Some useful facts about marble
Marble is a natural rock that is extracted from quarries around the world in the same way as many other rocks, including granite. It is formed from limestone that has been altered (metamorphosed) due to the effects of the high temperatures and pressures caused by movements of the Earth’s crust.
Marble is readily available from a range of quarries around the world but varies considerably in quality with the very best quality being quite rare. In recent years it has also been produced synthetically but like most reproductions of natural products it lacks the uniqueness of each individual piece of natural marble. In many ways the reproductions are too perfect.
Marble has long been the favoured material for both prominent buildings such as the famous Taj Mahal and for artworks such as Michelangelo’s “David” – marble sculptures can be extremely realistic because of its translucent qualities and the ease with which they can be carved. But it is also highly valued in our homes because of its beauty and durability – there’s nothing more impressive than a marble tiled entrance hall or a marble bathroom and these can really add value to your existing home. Ceramic tiles or porcelain tiles simply don’t have the same impact.
The quality of marble tends to be determined by the location of the quarry from which it was extracted. For example, the most highly valued of all white marbles is known by the name of the area from which it comes – Carrara in Italy. But there are also regions in Greece, Turkey and Spain from which high-quality marble is obtained.
One of these is the Crema Valencia marble extracted near Barcheta, in Valencia, Spain. Crema Valencia marble is extracted from only a single quarry – which is substantial in size and currently manages to satisfy market demand for this type of marble but there are questions about its future ability to do so. Crema Valencia is a unique type of marble because of its appearance, and the fact that it is suitable for a broad range of applications.
There are many cream, beige and honey coloured marbles extracted and refined in Turkey but Turkey also produces some stunning dark green marbles such as Verde Laguna marble quarried near Banaz in the Usak region of Turkey. Verde Laguna marble, whilst very beautiful, has a wide variation in colour and veining so large samples should be viewed and approved to ensure that any floor or wall tiles are all extracted from the same quarry face and are a good match. Although part of the beauty of natural stone tiles lies in their individuality it is still important that there is some cohesion between the tiles.