Carrara & Calacatta Marble difference

What Makes Carrara & Calacatta Marble Different from One Another

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Homeowners often get confused when they have to choose between Carrara or Calacatta marble tile for their homes. They look quite similar but have major differences. Here is a blog explaining the key distinctions between the two.

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What is Calacatta Marble?

Calacatta marble is the most sought after natural stone tile. This stone type is available in several varieties including those with intricate veining known as Calacatta Gold or those with larger and bold veining known as Calacatta Lincoln. Both these types look striking. There are other types too featuring linear veining. This marble is also available in various shades such as the Calacatta Viola featuring rich cabernet tones or the Calacatta Macchia Vecchia featuring dramatic gold or taupe shades. 

What is Carrara Marble?

The Carrara marble has a usually muddy wite base. Its background color is more inclined towards a grayish hue, rather than being white. In comparison, the Calacatta marble has a pure white background. Secondly, a Carrara marble will have soft gray marble veining, while a Calacatta marble will have a thicker gray marble veining. An untrained eye might find it tough to tell the difference between the two types of marble. It is recommended to let an expert help you buy Calacatta marble, else you might easily get duped into buying Carrara for the same price. 

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Differences Between Calacatta Marble and Carrara Marble:

Carrara & Calacatta Marble Different

Image Credit: www.marble.com

The key distinctions between Carrara Marble and Calacatta Marble are explained below:

Cost:

  • As Calacatta is a rarer marble, it is costlier. It is hard to get and hence expensive.
  • The whiter the marble background is, the costlier it is. A whiter marble background indicates a very pure form of Calacatta marble.
  • The price also varies depending upon where you live as it is also inclusive of the shipping charges. 
  • The price is also dependent on the size of the space you wish to install the marble on, such as floors or just backsplash. 
  • On the other hand, Carrara marble is easily available and hence is cheaper when compared to Calacatta marble. 
  • A good slab of Carrara marble can cost anywhere between $75 to $100 per square feet before it is installed. 
  • Calacattua is considered a premium marble choice and the price can range up to $250 per square feet.

Look:

  • Carrara marble has muddy hues and a grayish background, while a Calacatta marble has gold, silver or taupe hues/veins with a white background. 
  • Carrara is easily found in large pieces or cut tile forms in any stone shop, while Calacatta is not easily available at any stone shop. It is often ordered and customized into the exact shape and size that is required. Each natural stone slab of a Calacatta marble is unique. The bold veins and the crisp white background make it stand out from the others. It is also quite rare. 
  • The differences between these types are very subtle and it is quite easy to get confused. 

Characteristics:

  • Both are high-quality Italian marble types with very similar features and colors. When compared to other marble types, both Carrara and Calacatta marble types are white with gray veins all over. 
  • Carrara has softer looking feather grains that also has many takers around the globe. Each slab of the Carrara marble is made from one block and the grains and veins are matched such that they seem to run together to create a stunning design pattern. But the installation is best done by an expert as no two Carrara marble slabs have the same design. 
  • The Calacatta marble has a pristine white background and is more associated with luxury. The veins range from beige to gold. The Calacatta marble is usually smoother than the typical Carrara marble. It has a classic and timeless look and is most often used in bathrooms and kitchen countertops. 

Source:

  • A great deal of the entire world’s Calacatta marble is sourced from the quarries found in the Apuan Mountains in Carrara, Italy. Carrara in Italy also has a lot of Carrara marble, a stone from which the city got its name.
  •  The Calacatta marble does not come from only one specific mountain or quarry. There is a vast mountain range in the Carrara Region and each quarry produces a wide variety of white marbles ranging from Bianco Carrara, Goiai, Venatino, Calacatta Marble and Statuario. All these marbles look similar and have the same geological formation. 
  • The only basic difference between the two is that Carrara has a deeper gray color with softer veining, while Calacatta has a whiter background with thicker and more bold veining. 
  • Carrara is the most common marble found in Italy’s Carrara and is a softer looking marble stone. Some quarries have better quality of the Calacatta marble than the others. 
  • The Borghini Quarry is one of the oldest quarries in the Carrara region and has some of the finest varieties. Its origin can be traced back to the Roman times.

Maintenance:

  • Both have the same maintenance requirements and the same virtual density, as they are both minded from the same region in Italy. 
  • Aging and Etching are inevitable in both marble types. 
  • If you want your marble to last longer, you can install it in a place that is not exposed much to water, such as your living rooms or bedrooms. 
  • But, if you do not mind the etching or aging, which only add character to your stone, you can install it in your bathrooms, floorings or backsplashes too. 
  • Both the marble types are prone to etching and etching, but it is more visible on the polished marble than on the honed marble. The honed marble tiles tend to hide the etching better.

Differences Between Maintaining a Carrara Marble Bathroom and a Calacatta Marble Bathroom:

Carrara: 

Carrara marble in bathrooms is a classy choice. One can install it in the countertops as well as on the flooring. But, if you plan to install it in the sink, then you will have to spend a lot of time wiping it down, as if you let the moisture sit there, it might penetrate the porous surfaces and invite mold breeding.

 If you are regular about the maintenance, then a Carrara marble bathroom can look great for a long time. 

Calacatta: 

Calacatta marble in bathrooms is an expensive choice, but when done well, it can prove to be a major highlight of the house. It can instantly revamp a boring and dull bathroom space to the next level. It is generally installed as a backsplash. It instantly makes the interiors look like royalty. But, this Carrara, this one too requires proper maintenance to safeguard its porous structure. 

You will need to clean and seal it regularly. Calacutta marbles easily absorb anything that falls on their surface. One should never use an acidic or harsh chemical to clean the marble and should set a strict cleaning schedule as well. It is best to use a highly versatile and premium-quality marble and daily cleaner. 

Differences Between Maintaining a Carrara Marble Kitchen and a Calacatta Marble Kitchen:

Carrara: 

A Carrara marble adds style and elegance to any room, especially when it is used in the kitchens. It is mostly used for kitchen countertops and islands. When used in the kitchen, it should be polished and sealed regularly. This way, it can remain spotless and lustrous for years to come. 

Carrara marble is a better choice in the kitchens when compared to the Calacatta variety because the former has a darker base and is more heavily veined. These characteristics can easily hide all the coffee, wine and food stains. Yet, to prevent staining, it is best to seal the marble with a marble sealer. A good sealer can protect the countertops against etching, staining, and soil buildup.

Calacatta: 

A Calacatta marble looks great on any surface, but when it is used in the kitchen, it also brings along more maintenance requirements. Both the varieties are vulnerable to stains, but a Calacatta marble shows stains clearly, while a Carrara is better at hiding them. This is because a Calacatta marble is whiter. Both are very porous and therefore, very high-maintenance.

 If you want to use a Calacatta marble for your kitchens, always remember to seal your marble with a good marble sealer to prevent stains, premature aging and etching. Also, this stone can easily chip when you accidentally drop a heavy pan on the countertop or flooring. So, you really need to be careful if you plan to get this marble installed.

Carrara & Calacatta Marble cleaner sealer and maintenance products

These are the basic differences between the Carrara and Calacatta marble types. If you plan to get these stones installed in your house, then you should also buy the best marble cleaners, sealers and maintenance products. You can buy marble cleaners, sealers and maintenance cleaners from pFOkUS – one of the leading marble restoration product manufacturing companies in the US. All our products are manufactured after years of research in the laboratories. 

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