Marble is a rock, which can be found in quarries all over the world. Different types of marble come from different areas and are classified based on composition, color, and finish. Marble comes in a variety of colors, so if you are looking for a way to decorate your kitchen, bathroom, floor, or walls in a luxurious way, marble is an excellent option to consider. Not only does marble come in many colors, but each type of marble has many hues, patterns, and a completely different look.
With so many options, you would be surprised that two houses or rooms can both be decorated in marble and have such opposing styles. Whether you’re going for a traditional look or a modern vibe, you can use marble to achieve exactly what you want. Let’s take a look at the many types of marble to choose from, how to identify each one, and ways to use these types of marble in your home.
Calacatta is a popular type of marble, which is quarried in the Carrara region of Italy. It is typically white with dark gray veining throughout. Calacatta is relatively rare, so it’s considered a luxury stone. It looks great when paired with stainless steel appliances or in bathrooms. The Calacatta Gold version of this stone has more of a rich color than the typical white Calacatta marble. It’s slighter warmer in tone, but not dark. The Calacatta Gold marble still has the deep gray veining throughout. Because Calacatta is one of the most popular types of marble, we’ve explained more in depth some of the other subtypes below:
Calacatta Crestola Tedeschi 1: This is more of a neutral-toned version of the typical Calacatta, and it has off-white markings and veining throughout. These markings are dark, usually brown or black.
Calacatta Crestola Tedeschi 2: This type of Calacatta is almost identical to Tedeschi 1, except that the marking and veining will be darker.
Calacatta Fantasia: This is an off-white marble, similar to the classic Calacatta, except the markings and veining are very dark in color.
Calacatta Grey: As the same suggests, this is a greyish-white marble, and the veining is subtle, but light-brown in color.
Calacatta Imperiale: This marble is off-white with a mix of brown, and has darker veining throughout.
Calacatta Oro: This marble is a whitish-beige color and has medium-brown veining throughout.
Calacatta Vagli: This type of marble has a distinct look, with a medium-brown color and large splotches that are lighter in color.
Calacatta Vagli Rosata: This type of marble is both brown and off-white with splotches of dark-brown and black.
Many people get the Calacatta and Carrara marble types confused, because they are both quarried in the Carrara region of Italy, however, Carrara marble is usually white, gray, or blue-gray in color. The veining in Carrara marble is not as strong or as dark gray as Calacatta marble. It can be light and feathery or more linear. Carrara is also much more widely available than Calacatta marble. Many people like to use Carrara in bathrooms because it is such a pristine white. It provides a clean feel to any room.
Another important fact to note is that when people refer to Carrara, they are actually referring to Bianco Carrara, which is the white type of Carrara. Other types of marble which are quarried in Carrara, Italy can also be considered Carrara marble, however, they do not go by the Carrara name. Because this is one of the most popular types of marble alongside Calacatta, we’ve provided some of the most common subtypes of Bianco Carrara below.
Bianco Carrara Extra: This type of Carrara marble is a light off-white color and has light brown veining throughout.
Bianco Carrara Venato: This is a unique type of Carrara marble, because it is a bright white color and has strong veining that is dark-brown or black.
3. Dark Emperador
The Emperador marble is quarried in three different regions throughout Spain, and it can come in a variety of different hues, however, the most popular is the Dark Emperador. The Dark Emperador marble is a deep chocolate brown toned marble, which provides a homey feel to any house. Many people use this marble for floors or fireplaces. It usually has fine grains and irregular veining throughout. As you can see, marble varies tremendously from bright white to dark brown, so it can be used to decorate any home.
4. Milan Gray
Milan Gray is a type of marble that is quarried in Milan, Italy, and it is a deep gray color with lighter gray linear veining throughout. This is a great marble to use if you’re going for a modern or contemporary look in your home because it provides a more uniform and geometric design. It has a clean, matte finish and can be used in bathrooms, on floors, or in kitchens. Many people use it in showers or as a tile backsplash.
5. Crema Marfil
Crema Marfil is also quarried in Spain, and it comes in many different color variations. Many people know this type of marble for being a creamy yellowish color, with varying intensities of veining. This marble can be used in combination with other warm and natural accents in your home. It goes particularly well with wood. A lot of people choose to use Crema Marfil marble in exterior home renovations because it provides a great natural aesthetic.
6. Black Marble
Black marble is used in many modern homes because it is so sleek and chic. Black marble, with the most common type being Nero Marquina, is deep in color with white or gray irregular veining throughout. It looks great as a kitchen countertop or for your fireplace. It can also be paired perfectly with white marble accents. Remember, when choosing marble, you never have to stick with just one type. Many people choose a variety of different marble types to decorate their home.
Travertine is a very popular type of marble, which comes in a variety of neutral and beige tones. This is a porous marble, so there is no veining shown in it. It provides a very consistent look throughout a home. Many people choose to use Travertine tile in their home or in their bathroom showers. It is known as a precious marble.
8. Blue Marble
Blue marble comes in a variety of deep blue, light blue, and gray hues with blue veining throughout. This marble is very soothing and works great in bathrooms, backsplashes, or water fixtures. It also looks subtle and clean when put into a tile pattern.
Source: Arizona Tile
Arabescato marble is an off-white or white type of marble, which usually has dark brown or black veining. This marble is quarried in Carrara, Italy, which is one of the most popular areas for marble production. Only true marble connoisseurs will be able to see the differences between Arabescato, Carrara, and Calacatta marble types, because all of these can be very similar in appearance. Arabescato has many different subtypes to differentiate it further, such as Arabescato Arni, Arabescato Faniello, and Arabescato Mossa. These subtypes describe the coloring and veining of the marble.
Source: Colonial Marble
Bardiglio is a type of marble with various subtypes including Bardiglio Bluette, Bardiglio Imperiale Chiaro, Bardiglio Nuvolato, and Bardiglio Scuro. Overall, Bardiglio is a marble type which comes in a brownish-gray color and the subtypes of it simply have different hues with a variation of different veining throughout.
Beola marble has a light brownish-white coloring with dark dotted marking inside as well as some veining. This is a unique type of marble, and it has some subtypes including Beola Verde, which has a brownish-gold tone to it, and Beola Grigia, which has a beige background.
12. Azul Cielo
Source: EGM Corp
Azul is a medium blue shaded marble with white splotches. This type of marble is unique and very beautiful. It is often used in bathrooms. It looks like clouds in the sky and can make any room feel dreamy or calming.
Statuary marble is another white marble, which can be hard to differentiate from Carrara, Calacatta and Arabescato marble types. They all have dark veining throughout that adds beautiful contrast to their pristine white backdrops. Statuary marble comes in subtypes such as Statuary Carrara 1, which is almost completely white in color, Statuary Carrara 1, which has slightly more yellow tones, and Statuary Mossa, which is a beige marble.
Perlato is a yellowish/beige marble with both veining and markings in it. It almost looks like it is tiled with small fragmented pieces inside. It is considered to be a busy marble because there are so many small details within each slab. Each piece is unique, which makes it a great choice if you want your home to be special.
Rosso marble has a beautiful red/yellow tone to it. The veining throughout is creamy and irregular. It looks warm and can make any home feel cozy, yet chic. Rosso marble can also come in much darker shades of maroon and brown with white veining. This marble is quarried in Turkey and is oftentimes used to make fountains, floors, pools, and countertops.
Verde is a rich, green marble with white veining throughout. It can vary from dark green hues to olive green. Verde is also referred to as a Serpentine stone because its color is closely related to limestone. With such a beautiful color, you’ll find Verde marble in some of the most luxurious bathhouses and homes throughout Europe.
The possibilities with marble types are endless and so are the colors. Once you think you’ve learned all of the types of marble out there, don’t be surprised if there are even more to discover.
Types of Marble by Composition
When looking at types of marble by composition, think of these are more of an overarching category. Many types of marble can fall under these composition types because the composition type is how the marble is formed as opposed to just the color of the marble. These composition types have more to do with geology than anything else.
You can identify clastic marbles by small rock deposits or fossils within the marble. Clastic marbles can be found in and around Lucca, Spain. While marble is not a clastic rock itself, some marble is clastic in composition simply because it contains fragmented pieces within it.
Serpentine marble is more green or brownish in color and looks similar to limestone. This type of marble is easily identifiable by its color, and it is called Serpentine after the siliceous stone by the same name.
Pure calcareous marbles are usually composed of large crystals and don’t have any fossils inside. The different types of pure calcareous include travertine, saccharoids, spatic, and alabaster marbles. They can be white or colorful in appearance.
Calcareous crypto-crystalline marbles have a crystalline composition and contain multicolored fossils inside. Anytime you see vibrantly colored marbles, there’s a chance that they are of this composition. One example is the votive chapel of the Unknown Soldier in Rome.
Types of Marble by Origin
Because marble is produced all over the world, one easy way to classify marble is by the origin in which it’s quarried. Most people like to know the origin of the marble they are putting in their home because it’s a great conversation starting and helps explain the status and story of the stone. Europe, Africa, Asia Minor, and the Americas are the four main regions where marble is quarried and produced.
Italy is the main country in Europe producing marble, with top types of marble, such as Carrara, Calacatta, Botticino, the red marble of Verona, and Siena marble. Spain is also a popular country for marble production with popular types such as Crema Marfil and Dark Emperador coming from Spain. Spain produces other types too, including Nero Marquina, which is type of black marble. Other countries in Europe which have marble types include Greece, Belgium, France, the Czech Republic, and Ireland.
Brazil, the United States, Argentina, and Mexico are the top countries in America where marble is quarried. Brazil is the top country with over 1,000 types of natural stones being produced there. In the United States, they produce 9 types of marble, including Creole, Etowah, Yule, St. Genevieve, Vermont, Tuckahoe, and Sylacauga marbles. Mexico and Argentina each produce only a few types of stone each, however, they still remain significant in the market.
Turkey has produced some notable marble types, including Makrana, which is used extensively throughout the Taj Mahal in India. Turkey is also home to the Proconesio marbles, which were used during the Roman Empire. Also in Asia Minor, Oman and Pakistan are known for their production of precious marbles, which have been used in ancient tradition.
Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Ethiopia are the four most popular countries in Africa for marble production. Alabaster and Galala are two popular types of marble originating from Egypt, and the Ancient Yellow marble is a popular stone coming from Tunisia. Dalati is a predominantly white warble which comes from Ethiopia as well.
When using marble to design or renovate your home, the opportunities are endless. Many people use marble for statues, outdoor water fixtures, mosaics, decorative bathroom tiles, fireplace mantle pieces, and many more creative endeavors. The most popular places for marble in your house will be your kitchen, your bathrooms, your floors, and possibly your furniture. Here are some design ideas to get you started.
The kitchen is one of the most popular places to use marble. Many people use marble for countertops or kitchen islands to create a clean, expensive, and chic look. Depending on what look you’re going for, white marbles such as Carrara or Calacatta can be a great choice for kitchen design. However, mixing white with black marble accents can also work well in kitchens. Your color tones and marble types will depend on what theme you’ve chosen, but thankfully, marble has so many options to choose from.
In the bathroom, marble is used for countertops, floors, backsplashes, and showers. Using marble as opposed to basic tile can go a long way in improving your bathroom and making it look upscale for guests. Many people choose to use tiled marble in their showers or even add in a mosaic marble design for some flare. Carrara marble is a great option if you need to stick to a budget.
Marble floors will make any kitchen, bathroom, or entryway look magnificent. You can cover parts of it with beautiful rugs for a cozier feel, but the marble and its veining will stand out and really add a sense of luxury to your home. While most people go with wood floors, those who have the confidence to go with marble are one of a kind. A lot of people choose big diamond patterned tiles of marble for their floors, but small tiles may also be good for smaller spaces. It’s completely up to you.
Surprisingly, you can put marble tiles on your walls as well, not just in your shower or on a backsplash. Marble walls can look great with wood floors. You can even do one marble accent wall if you want to make a statement in a specific room. If you have a modern fireplace, consider making that entire wall marble. It will look glamorous and allow the rest of the room to be cozy.
You can make any furniture out of marble if you choose, but of course, you’ll want to stick to more decorative pieces or tables, chairs, nightstands, etc. Statues, stairs, and outdoor pieces are also good options—the possibilities are truly endless. Any piece of marble in your house will make a statement and show your guests that you value luxury, class, and quality.
Where to Buy Marble
Marble of all types can be bought and shipped from online suppliers or from local distributors. Most cities have a variety of marble suppliers to choose from, and if you’re renovating your home, your contractor may partner with specific suppliers which they can recommend to you.
If you’re looking for particularly precious stones, you may have to get the exact number of slabs needed to be shipped in directly from the area in which they are quarried. However, these areas are used to having to send out their marble all over the world. Marble is sold by the square foot and can vary tremendously in price depending on the particular type of stone you choose. Carrara is one of the most budget-friendly options for marble because it is the most widely available. More precious and expensive options include Calacatta and colorful stones like Verde, Blue Marble, and Nero Marquina.
How to Maintain Marble
Marble is a great choice for your home because it is a much more sustainable option than wood and other materials. Stone will last longer than any other material out there, and though it takes some maintenance, it is extremely sturdy and will hold up against any beating you give it. One part of maintaining your marble floors and countertops is to protect it with proper sealing. That way, it will be waterproof.
You’ll also want to treat your marble as you would any wood surface and protect it with coasters and cutting boards as well as wiping up spills immediately. You can use specific marble cleaning sprays in order to keep your floors and counters clean on a daily and weekly basis. There is a system of annual maintenance, weekly maintenance, and daily spot maintenance, which will keep your marble shining and looking its best. Just like any other piece of your house, marble needs to be looked after and treated with care.
Lisa has a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Arts. She is an experienced blogger who enjoys researching interesting facts, ideas, products, and other compelling concepts. In addition to writing, she likes photography and Photoshop.