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White Marble Table Tops: Carrara, Arabescato or Calacatta?

Arabescato Marble table in Old Compton Brasserie

At first glance, Calacatta, Arabescato and Carrara marble all look very similar - they are all white marble, from the same region of Italy and all are geologically alike. But they are different:

 What's the difference between Carrara, Calacatta & Arabescato marble?

  • Carrara marble has milder markings and will be white to grey, sometimes with a background also being pale grey.
  • Arabescato is a very white background with dark grey markings but with veins on a smaller scale than Calacatta. 
  • Calacatta is generally white to ivory colour background with large, strong veins.
    There are different 'grades' of each marble, each with slightly different characteristics...

Carrara is the best value, Calacatta the most expensive.

The smaller the area of marble, the less obvious the differences between different marbles; also the smaller the area, the less similarity between Calacatta tops (due to the larger scale of its pattern).  

We cannot stress enough that marble is a natural material, so will vary from top to top.

Note: the image above is of Arabescato table tops in Old Compton Brasserie 

Here are some images of marble sheets to illustrate the differences. Including examples of different grades of a type of marble.

Carrara Marble sheet

Carrara Marble

Carrara is generally a white to grey background with grey markings.
Arabescato Marble sheet

Arabescato Marble

Arabescato tends to have a very white/ivory background with strong markings that are even over a slab but a bigger scale than Carrara marble. Our material is a Corchia/Vagli grade as a rule.
Calacatta Venato Marble sheet

Calacatta Venato Marble

Calacatta, Venato in this case, usually consists of a white background with strong veining.
Calacatta Venato Marble sheet

Calacatta Venato Marble

This is a different sheet of Calacatta Venato but the markings are not as strong and the sheet here is 3mx170. If you imagine cutting 700x700 or 600 diameter table tops from this sheet, the result will not be very impressive for the price.
Calacatta Vagli Marble Sheet

Calacatta Vagli Marble

Calacatta is also available in 'Vagli' grade. This is a more blotchy material that is more expensive than Arabescato. Table tops cut from this sheet would not all look the same - some will be darker than others.
Calacatta Viola Marble sheet

Calacatta Viola Marble

Another variation of Calacatta is 'Viola' grade. This type of Calacatta is very distinctive due to its purple markings. This type is not always available.
For more help specifying marble table tops, read our blog Restaurant Table Tops: Marble, Metal & More or download the full Furniture Knowledge book below.

Topics: Tables, Specification tips

By Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth Paula Stanbridge-Faircloth on 05/11/18 11:25
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