Suelo Mármol Blanco Volakas

White Marble: The 6 best options for interior and exterior

The White Marble is now a days, one of the most required natural stones by Architects, Interior Designers and of course by the final users. Specially for interior and in particular for kitchen and vanity tops.

There is a wide range of white natural stones and different origin (igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary). In this post, we will focus on the “Actual Marble”. In other words, Marble since a geological and commercial point of view (1). And particularly, White Marble.

(1) In our post ““How to choose the best kind of marble or natural stone for your house” we show the differences between the commercial and the geological term of marble.

Therefore, all the materials described hereafter, have the following common issues:

  • They are Metamorphic rocks, with a calcareous composition and a varying amount of dolomite.
  • Their white matrix can vary its colour tone (to grey or cream tones) depending on the composition of the rock.
  • The shape, width and colour of its veins (in case of having them), and the presence of other minerals in theirs composition will define the final appearance of each one and will help to identify and differentiate ones from the others.
  • They will never have fossils.

1. WHITE THASSOS OR BIANCO THASSOS MARBLE

The name of this white Marble comes from the Greek island of Thassos, where it has been extracted since antiquity.

MUESTRA DE MÁRMOL THASSOSBianco Thassos, Extra, Grece.

Art works such important as “The Victory of Samothrace” were sculpted on this material.

Estatua Louvre en Marmol Blanco Thassos

White Thassos is a very pure dolomitic marble, with an exceptional whiteness, a very small grain size and with almost a lack of veins, principally in the Extra or Higher qualities(2)

(2) Speaking about white marble, the quality uses to depend principally on the purity of its colour. That is to say, it will depend more on their aesthetic appearance than its physical-mechanical properties. So, the lower presence of impurities the higher degree or whiteness and normally, the higher price of the marble.

Referring to the White Thassos marble, the smaller the grain size, the higher the quality of the stone is.

Its almost immaculate whiteness due to its purity, along with its hardness and consistency (typical of the  geological term of marble), allow to use this stone for interiors but also for exteriors. Nevertheless, it is preferable to use it for interior for the following reasons:

  • In exteriors, such as a white material, in the course of the time, may yellow, darken or stain , due to the sun, humidity and moisture and environmental dirtiness (dust, pollution, etc.). Surface treatments are always recommended of course to reduce these effects, nevertheless with the time they will loose their effect.
  • Its purity, quality and beauty will be more appreciated and enjoyable in interior spaces normally, where you can also improve its properties with the decoration, light, etc.

Its physical-mechanical characteristics allow to use White Thassos for quite any application. As pavement, cladding, stairs, handicraft (balustrades, sculptures, fireplaces, etc), facades and also for vanity and kitchen tops. In that last case, is highly recommended to apply a good surface treatment to prevent stains.

Examples of Applications/Installations with White Thassos Marble.

In the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai, India we can enjoy its magnificent Lounge, paved with this delicate, beautiful, pristine white and homogeneous floor of White Thassos.

Suelo en Blanco Thassos, Hotel

Lounge. Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai, India.

White Thassos allows a wide range of finishes, such as the classic polished and honed, but also brushed used to be required. Nevertheless it is more recommended to apply any finish that enhances its beauty and purity, consequently polished is one of the favorite finishes.

Tablas de Marmol Thassos Crystal

White Thassos Crystal, Honed.

Quarries of White Thassos Marble

Now a days, there are at least 10 active quarries in Thassos Island, Greece.

Some of the most important and antiques are:

2. WHITE SIVEC MARBLE

White Sivec Marble is the most well-known term to name or require this marble. Nevertheless, it is also common to find it in the Stone Market as “White Yugoslav” “White Macedonia Marble” or “White Chive”.

Bianco Sivec Extra-Dermitzakis

White Sivec Extra-Dermitzakis, Greece.

The same as White Thassos, Sivec is an extraordinary white Marble. Easy to differentiate because of its whiteness, a very small grain size, a micro-granular structure and a low presence of veins. Just in the lower quality blocks or slabs we can find some small dots (minerals embodied in the calcareous matrix) and some greyish veins.

It is a very hard and strong marble, even harder than Thassos Marble.

There is evidence that it has been extracted and used since 500 years B.C. from the current Macedonia, where now a days Mermeren Kombinat,  one of the mains extractive and commercial companies of  Sivec® Snow-White marble.

Because of its strength and hardness, this is a stone suitable for any application or space, either in exteriors or interior. As pavement and cladding, kitchen and vanity tops, handicraft and art work, etc.

Examples of Applications/Installations with White Sivec Marble.

Such iconic and magnificent buildings as the Sheik Zayed Great Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE, have used White Sivec® as one of their main decorative and constructive elements.

Bianco Sivec Marble, Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Moscu, Rusia has also used this gorgeous natural stone provided also bya FHL Kiriakidis Group.

Exterior Marmol Bianco Sivec-Catedral Cristo Salvador Rusia

Verona Fair is always a good place where to be able to compare different materials, but also the “same material” provided by different extractors or suppliers. In addition, we have the opportunity to compare the differences between the range of qualities or classifications of a same natural stone.

Hereafter we show some samples of different qualities of White Sivec offered by FHL Group and Dermitzakis.

Bianco Sivec Marble-FHL Group

Different qualities of White Sivec, FHL Group. Verona Fair 2018.

Variedades Marmol Bianco Sivec

Different qualities of White Sivec. Dermitzakis, Verona Fair 2018

To highlight that due to the poor and different brightness at the stands, the whiteness of the Stone is not very representative. However, the pictures help us to show the differences between the classifications of “a same marble” as we go down to lower qualities and vice versa.

Quarries of White Sivec Marble

White Sivec is extracted form Prilep Area, Macedonia, where just Mermeren owns the 30% of the concession area.

Bloque de Blanco Sivec Feria Verona

White Sivec Block, by Mermeren. Exterior Stand, Verona  Fair 2018

The pristine whiteness and crystallinity of the blocks reminds us surgar cubes!

3. WHITE STATUARIO

The White Statuario is an Italian marble extracted from the famous area of Carrara, located in the Apuan Alps. Place where there can be extracted up 7 different kinds of marble.

Muestra Marmol Estaturario

Bianco Statuario Marble, Italy

Among these 7 types of marble, we can say that Statuario is the most valued variety due to:

  • The whiteness of its matrix contrasts with the grey color tone of the typical veins of this marble.
  • The width of its veins of Statuario marble can vary from just a few millimetres to some centimetres
  • Sometimes, the veins can be also golden or yellow-ochre. They can be quite large and to appear crossed with other veins more o less large without a clear pattern.

The beauty of this marble comes from its characteristic veins, which cut and installed in “Open Book format” gets exceptional effects. This is one of the main differences between Statuario and Sivec or Thassos Marble.

  • The beauty of this marble, along with its workability, make this stone one of the favorites by sculptors.
  • In addition, it is one of the scarcer marble of Carrara.
  • All of these details have made it one of the most expensive marble from Carrara.

Statuario Apuano Block- Arabescato Corchia Quarry, Savema: Verona 2018

Examples of Applications/Installations with Statuario Marble.

We can see one example of “Statuario Marble Open Book format” and “Cut to size” at the ADGM, Abu Dhabi, supplied and installed by Albora.

Statuario Open book y juego volumnees paredFront view ADGM, Abu Dhabi. Walls and counters covered with Bianco Statuario. Stone Project executed by Albora.

Statuario Open book y corte a medida

Side view, ADGM, Abu Dhabi.

Cut to size and Open-Book matched, Statuario Marble. By Albora

4. WHITE VOLAKAS 

It is another Greek marble, highly requested at this time. The same as Thassos, Volakas owns its name to the area where it is extracted. There are 10 quarries now a days approximately.

MUESTRA DE MARMOL VOLAKAS Volakas Marble

Volakas has as slightly white-greyish matrix with a wide number of grey veins, quite noticeable.

Lower qualities have also dots (minerals) with different sizes and amounts.

We could say since an aesthetical point of view, that Volakas Marble matches with a very low quality White Sivec. However physical-mechanical parameters of Volakas are worst and lower than Sivec Marble.

Examples of Applications/Installations with Volakas Marble.

Volakas Marble Floor with Grey Rubina, Polished Pulido. Project by Álbora.

Waterjet Mosaic: Gris Rubina combined with Volakas. By Albora

Quarries of Volakas Marble

The extraction of Volakas is heavily concentrated in Grupo Empresarial FHL that controls the 85%  of the total amount of Volakas Wordwide, extracted from its own 4 quarries .

Due to its typical veins and dots, this material can be quite vary and diverse. Hereafter you can observe 2 examples from two different quarries and companies in Drama: Dermitzakis and FHL Group.

The veins of this marble allow to create amazing  Open-Book layouts depending on the nature of the veins and the quarried block.

Example of Volakas, Open Book Layout, Factory in Drama.

5. WHITE CARRARA MARBLE

White Carrara, like Statuario is extracted from Carrara, area that as we mentioned before, they are extracted up to 7 different types of marble. The most well-known of all of them is the White Carrara or Bianco Carrara Marble.

Muestra Marmol Bianco Carrara

Bianco Carrara Marble

It is a marble with a white background and grey veins. Like in the other mentioned kinds of marble, as we go to lower qualities, the backgrounds becomes a bit darker (greyish) and we can observe a bigger presence of veins and other impurities.

There is a a wide range of classifications/varieties of White Carrara such as: Bianco Carrara C, CD or D.

White Carrara has a very thing grain size with and a mealy texture. It is a very hard and strong marble suitable for quite any use, indoor or outdoor.

It is one of the the most affordable varieties of Carrara Marble, so along with its aesthetical and physical-mechanical characteristics, make it one of the most required marble in spite of its whiteness is not so immaculate as other kinds of marble as Sivec, Thassos or Statuario.

Examples of Applications/Installations with Bianco Carrara.

We know the use of Carrara Marble since ancient times. Buildings as the Hercules Temple in Roma or the Famous Tower and Cathedral of Pisa (among many other very important monuments) have used this natural stone to enhance its beauty and magnificence.

Monumentos realizados con Marmol Bianco CarraraCarrara Marble Columns. Hercules Temple, Rome. 120 B. C.

Architectural and decorative elements of Carrara marble. Cathedral and Tower of Pisa, Italy.

Michelangelo sculpted a lot of his Art Works like “the David” and “the Piedad” in blocks of Carrara Marble, but he has not been the only one, of course. At this link, you can enjoy an extensive repertoire of sculptures in White Carrara exhibited at the Prado Museum in Madrid.

We can find an important example of White Carrara in Spain currently at the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, in San Sebastián. Macael Award Craftmanship 2007, Cuellar Stone.

Escalinata Interior Teatro Victoria Eugenia en Marmol Blanco Carrara

 Stairs, Moldings, Flooring and Carving in Carrara Marble. Victoria Eugenia Theatre, San Sebastian. Image Creative Commons Generic Attribution/ShareAlike 3.0.

6. WHITE MACAEL

This Marble is extracted from the very well known area of Macael, Almería. Spain. Now a days the volumen of extraction of this material are decreasing, mainly if we compare it with the described materials above.

Nevertheless, this marble is a very good option to almost any use, possible to find at affordable prices.

Muestra tipo de Marmol Blanco Macael

White Macael Marble

It is a medium-grain calcitic marble with an alternating white-grayish background. Straight and wide grey-cream or white veins are very characteristics of this marble, whose color can be also green and inclusively orange depending on the area of quarrying.

This marble allows many kinds of finishes. Polished of course, which enhances its beauty and splendor, but also honed, sandblusted, aged, even thought flamed -a more specific finish of granites-.

To know more about this Spanish Marble we suggest to have a look to the “Marca Macael” website.

Examples of Applications/Installations in Blanco Macael.

We know about the use of White Macael use since 2.700 years B.C approximately. Nevertheless the Romans were who started to use it actually in important buildings, as decorative items, architectural elements, etc.  in big quantities and professionally.

We can find this marble in places so far from Macael as the famous Theatre of Merida, Badajoz, Spain. (15-16 years B.C.) Badajoz, where Macael Marble is present in columns, statues, structures, etc.

Another example afterwards, we found in the Arab period, in the Alhambra Palace of Granada, where columns, and the popular Lions fountain are carved in White Macael Marble.

Marmol Blanco Macael-Patio Leones Alhambra

The Patio of  Vélez-Blanco Castle, Almería, currently exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, was also decorated with this beautiful Marble.

Artesania Marmol Blanco Macael-NYMMIndoor Patio, Vélez-Blanco Castle, Almería. Image under license (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Library of Kansas City-USA, indoor spaces at the famous Burj- Al-Arab Hotel, Dubai, etc, are some contemporary examples of the use or White Macael.

In Spain for example we find it in the interior stairs of the Playa Hotel, in Cartaya, executed by the Spanish company, Crumar Projects.

Escalinata Hotel en Marmol Blanco Macael

And of course, we find White Macael at the interior of the Geo-Mining Museum, Madrid, Spain.

Escalinata Interior Museo Geominero-Marmol Blanco MacaelWhite Macael Stairs. Geo-Mining Museum, Madrid, Spain. Benjamín Núñez González, Creative Commons Atribución-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional.

In general, and as we have been mentioning, all of these varieties of White Marble are suitable for almost any use. For interior and Exterior, in floors, coverings, handicraft, facades, and Art Works. However is highly recommended to check the physical-mechanical properties before any installation and to be aware of the weather, temperature changes, the transit, pollution, etc…

All of them allow different sizes and formats: From “standard sizes” to “cut to size”. The only limitation will be the “Big Size” that will depend on the size of the blocks.

Special attention to polished and honed finishes outdoor floors, where we  recommend to choose  a sandblasted, bush hammered or any other rough finish.  In any case, we advise to apply an anti-slip surface treatment.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for any query or clarification. Feel free to leave your comments, that will be very appreciated to improve this article. We thanks in advance if you let us know your concerns and interests about marble and natural stone. They will be taken into account for future posts.

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