Sunday, February 28

What is Carrara Marble and Where Does it Come From?

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On your search for a new fireplace, you have probably come across some of our impressive marble fire surrounds.

However, you might not realise just how impressive they really are!

As part of our range, we stock some beautiful Carrara marble fire surround options. And, we recently came across this fascinating article on how this unique form of stone is created in Italy.

Take a look at the video to find out more…

Carrara marble is no run-of-the-mill rock. A slab of this luxurious stone can cost up to £400 per square metre, depending on how it is extracted. It is mined from the Apuan Alps in Northern Tuscany, where the quarries produce more marble than any other place on Earth – around 4 million tonnes a year!

Skip see to our Carrara Marble Fireplaces

What is Carrara Marble?

Carrara marble is one of the most popular types of marble used in today’s building and decor. It is typically white or a light blue-grey in colour with a soft and feathery vein running through, making it a very attractive option for kitchen worktops, staircases, bathrooms and fireplaces.

What’s more, its even lighter, often more expensive, version called ‘Statuario’ marble was the medium of choice for some of the world’s most famous sculptors. In fact, Michaelangelo’s David was created out of this very material!

Michaelangelo's David

Marble has been mined at Carrara for over 2,000 years, ever since the Romans first discovered its beauty. Today, it is exported across the world, with China, the USA and Germany being the biggest buyers. Much of it also stays in the area for local artisans to use. The medieval town of Pietrasanta is known for its many Carrara marble workshops and studios that still produce spectacular statues.

Marble is a form of natural stone that cannot be manmade. Scientifically speaking, it is a ‘metamorphic’ rock. It starts out as humble limestone, though when it is subjected to high temperature and pressure over the years, it transforms into the much more sought-after marble. Because of this natural process, every single slab of marble is entirely unique, which only adds to its appeal.

Related: Guide to Buying Fireplace Surrounds & Mantels

Is Carrara Marble Expensive?

While some types of Carrara marble can come with an expensive price tag, it is also one of the most affordable types of marble. There are actually a few different types of marble mined in the region that are sometimes grouped under the one name of ‘Carrara Marble’. These are:

  • Carrara Marble
  • Calcatta Marble
  • Statuary/ Statuario Marble.

The latter two are a much brighter white colour, with a stronger and more varied grain. Carrara marble is softer in appearance, and often less expensive, which makes it perfect for our homes. Carrara is no less beautiful to look at – its more affordable cost is down to the fact that it is easier to quarry, so generally easier to get hold of.

Do You Need to Seal Carrara Marble?

The main thing to be aware of before investing in a Carrera marble fireplace is the level of maintenance it requires. All types of marble require regular sealing to protect its surface. This is because it has low acid-resistance, meaning it is vulnerable to staining – especially from things like wine, lemon and tomato juice.

While durable, marble is also softer than other stones. This means you also need to take a little more care around it to avoid chipping and scratches forming.

We have a guide on how to clean marble fireplaces and surrounds if you want to find out more.

Our Carrara Marble Fireplaces

Have you been inspired to invest in a Carrara marble fireplace for your home? If so, we have some fantastic styles for you to choose from. They look spectacular with a cast iron fireplace, though work just as well with one of our gas fireplaces or electric fires, too.

Take a look at them below…

Gallery Brompton Carrara Marble Fire Surround

Gallery Brompton Cararra Marble Fire Surround

This sleek and stylish Carrara marble fireplace is available in two sizes – a 51 inch width and a 56 inch width for larger rooms. The minimalist design is ideal for more modern decors.

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Gallery Collection Richmond Carrara Marble Fire Surround

Gallery Collection Richmond Carrara Marble Fire Surround

The traditional style of this fireplace features delicate corbels and clean lines that are sure to look magnificent in any room.

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Gallery Collection Kingston Carrara Marble Fire Surround

Gallery Collection Kingston Cararra Marble Fire Surround

Perfect for large fireplaces, this Carrara marble surround is available in a width of either 56 inches or 63 inches. The chunky carved corbels add to the grand effect this surround achieves.

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Gallery Collection Chiswick Carrara Marble Fire Surround

Gallery Collection Chiswick Cararra Marble Fire Surround

If you want something classic and timeless, this is the surround for you. Based on a traditional design, this is one of our most popular Carrara marble fireplaces.

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Cast Tec Verona Carrara Marble Fire Surround

Cast Tec Verona Carrara Marble Fire Surround

We love the cosy feel this fireplace gives off, thanks to its carved Carrara marble corbels. Combining intricate design with clean lines, this surround is full of character.

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Looking for more? Visit Direct Fireplaces to see our leading range of fires, fire surrounds, hearths and more!

Take a look at the Direct Fireplaces blog to see our fireplace buying guides

Wooden Fireplace Surround Buying Guide | The Best Coal Effect Electric & Gas Fires | What is the Most Eco Friendly Fireplace

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