Building & Renovating

Your Handy Marble Cheat Sheet

Ever stumbled upon a marble finish you liked for your home? To help you out, here's a handy identification guide by a natural stone expert.

Photography: Jiwen Bai & Jilson Tiu (Main Photos)

Has this ever happened to you? You’re dining in a hotel restaurant, and you make a dash to the ladies’ room. It’s a posh bathroom, with beautiful walls and a countertop made of polished marble. And while you’re washing your hands, you think: this marble would be perfect for my new bathroom!

Now the next step would be to recommend this marble finish to your designer or contractor. Taking a photo of it would help, but wouldn’t it be much easier if you actually knew what kind of marble it was? (Not to mention, this would make your whole life easier at the home depot or supplier!)

We sought the help of David Kaufman of Kaufman Stone (a leading local natural stone company) to identify some of the more recognizable marble finishes out there. David is the type who would walk around public spaces like museums, restaurants, and buildings to identify the natural stone or material used in his casual video-blogs, often giving his insights on the quality of each stone.

“'Marble’ is a generic term for natural stone,” explains David. “Leading designers globally are moving towards [the use] of exotic quartzites, non-illuminated onyx, Zen-inspired basalt, and French limestone.” But marble is a classic and timeless finish, not to mention widely available.

When asked what is the most popular marble in the market now, David reveals: “For the last half decade, it was a toss-up between gray travertine and Volakas marble. But if money were no object, [get] Calacatta or Statuario Marble from Italy.” Here are David’s picks, categorized by color:


Bianco Carrara

White Carrara marble is famous for its clean, white background with subtle, gray veins.


Not to be confused with Carrara, Calacatta marble has more dramatically pronounced, larger veins than the Carrara’s linear gray veining.

Volakas Marble

This popular, elegant stone has a white background with large swathes of distinct veins in gray and light maroon.


Crema Marfil

This stone has a delicate, milky texture with soft subtle veins of brown to orange. Crema Marfil is one of the better-known marble types.

Turkey Travertine

Travertine stone is characterized by linear striations or veins. Turkey or Turkish Beige Travertine has a yellowish-beige color.


Dark Gray Travertine

Gray travertine has different variations in tone, from light to medium-gray to dark gray (pictured here).

Light Emperador

This is a calcareous (limestone-looking) stone with a mocha-to-light-tan coloration with mottled veins. The deep brown version is called Dark Emperador.


Nero Marquina

This deep, black marble has a compact grain with fine white veins, making it a beautiful and glamorous choice for interior finishes.

RL Tip:Never clean your marble with inexpensive waxes or harsh chemicals like muriatic acid or thinner,” cautions David. “Use a damp mop, and make sure the mop is regularly rinsed every four square meters. If you want a high-gloss look, bring in a professional marble crystallization service company…it should last a year.”

For more info, visit Kaufman Stone on their website, follow them on Facebook and Instagram, or call them on mobile 0917-518-3025

To read more about the houses in the main photo, click on "A Filipino Designed this Space Savvy Modern House in Singapore" and "A Beautiful Dream House in Cavite that was Decorated on a Budget"

More on

5 Photos That Prove Gold and Marble Is A Match Made In Heaven

5 Stone Finishes for the Home

Designer Tips for Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertop


Latest Stories

The Multitasking Kitchen Appliance You Need at Home

With this on your countertop, you can accomplish tons of tasks in a breeze

We’ve Discovered 5 New Stores for Your Plant Needs

Tap the Instagram icon on your phone and give these shops a follow

There’s More To This Mysterious Island Than The Moriones Festival

Many visit Marinduque for its famous Holy Week festival, but the MIMAROPA island is a treasure trove of heritage homes, artistry, and delicious food.

8 Cultural Spots in Negros You Can Visit This Summer

This Southern region holds many (sweet!) surprises such as a bakery in a centuries-old building and an art gallery in an ancestral house

Get Fresh, Tropical-Filipino Inspiration From This Store

These pieces will remind you of nostalgic summers in your lolo and lola's home

5 Ways To Redecorate Your Home Without Shopping

For starters, you can try these pro-approved tips

Avoid A High Electricity Bill This Summer While Keeping Your Home Cool

You don't need to leave the AC unit turned on 24/7

How I Moved Out of the Family Home and Survived Living Alone

A young photojournalist shares the triumphs and struggles of living independently

This House in Pasig Has Been Under Renovation For Years

Architect Pierre Briones transformed a dated property into a stunning home filled with wooden touches, designer pieces, and handpicked accessories

This TV Show Does Home Makeovers In 15 Hours

And some of the decorators (and one judge!) are Pinoy. Check out this amazing makeover show.

This Museum In a Bahay Na Bato Is a Lesson In Pinoy History

In photos: The Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Intramuros will delight your mind and eye, not only your tastebuds

This Elevated Walkway In Ortigas Makes Pasig A More Walkable City

The walkway is one of a series of new pedestrian areas rising in Ortigas Center
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!