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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.

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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:

WHITES

Bianco Carrara


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

Calacatta


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

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Volakas Marble


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

BEIGES & BROWNS

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.

BLACK

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"

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