Marble Houston

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Carrara Marble vs. Calacatta Marble: What’s the Difference?

By | Marble Houston

Have you always marveled at the beauty of marble? This hard metamorphic stone is characterized by natural veining, which makes each slab as unique as your fingerprints. If you’re interested in incorporating marble into your Houston home, use this guide to help you differentiate between two of the most popular types and decide where you might want to use them.

Begin the Selection Process

The first step is to narrow down the color of marble you want. If you have your heart set on white marble, you’re not alone. The look of white marble with gray veining is both classic and chic. This natural material has been used in homes and public buildings for centuries. It’s a status symbol that has luxury written all over it.

Now, you must understand that there are actually two types of white marble: Carrara and Calacatta. Learn the difference between the two so you can decide which will work best for your Houston home renovation.

Carrara Marble

Where does it come from?

This type of stone is quarried in the city of Carrara located in the northern tip of Tuscany, Italy. It has been used in building projects and sculptures since Ancient Roman times. Some notable buildings that include Carrara include the Pantheon, the Peace Monument in Washington DC, the Marble Arch in London and Harvard Medical School. Michelangelo’s David statue was also carved out of Carrara.

white marble in houston bathroom supplierWhat does it look like?

While there is a lot of variability within both types of white marble, Carrara tends to be grayer in color with soft, feathery veining. Often, the veins are linear in nature, giving the marble a more orderly appearance.

 Sometimes, Carrara marble showcases dramatic veining, as seen here, but you can still tell this is Carrara because the stone is a darker hue and many of the veins are light and feathery.

Choosing the gray-hued Carrara was a good choice in this kitchen because it provides a nice contrast with the white cabinetry.

Where are the best places to use it?

The soft veining and luxurious nature of Carrara makes it a great fit in a variety of applications. Still, because all marble requires more upkeep than other types of stone, it’s wise to avoid using it as a flooring material in high-traffic areas. Some of the most popular places to use Carrara include bathroom floors and walls, kitchen countertops, and fireplace surrounds.

Calacatta Marble

white and gold marble in houston bathroom new york inspirationWhere does it come from?

Calacatta is another type of Italian marble, much of which is quarried in northern Tuscany alongside Carrara. This is just another reason why people often mix up these two types.

What does it look like?

Variations in appearance occur with every slab of Calacatta, but in general, this variety is whiter with dark, more dramatic veining. The veins swirl around the surface of the slab in a much less linear fashion.

Even within the category of Calacatta, there are subcategories that change the look of the luxury stone. In this example, gold hues give the Calacatta marble a uniquely warm tone.

Entire rooms can be covered, though this is easier to accomplish with tiles, as seen in the bathroom to the left.

Where are the best places to use it?

Because Calacatta marble is rarer and more expensive than Carrara, it may be wise to reserve this stone for smaller areas, depending on your budget. A vanity or island countertop, kitchen backsplash, fireplace surrouned, or shower wall are all excellent places for Calacatta to show off its quality.

Have you decided which type of slab you want to use in your Houston home? Both Carrara and Calacatta could make a beautiful addition to your bathroom, kitchen or other room in your home.

4 Tips When Considering White Marble in Houston

By | Marble Houston

carrara marble and calacatta marble in houstonWhite marble is a timeless material with wide-ranging applications. From classical bathrooms to contemporary kitchens, white marble suits a number of design styles and personal tastes. If you’re seriously considering white marble for your Houston home, follow these four tips to make sure it’s the right choice.

Understand Different Types of White Marble in Houston

Choosing white marble might sound specific enough, but there are actually two types.

  • Carrara marble is grayer in color and has soft, often linear veining. If you like this look, Carrara may be the best choice because it’s less expensive and more readily available than Calacatta.
  • Calacatta marble is whiter in color with more dramatic, heavy veining. This type of marble is rarer and considered even more of the luxury stone than Carrara.

There are also type different types of finishes:

  • Polished marble features a high-gloss sheen for the deepest color and most beautiful luster. The polish makes the marble less prone to staining, making it ideal for kitchen countertops.
  • Honed marble has a smooth, satin finish. To prevent staining, honed marble requires more frequent sealing. However, it does a better job of hiding flaws than polished marble.

READ MORE: Using White Marble: Hot Debate

Consider the Application

Marble is a unique type of stone. It ages and wears over time, especially if you install it as a flooring material. It’s best to reserve marble for applications that don’t have to withstand heavy foot traffic. Popular applications for marble in Houston homes include:

  • Bathroom and kitchen countertops
  • Shower and bathtub walls
  • Kitchen backsplashes
  • Fireplace surrounds
  • Bathroom floors

Consider the Way You Live

luxury white marble in houstonMarble in Houston doesn’t just give off the appearance of luxury and refinement; it requires this attitude from the people who have it installed in their homes. If you’re the type of homeowner who picks up after yourself immediately and works every day to maintain a clean and tidy home, white marble could be the perfect way to translate your lifestyle into your surroundings.

However, if you’re more of a busy, on-the-go homeowner who places less of priority on wiping down the counters every day, marble could end up being more of a hassle than you bargained for. After all, marble is more prone to staining and etching than other materials. This means if you leave spilled acidic substances – such as wine, marinara sauce, lemons and blueberries – to sit overnight, you could end up inadvertently damaging your white marble countertops.

Be honest about the type of lifestyle you live to help you decide if marble’s higher upkeep is worth it.

READ MORE: White Kitchens at Home Bunch

Understand Maintenance Requirements

Aside from wiping down marble countertops and mopping marble floors often to prevent staining and etching, here are other maintenance steps you should complete if you have marble installed to help prolong its life:

  • Seal the marble: A sealer doesn’t protect marble against everything, but it gives you more time to wipe up acidic substances from countertops and floors before they can do any harm. A sealed marble fireplace surround also protects it against soot stains.
  • Spot treat the marble: Only use spray cleaners made specifically for marble. These are available from home improvement stores and allow you to spot treat and seal marble as needed. Periodically rubbing down a marble countertop or bathroom floor near the tub and toilet helps prevent extra wear in these high-use areas.
  • Move heavy objects carefully: Marble cracks and scratches more easily than other stones. If you install marble on the floor, be careful when moving furniture across it. Also, always use a cutting board instead of cutting directly on a marble countertop surface.
  • Buff marble: If your marble has become scratched or etched, it’s not too late. Gently buff the surface to remove minor flaws and restore the marble to a newer appearance.

With the right expectations and maintenance, marble could clearly be the perfect material to add to your Houston home!

Marble Flooring Houston

Buyers Guide to Marble Stone in Houston

By | Marble Houston, Resources

Looking for Houston marble options to help you remodel a kitchen or bathroom? We don’t blame you; marble is a beautiful addition to many rooms and motifs.

The best way to ensure that you get exceptional stone quality and your renovation goes smoothly is to get the details right. Accordingly, here is a stone buying guide. We’ll talk about the different uses to which you can put marble, take a quick look at various colors you might choose, and talk tips and tricks for choosing slabs and matching pieces.

When you’re done, you’ll be all set to select the best marble for you.

Marble for Countertops

Marble is a common stone for many places in the home. Among the most common uses for marble are

  • bathroom countertops
  • showers and bathtubs
  • fireplaces and hearths
  • bars in dining rooms or basements
  • office surfaces
  • other relatively low-use areas
  • kitchen islands, countertops and sink surrounds

In kitchens, where many people want to use them, they may be a little trickier to take care of, but the myth that they shouldn’t be used in kitchens simply isn’t true.

A common myth holds that you can’t use marble in kitchen because it will stain. Because it is very porous (like many types of stone) marble will easily absorb liquid that can discolor it. Often when this happens you can’t get the stains back out. However, if you seal it regularly, that won’t happen. Because it looks beautiful and resists heat well, it is often a good choice for kitchens, providing you care for it.

Marble for Flooring

Houston Marble is also excellent for flooring. It looks gorgeous, is easy to sweep, vacuum and mop, and takes on a beautiful shine.

You have to be careful with marble flooring, however. It requires sealant to prevent staining, which makes the surface very slick. Unlike slate or brick or other types of flooring, it can get extremely slippery, especially when it’s wet. Marble might not be the best choice for a high-traffic area that is frequently wet or muddy, especially if you’re running a business. However, as long as you keep it to areas that won’t experience a lot of moisture, or cover walkways in carpet, marble makes for a very elegant statement.

Marble Slab Color Guide

White-Marble-SlabThe truth about “Houston marble” is that it actually comes from all over the world! These different species of marble have many different characteristics, ranging from different hues to various veining patterns. What colors you choose to use depends largely on the theme you have in mind.

Most commonly, light colored marbles are used in commercial and residential renovation projects; but there are also a long list of colors that can help you make your project stand out. These colors come from impurities while the marble is being formed.

Among the huge variety of soft marble hues are

Then there are the medium shades, which often have vibrant hues. Consider

  • Rusty reds
  • Bright jade greens
  • Brilliant blues
  • Stunning oranges.

On the dark end of the spectrum, you’ll find deep browns and blacks, often with flecks of color in them, as well as dark greens and blues.

Matching Marble Colors to Your Theme

When choosing a color, it helps to keep the rest of your scheme in mind. If you want to make sure that your marble will complement your home décor, your paint, your possessions and your lifestyle, think through the following questions before ordering your slabs:

  • What color will the walls be?
  • How about the floor?
  • Will you be using the same towels, dishrags, dishes, window treatments, framed artwork, furniture and so on?
  • What kind of a “vibe” do you want the room to have? Light colors are often bright and cheerful; dark is understated and serious.
  • Will you have an accent wall, in which case your marble won’t be the main focus?

If your scheme has several colors and statement pieces all vying for attention, the result can be overwhelming. Stick to one color family and one central point of interest for best results.

Selecting Houston Marble Slab Options

Marble isn’t a fabricated item; it is quarried from deposits in the earth. That makes each slab a unique specimen. If you want to make sure you love your marble, you should choose each piece yourself. Look for long slabs; wherever possible, you want to avoid creating seams in countertops. For floors, the size of your marble pieces will depend on the tiling pattern you’ve selected.

It’s also a good idea to try to match pieces on bathroom and kitchen counters. The effect of two different pieces side by side can be jarring. The secret solution? To choose two pieces cut from next to one another and flip them so they reflect the same pattern. It deceives the eye into thinking a continuous pattern is at work.

If you have any other questions about selecting or owning marble, please let us know!