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Marble: how to choose the quality among the great variety ?

This worktop, pierced to accommodate a stainless steel sink on the underside, is in Italian marble.

Before you decide what marble to install in your house, you must know that marble comes in a multitude of rocks with colors and aspects of infinite variety.        A great family to know well before deciding.

As a matter of fact, we should say “marbles” and not “marble”: no less than 500 varieties whose scientific definition only concerns the metamorphic rock derived from limestone. If Italy is established as its land of origin (Carrara marble), there are also deposits in France, throughout the Mediterranean basin (Spain, Greece, Tunisia …) and, further, in India or even in Brazil.

Unique qualities

United, veined, striated, spotted, marbled … The marbles do not have only strengths extreme hardness and exceptional durability. The immense variety of drawings and colorations (from pure white, almost without veining of Carrara marble, to gray and black, through roses, greens, yellows …) is due to the presence of impurities ( iron oxide in red, manganese salts in violet, copper in green …). However, the quality of the stone varies considerably from one supplier to another.

Close cousins

More commercial than scientific, the term “marble stone” refers to a small family of limestone or “cold stones”, sufficiently dense (about 2500 kg / m3), so hard, to be polished.

Close cousins

Travertine is the best known and most accessible of marble rocks. From cream to brown to yellow, it is characterized by a surface carved with small cavities     (1 mm to 1 cm in diameter) unequally distributed.

– Quality: from European countries and especially Italy, it is of good quality. Imported from Turkey, it costs three times less, but second or third choice, with a surface largely covered with a polyester resin that yellows and grows with time.

Some Burgundy stones fall into the category of marble stones.


Raw cut with an aged finish, this limestone of Burgundy is to pose as an opus incertum in garden paths or on the terrace.

– The Corton stone, beige with important pink veining, enhances the interior floors. Used in sink or basin, it is more discreet finish softened.

Corton stone

Extracted and sawn in the Beaune region, the stone Comblanchien comes from limestone rock beds up to 20 meters high.

– La Bleue de Lignières, more confidential, imposes its tight grid and its light gray color in contemporary spaces. Vanity top, worktop or shower tray, and even wall cladding boards, it complies with many interior uses in softened finish.

– Buxy stone, not very widespread, comes from bluish gray to red, passing through the ocher yellow washed purple veins. It is mainly used in exterior paving, under an aged or flamed finish that offers a non-slip surface. However, it can be found in worktops or toilet (mainly beige) 3 to 4 cm thick, 210 cm long maximum, with a softened finish. Side weight, it takes 85 kg / m2 in 3 cm thick.

– The stone of Comblanchien is pale beige to pink, marked more or less strongly by concretions of shells. Not very porous and very resistant, it is reproached for being cold to the touch. It is found in paving under a flamed finish, non-slip for outdoor or softened for the interior, but not enough in a sink, sink or worktop.

The stone of Comblanchien

Marble stones are installed inside and in large format in search of “ancient houses” effect.

Marble stones

A coating composed of 99% marble and limestone waste. To lay on the ground or on the wall.