Marble has long been a status symbol and has, for many years, been a benchmark of opulence and luxuriousness. It is a metamorphic rock which started out its life as limestone (or in some cases dolomite), which moved deeper and deeper under the earth's surface until the pressure became so great that the metamorphosis from solid rock to molten magma began.
During this process, on a molecular level, the substance starts to become more and more consistent, and so the rock has less variation. When the substance subsequently cools again, it recrystallises to form marble.
The benefit of marble (and the reason it became such a status symbol in the first place) is that it is exceptionally hard, magnificently beautiful and almost completely non-porous, naturally. The level of purity and uniformity is something that does vary with different regions, but the specks or veins which you see running through marble (which, though a classic characteristic of most marbles, represent mineral impurities) are still exceptionally low level impurities by the standards of most stone.
Marble is found all over the world, the leading producer of which is Italy. Italian marble accounts for twenty percent of all marble produced and sold, globally, and it's also among some of the most valuable on the market today. Marble is found very deep within the earth and it is most commonly found in quite mountainous areas, although not exclusively.
Marble production has always been shared between that which is for the purposes of artistic materials and that which is for building and decorative materials. It is removed and processed in a very similar way to that of limestones, and under very similar circumstances.
The prevalence (and desirability) of having polished marble is such that almost all marble produced is honed. Some marble tiles have a tumbled finish, but achieving such results is exponentially more difficult than with limestone and sandstone because of how hardwearing marble is.
Marble, similarly to limestone, can be many shades and colours, but unlike limestone, only a handful of colours are abundant enough to go into production on an industrial scale. This means that, as has always been the case, marble still maintains a premium over its competitors.
Marble is fantastically well suited to period decor, given its provenance, but is equally at home in a sleek, modern decor, given its clean lines and subtle variations. Should you choose marble, be sure not to cut corners on the fixing. A material as high grade as marble leaves no tolerance for error.
Visit us to find out more and see some of the marbles we offer!