Marble has always been known as an expensive rock, only available to the rich and wealthy. Historically, it was a highly preferred and desired material by the Greeks and Romans for both sculpting and creating architectural marvels. It eventually became a symbol of culture, tradition and royalty.
Marble comes in different colors, patterns and types, thus making it a popular decorative material among the masses. It happens to be the top choice of anyone wanting to renovate his or her interior or even exterior. It adds a touch of both class and elegance to the aesthetics of any space.
However, marble comes in numerous types and it is impossible to know which one is which. The types vary depending on the marble’s location, impurities, pattern, color and veining intensity. The price of each marble type also fluctuates significantly because of these factors.
Below, we have carefully curated a comprehensive guide with all the most popular marble types which are sought-after by homeowners everywhere. You’re welcome!
Table of Contents
- Calcutta Marble
- Talathello or Silver-Beige Marble
- Emperador Marble
- Carrara Marble
- Black Marble
- White Marble
- Cream Marble
- Red Marble
- Brown Marble
- Pink Marble
- Yellow Marble
- Green Marble
- Statuary Marble
- Milan Gray
- Blue Marble
- Marble types based on their mineral composition
- 25 Marble Facts
Starting with the most popular of them all, Calcutta marble is considered the most luxurious marble type primarily because of its rarity. This rock is frequently mistaken for the Carrara marble owing to the striking similarities in the color and veining of these two types of marbles.
It is even quarried from the same area in Italy as the Carrara marble. However, there are a few distinctive differences that can help set the two types of marbles apart. For example, Calcutta marble is known to have a dark and thick veining pattern and is of a bright white color. Carrara, on the contrary, is also white in color but has an intricate grey veining pattern. Calcutta marble is at the top of the marble hierarchy because of its rarity.
Calcutta Gold Marble
Calcutta Gold is a subcategory of the Calcutta marble type. It is considered to be the epitome of grandiose and splendor. This marble kind is visually stunning and best suited for aristocrats. The veining of this marble is golden, hence the name Calcutta gold.
Calcutta Michelangelo Marble
Another subcategory of Calcutta marble is the Calcutta Michelangelo marble, it has delicate, gray veining usually against a regular white background. Calcutta Michelangelo is usually preferred in minimalist design schemes.
Calcutta Borghini Marble
Calcutta Borghini is a marble type with a unique, thick, grey veining pattern with sporadic undertones of gold against a consistent white background.
Calcutta Crestola Tedeschi 1
This subtype of the Calcutta marble has more of a neutral tone, with most of these being off-white with dark (typically brown or black) veins running throughout the marble.
Calcutta Crestola Tedeschi 2
This marble subtype of Calcutta is strikingly similar to Tedeschi 1, except that the markings and veins within this marble are darker.
This marble subtype is named after its grayish-white marble, and the subtle, light- brown veining.
This marble of a whitish-beige shade and consists of medium-brown veining throughout the marble.
This marble subcategory has a unique appearance, with its medium-brown toned background and large, light shaded spots that are sporadically spattered all over the marble.
Calcutta Vagli Rosata
The Calcutta Vagli Rosata marble comes in two shades, brown and off-white, and is splattered with splotches of dark-brown and black colors.
Talathello or Silver-Beige Marble
Talathello or silver-beige marble is the kind of rock that has deposits of varying shades of silver and beige veining in its structure against a light grey background.
Emperador marble is a light or dark brown colored Spanish marble type. The hues of brown are complimented by stark white and grey asymmetrical veining patterns. It typically exhibits fine grains with irregular veins.
The Carrara marble is the most commonly found marble kind, making it the least costly marble in the market. It is of a grayish white background and consists of intricate, feather-like grey veining. The pattern of the veins is normally linear and they are light colored.
Black marble has two common subtypes, which are the Levadia Black Marble and the Nero Marquina Marble.
Levadia Black Marble
The Levadia Black marble is a type of Greek marble and comes in dark black color with grayish-white intricate veins in the pattern of smoke spot. It is also branded as Titanium Black marble because of its rich black color.
The Nero Marquina marble also referred to as the Nero marble, is a rock exploding with color intensity and exceptional strength.
Nero Marquina marble can also feature irregular white streaks throughout its surface. Originally quarried from the Basque Country, this rich black colored marble is actually Spanish.
Its dark color is complemented by the prominent white veins that stand out against the dark backdrop.
White is a popular color choice for marble among homeowners because it can be used with almost every type of marble. The different types of white marble are:
The Blanco Macael is the subcategory of the white marble that has a consistent uniformity in its white color and features defined grayish blue streaks across the pristine white background.
The Blanco Ibiza marble is the type of white marble known for its strength and plain tones with its gray streaks splotched over the marble.
The Blanco Tranco marble is known for its dark gray veins, it is noted as an alternate for White Macael marble.
The Blanco Carrara is original from Italy, more specifically the Alpine region. White Carrara is undoubtedly one of the most appreciated marbles worldwide, and considered as a symbol of quality and distinction.
It is mainly used indoors, particularly for bathrooms, living rooms and kitchens.
Within the marble typology, the cream marble happens to be the one with the largest range of varieties. It is one of the most widely used marble types too.
Crema Marfil Marble
Crema Marfil is very a well-known, Spanish marble type famous for its varying tones of beige with irregular patterns and varying veining intensity. This marble type generally has a light color and uniform background. The Crema Marfil is the type of marble that has a distinctive natural tone to its shades, accompanied by a strong consistency and uniformity throughout its tone.
The Crema Cenia is the subtype of the Crema marble category, known for being a fine-grained marble. It is also popular for its shade, which happen to alternate between tones of cream and rose colors against a consistent background Crema Cenia originates from Tarragona.
The Crema Valencia is a marble with cream tones and intricate white and red colored veins that run throughout the marble surface. This detail allows this marble type to be used both indoors as well as outdoors.
The Crema Beige is a type of marble that is sourced from Turkey. As the name suggests, this marble has a creamy beige tone to it.
The color across the entire surface of the Crema Beige is consistent and uniform, with not much discoloration, and no veins running through it. This makes the marble look almost flat, but with a subtle hint of depth in areas where the marble does display a slight variation in color.
Crema Marfil (b)
The Crema Marfil (b) is not technically really a marble but instead a limestone. This Creama Marfil imitates the appearance of real marble, complete with the veining patterns as well. Crema Marfil (b) is quarried from a region in Spain in close proximity to the city, Alicante. This rock has a light cream color to it with a slightly darker color variation to it than the Crema Beige.
Because of it being expensive, it is not as commonly used as the other marble kinds. Some of the most well known subcategories of the red marble are:
The Rojo Alicante marble is famous because of its rich colors and uniqueness. Its red background features irregular and intricate white veining throughout its surface too, thus making it very attractive.
The marble type Rojo Coralito consists of much lighter, less intense shades than Rojo Alicante, it also highlights an increased number of white streaks.
The Rojo Levante marble type is differentiated by its three different and distinctive tones of red with occasional white streaks. This marble type is originally from the city of Murcia, Spain.
Because of its origin, Rojo Bilbao marble subtype, at times, contains coral and shellfish fragments with hues of lighter red shades. This category of marbles is the least quarried category among all the other red colored marbles. .
Brown is considered as one of the most versatile colors that marble tiles are available in because of their use as a decorative substance as well as their compatibility with other colors. Brown marble is particularly liked by homeowners who want to have a more rustic look in their interiors.
Because brown is a color that helps add charm to any space, it is greatly recommended to utilize any brown colored marble in a space to make the most of its features. To choose what brown marble you can use, look through their types of brown marble available.
El Dark Emperador or otherwise known as Marrón Emperador is a dark toned marble identified by its eye-catching beauty and elegance to any room.
Dark Emperador is of a dark brown color and features streaks of white crystals and veins that are actually concentrations of clear and white calcite, non-foliated metamorphic rocks.
The Light Emperador is a marble subcategory that features a light brown tone with light veining.
Source: Magnificent Kitchens
Pink is known to be the quintessential symbol of tranquil, fragility and positivity. Pink marble can be used for a number of different things, but is extensively used in interior areas usually meant for resting in.
Different pink marble to choose from are:
Rosa Portugués is quite possibly the most well known and widely used subcategory of the Pink Marble.
It naturally comes in different shades and tones of pink, among which usually subtle pink, light orange or grayish pinks are the shades that stand out. The presence of gray and brown streaks makes the Rosa Portugués a unique marble However, this marble can also be found without streaks or veining in it at all.
The subtype, Rosa Zarci marble, comes in a soft and light shade of pink. This natural stone at times features subtle, blurry streaks and veining but otherwise displays a very uniformly shaded material.
Rosa Levante is a subtle pink-colored subtype of the pink marble that is known for featuring splotches of fossil predominates. Rosa Levante is primarily sourced from Zarzilla de Ramos, situated in Lorca (Murcia – Spain).
This marble is also known by the names of Crema Levante or Rosa Girona in Spain.
It is widely believed that decorating an area with yellow usually links to joy and optimism. Despite this, yellow marble is actually the least used kind of marble. The different kinds of yellow marble available in the market are:
The Spanish Gold is a yellow tone subtype of the yellow marble with reddish streaks running through it. It is mainly used for indoor decoration.
The Amarillo Triana is a subcategory of yellow marble that is noted for its pleasant appearance. This marble is a fine-grained marble with irregular, occasional streaks throughout its surface.
Source: Build Direct
Green marble comes in different shades and tones. Some of the most common types of green marble are:
Verde Oasis Marble
The Verde Oasis Marble is a dark green serpentinite marble, which is quarried in Greece. It has a dark green background and features irregular light gray and white streaks.
Verde Indio Marble is the subcategory of green marble, mostly sourced from mines in India. This marble is sometimes also known by different names commercially, such as Verde Guatemala or Oasis Green Marble.
Verde Tropical Marble
Verde Tropical Marble is a type of green marble and is of a dark green color with dark veins. This marble is mostly sourced from different areas in Greece. This stone is also called Verde Tropicus Marble, Tinos Oasis Marble and the Green Wave Oasis
Statuary Marbles are noted for usually having a uniform background. But, what sets this marble apart from the other kinds of marble is the irregular, dramatic veining that it features. This marble type typically comes in light gray tones, and displays darker and larger veining, while maintaining a polished, glossy, and reflective surface. Statuary marble is oftentimes confused with Calcutta and Carrara marble due to the striking similarities in the colors.
Statuary marble comes in different subtypes, such as Statuary Carrara 1, which is almost entirely white in color, Statuary Carrara 1, which has a slightly more yellow tone to it, and Statuary Mossa, which has a uniform beige color throughout.
Source: Colonial Marble
The Milan Gray marble is a type of marble that is sourced from Milan, Italy. It is of a deep, dark gray color with light gray colored veins running in a linear position throughout the surface of the marble.
The Milan Gray gives off a clean, matte finish. It is sometimes quarried in Turkey.
Travertine comes in a wide variety of neutral and beige hues. Travertine marble is a porous rock, which is why this marble features no veining or splotches on its surface. Due to its clear and uniform appearance, it is considered to be an expensive and precious marble.
The blue marble comes in a wide variety of deep blue hues, light blue shades, and gray tones with blue veining throughout its surface. It is often confused with the Azul Cielo marble because of the resemblance in the color of these two marbles.
The Arabescato marble is an off-white or white colored marble category that usually displays a dark brown or black veining design. This marble is sourced from Carrara in Italy. Italy is one of the leading marble sourcing and quarrying country in the world and exports these marble types globally.
Only experienced marble connoisseurs are ever able to spot the differences between Arabescato, Carrara, and Calacatta marble types, since all of these marble kinds are identical in appearance.
Arabescato marble has many different subtypes to it that further categorize this marble based on color and veins. These subtypes include Arabescato Arni, Arabescato Faniello, and Arabescato Mossa.
The Bardiglio marble is a type of marble that has various different subcategories, such as Bardiglio Bluette, Bardiglio Imperiale Chiaro, Bardiglio Nuvolato, and Bardiglio Scuro.
On the whole, Bardiglio comes in a brown and sometimes gray color and the subtypes of this marble simply have varying tones with a range of different veining patterns throughout.
Marble types based on their mineral composition
Marbles can be classified into three categories based on their mineral composition. They are:
- Calcite Marble
- Dolomite Marble
- Magnesium Marble
Each of these categories may contain other minerals too, minerals like Quartz, Garnet, Talc, and Forsterite. Marble classification also depends on the region that it sourced or quarried from.
Marble may occur naturally in a wide variety of colors, from whites and beiges through to reds, greens, browns, pinks and blacks. Each type of marble is known to have different streak patterns, widths, porosity and grains.
Source: Marble Matters
So, while our list of marbles is surely extensive, let us tell you now, that there are plenty more where they came from. However, not all of them warrant discussion mainly because they are not that common. If you need some redecoration done in your house, read through this guide before getting on with it. You will thank us later!
25 Marble Facts
But, there’s probably a lot that you may not know about marble, so here are 25 things in that vein:
1. What is Marble?
Marble is actually a metamorphic stone resulting from limestone that has been subjected to an enormous amount of pressure over a long period of time.
2. Where Marble Was First Used
Marble’s first use goes all the way back to 438 BC when tiles and columns were crafted using Pentelic marble. It soon became quite popular in ancient Greece and Rome for constructing various types of structures, like massive pillars.
3. Mining Process
When the Greeks and Romans were using marble for their buildings for its sheer beauty, the process of mining it was difficult and quite long. They had to use hammers and wedges for releasing the marble from the ground. Then, they had to arduously pull it from there, using levers, pulleys, wooden beams, and winches like in old movies such as “Ben Hur” and “The Ten Commandments”.
4. Early Uses for Marble
When it first got its start, marble was used for more than just statues and buildings. In fact, colored marble was utilized for creating gorgeous tile flooring. And, many of the most iconic buildings worldwide were built of marble, including:
- Athens, Greece- The Parthenon- Circa 438 BC
- Rome, Italy-The Coliseum- Circa 70 AD
- Rome, Italy-The Pantheon- Circa 125 AD
- Pisa, Italy- The Pisa Cathedral- Circa 1063
- India- The Taj Mahal- Completed 1653
- USA- The White House- Started 1792, completed 1800
- USA- The Washington Monument- 1888
- USA- The Lincoln Memorial- 1917
5. Marble’s Many Colors
The colors can greatly vary due to a wide range of minerals that can be present in the stone. Here’s an example. Pure calcite marble will be pure white, while red marble acquires its special rosy tone from hematite. On the other hand, limonite imparts marble’s yellowish or green tone.
6. Today’s Uses for Marble
Fast forward to modern day and we use marble for a number of purposes, both structural and aesthetic. Marble is commonly used in the building of modern structures, including churches, public offices like courthouses, and even in high-end homes. It is also used, both indoors and outdoors, as well, for columns, steps, walls, floors, and by far its most popular use, countertops.
7. Marble Countertops of Today
In spite of the fact that ancient Roman and Grecian times were more than 2,000 years ago, the majority of cultures worldwide still have a great appreciation for marble even today. Marble is a source of classic beauty for any home. And, there’s no denying the fact that marble countertops have their own special way of adding a touch of class to just about any kitchen.
The singular stark white looks have a special way of making your kitchen look especially clean and remarkably classic. After all, marble has been one of the most popular aesthetic options for centuries. It also ties in perfectly with all styles of kitchens and baths because of its classic beauty.
8. Marble Countertop Advantages
Marble countertops have a subtle sheen that evokes an air of elegance, adding a truly timeless ambiance to homes. Luxurious and luminous marble has the ability to impart a fresh brightness that granite, soapstone, and man-made materials aren’t able to duplicate. When you choose the classic look of marble for your kitchen, bar, or bathroom countertops, it gives you a number of advantages.
9. Distinctive & Beautiful
Countertop materials that are man-made make a valiant attempt at imitating the look of marble. Unfortunately, they have only had some very limited success. Because marble has been created from limestone rock or sedimentary dolomite via natural processes, every single piece has a unique appearance. The wide variety of colors and hues that you find in marble are determined by its area of origin, as well as the proportional mineral mix in the primary limestone.
The distinctive and truly beautiful veining that marble is so well-known for is the direct result of the impurities that have become trapped in the limestone by the earth’s extreme pressure and heat, which transform it into marble.
10. Marble is Quite Durable
Since marble is natural stone, not a manmade material, it’s much more resistant to breaking, cracking, and scratching than the majority of all other countertop materials available today. In addition, although it is quite durable, marble is also somewhat softer than granite. What this means is that incorporating certain alluring design elements, like more ornate edges, during the process of fabrication are possible with marble.
11. Marble is Actually Affordable
It’s quite true that marble looks extraordinarily expensive, however, it can actually turn out to be less expensive, in many cases, than some other natural stone materials used for countertops. The cost may vary and that depends on the thickness and type of marble that you choose. In fact, marble often costs less than quartz or granite.
12. Marble is Heat Resistant
You may not have known that marble has been a long-time favorite of both home-bakers and professional chefs. Why? Well, that’s because it remains cool and that makes it perfect for when you have to roll-out pastry. Another little-known fact is that marble countertops are actually heat-resistant, too. Marble will never burn or catch fire. On the other hand, though, it’s a smart move to preserve marble’s beautiful finish by simply avoiding putting hot pots and pans on your marble countertop surface without the benefit of some kind of protection under it.
13. Marble Lasts
Just as it has been utilized as a premium building material for so many centuries, marble has the ability to keep withstanding the test of time. This is a fairly well-known fact that has been consistently documented over the years. Marble just happens to be one of the longest-lasting stones that can be used for solid-surface countertops on the market today.
It can tend to seem expensive, but the fact is that marble countertops basically pay for themselves. So, as far as marble countertops are concerned, when they’re expertly installed, sealed properly, and carefully maintained, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent beauty of yours for a lifetime.
14. Marble is Always Unique
And, when it’s used for countertops in your home, every single one is unique simply because it’s a natural stone. So, if you’re a homeowner and you want countertops in your kitchen or bath that are uniquely designed especially for your home, you should consider using marble.
15. The Many Colors of Marble Countertops
Marble countertops are available in a variety of beautiful colors, so you’re sure to find one that is perfectly suited to your personal taste. It’s important to bear in mind, however, that if you choose darker marble countertops for your kitchen counters, any etching will be more noticeable than if you choose a lighter colored marble.
16. Downsides of Marble Countertops
All countertop materials have a downside and marble is no different. When you select marble for your counters, one such disadvantage is that marble is a soft and porous stone. What that means to you is that it can be prone to chipping and staining. When that happens, its elegance and beauty can be diminished. This can, of course, be avoided by simply using a little bit of caution and common sense when it comes to your marble countertops and following the use and care directions.
17. Maintaining and Protecting Marble Countertops
Marble can be considered by some to be high-maintenance. That does not, however, mean that you shouldn’t consider marble as your countertop of choice. There are some very simple and easy methods for protecting your marble countertops and keeping them looking absolutely gorgeous for many years.
You can easily clean your countertops with a spray bottle filled with some gentle dish soap and warm water. Using a soft rag that won’t scratch the surface, simply spray, wipe, and then buff dry with another rag that is clean and dry. Here are a few more helpful maintenance hints for your marble countertops:
- Make sure your marble countertops have been properly sealed and re-seal them often. Unfortunately, if you just spill a glass of wine on an improperly sealed marble countertop, you could end up with a stain.
- Immediately blot up all spills.
- Never use any kind of harsh chemicals, like bleach, on your marble countertops because it could easily cause serious damage.
- Don’t use store-bought generic cleaning products on any marble. Those too-good-to-be-true claims that they could be making are just that and those products could damage your marble countertops.
- Don’t even try making any kind of homemade cleaning solutions that contain ammonia, vinegar, or anything else like that. They’re basically acidic and can have a damaging effect on your marble countertops.
18. Marble Tile Options
Marble is not just for countertops either. There’s also marble tile for flooring, backsplashes, and bathroom shower surrounds. Marble tile is available in a variety of colors. This makes it the perfect choice to accentuate all types of decor. And, besides the multitude of available hues, the vein pattern differences, and various available grains distinguish each piece of marble from all the others.
Differentiating one type of marble from another can be pretty difficult for the untrained eye. There are so many options for choosing from that it could be helpful to first do a little bit of research to help you with making the best decision for your home.
19. Different Marble Tile Types
There are a number of types of marble tile and they’re all beautiful, including:
- Calacatta marble
- Carrara marble
- Crema Marfil marble
- Emperador marble
- Statuary marble
Here are some additional specifics of these types of marble tile.
20. Carrara Marble Tile
Carrara is usually gray, blue-gray, or white, and generally used for building decor and sculptures. The veining in this type of tile is usually more linear. It can be very fine or feathery and soft. On the other hand, it can also be quite dramatic. Carrara is a more readily available marble tile option, making it one of the most commonly used for residential purposes. It’s often utilized in bathrooms because of its pristine whiteness and airy clean feel.
21. Calacatta Marble Tile
This type of marble tile is somewhat rare and therefore is considered to be a “luxury stone”. Its name is sometimes misspelled. For example, some call it Calacata, Calcutta, or Calcata. It’s commonly mistaken sometimes for Carrara marble as well. Calacatta marble is frequently quarried in Italy’s Carrara region, so it does share some similarities with Carrara marble.
This includes its white coloring and gray veining. Calacatta marble, however, is usually whiter and has darker veining in larger patterns than Carrara. This makes it perfect for many homes with its striking looks, especially when you pair it with stainless steel in your kitchen or even with white porcelain in your bathroom.
22. Crema Marfil Marble Tile
This type of tile is quarried in Spain and offers numerous tonal variations. The most well-known of these tiles are a yellow or light-beige color and have uniform backgrounds with veining that varies in irregularity and intensity. It’s generally used in conjunction with some darker or more colorful natural stones. It’s also usually utilized for flooring, exterior cladding, or decorations. Major reserves and a broad market availability make Crema Marfil marble tile an excellent choice for both architects and homeowners.
23. Emperador Marble Tile
This tile is also quarried in Spain from three different regions. It generally varies from the grays and whites that are associated with Carrara and Calacatta. It’s available in several shades of brown and typically has irregular veining and fine grains. The darker colors make it the perfect choice for high-traffic flooring areas. This type of marble tile also makes amazing fireplace surrounds.
24. Statuary Marble Tile
This tile is Carrara’s sister-stone, featuring uniform backgrounds of a light gray tone with truly dramatic and more distinctive veining. It also has a background that is semi-translucent, giving it a beautiful glossy look, reflecting light and providing a radiant finish capable of enhancing any room.
25. Marble vs. Granite
So, the question many homeowners ask is which is better. If you’re a fan of HGTV and DIY network TV shows, you’ve surely seen it come up plenty of times when prospective homeowners are looking at houses like on “House Hunters” or picking countertop and flooring materials for a reno, as on “Brother vs. Brother”. Nine times out of ten, most people would prefer marble but often settle for something less expensive. And, if you want that truly classic look, nothing out-performs marble, hands-down.