Carrara Marble

Carrara marble has been quarried at the city of Carrara in Tuscany since the time of the ancient Romans. It is a very high quality marble, and is either white or blue-grey in colour. It was used in the construction of the Pantheon, and the world famous statue of David, by Michelangelo, was carved from Carrara Marble.

It has been used all over the world, for example on Marble Arch in London, Harvard Medical School buildings in Boston, Oslo Opera House in Norway, and Manila Cathedral in the Philippines, to name just a few.

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Carrara marble is an ideal material for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Given reasonable care, it will last a lifetime, and adds a stunning effect to any kitchen or bathroom décor.

 

Carrara Marble Worktops

Carrara marble can be used with a polished surface in the kitchen, or it can be honed which gives a more matt look. Marble is a soft stone, so it can absorb stains, and become etched with acids (vinegar, lemon juice, and so on) so it needs to be treated with a sealant from time to time. That aside, it requires minimal maintenance. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth will do the trick in most cases, but if something sticky gets on to it, or perhaps dries, it can be removed with a Scotchbrite pad.

As a natural stone, every piece of Carrara is different. You can guarantee that your kitchen worktops or splash backs made of Carrara marble will be unique. Since each piece is different, most suppliers will let you choose the slab or slabs that you wish for your new kitchen or bathroom, so that you finish up with exactly the surfaces that you want.

 

Benefits Of Carrara Marble Worksurfaces

carrara-marble-sinksUsed as a kitchen worktop, Carrara marble is ideal from several points of view. To begin with, the surfaces look absolutely stunning, whether you choose the white or blue-grey finish, with gentle grey veining – or sometimes pink – throughout.

One of the benefits of Carrara is that, as a white or lightly coloured surface, it will reflect light, and thus make a kitchen or bathroom brighter.

From a hygiene point of view, Carrara marble is ideal, provided, of course, that it has been properly sealed. Germs and bacteria cannot get a foothold, and the surface is easily cleaned with nothing more than a damp cloth in most instances.

Marble is also an ideal material on which to roll out pastry. As a stone, the surface is naturally cold, and of course, it is perfectly flat, which is exactly what pastry needs. Any excess flour can be quickly wiped away afterwards.

 

Other Uses For Carrara Marble

Carrara marble can also be used as a splash back behind the sink or the cooker, or as an upstand.

In addition to these uses, it can be employed as a surface for windowsills in the kitchen or bathroom, can be used as a surround for a wash basin, and could be used in a shower or behind a bath tub. The uses of Carrara marble are really only limited by your imagination.

Carrara marble is both supplied to and used by designers, architects, developers, kitchen, and bathroom installers. It can also be used as a flooring material in either polished or honed finish, and will produce a dramatic effect used in an entrance hall, for instance, or a showroom, or even an office situation.

On a larger scale, Carrara could be used as a wall covering. It is also employed as a work surface in doctors and dentists surgeries, in hospitals, in bars and restaurants, and anywhere else where a long-lasting, beautiful surface is required.

 

Maintenance Of Carrara Marble

As already indicated, Carrara marble – or indeed any marble – is a soft stone, and as such is porous. In order that it can shrug off stains from things such as red wine and coffee, and acids such as lemon juice and vinegar, which are all spills that can happen easily in the kitchen, it must be coated with a sealant. The sealant will only last for a certain period, so Carrara marble needs re-sealing every so often – perhaps every year or two.

This is particularly important in the case of a honed or matt finish, since the surface has no protection from a polished surface and is more susceptible to stains and other spills.

Provided that it is correctly sealed, no harm will come to the surface, and it will maintain its’ pristine beauty for the life of your kitchen or bathroom, usually requiring only a wipe over with a damp cloth.

Of course, there are one or two caveats, which are really just common sense and apply to all kitchen worktops, regardless of the material used.

Ideally, any spills should be wiped up as soon as they are seen, not left to dry.

Never place hot pans straight off the hob on to a Carrara marble surface, or any other surface for that matter. Always use a trivet or a heat pad.

Equally, try not to chop or cut vegetables or other foods directly on to a Carrara marble surface. It is always safer to use a chopping board. Although chopping boards can be made of many different materials, it is best to use one made of wood, since this will result in less damage to a knife blade.

If you use heavy pans such as those made of cast iron, it is a very good idea to store them in cupboards underneath the worktop, rather than above them. In this way, if you should happen to drop a heavy pan, it will only land on the floor, rather than on your marble worktop. A heavy pan dropped from a height could cause chipping or a crack to a marble surface.

 

Summary

Worktops and other surfaces created using Carrara marble are beautiful to look at. Many families today spend more time in the kitchen than in any other room in the house, apart, perhaps, from the bedroom. In the 21st century, kitchens are also used for entertaining, so when considering the remodelling of your kitchen it is important to take that into account.

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Carrara marble is not only beautiful, it is also extremely hard-wearing and – apart from a regular coat of sealant – maintenance free. It is one of the best choices for the kitchen or bathroom that any modern home owner could make.