6 reasons why you should choose Carrara marble

Why should you choose Carrara marble?


1. Origins

Carrara marble is a natural stone with more than 2000 years history since its extraction began in the stunning Apennine mountains located in the northwest part of Italy, specifically from the city of Carrara in the Tuscany region.

Carrara marble quarry
Carrara marble quarry: block extraction

Marble is created when limestone (usually formed from algae, coral and shells) undergoes a metamorphosis when tectonic plates converge. The heat and pressure from this occurrence changes the composition of the rock, and over thousands of years crystals form giving the stone its undeniably stunning crystalline appearance. The close proximity of the Apennine mountains to the sea means that it’s an ideal location for producing some of the highest quality marble in the world.

Italian marble originates from a land where its history is highly ingrained in the country’s culture, as made evident by its use throughout the entire country, from north to south. It comes as no surprise that you can go to any village bar or modest family house and see counters, flooring, kitchens or bathrooms made of this material.

Block yard of Carrara marble
Yard of Carrara bianco marble blocks

Carrara has been used in many famous architectural structures and Renaissance artworks such as The Pantheon in Rome, Marble Arch in London and the statue of David by Michelangelo and nowadays we can say that it’s use has played a big part in world history from a country which represents some of the biggest UNESCO heritage sites in the world.

*If you are a private client, contractor, architect, or designer, we can deliver to you wherever you are. All you need to do is find a stone fabricator or manufacturer in your area where we can deliver our product.


2. Made in Italy

The marble industry in Italy represents a large part of the workforce responsible for supporting many families in the Tuscany area alone. Quarrying and manufacturing processes have been refined, perfected and passed down over many years by generations of family members. 

Marble workers cutting slabs
Italian artisans moving white marble slabs

Whether you are looking for slabs, tiles or cut to size products like vanity tops, countertops and wall and floor tiles, you will find an end product that is processed by highly skilled artisans based all over the country.

From locating marble veins, to quarrying the blocks, to the manufacturing processes in the workshop, the combination of generations of knowledge and some of the world’s most advanced and precise cutting technology, results in final products with the highest end finishing details.

gangsaw-machine-marble-block
Carrara marble block cutting in gangsaw machine

3. Price: It’s not always as expensive as you may think

White Carrara marble is available in different shades that are distinguished by use of a grading system; the 2 main grades are C and CD. Grade C marble exhibits a whitish background color with a light grey vein pattern, whereas CD grade marble has a more greyish background color and a darker vein pattern. Due to it’s white colouring, C grade marble is the more expensive of the two options with CD graded marble being suited for projects that require a more budget friendly option.

Bianco-Carrara-marble-C-grade
Carrara bianco marble C grade slab

The price of tiles and slabs can considerably vary depending on the grade, dimensions, thickness, background color and the vein patterning. For example, the price of a 20mm thick polished slab can vary between €70m² (basic CD quality) and €180m² (C higher quality), so the price may change dramatically based on the factors mentioned above. 

Carrara White CD Marble Bathroom
Bathroom in Carrara CD grade marble

If you are a private client, designer or contractor then you may require your product to be cut-to-size, the cost would then also be determined by the manufacturing work required as well as the amount of wastage (off-cuts) created. 

*If you are a private client, contractor, architect, or designer, we can deliver to you wherever you are. All you need to do is find a stone fabricator or manufacturer in your area where we can deliver our product.


4. It’s a green material

Marble is a natural, environmentally friendly product, which also brings with it a deep sense of nature.

Carrara-Marble-Quarry
Bancata ”quarry level” of Carrara marble quarry

In the past 15-20 years, the process of quarrying in Italy has improved enormously from an environmental perspective. Domestic quarries today are required to comply with rigid guidelines and certifications and are monitored by strict government entities. With these strict guidelines comes new eco friendly manufacturing procedures such as a lower energy consumption due to improved technology, as well as the installation of 100% recycled water systems that are used during the cutting process. 

Marble-slabs-cutting-to-size
CnC new technology machine cutting white marble slabs

In addition to increased green practices, many old quarries have been and continue to be turned into parks, green areas, lakes and recreational areas. 

Marble is 100% recyclable and these days fabricators use the manufacturing waste for other projects such as roadbeds. Recent advanced studies show a new method of using marble dust in cement to increase the strength and durability of the cement; if this becomes a successful practice, marble could become a zero waste product. It should also be noted that other common materials used for kitchen countertops such as quartz and ceramic require use of silicones or have a less eco friendly manufacturing process.


5. Durability and added property value

By default, Carrara marble significantly boosts the financial value to any property is it used in. This is due to its beauty, clean aesthetic and unique character that can transform any space from drab to elegant, modern and luxurious.

In addition to its property value boosting abilities, marble is surprisingly easy to maintain and just requires resealing every once in a while. There are various marble care tips out there but as long as you always keep in mind that it’s a natural product and can react to acids, food or drinks and treat accordingly, then all will be fine.

Carrara marble KItchen countertop
Carrara marble kitchen countertop and kitchen island

Marble is extremely durable so it will last as long as the building it’s added to (or even longer!). Instead, materials such as ceramic and porcelain may require changing every 5-10 years as new looks and a better range of products is added to the market.


6. It’s unique

Due to its natural creation and evolution, every piece of marble is unique; slabs originating from the same block will all exhibit slight changes in veining or color from the other slabs, resulting in every single slab and block being classified as one-of-a-kind. In a way, it feels like you own an original piece of artwork by nature.

Carrara bianco Marble slab
Carrara bianco marble slab
carrara-bianco-marble-bathroom
Carrara white C grade marble bathroom

When choosing your marble from Carrara, you can be confident that you are getting a highly sought after product that is also distinctly exclusive and owned by you.


How to buy white Carrara marble tiles and slabs


Want to buy Carrara marble tiles or slabs? Everything you need to know

Block yard of Carrara marble
Yard of Carrara Bianco Marble Blocks

Whatever your preference or requirement, Carrara marble can be purchased in both slabs or fixed size tiles and are primarily available in a polished or honed finish. Slabs are approximately 3m x 1.5m on average and can be cut to specific sizes if required. Instead, tiles are fixed size and can commonly be sourced in a variety of dimensions; see below for details. 

Carrara marble tiles polished
Processing Carrara Marble Tiles in the polishing machine

*If you are a private client, contractor, architect, or designer, we can deliver to you wherever you are. All you need to do is find a stone fabricator or manufacturer in your area where we can deliver our product.


Tiles: What you need to know

When buying fixed sized tiles, the price is reasonably affordable as production is carried out from smaller unshaped blocks, this allows the fabricator to keep the price relatively low due to minimal wastage and production/cutting process.

carrara bianco marble C grade tiles
carrara bianco C grade tiles 600 x 600 x 10mm (24”x 24” x 3/8”)

As a rule, Carrara marble tiles are usually 10mm thick (3/8”) but 20mm thick (3/4”) tiles can also be available upon request, and while there are a wide variety of finishes available, with white marble such as Carrara, the two primary finishes are honed or polished.

Carrara Bianco C Marble Bathroom
White Carrara Marble Bathroom C grade Tiles used for wall and floor 600 x 300 x 10 mm (24” x 12” x 3/8”) polished finish

Tiles can be available in a variety of dimensions, the most common being 600mm x 600mm (24’’ x 24’’), 600mm x 300mm (24’’ x 12’’) and 300mm x 300mm (12’’ x 12’’); but, if the fancy took you, you could also request tiles of any dimension you require, so long as it they can be cut from the average sized slabs.

Carrara White CD Marble Bathroom
Carrara bianco marble bathroom CD grade tiles 600 x 600 x 20mm (24”x 24” x 3/4”) polished finish

Tile grade: 1st grade or commercial 2nd grade

First grade or premium grade marble tiles come with the highest price tag as a result of all the tiles originating from the same batch of slabs or blocks with consistent coloring and vein pattern. 

Carrara marble C grade Tiles
carrara bianco C grade tiles 600 x 300 x 10mm (24”x 12” x 3/8”) polished finish

Instead, Commercial grade marble tiles come from different batches of slabs or blocks so the colouring and vein patterns are less consistent and uniform. During installation, your specialist should spend some time carefully selecting tiles for optimal pattern aesthetics, this is usually done by doing a “dry lay” (laying down the tiles without adhesive). Though the tiles won’t match as accurately as first grade tiles, this is still a great option and very affordable for your bathroom wall & floor or any other type of flooring & wall covering.

Carrara marble CD grade tiles
carrara bianco CD grade tiles 600 x 600 x 10mm (24”x 24” x 3/8”) polished finish

Carrara is available in many variations such as Gioia, Venatino, C, extra or CD. The most available is the CD quality which shows a greyish background color and this is why the price is going to be quite lower compared to the others. The C quality Carrara characteristically shows a whiter background color, but being less available the price per square meter goes up significantly. 

Bathroom in Carrara bianco marble herringbone tiles
Herringbone carrara marble tiles bathroom wall

By doing a quick recap, the 3 main things you should be asking your supplier when requesting Carrara marble tiles for your bathroom or kitchen are: 

1. What grade is it? First or commercial from different batches/lots.

2. What’s the quality? C or CD, this makes quite a difference.

3. Is this Italian Carrara marble? Unfortunately, many suppliers around the world have started labelling their marble as Carrara even though they originate from different countries such as Turkey or China. Make sure what you are buying comes from Italy.

carrara-marble-white-Tiles-polished
Carrara marble C grade marble bathroom tiles 300 x 300 x 10 mm (12” x 12” x 3/8”) polished finish

Consider that most of the suppliers, especially those you find online on e-commerce websites, offer commercial quality products and CD quality at very low prices and so you should expect a product with pretty greyish background color and with variations and/or little consistency between tiles.

*If you are a private client, contractor, architect, or designer, we can deliver to you wherever you are. All you need to do is find a stone fabricator or manufacturer in your area where we can deliver our product.


Slabs: buying guide

While smaller, unshaped blocks are used for tiles, the opposite can be said for slabs. The ideal block for fabricating slabs are those that are well shaped or larger in size, even if there is a corner missing in a block it will still be used for slabs if it is larger in size. When it comes to slabs, pricing can be determined by a variety of factors including the quality of the slab and the amount of wastage you produce.

Carrara bianco C grade slabs
Truck loading of Carrara bianco C grade marble slabs 20mm thick (3/4”)

Overall, before wasting time on your search for the perfect slabs it’s always advisable to take the following factors into consideration to keep the overall cost close to your budget:

1. Waste is important

Use what we call the ‘’maximum exploitation method’’, meaning you should aim to choose a slab which is closer in size to what you need based on the dimensions of your specific project, with this in mind you utilize as much of the slab as possible and minimize your waste. For example, let’s say you want your kitchen countertop and splashback in Carrara marble with your countertop being 2.6m x 0.65m and the  splashback 2.6m x 0.70m, you should aim to find a slab which is approximately 2.7m in length and 1.4m in height. In the end the first rule with marble is ‘’do not create waste’’ or that is going to cost twice as much.

carrara-white-marble-kitchen-top
Carrara marble C grade Venatino kitchen worktop and island

2. Thickness

Choose slabs with a thickness of 20mm (3/4”); always keep in mind that the best quality Carrara marble blocks are primarily cut into 20mm thick slabs. 30mm slabs (1 1/4”) are frequently requested but these slabs are often of a slightly lower quality and are more ideally suited for countertops and not flooring or walls.

3. Quality

If price is a problem go for a CD quality rather than C, it’s still an excellent choice and a quality product.

Carrara Bianco C Marble Slab
Slab of Carrara bianco CD grade 20mm thick (3/4”) polished finish
Carrara marble C grade slab
Slab of Carrara bianco C grade 20mm thick (3/4”) polished finish
Carrara bianco C venatino
Slab of Carrara bianco C venatino grade 20mm thick (3/4”) polished finish

4. Shape

Don’t worry if the slabs have missing corners or are not perfectly rectangular shaped, your fabricator should charge you less and you would get a better deal if the slabs are not perfectly shaped. As long as you can get the cut-to-size products you wanted from those irregular slabs, you shouldn’t be too concerned with the slab shape and instead focus on the good deal you got!

Carrara marble vanity top
Vanity in Carrara C extra marble cut from Slab with missing corner. polished finish


What is the difference between Carrara marble grades C and Cd?

What is Carrara marble & what are the differences between its grades?


How does Carrara marble get its name and where is it found?

Originally quarried from the Apennine Mountains that dominate the northwest part of Italy, the Carrara marble originates from the city of Carrara in the Tuscany region, where the stone has been harvested for more than two thousand years.

Carrara marble quarry
carrara marble quarry extraction of blocks

There are currently about 270 operating quarries in all. Of these, more than half are in Carrara or its vicinity, approximately fifty are in Massa, and most are scattered amongst the villages in Massa comune (council). The marble industry employs more than 6,000 men and boys, and it provides all the livelihood for a population of about 75,000 in the Carrara area.

A study by experts has revealed a substantial amount of top-quality marble yet to be excavated under the mountains of marble in this region, indicating that Carrara will supply the present level of demand for its marble for centuries to come.

Carrara bianco C grade slabs
Truck loading of Carrara bianco C grade marble slabs 20mm thick (3/4”)

As a result of the strict guidelines and certifications, Carrara based quarries are now required to comply with multiple government regulations. These guidelines also result in eco-friendly manufacturing procedures such as eliminating the need for high levels of energy consumption as a result of improved technology.

*If you are a private client, contractor, architect, or designer, we can deliver to you wherever you are. All you need to do is find a stone fabricator or manufacturer in your area where we can deliver our product.


What’s the difference between Carrara marble C and Cd grade?

White Carrara marble (or bianco carrara) comes in different shades of white, each of which can be differentiated by a grading scale; two of the most widely used grades are CD and C.

As a general rule, Carrara marble with a C grade has a light-colored background and a light vein pattern, whereas marble with a CD grade has a grey background and a darker vein pattern.

Carrara bianco C grade marble slab
Carrara white C grade marble slab 20mm thick (3/4”)
Carrara marble Cd grade
Slab of Carrara bianco CD grade 20mm thick (3/8”) polished finish

Because of its white coloring, carrara C grade marble is more expensive than CD grade marble, which is more suitable for projects that have a more limited budget.

Depending on the grade, thickness, color of the background and the pattern of the veins, tiles and slabs can vary greatly in price.In general, a polished slab of 20mm thick can cost between €70m2 (CD quality) and €180m2 (higher quality C), so the price can change dramatically as a result of the factors included above.

Carrara marble KItchen countertop
Carrara Marble KItchen countertop and kitchen island

Private clients, designers and contractors who need their product cut-to-size usually have a wide range of costs to consider, including the manufacture needed, as well as the amount of waste (offcuts) created

Today,  White Carrara C (or Bianco Carrara) has fast become the preferred stone choice among architects and designers. It can cover floors in residential buildings, or be used for kitchen countertops and fireplaces.

White Carrara marble tiles, both C and CD grade, can be found in a broad array of applications from hallways to bedrooms and lounges to bathrooms. They can also be used as special design elements for kitchen splashbacks, fireplace walls and shower areas.

Carrara White CD Marble Bathroom
Carrara bianco marble bathroom CD grade tiles 600 x 600 x 20mm (24”x 24” x 3/8”) polished finish
Carrara Bianco C Marble Bathroom
White Carrara Marble Bathroom C grade Tiles used for wall and floor 600 x 300 x 10 mm (24” x 12” x 3/8”) polished finish

The primary application of marble slabs relates to staircases, kitchen benchtops, bathroom vanities, and, more recently, the cladding of bathroom floors and walls.

In order to preserve the beauty and long lifespan of carrara marble, regular maintenance is a must. Cleaning the stone with warm water and PH-neutral soap or detergent is by far the safest and least abrasive method.

It is best to avoid using acidic cleaners such as vinegar and bleach which can negatively affect the stone and often result in irreversible damage.

Fact-Sheet-Carrara-statuario-calacatta-arabescato-marble-acemar
Use of Carrara Marble indoor & outdoor

*If you are a private client, contractor, architect, or designer, we can deliver to you wherever you are. All you need to do is find a stone fabricator or manufacturer in your area where we can deliver our product.


Features of Carrara Marble Tiles and Slabs

1-Dimensions: Because each stone carries its own unique characteristics, sizes may vary based on availability. 

  •   Slabs Average dimensions vary between 3000 / 2500 mm in length  and  1500 / 1900 mm in height.
  •   Tiles Fixed dimensions 600 x 600 – 600 x 300 – 300 x 300 – 400 x 400 mm

2-Thickness: 

  • slabs 20 or 30mm thick
  • tiles 10 or 20mm thick

3-Surface finish:  

  • honed – polished- bush hammered – brushed – sand blasted
carrara marble tiles C grade
Carrara marble TIles C grade 600 x 300 (24”x 12”)