What Is Carrara Marble?

Carrara marble is one of the most expensive building materials.

Carrara Marble

Carrara marble is a very expensive building material.
It gets its name from Carrara, Italy, the city in which this marble is most commonly quarried. With its beautiful white or grayish-blue hue, Carrara is a highly desirable marble. .
Carrara marble is a metamorphosed limestone.

Carrara marble, like all marble, is a metamorphosed limestone. Marble starts its life beneath the Earth's surface as limestone. As the limestone is subjected to heat and pressure through millions of years, it recrystallizes into marble.

Carrara Quarries

Carrara marble comes from the quarries of Carrara, Italy.

The quarries of Carrara, Italy, are where Carrara marble comes from. The marble is blasted off in huge blocks and then taken to a factory to be cut and polished. Today, technology allows quarry workers to use giant cutting machines to remove marble from the quarry, but in the past, they had to use dynamite.

Artistic Uses

Carrara marble has been favored for use in sculpture throughout history.

Carrara marble has been favored as a sculpting material throughout history, especially in the Renaissance. Michaelangelo's famous sculpture, "David," is made of Carrara marble.

Uses in Architecture

Carrara marble has been used in architecture throughout history.

Carrara marble was used in architecture by the ancient Greeks and Romans, usually as exterior cladding, and it still is used occasionally used today. The famous Amoco skyscraper in Chicago originally was clad in Carrara marble but had to be reclad in a different material once the Carrara marble started to crumble and fall down to the street below.

Uses in Home Design

Carrara marble is most commonly used in homes today as countertops and tiles.

Carrara marble most commonly is used today in home design as countertops and floor tiles. White Carrara marble especially is desirable for its clean, aesthetic qualities.

About the Author

Based in Chicago, Annie Wang has been writing since 2008. Her work has appeared in World Architecture News and other online publications. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and art history from the University of California, Davis.