Marble Stairs Detail; The Shadow Line

Select the suitable stairs finish is a hard mission, especially for homeowners. There are a variety of finishing materials, details and style. Marble is the common use material that is strong and has a nice appearance despite it classic style. Personally as much as I love marble but i struggle to find a modern details. The shadow line detail is a method to get a modern appearance, that is suitable for the most type of marble. The shadow line has flush clean look with no overhang nosing to have a modern appearance. With a thin black granite underneath the riser, it shows each step by itself individually.

Marble stairs, with shadow line detail
Marble stairs at Labib 2 building, Gaza Palestine By architect Zahi Alrayyes and marble from Zomord Marble.

when to use the shadow line detail

As mentioned before the shadow line detail is suitable with many kinds of marble. It’s the best choice with marble that have different tones like Flower Beige marble as shown in the below photo. The shadow line detail will separate each step by its own, then people will not easily notice the difference in marble tones. Also it’s suitable with marble that has many veins, it displays the beauty of each step. On the other hand, it’s not nice with clear marble that look similar tone and doesn’t have veins. It’s not a bad choice but it won’t add much to the marble and stairs. 

Shadow line steps
Marble stairs at Labib 2 building, Gaza Palestine By architect Zahi Alrayyes and marble from Zomord Marble. The marble is Flower Beige a Turkish product that has a variety of veins and difference in background tones.

Installing shadow line marble stairs

The shadow line detail is simple and cheap detail comparing to another marble details. Because its regular straight steps with a 2cm black granite underneath the riser. Granite is prefer to used and not marble, because it’s thin we need a plain black color. Also granite is more rigid material to avoid the break the 2cm piece through cutting process. Personally I prefer black shadow line to be thinner than 2cm but then it will become weaker. There are three types of black granite, beside artificial stone read How to Select Black Granite article for more information. Artificial stone is not suitable because it will efflorescence and appear with with grey and white spots. The craftsmen need to cut the granite using saw cutting machine at marble factory, and then to glue it with the riser according to floor and riser height.

shadow line stairs marble installation
how to install shadow line marble stairs, Gaza 2019 by Architect Zahi Alrayyes. Marble from Zomord Marble and installed by A. Muhassien

In conclusion, It’s not the only modern marble stairs detail, but it’s suitable for marble that has variety of tones or density veins. The shadow line detail is cheap compared to another modern marble stairs details. Also it’s well-designed, the design is avoiding water collecting and has no fine details that could break in the future.


Can i do shadow line detail for porcelain tiles cladding stairs?

Yes, where a piece of black porcelain can stick using tile adhesive to the step rise. Then it’s filled with cement mortar as shown in the following drawing.

Drawing for stairs shadow line detail using tiles cladding stairs. By Zahi Alrayyes 2020

Black Granite Selection

Black granite is the great selection for kitchen top, where its give a modern appearance compared to other granite types. In the market there are several types of black granite either natural granite or artificial granite stone. 

Artificial Granite

Artificial granite stones manufactured in clear colors, any color could be customized its first choice for modern kitchen. Due to demand increasing on artificial granite, manufacturers begin to design slabs similar to marble that has large and unique veins. There are slabs in white and grey veins, others black with white veins appear in high contrast level, as its artificial and produce by casting i don’t prefer it’s veins, its thick, because it’s hard to produce thin details veins as the beauty of nature. As artificial granite has a nice appearance it’s also has disadvantages, many types affected by high temperatures that doesn’t make it a suitable choice for kitchens, this beside the disadvantage of polishing the edges that won’t look similar to top face until hardworking.

Natural Granite

Natural Granite is better than artificial, where it doesn’t affect high temperature and it’s much easier to edges polishing. Although natural granite usually doesn’t have veins it assembly of particles as a result of volcanoes. In the market, commonly there are three black granite types, Absolute, Blackforest and Galaxy. Absolute is almost clear black has gray sand size particles imported from South of India. Blackforest has white and gray veins, however there are several types of galaxy. Galaxy in general has a clear black background with silver and gold particles, yes it’s real gold. The size of these particles makes galaxy classify under two types. The large and regular size of these particles, the large particles size are 6 mm. The small particulars range of 3 mm where it adds a brilliant spangle to appear as it the stars in the galaxy.

As you understand the different of black granite types advantages and disadvantages. You could make the right decision on which look better within the design context.