Indian Marble Vs Italian Marble: What is the difference?
Whether used in living rooms, kitchen countertops for bathrooms, marble has a timeless and elegant appeal. It has always been among the most preferred natural stones for home décor, and the most commonly used marble varieties are Italian and Indian marble. These natural stones are available in a wide range of colors and vein patterns. The kind of opulence and aesthetic looks these marbles bring make them a popular choice all over the world. In the coming section, we have discussed the qualities of both Italian and Indian marbles with the major difference incorporated. These pieces of information will help you to choose appropriate marble for your space within your budget.
Properties of Indian and Italian Marble
|Italian Marble||Indian Marble|
|Source||Quarried from Italy||Quarried from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra and Madhya Pradesh in India|
|Lustre||Italian marble is very high-quality lustrous,pearly and luminescent||Indian marble is medium lustrous as compared to Italian marble.|
|Colors||Italian marble available in White, Grey, Blue-Grey, Rose, colors||Indian marble available in white, Grey, Deep Yellow, Green, Red, Black|
|Softness||Very soft||Comparatively harder|
|Thickness||Commonly available in 18-20 mm slabs||Available in various thicknesses, can go up to 30 mm|
|Polishing||Available as one side polished slabs||Polished or unpolished|
|Cost||Starts at Rs 350 per square foot||Starts at Rs 80 per square foot|
|Laying||Italian marble needs highly skilled craftsmen||Indian marble requires a lesser level of skills as compared to Italian marble.|
|Environmental concerns||As it is soft, it has a nylon backing and is treated with epoxy resins, matching pigments and chemical resin sealers||No toxins or chemicals used to reinforce stone as it is harder|
|Where used||High-end floors of living, foyer, staircases, tabletops. Not preferred in kitchens as it is very soft and can easily stain.||Indian marble mostly used in bathroom walls and floors, kitchen countertops.|
Pros & Cons of Marble
While the most significant advantage of marble is its aesthetic appeal, it does come with a lot of drawbacks.
- Marble is a porous stone and is prone to stains. Chemically, it is made of calcium carbonate, a basic salt that can react with an acidic material. That’s why citrus juices can corrode the surface and make it susceptible to small pits. For this reason, granite is preferred over marble for kitchen countertops.
- As marble is a natural stone, deeper layers of the stone could have fissures and cracks which may not be visible on the surface. As a result, the slabs you buy may sometimes come with a high percentage of wastage.
- Marble is prone to scratches and heavy or sharp objects should not be moved on the floor.
- Unless you have experts laying the stone, it may not be done perfectly.
- Over a period of time, marble can wear away and develop hairline cracks due to weight or pressure. This is more common in Italian marble. However, many people feel this adds to the charm as the stone ages.
- Marble is more expensive than granite, vitrified or ceramic tiles.
Indian Marble and Italian Marble Costs
Marble from Italy is among the finest in the world and is accordingly priced—with the cheapest varieties starting from Rs 150 per square foot, and the more exclusive, fine stones costing even Rs 4000 for a square foot. Creamy Calacatta marble with its feathery veins and Carrara are classified as Group A. These are available only at the lower depths of quarries. They are highly-priced as they have very few fissures running through the stone. Indian marble is much more cost-effective, with the lower-end prices starting at Rs 150 per square foot. When calculating the costs, you will also need to include the prices of cutting the slabs to size and laying it in your required pattern. This will come to around 150 per square foot inclusive of the fixing material. Marble inlay work requires very specialized craftsmen to do the work. Depending on how intricate the design is, costs can go up to Rs 2,500 per square foot. Finally, the marble needs to be polished with fine stones of carborundum and buffed and sealed with tin oxide. This polishing costs approximately Rs 40 per square foot.
Trending Ideas in Marble:
Marble is primarily used in flooring and cladding in upmarket homes, office lobbies, and hotels. It is not preferred for external use, especially not in polluted areas, as it can get damaged. Marble has always traditionally been used in sculptures and artwork – like this serene seated Buddha. It is also used on tabletops, in mantelpieces, and in smaller pieces of décor like trays, soap dispensers and so on.
Cleaning Tips for Marble:
Marble is a stone that requires a high degree of maintenance to keep it looking good. Its porous nature makes it very prone to scratches and stains, and such imperfections show up all too well against a polished surface. Here are some maintenance tips:
- Acidic substances like vinegar, lime and tomato will stain the marble, so wipe up any spills immediately.
- Use diluted organic cleaners that are environmentally friendly and do not contain any chemicals.
- Seal the surface regularly with a sealant that forms a protective barrier. When water stops beading on the surface, it’s time to re-seal.
- Every few years, marble should be re-polished with carborundum stone and tin oxide, to restore the surface luster.
- The water used for mopping the floor should not be hard or contain any chemicals.
To conclude, Italian marble, as well as Indian marble, has its own niche for interiors and exteriors. Though Italian marbles have gained popularity over the time Indian marbles are also becoming popular in the same pattern these days. Therefore choose the right marble based on your style and preference.
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