Types of Marble Stone: How are They Different?

Types of Marble Stone: How are They Different?

January 27, 2019

It can be very difficult to differentiate the types of marble with the untrained eye.  White marble alone has several options to choose from which range in Italian, Turkish, Chinese, Taiwanese, Middle Eastern and many more types to select from.

All marble types have their own beautiful intricacies and various purposes depending on where and how they’ll be used in a space.

Marble is a calcium-rich natural stone, meaning it continues to change over time with use, adding character to the piece. This can be most obvious with white marble, as imperfections are more visible. BUT! It's these imperfections that make marble such a wonderful piece of material.  There are several ways in preserving marble's unique personality while still looking luxurious.

Depending on your design, marble can add a type of sophistication other materials won't be able to compare.  But because there is such a vast selection, it is still best to consult an expert on the type of marble to be used.  But no matter what stone you choose, it always adds a timeless visual stamp wherever it is used.

We've listed some of the most popular marble pieces used by interior designers and product designers like ourselves:

Carrara Marble - Italy

Carrara white slab

This is one of the most famous marble stones of all time from Carrara, Italy.  Artists like Michaelangelo, Da Vinci to modern day greats have all used this stone as their signature piece. It has a beautiful white base with a nice polish, matched with gray or blue-gray veins.  This stone is commonly used in sculpture and building decor. The feature of this stone is its veining.  It is usually more linear and can either be small and fine or soft and feathery. The lovely pristine whiteness is often used in luxury interiors.  If you're interested in learning more fun facts about Carrara marble, feel free to check out our other posts.

Statuario Marble - Italy

Statuary Marble

This marble piece you can say is a big sister to the Carrara marble.  The Carrara marble is still more popular, but also because of its affordability. Statuario marble also has a strong white base and contains heavy grey veining throughout with unique and complex patterns. It originates from the mountain quarries of Statuario, above Carrara in Italy.  The translucent white background contrasted with the longer dramatic veins give it a shinier and glossier feel.  The white polish really radiates the room as an interior design piece. 

You will notice a lot of luxury fashion retailers enjoy using this stone in their showrooms.  The reason is that it exemplifies class, but also is confident in showing this piece is the center of attention. 

Calacatta Marble - Italy

Calacutta Gold Marble

Calacatta can be said to be the King of the Italian white marbles due to its rarity. It is often misspelled as Calcutta, Calcata, and Calacata. This stone is also quarried in the Carrara region of Italy and shares many similarities with the Carrara marble.  This luxurious marble can go from traditional to modern with its distinctive bold grey veining This beautiful marble is sure to change any room from ordinary to noteworthy. Calacatta marble is generally white with dark veining in large, thick patterns. Because it is rarer than Carrara, many people consider Calacatta a luxury stone. Calacatta gold marble adds a splash of richness to the user's designs and radiates a warm-cool tone that the other white stones lack.

Emperador Marble - Spain 

Emperador Dark Marble

This marble piece is quarried from three regions in Spain. The Emperador dark varies from the whites and grays associated with Calacatta and Carrara and comes in different shades of brown. Emperador Dark is an alluring marble from Spain featuring a range of dark, rich browns and grays. Fashion beautiful marble countertops, marble tile floors, accent walls, and other features with slabs and coordinating tiles from the Emperador Dark collection. It typically exhibits fine grains with irregular veins. 

Crema Marfil Marble - Spain

Crema marfil

This famous marble is also quarried in Spain.  5-star hotels around the world absolutely love using crema marfil because of its warm beige tones.  It is the most prevalent and well-known light-beige or yellowish marble.  The stone has uniform backgrounds and veins varying in intensity and irregularity. Crema marfil is typically used with other darker and more colored natural stones and is commonly found in exterior cladding, flooring, and decorations. But it does lack veining in comparison to the above stones.  So it is terrific for interior designs, architecture, but for product design, it may seem a little too plain.  

Marble is a natural stone, so there are many variations within a piece. There will be different tones/colors within the same stone, veining patterns will vary, some stones will carry fissures (Commonly mistaken as cracks), or pits that appear to be "holes". These are actually all normal and part of the natural characteristics that bring it alive.  If you want a perfect look, then we usually would suggest a print version, ceramic or porcelain because they are man-made and can be controlled.  Natural stones are formed through millions of years and will inherit certain imperfections.

What type of marble do you prefer?

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