Marble is the stone of kings and gods. More ancient monuments were constructed of it than any other stone. Marble festoons the hallways of cathedrals and palaces. It drapes the floors of the richest millionaires, yet graces the baths of the most modest homeowners.
There is no doubt that marble’s most popular place in the modern home is in the bathroom. Marble has retained its place as the supreme material for vanities. A natural marble vanity or sink is really the one and only choice for the discerning homeowner. While marble has the characteristic of being etched and stained by water and chemicals, modern sealants have reduced this risk significantly.
A recent advance in fabrication technology has brought the marble vessel within the reach of many homeowners. This sink is a bowl of polished marble which sits atop a vanity. A tall faucet empties water into the vessel. It is a simple, yet supremely artistic way to decorate a bathroom that will make all your houseguests green with jealousy.
Marble tiles on the floor of a bathroom are almost a necessity if your goal is to create a luxurious bath. These tiles are available polished or honed. Honed tiles will provide more traction. Polished tiles will provide a more elegant look, but can be very slippery when wet, so bath mats must be placed at critical points.
Savvy decorators know the key to a sumptuous bathroom is to use marble around the walls and the tub. Jacuzzi tubs and Roman tubs look far more elegant wrapped in stone. Marble is also popular on shower walls and in steam showers, but again, traction is something which must be taken into consideration. Marble mosaic tiles are often used on shower floors, and the grout lines provide the necessary footing to prevent slipping.
Hand-carved marble trim pieces are available to frame bath mirrors, and a wide variety of marble accents will round off your ultimate dream bath.
Marble is also justifiably popular in flooring applications. No other natural stone adds the formal, elegant, soft look that marble does. Historically, marble was most often used in hallways and foyers, though it can be effectively applied in almost any room. The lighter marbles are most popular for flooring, though colored tiles can make a dramatic statement, as can patterned or mosaic effects.
In larger homes or offices, marble columns contribute to a stately atmosphere. Marble steps are also a regal touch. Marble tiles on a fireplace are an excellent way to add formality to an architectural element that is often considered rustic. For the extravagant, there are even elaborately carved marble hearths and mantles and entire fireplace surrounds. And the resulting combination of fire and sculptured stone makes a bold statement.
Because marble is soft, but still durable, it has been the top choice of sculptors for generations. Because of this unique quality, an endless variety of vases, statues, frames, moldings, and accent pieces are available in marble to add an elegant, highly decorative touch anywhere in the home.
Recently, the popularity of “tumbled marble” has increased. These rustic tiles look like travertine. They have a rough finish, often have little pits full of crystal, and have an uneven edge which is usually rounded at the corners. They are available in many sizes and are popular for backsplashes, showers, and flooring. The hand-carved look provides an excellent way to counteract the formal air which marble typically lends to a room.
Outdoors, marble does not fare as well as granite. Because it can be stained and dissolved by water (which can ruin the integrity of a fine polish), polished marble will have a limited outdoor life. But, as we’ve seen from the Parthenon and a host of other Roman buildings which are still standing two thousand years later, marble is still a durable rock. The bright, creamy appearance of marble changes, when weathered, into an aged, rustic patina. For many homeowners, this can add a stately charm to a home’s exterior, and outdoor marble is a popular choice for that reason. Marble bird baths, statues, tables, pedestals, fountains, and other accent pieces are very popular. Marble steps in front of a home with a large, classic façade are often an irreplaceable feature.
Marble’s legacy will outlast the human race. It is plentiful, easy to quarry, easy to work, and in high demand for the home. Designers know that marble can create any atmosphere and shape any mood. Its versatility is astounding. Best of all, a home full of marble is a home of value that will not readily depreciate. Marble is the stone of kings!