Carrara Marble Definition, Usage, Design Ideas, Cost and Tips
Marble is a beautiful natural stone that has the ability to enhance the appearance of any space where it is installed. This stone has been an all-time favorite of artists, architects and designers. Its luxurious status, grand beauty and regal status is matchless. Marble stone has been used throughout the history in many ways such as flooring of palaces, cathedrals and monuments, carving of famous sculptures and decoration of buildings.
Marble is a member of the limestone family in metamorphic form. It has a low index of refraction which allows the light to penetrate its structure before spreading around which in turn gives it its signature dazzling look. Without impurities, marble is of white color but with the addition of impurities its color range expands along with variation in veining patterns.
Carrara marble is the most common type of light colored marble. It is also one of the economical marble types. It is found in varying hues of white and gray colors. The background of this marble is whitish gray and it has linear, thin and feathery veining pattern. The distinctive color contrast and veining makes identification of Carrara marble quite easy.
Carrara marble has been in use since the era of Roman civilization when in 1564 the Malaspina and Cybo families established the Office of Marble for regulation of marble mining industry. The Ducal Palace of Massa and Basilica of Massa were built with Carrara marble and used for showcasing this beautiful stone.
Carrara Marble Usage:
Carrara marble has many uses in the construction, interior decoration and art industry. These decorative and structural applications are utilized on both commercial and residential spaces. In the past, people from ancient civilizations, like the Romans, would build religious buildings, monuments and sculptures from Carrara marble to appease their gods and deities. Even the monotheistic religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam have their places of worship decorated with this beautiful stone. Marble has always been considered the stone of royalty. Carrara marble has adorned the floors of countless palaces, castles and forts. It has been used for covering important government buildings and offices as well. The uses for this marble are countless. Whether polished, honed or tumbled, each of its finish type has numerous applications.
Listed below are places and areas where Carrara marble can be used according to the finished product type available in the market:
- Carrara Marble Tiles: You can use Carrara marble tiles on the floors of Hallways and corridors, bedrooms, lounge, kitchen, bathroom, shower areas. The tiles can also be used for decoration of fireplace surrounds, kitchen backsplashes and even for covering the bathroom walls.
- Carrara Marble Pavers: Marble pavers are generally used for exterior decoration for areas such as patios, pools decks, gazebos, fountains, garden pathways and stepping stones, walkways, courtyards and driveways. Carrara marble pavers are also used for covering retaining walls and fire pits.
- Carrara Marble Slabs: Marble slabs have two main applications i.e. bathroom / kitchen countertops and stair treads. Countertops can be installed in the kitchen as regular countertops and for covering the kitchen island.
Carrara Marble Design Ideas:
Carrara marble is lovely stone that can beautify any space with its gorgeous appearance. Here we have compiled a list of design ideas that can serve as an inspiration for your Carrara project:
- Bedrooms: Carrara marble has a sophisticated classy vibe to it which makes it the perfect material for bedroom decoration. You can use this stone in your bedroom for covering the floor, accent wall and even fireplace surround area. We recommend polished finish for the bedroom Carrara tiles as this finish can add a subtle element of glamour.
- Living Rooms: Carrara marble is aesthetic goals in living rooms and lounge areas. You can incorporate this lovely stone in a couple of ways in your living room. Some of the examples are:
1. In this design idea, the Carrara marble is used for covering the fireplace surround area and floor. The pattern of the floor is kept simple with large Carrara tiles in polished finish. Neutral colored furniture and wall paint complements the white color of the floor. The monochrome paintings and the textured black velvet curtain are the elements that make this living room to be the epitome of style.
2. If you like your living room with a stunning view with sliding glass doors like the one shown below then a polished Carrara marble floor is the perfect option to complete the dynamic modern home look. Add bright colored unique sofas, black fur rug and a glass coffee table for an oomph worthy design scheme.
3. If you don’t want an extensive marble makeover then we suggest a Carrara marble coffee table set in wrought iron.
- Kitchen: The kitchen is part of home which is extensively used and therefore requires special attention when it comes to its design and style. A contemporary kitchen design that looks chic and homely is a dream come true. A light wooden floored kitchen with Carrara marble backsplash and kitchen island looks marvelous. For the backsplash use Carrara tiles in herringbone pattern for the center piece while keeping the rest of the backsplash covered with a simple subway pattern. Add white cabinets, a candelabra inspired chandelier and a gray granite countertop.
Be a bit experimental in your kitchen design and extend the backsplash laid in small format brick bond pattern over to the nearest wall. Add a Black Pearl marble countertop to complete the look.
- Bathroom: Bathrooms cannot be ignored when it comes to designing your home. Whether it is the master bathroom, three quarter bathroom or powder room, Carrara marble can make it look appealing.
A master bathroom with a carrara marble floor with a freestanding stark white bathtub looks amazing. Add a matching countertop for the double sink vanity paired with white vanity cabinets to complete the look with bronze fixtures and accessories.
The bathroom below utilizes different tile sizes of carrara marble in its design. The shower area is covered with brick pattern tiles while the floor of the bathroom has Carrara mosaic tile laid in herringbone pattern. The Statuario marble countertops for the vanities with under mount sinks and exquisite mirror look stunning. The clawfoot bathtub, white bath rug and crystal chandeliers make this bathroom fit for modern day royalty.
- Pool Decks and Patios: Carrara marble pavers can make your pool deck and patio standout with their radiant appearance. You can use elaborate patterns like the basket weave and cobblestone or opt for something simple like the running bond or herringbone.
Carrara Marble Cost
Carrara marble is the least expensive type of marble readily available in the market. The Carrara marble tile cost varies from $10 – $15. But there are many factors that impact the price of marble products some of which are listed below:
- Marble Grade: This stone is graded by manufacturers for the indication of quality, amount of impurities, imperfection ratio and softness of the stone. A, B, C and D are the standard grades in the market with A being the strong structured marble type with least amount of inconsistencies and impurities.
- Thickness: Durability of marble tiles is directly related to their thickness but with increased thickness the prices also soar. Marble tiles are available in thickness range of 1/4″ to 3/4″.
- Sizes: Usually Carrara marble tiles are found in 12×12 and 12×18 sizes. Custom sizes can also be acquired but they are costlier than the commercially available ones.
- Finish Type: Polished finish is the most expensive followed by the honed finish. Rough finished like tumbled and chiseled edge are comparatively cheaper than the smooth finish types.
If you are buying the stone in square feet then it will cost around $40 per square foot. The cost of installation should be included when deciding the budget for your Carrara makeover. The expensive part of any project is the marble itself. The rest of the cost includes supplies and labor. If your project requires 50 sq ft of $40 Carrara marble then the material alone will cost $2,000. The labor cost ranges on average from $35 – $45 per hour and extra supplies usually cost around $100 – $200.
If you are installing a slab countertop or backsplash then it is highly recommended that you acquire the services of professional stone installers. The average Carrara marble slab has a weight between 750 – 1050 lbs depending on the thickness and density of the stone. If the slab is not properly managed then it might result in irreparable damages like chipping, cracking or fracturing of the marble. Therefore it is better to leave the DIY spirit for other projects and seek pros for paver and slab installations.
Cleaning and Maintenance Tips For Carrara Marble
Carrara Marble is renowned for its dramatic veining, sturdy nature and overall exquisiteness. This beautiful stone can greatly enhance the beauty of whichever space it is installed in and can last a very long time. However, like all other natural stones, marble is also susceptible to damage over the years especially if it is handled carelessly. But if you’re diligently when it comes to cleaning and maintenance then there’s a high chance that you’ll be able preserve the immaculate appearance of your Carrara Marble. Here are a few tips to make sure that your marble stays in tip-top condition:
- Regular Maintenance: Regular maintenance is a must if you want to keep your Carrara Marble’s looking pristine and spotless. Cleaning it with warm water and a good detergent is the easiest way to keep it dirt and grime free. Try finding a good detergent specifically meant for cleaning marble products. Don’t use soap or acidic substances such as vinegar to clean your marble as they can cause irreversible damage to your marble. Rinse the stone with warm water after cleaning it with the detergent and then wipe it thoroughly with a cloth. You can do this after every few days or on weekly basis but its best to not let your marble stay covered in dirt for more than a week.
- Sealing: It is important that you seal your Carrara marble at least three to five times a year with a good quality marble sealant. A sealant is necessary for almost every naturally occurring porous stone used for construction or building purposes. Sealants help in filling the natural pits and holes of the stone which in turn prevents the absorption of dirt, moisture or spills. Thus, a sealant not only helps in extending the lifespan of marble but also preserves its beautiful appearance. To pick the best sealant for your Carrara marble, its beast to get professional advice and consult the company that you purchased your marble from.
- Polishing: Polishing your Carrara Mable is an excellent way to preserve its smoothness and luster. It’s also a great tip for getting rid of any roughness on the surface of the marble. You can either get your Carrara Marble polished professionally or you can do it yourself with marble powder and a buffing pad, both of which can be bought from stone selling companies. After polishing your marble, you should rinse the residue powder off and then dry the surface with a soft cloth. You can polish your Carrara Marble two to three times a year.
- Repairing: Do not try to fix Carrara Marble cracks yourself unless you have experience in repairing marble or else you’ll just make the whole thing worse. In such a situation, it is best recommended to hire a professional to deal with the marble. Only a well-qualified person can handle damaged Carrara Marble with care. They’ll polish and seal the marble to perfection which will reduce the chances of etching and prolong its life. In worst case scenario, if the damage is beyond repair, then you’ll have to replace the entire tile which can easily be done by the company from whom you purchased your Carrara Marble.
Carrara marble is a wonderful material that not only has the ability to make a space look exquisite with its marble glory but also has a price tag that is comparatively lower than other white marble types. You can use Carrara marble for beautification of both interior and exterior of your home.