Why Arabescato is a great alternative to Carrara and Calacatta marble?

Why should you choose Arabescato as great alternative to Carrara & Calacatta Marble?


What is Arabescato marble?

Originating from Italy and quarried in the Carrara area, Arabescato is a rare and highly sought after marble with average availability of slabs or tiles.

Arabescato-Carrara-Marble-Polished
Stunning slab of Arabescato marble Polished finish 20mm thick (3/4”’)

What makes Arabescato marble so unique is its soft white background coloring with bold  dusty grey veining across the slabs that often gives the impression of jagged white islands floating on a deep grey lake. The combination of these two aesthetic factors is the primary reason this particular marble is one of the most popular selections for statement piece kitchen countertops, wall & floor panels, splashbacks and bathrooms

Arabescato Marble Bathroom with bookmatch wall
Arabescato Marble Bathroom with bookmatch wall made by 20mm thick slabs (3/4”) honed finish

As with Calacatta, Arabescato is commonly used for stunning bookmatched applications as its veining allows the creation of different and unique patterns and shapes. 

The two most well known quarries that produce Arabescato are Corchia and Vagli, however, there are some lesser known quarries such as Faniello, Cervaiole, Arni which also produce excellent high-end Arabescato quality choices, even if they are less renown. Later, we will touch on how the characteristic Arabescato veining can be identified based on the quarry from which the material is extracted.


Differences between Arabescato with Carrara and Calacatta marble

If you are looking for a marble with exceptional vein patterns and colouring but also with a decent price tag, then Arabescato is an excellent option. It is is considered a compromise between Carrara and Calacatta as it not only has a strong white background color with dark veins which is highly sought after by clients, but it doesn’t come with as high a cost as Calacatta; this means it is a perfect choice in terms of quality and price. 

Arabescato Corchia quality marble slab
Stunning Arabescato Corchia marble slab 20mm thick (3/4”) polished finish
Arabescato Corchia marble close up
Arabescato Corchia marble slab close up

On the lower end of the price scale, Carrara marble can be identified by its oftentimes more greyish background colouring with more subtle or no veins, whereas Arabescato is much whiter and shows mostly dark grey veins across the slabs. Both are very compact.

Carrara bianco C grade marble slab
Carrara white C grade marble slab 20mm thick (3/4”)

The primary difference between Arabescato and Calacatta is that the former has busier veins and fills in most parts of the slabs, whereas Calacatta has stronger, light grey veins that are slightly larger but with less pattern traffic across the slabs.

Calacatta Extra marble slab
Calacatta marble extra quality polished finish, 20mm (3/4”) thick

One interesting thing about this particular marble variety is that it is highly compact and very strong, in fact Arabescato slabs generally don’t bring as many problems as Calacatta for this particular reason. Calacatta commonly shows more natural imperfections such as natural cracks or tears (which get resin treated), instead Arabescato blocks are usually more intact. 

Arabescato-Vagli-marble-Kitchen-island-top
Kitchen island and cupboard in Arabescato Vagli marble made by 20mm thick (3/4”) slabs polished finish

However, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that Arabescato blocks and slabs are not resin treated, 95% of all blocks and slabs undergo the same resin and net treatment as Calacatta as a matter of safety and assurance of the marble’s structural integrity. During the block cutting process it’s often unknown what problems there may be inside, purchasers who buy blocks with the intention of cutting slabs for individual or bulk sale don’t want to risk losing money on their investment, so the resin treatment is considered insurance against this.


Pricing

Pricing for Arabescato is per square meter and is firstly determined by the quarry following block extraction, and secondly by the manufacturer after processing the block and resin treating the slabs. While the price per square meter can vary quite a lot depending on size, colour and veining, it’s still classified as a marble more suited to a lower budget than Calacatta and so you can expect mid-range prices. The typical Arabescato price range is generally between €120 – €290 per square meter slab.

Arabescato Vagli marble slab
Stunning Arabescato Vagli marble slab 20mm thick (3/4”) polished finish