Friday, July 3, 2015

A Bathroom Lookbook: Marble

Marble is a symbol of classicism and refined taste. The material has been used as far back as Greek and Roman times for dwellings and statues. One of the oldest and most famous sculptures, the Venus de Milo, dating back to 100 BC, is made of marble. And of course, perhaps the most famous sculpture of all, Michelangelo's David, is made of marble.

Michelangelo's David

Of course, too, the Roman Bath, which featured marble, was a mainstay of Roman culture. As the Ancient History Encyclopedia tells us:

" was in the large cities that these complexes (balnea or thermae) took on monumental proportions with vast colonnades and wide-spanning arches and domes. Baths were built using millions of fireproof terracotta bricks and the finished buildings were usually sumptuous affairs with fine mosaic floors, marble-covered walls, and decorative statues."

We tend to associate the Romans with decadence and exclusivity, but the Ancient History Encyclopedia reminds us that, in fact, the Roman baths offered the world an early example of egalitarianism:

"Generally opening around lunchtime and open until dusk, baths were accessible to all, both rich and poor. In the reign of Diocletian, for example, the entrance fee was a mere two denarii - the smallest denomination of bronze coinage."

Today, we often find marble in public buildings and statues--and of course, in private bathrooms. In today's bathroom's, marble speaks of both luxury and refinement. Just take a look at our "Bathroom Lookbook: Marble".

A porcelain pedestal sink from Kohler is the perfect match for this marble powder room.

Source Quality Marble  

A natural material, marble is mined, most notably in Italy, China, India, and Spain. In our opinion, the best marble comes from the land of the Romans, Italia, specifically the area around Carrara in Northern Tuscany.

Many see marble as the most esteemed of all bathroom materials. We agree: marble is a great addition to most bathroom remodeling projects. Yet we do say this with a few caveats.

If you research marble on the Internet, you're likely to find articles about marble's permeability, which can make it more likely to erode or stain. For this reason, marble might not be the best option for a children's bathroom.

On the other hand, the best marble can prove to be quite durable--and can continue to look beautiful with appropriate upkeep. At MKBD, we import most of our marble from Italy.

Wall-to-wall marble creates a dramatic appearance.

Marble's Unique Appearance

No two pieces of marble are exactly alike. The sheer variety of color and veining (as seen in the marble wall above) is, indeed, part of what makes marble so appealing. The most expensive marble, with its subtle veining and even color, has the most uniform appearance of all marble.

In this MKBD project, the Italian marble boasts a soft color and relatively uniform texture with little veining. 

Some homeowners prefer the  textual appeal of more pronounced veining; we often source high-quality marble with veining, too.

In this MKBD project, large slabs of imported marble tile envelops the bathroom from floor to ceiling. Note the soft color and veining. 

FREE In-Home Remodeling Estimate

If you have any questions about your next remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. Let's talk bathroom design and more! Call now! 215-355-4747. Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!

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