ITALIAN MARBLE-BHANDARI MARBLE GROUP
The various types of commercial marble sold by retailers are usually named for the region from which they are quarried. Nearly every continent contains deposits of marble, but most of the commercial marble sold for residential building materials comes from Italy, Spain, or other areas of southern Europe. The appearance of the marble usually gives clear clues as to its place of origin.
Carrara marble: This classic white or light gray marble is one of the lightest marbles used for flooring tiles. It is typically white or very light gray, with soft gray veins running through it It is quarried in the city of Carrara in the northern tip of Tuscany, Italy. With hundreds of operating quarries producing it, Carrara marble is one of the most readily available marbles you can choose. By some accounts, more than 80% of all marble used in residential construction up to now is Carrara marble.
Supplies of Carrara marble are dwindling, however, and you can expect other different sources of marble to come into heavier use in the coming years.
Calacatta marble: A whitish marble with very pronounced veins ranging from gray to golden brown. Originating in the Apian Mountains in Carrara, Italy, it is a high-end luxury stone that is used both in countertop slabs and flooring tiles. It is available in both honed and polished finishes. Calacatta is quite similar to Carrara marble, but with more prominent veining. This is a rarer, and more expensive form of marble.
Statuario marble: Also called Statuario, this marble is also quarried from the Carrara region of Italy, but it has a lighter field with less color variation that classic Carrara marble. The veins are usually a mixture of light and dark gray. Like Calacatta, this is a rarer and more expensive form of Italian marble.
Breccia onicada marble: This is warmer, darker marble, with creamy browns and reds common. It is used both for countertops and floors. Breccia onicada is sometimes considered a form of limestone, and it has a more complicated veining pattern than most marbles. The term breccia refers to the rock’
Composition, in which broken fragments are cemented together in a fine-grained mixture. This angular, broken pattern makes for a very attractive stone surface. The onicada form of brecciate marble is quarried in Italy.
Arabescato orobico marble: This is a very dark marble with light gray to brown sweeping veins. It is a premium, high-end marble that comes from the Brembana Valley in Northern Italy.
Emperador marble: This marble is quarried from three different regions of Spain and is available in various shades of brown, with fine grains and irregular veins. The darker color makes is a good choice for floor areas that receive high traffic; it is also commonly used for fireplace surrounds.
Crema marfil marble: This textured creamy beige stone has an overall yellow, cinnamon, or golden beige color with very soft veins of darker color. Like breccias onicada, it is sometimes marketed as a form of limestone. It is quarried in Spain.
There are also unique and exotic marbles available from Turkey, Greece, and other regions. These often are quite expensive, but they can have truly unique colors, such as deep reds or greens.
Any marble tile can be finished with any one of several different surface finishes. The most popular are polished, honed, tumbled, and brushed.
One of the prized characteristics of a marble floor is its ability to take a very high polish. This allows the material to be buffed until it glistens in the light and is perfectly smooth to the touch. In lighter-colored marbles, polished tiles will actually glow, with the light of the room penetrating slightly into the stone and then reflecting outward with soft illumination.
In a honed surface, the marble is grinded down until it is flat and smooth, but not to the point where it is slippery and polished. These tiles allow you to have the beauty of marble with less concern about slipping hazards.
Tumbled marble is created by processing tiles in a drum with rock and sand aggregate that create small chips, scratches, and rounded edges on the tiles. The resulting tiles have a rustic, natural look that many people find attractive. The texture of tumbled marble is a good feature for shower floors, since it reduces the slipperiness of the tiles.
Brushed marble is created scuffing the surface of the tile with abrasives until a natural, antique look is created. The brushing process, however, creates a somewhat porous surface that must be frequently sealed in order to resist staining. The floor needs to be cleaned frequently because dust tends to collect in the texture of the surface.
Tile Size and Shape
While marble flooring can be installed in large slabs, this is rarely done except in formal, commercial settings. For residential use, marble flooring is almost always installed in the form of tiles. Classic marble floor tile is usually square in shape, with several dimensions most common:
Marble is often available in a variety of mosaic cuts. These can either be small individual chips or mesh-mounted chips laid on a flexible mesh backing. You can also buy medallions or patterns in which the marble colors are arranged on the mesh mount to create attractive and colorful displays.
At BhandariMarbleGroup marble floor t can range in price from as low as $10 per square foot for a pure white Carrara to $ 100 per square foot for a rarer. You can pay considerably more—prices upwards of $200 per square foot are possible—for designer mosaic tile sheets that feature a blend of exotic marbles in different colors and shapes.
If money isn’t a limiting factor, there are also high-end luxury tile retailers that specialize in exotic marbles from around the world. Costs can be quite exorbitant.
When choosing marble floor tile, you have more options than you may realize. Marble colors and veining patterns can vary greatly, depending on the region where the marble was quarried; and the manufacturing process offers you several options for tile shape, size, and finish. Marble tiles can be purchased at big box home improvement centers, but for a wider range of options, consult a specialty flooring store or tile retailer