to high temperatures and pressures. Marble forms under such conditions because the calcite forming the limestone recrystallizes forming a denser rock consisting of roughly equigranular calcite crystals.
This is also one of the most recognized and attractive features of marble stone, due to its distinctive veining patterns. These patterns are created by small minerals that fill cracks and fissures in the original limestone. As the stone is subjected to pressure, the minerals crystalize, creating those reflective, glistening veins that you see throughout the slab.
If you want a cooler environment, marble works wonders because it doesn't retain heat. Whereas materials like wood and concrete absorb and hold heat.
If you are in hotter climates, having marble floors can naturally cool down your interior spaces.
Look at all the architectural wonders of the world that last till this day are mostly built with marble stone. Pantheon, Taj Mahal, leaning tower of Pisa, Washington Monument, and many more across the world. Several factors come into play, the density of the marble, how well it was built, and the timeless look of marble design.
Since marble is dense and has low porosity, it also makes the stone hypoallergenic in buildings. It's terrific for people who like to have a clean environment. Carpet collects dust and animal dander. Wood can mold and bow if not treated well.
In fact, the word marble originates from the Greek word “marmar” – a verb that means “to glisten.” Although you do find marble in different finishes, the polished look is still the most widely selected option.
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