Excellent Marble vs. Lesser Marble: How to Spot the Differences

Excellent Marble vs. Lesser Marble: How to Spot the Differences

Most people only want the best marble when it comes to quality, and we don’t blame them for that. But you’ve got to know how to differentiate excellent marble slabs from ones that you should avoid.

Here we’ll get into the different grades of marble and what you can expect from them—and also how to tell them apart from one another.

Grades of Marble

There are four common grades of marble: A, B, C, and D.

Grade A marble
There are few, if any, geological flaws in grade A marble. The colors of these slabs are subtle, and they don’t often have prominent veining patterns. They have a less dramatic appearance than other slabs, which makes them aesthetically pleasing for many people.

Grade B marble
There aren’t many flaws in grade B marble, either. If anything, there will be just a bit of pitting. The veins may also be dry, which means there’s a separation between the natural material, and that could mean filling the subtle imperfections to make the stone more stable.

Grade C marble
With grade C marble, you might find defined lines of separation, noticeable flaws, and voids. These imperfections are, in many cases, addressed during the fabrication stage, and some of the repaired areas might be noticeable in the form of unpolished spots where natural stone chips were used to fill voids in the marble.

Grade D marble
There are quite a few natural flaws in grade D marble. To fix them, fabricators often use cement, epoxy, and dowels, which means that the stone might not have the same luster in those places as it does in the unrepaired areas. But while grade D marble has the most flaws, it’s often the most interesting when it comes to aesthetics.

Choosing High-Quality Marble

Clearly, grade A marble has the fewest number of flaws among all four grades, but it doesn’t have as much visual interest. If you want the best of both worlds, know that there are other things you can do to examine the marble slabs that go beyond understanding the grades of the material.

Here are some steps to check off as you find the perfect marble slab for your home:

Examine the coloration of the stone.

  • Grade A marble is often found in pure white.
  • Minerals within the layers of the limestone can create shades of yellow, pink, gray, green, or blue.
  • If there are seemingly unnatural colors included, that often means the marble has been mixed with other materials.

Check the veining of the stone.

  • When mineral impurities are mixed in with the limestone, swirls and veins show up.
  • Natural marble will have long streaks.
  • Manufactured materials usually have a more swirled appearance without the dimension and depth of natural slabs.

Take a look at the stone’s gloss.

  • In many cases, synthetic materials will use crushed glass in a slab. But that still doesn’t come close to the sheen of natural marble.
  • Look for chips and cracks.
  • If you find a marble slab that has large chips and cracks, that probably indicates a low-quality material.
  • It’s true that a small degree of chipping and cracking is normal, but if more than 5 percent of the material is chipped, it will make for a poor installation.

Understanding the Grade of Your Marble

Whether you gravitate toward the pristine nature of grade A marble or the visual interest of grade C, it’s important to make sure that your slab is high quality enough to hold up over time. For help finding the best marble possible, get in touch with Marble Granite World today.

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