Marble is one of those stones that is preferred due to its high lustre and natural grain patterns, which infuse an elegant and rich look. Marble is primarily used in flooring and cladding in hotels, up market homes, and office lobbies. Italian marble is sometimes used as a synonymous to marble, but there is difference between Italian marble and Indian marble. In this article, we bring you a guide on Italian marble vs Indian marble.
Traditionally, marble has always been used in sculptures and artworks, but one can also see marbles being used in mantelpieces, on tabletops, and in smaller pieces of décor such as trays, soap dispensers, and much more. Whether used in bathrooms, kitchen countertops, or living rooms, marble has an elegant and timeless look. It has always been among the trendy natural stones that are highly preferred for home décor. The most common varieties used for home decor are Italian and Indian marble. These natural stones are found in a variety of vein patterns and colours and for a layman, this sheer variety might be quite overwhelming. In this article, we aim to provide the difference between Italian marble and Indian marble.
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of marble, before diving deep in to the subject of Italian marble v/s Indian marble:
Pros and Cons of Marble
While choosing marble as a material after falling in love with its looks, do not ignore its drawbacks.
- Marble being a porous stone is highly prone to stains. Chemically, it is produced from calcium carbonate, a basic salt that reacts with an acidic substance. This is the reason, citrus juices can easily corrode the surface and make it susceptible to small pits. Due to this reason, granite is mostly preferred over marble for the purpose of kitchen countertops.
- Marble is a natural stone, and thus its deeper layers can have cracks and fissures that may not be visible over the surface. This may result in high percentage of wastage sometimes.
- It is prone to scratches and thus heavy or sharp objects should not be moved over marble flooring.
- You will need experts for the laying of marble otherwise, it would not be properly laid.
- Marble can wear and tear over a period of time and may develop hairline cracks because of weight or pressure. This is more probable in cases of Italian marble. However, many homebuyers and designers feel that marble adds to the charm as it ages.
- Marble is more expensive than ceramic or vitrified tiles and granite.
We have a detailed article on pros and cons of marble, check out
Difference Between Italian Marble and Indian Marble
Marble can be widely segregated into Italian marble and Indian marble. These are quarried from Northern Italy and the Indian state of Rajasthan respectively. If you are confused between these two types of marbles, then the following pointers mentioned here will tell you which marble is more ideal for your house.
There are different types of marble available in the markets. It can be broadly classified into Indian and Italian marble. But what is Italian marble and what is Indian marble? The following is a guide explaining the difference between both, ‘Italian marble v/s Indian marble’; based on various factors such as colours, varieties, appearance, applications, costs, maintenance, etc. This will help you decide on an ideal choice of marble for your home.
Source of Origin
What is Italian Marble:
So the first question here is what is Italian marble and what is its source of origin? Italian marbles are a dream for everyone and as the name suggests, they are sourced from Italy. According to Nicoletti, Notarnicola and Tassielli (2002) (authors of the article: Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of flooring materials: ceramic versus marble tiles), Italy covers 18% of the world’s output in marble section. The Apuan Alps, a mountain range in central Italy, are the major source of Italian marble. The most common marble found there is Carrara marble, named after the nearby city of Carrara.
What is Indian Marble:
When one thinks of Indian marble, immediately the amazing Taj Mahal comes to mind. As the name suggests, Indian marbles are quarried from various parts of India. Major sources are the states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
Types of Marble
Types of Italian Marble:
The Italian marble design is known for its lustrous look and fine veins. The most popular types of Italian marble are the blue-grey or white marble from Carrara, the creamy-white Pavonazzetto or Red Verona, and the pearly shades of Botticino and Statuario marble which has milky white colour.
Types of Indian Marble:
Indian marble is available in a variety of unique colours. For example, Rajnagar marble and Makrana marble come in shades ranging from grey to pure white, with distinct grains and patterns. According to Garg et. al. (2019) (authors of the article: Makrana Marble: a Popular Heritage Stone Resource from NW India) because of its visual appeal and homogeneous monomineralic characteristics, the Makrana marble maintains a unique place in the history of heritage stones. Andhi Marble is popular for its creamy Pista green shade, while Jaisalmer marble is recognized for its warmth and deep yellow tones. Silky black marble is generally sourced from Abu while pink marble is found in Jodhpur, which sometimes has grains of white and grey running through it. The Bidasar marbles are found in shades ranging from deep green to muddy brown. Kesariyaji marble also known as Kesariyaji green marble is quarried near Udaipur, Rajasthan. It is the most popular marble among green marbles in India.
Italian marble design has a crystal-like and luxurious look and also has a high lustre and shine while Indian marble has a moderate lustre. While Italian marble gives your home a royal touch, it is available in limited colours, usually in shades of grey and white.
Indian marble has moderate lustre and is available in a large variety of natural grain patterns and colour options. Indian marble is available in wide range of colours like grey, white, black, pink, green, etc.
Strength and Durability
Italian marble has a thickness of about 18 to 20 mm. Italian marble is much softer, it may produce small hairline cracks over a period of time. A thin sheet of nylon net with adhesive is used as a backing for Italian marble so that it can provide extra reinforcement. Italian Marble as a material has to go through various treatments that include epoxy resins along with matching its pigments to upgrade its durability and strength. This is the reason why one side of the Italian marble always has a polished finish to hide all the chemical resins.
Indian marble is generally available with thickness starting from 20mm to 30mm. Indian marble is harder than Italian marble. Hence, there is less probability of formation of small hairline cracks. Indian marble is also available in unpolished form.
Buying marble for your house? Make sure to read all the properties of marble:
While laying Italian marble flooring, you would need a highly skilled craftsperson, whereas Indian marble requires comparatively lower levels of skills. While laying Italian marble flooring, if you are not careful, the wastage may go as high as 50% to 100%. Italian marble slabs must be levelled properly, otherwise, there may be development of cracks in the future.
Installation of Indian marble flooring requires lower levels of skills as compared to Italian marble. Professionals with experience in installing Indian marble flooring can be easily found in India.
Like Indian marble, Italian marble also loses its lustre over some period of time. Hence, it should be polished to maintain its lustre. It is also not resistant to stains, thus all the liquid spills on marble surfaces should be wiped off immediately. Italian marble must be cleaned with a mild detergent or with mild cleaners which are specially formulated for cleaning marble. Being a delicate stone, care should be taken to make sure it is never scrubbed. It should be sealed with impregnating sealers which help create a protective and stain-resistant layer.
Indian marble tends to lose its lustre after a period of years. Therefore it must be polished periodically to maintain its original shiny nature. Marble polishing is generally done with tin oxide and carborundum stone. It is not resistant to stains, thus all the liquid spills on marble surfaces should be wiped off immediately. It should be sealed with a stain-resistant layer.
The price of marble flooring is higher than the price of normal flooring types like vitrified tiles or polished metal stones. Also, the time taken to complete the flooring work is more compared to tiles. However, once you fix the floor, you need not worry about it for at least the next 20 – 30 years. Let’s have a look at the price of Indian marble and the price of Italian marble.
Italian marble is one of the finest floorings in the world, and thus accordingly priced. The cost of Italian marble starts from Rs 200 per square ft with the cheapest varieties, and exclusive ones can cost even Rs 4000 for a square ft. As Italian marble is imported from Italy, it is much more expensive than Indian marble. Moreover, professional craftsmen are needed to lay the Italian marble, especially for the intricate marble inlay work.
The cost of Indian marble generally starts from Rs 90 to 300 per square foot. However, the price varies with the type of marble you choose. The rates are calculated considering “Per unit square feet”. The price increases if you want whiter slabs or slabs of similar sizes or patterns. The installation cost of Indian marble is lesser compared to Italian marble.
As Italian marble is softer, it needs a nylon backing and is treated with epoxy resins, chemical resin sealers, and matching pigments.
Indian marble is harder; hence there are no toxins or chemicals used. Hence, it is a better option from environment point of view.
Italian marble is used in high-end flooring of living rooms, staircases, foyer, and tabletops. However, due to its soft nature, it is not preferable in kitchens, as it is easily prone to stains caused by acidic elements such as lemon juice, vinegar, citrus juice, sauce, wine etc. Italian marble is also used for making decorative items.
When it comes to the applications of Italian marble v/s Indian marble, Indian marble is heavier, so Indian marble is used for flooring, wall cladding, as well as countertops. Indian marble can be used in kitchen countertops and bathrooms walls and floors as well.
All set to Make Your Decision on Italian Marble V/S Indian Marble For your Home Sweet Home?
Marble has been popularly used for its sheer elegance. With its quirky colours, lustrous textures and elegant finishes, it makes a classy statement in any space. The final decision on Italian Marble v/s Indian Marble lies in your hands. You can choose according to your requirement and budget.
However, natural marble has certain limitations that can be overcome with the help of modern technology. Nowadays, technological marble is being developed, a material that offers both technical and visual benefits. It comprises about 91 to 96% natural marble that is combined with resins and other products with the help of engineered stone technology that is based on Vibro-compression.
It is very advantageous. It has good resistive power, zero porosity, great flexibility, and it is easy to maintain. It can be easily incorporated in various interiors such as residential and offices as well as high traffic public spaces such as airports, train stations, shopping centers etc. without much concern. Hence, you can also look for technological marble to get more advantages of marble.
Hopefully, these comparisons have helped you decide the ideal marble between Italian marble vs Indian marble for your home.
Confused between marble and granite? Make sure to check out our article:
Granite vs Marble: Make a Right Choice
Image Courtesy: Image 2, Image 8
Saili Sawantt – She is an Architect and Interior Designer by profession. Writing is what she treats as her passion. She has worked as an Architectural Writer, Editor, and Journalist for various design as well as digital portals, both national and international. Formerly she has also worked with Godrej Properties Limited (GPL) Design Studio, Mumbai, due to her keen interested in learning about Sustainability and Green buildings. Apart from this, she runs her blog ‘The Reader’s Express’ and is a practicing Architect & Interior Designer.