Carrara is a white marble with grey veins. it was named after the city of Carrara where it originally extracted. Nowadays it most commonly extracted from Turkey and China. Due to Carrara, beautiful veins and colors it becomes the designers high choice marble. However it has a nice appearance, Carrara also has a low price because of its weakness. Carrara’s low price makes it a good choice for applications like marble kitchen and stairs. In this post we will discuss Carrara stones advantages and disadvantages and its applications.
Carrara Marble Colors
Carrara is a white marble with grey veins with a rare yellow veins. The good quality Carrara stone has a white background, where cheaper stone has a greyish background. Italian and good quality Carrara stones have sharp edges veins while cheaper stones have faded veins. For cheap Carrara stones it requires arranging similar tiles together as shown in the following photos. Sometimes Carrara stones have yellow veins together with the grey veins, while good quality yellow Carrara stones have only yellow veins.
The white and grey colors make Carrara unique in modern appearance that fit modern style. Together with Black Marquina marble – the black background with white veins -. with metal materials like brass, silver or gold stripes form a contemporary 2019 and 2020 style trend.
Architects and interior designers use Carrara for walls and facade cladding due to its colors. Carrara white and grey colors have a modern style appearance. Compared to other marble in its price, Carrara is unique by it’s modern style colors. Where most same price range marbles are in off-white and brown colors. Also carrara resists sea salt better than any marble within its price range.
Carrara is a porous material with high absorption ratio. It’s pores cause many disadvantages like discoloring, water absorbing and friction resistance.
Discoloring Carrara Disadvantages
Carrara discoloring where it is affected by Portland cement and marble adhesive. For cement or tile adhesive, where we recommend installing it with white cement. Otherwise after installing Carrara with Portland cement, it will absorb the grey cement color. Causing darker uneven Carrara background tones. In the Gaza strip blockade in years 2013 to 2018, white cement was rarely found in the market due to political conflicts. That time white cement price was 400% higher than Portland cement. Therefore a solution to reduce installing Carrara price by painting the carrara back side with white cement. This by using brush to give a rough texture and then to install the carrara with Portland cement. White cement layer has to be rough for better bonding with Portland cement. In this solution the carrara will not absorb the color of grey cement, by using less amount of white cement to reduce the cost. Another problem connecting two pieces of Carrara with marble adhesive. Where Carrara will absorb the marble adhesive making a bad looking yellow edge in the connection.
Friction Carrara Disadvantages
Friction is another problem facing Carrara during installing in long term usage. In the long term Carrara will be affected by high traffic, especially for stairs – the small area that has high traffic -. In old buildings that were built more than 30 years ago, friction during movement makes a curvature in depth around a centimeter. The friction increases with sand or dust over the Carrara , where sand and movement will sanding the surface. Therefore during site construction, after installing the Carrara floor or stairs try to keep the floor surface clean. Notice that during the tiles and marble construction phase where we can’t control dust and sand to enter the site. Therefore we recommend continuous cleaning and to install protection over the marble. Protection is a mixture of gypsum and lime that is pure over the marble in a thin layer. Then after installing the windows and finishing the painting works, the thin layer could easily be removed by cleaning with water.
After understanding Carrara as a building material, you can now make a decision if it suits your application or not. Let’s discuss a few common Carrara applications.
Carrara Stairs, Carrara is the cheapest modern color marble stone. It has a nice appearance in the staircase, however the weakness of Carrara stones make it not suit public buildings or high traffic stairs. Also due to Carrara being porous material, I don’t prefer to install it at stairs or floors. Where water could easily stay over it and then seep deep inside the Carrara stone. Generally Carrara stairs as any other marble type could be formed and shaped for stairs details.
In kitchen, Carrara is a good choice for kitchen cabinates where it will resist sea breaze salt better than wood or Palestinian marble. Also it will keep cabinets in nice appearance unlike Rosa Beta granite. Carrara is famous for kitchen countertops which I don’t recommend. Since Carrara is porous material it doesn’t suit countertops where juice and oil will seep deep into the marble. Juice and oil will remain spots in the countertop that could be maintained using chemicals to clean. On the other hand normally countertops apply to high temperatures during cooking, Carrara is a good heat resistance.