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What is marble and where does it come from?

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What is Marble? 

Marble is a metamorphic stone, originating from sedimentary rocks exposed, over time, to heat and pressure causing variable recrystallisation of the original stone’s crystal structure. Limestone is usually the base stone that is transformed into marble, with the calcite present in its structure recrystallising to provide that signature sugary appearance to the final stone.

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Magnesium, silica but also clay and iron oxides can be present through the texture of marble creating veins and patterns through its usually light colour. White marble is quite common and sought after but marble can be found in a variety of colour, from bluish, grey, pink, to yellow, brown and black.

Where does marble originate from?

In nature, marble tends to occur in large deposits and it can be found throughout the world making it and easy stone to be quarried on a large scale. Mines can be found around the US, Europe and India producing various quality grades of marble, mostly then turned into crushed stone or dimension stone.

Crushed marble is commonly used as an aggregate in railroads and highways constructions while dimension stone is produced when higher quality marble is sawed into specific sizes and shapes to accommodate the construction of buildings, sculptures or floorings.

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Landmarks Made with Marble

For thousands of years, marble has been used around the world in the construction of some of the most beautiful buildings ever designed. One of the most famous is certainly the Taj Mahal, the UNESCO World Heritage Site located on Yamuna river in Agra, India and commissioned by the Mughal emperor in the mid 1600’s to commemorate his late chief consort.

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White Makrana Marble, a type of marble quarried around the town of Makrana, Rajasthan, was used extensively in the construction and decoration of the mausoleum, including the built of the marble domes and towers.

Famous Types of Marble

Carrara marble is what comes to mind when talking about historically famous white or blue-grey marble. The quarries, located in the north of Tuscany, have been used since the Romans time and, over the years, they’ve supplied marble for all sorts of buildings all over the world, from the Oslo Opera House to the Peace Monument in Washington D.C.

Other notable types of marble are Yule marble, quarried in Colorado and famously used in the built of the Lincoln Memorial, and Parian marble, from the Greek island of Paros and used to sculpt the Nike of Samothrace and to construct the Parthenon roof’s tiles.

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Uses of Marble

As mentioned, Marble can be used as crushed or dimension stone, but the list doesn’t end here for this highly versatile product.

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White marble is sought after for its optical properties and, for instance, it can be turned into powder and added as a filler or brightener to paint under the label of “whiting”. Marble’s chemical properties are also in demand from being added to livestock feed as a form of supplement to the production of various chemicals when utilised in pharmaceuticals laboratories.

Due to its soft, glossy appearance and easiness to shape, marble is an exquisite choice for sculpting, but it really shines when used in architecture and landscaping. Marble can be utilised from casting buildings’ foundations, in its crushed form, to be cut and enrich house interiors, as tiles or benchtops, as well as exteriors, as pavers, step treads or wall cladding.

If sourced, laid and sealed correctly, it’s a water resistant, attractive and highly durable material that can provide that certain edge to any design.

Home and Commercial Projects with Marble

On the whole, Marble is a beautiful natural stone and, when produced for the landscaping market, it’s a very dense, versatile and durable product. A popular choice for pool surrounds, marble is naturally salt tolerant and it’s also easy on the eyes not generating a lot of glare on really sunny days.

Marble pavers are also great for patios, walkaways and outdoor entertainment areas. Marble’s dense and stable nature provides additional benefits in landscaping projects as it can be laid directly on compacted road base and sand screed, plus it’s easy to handle and it cuts well having the right equipment on hand.

At Artisan Exterior, we source the best quality marble from around the world in a range of colours and sizes. We supply high quality, high density stone and insist on careful size calibration as these are crucial elements in achieving a beautiful finish and assure the longevity of your project.

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Why not look at our marble pavers range and let your imagination ponder with the possibilities for creating a wonderfully elegant poolside, entryway or patio. From the moment you install it, you’ll be glad you did.

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Would like to hear more? Speak with us at Artisan Exterior to see how marble can be featured on your next project. You can also come visit us in one of our showrooms, located in Artarmon, Narellan and Fyshwick.

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