Different marble alternatives
Through the centuries and ages, marble has been widely used due to its luxurious aesthetic appearance and its symbolism of elegance and grandiosity.
Marble is a natural stone that has been mined and yielded as slabs since the early ages. It might contain veins of different colors. Most commonly these veins are the result of impurities such as iron oxides, sand, and other chemical compounds.
Due to its beautiful simple exhibitor and abundance, it has been preferred by Minimalists in their designs and fashion. Thus, it has been used in different settings, either interior or exterior, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and gardens' water falls. Anciently, marble was mainly used for highly prestigious purposes, such as hand-carved statues, pillars for temples, and thrones for kings and rulers.
Lately, marble has been replaced by the newly discovered marble alternatives as its maintenance is not only expensive but hard as well, and it has become more or less a non-favored choice for some settings due to its porous nature that makes it hard for it to withstand watery areas for long periods of time, and its surface is unfortunately susceptible to damage by chopping blades over it and cleaning chemicals as well. All of these cons, added to its high cost, make it inevitable for humans to search for and invent better alternatives.
These alternatives are many and vary between natural and synthetic. In this article, we will discuss a few of these alternatives: granite, quartzite, quartz, ceramic, porcelain, and PVC.
A naturally composed stone that is formed by the solidification of molten rocks under great amounts of heat and pressure, which makes it even more durable and heat-resistant than marble. As for the aesthetic aspect, granite is present in multiple colors and variant forms of veins. Although it might not look the same as white marble, it is considered a good alternative as it is natural as marble yet more durable and less porous, which makes it better in the maintenance aspect and so more practical.
It is a natural stone as well that is even harder than granite and looks more similar to marble than granite as well. It is durable and can sustain damage such as scratching, chipping, staining, and chemicals as long as it is well sealed.
A man-made stone composed of 90% natural quartz and 10% polyresins. It is synthetic, so it is non-porous, making it more resistant than other solutions. It can be modified to withstand different environmental factors in order to reduce the maintenance costs and effort. Furthermore, it can be made into different colors and patterns, and so can serve in different settings and maintain the aesthetic aspect as perfectly as it can be, in addition to being antimicrobial, which is a great add-on to the hygienic aspect. Unfortunately, it is not the best alternative for sunny settings as its color might fade away, and it is also non-heat resistant, so you had better be cautious with your hot pans and pots around it.
It is made from clay that is put under great heat and temperature to form tiles that possess antimicrobial capability and are heat-, scratch-, and stain-resistant. Obviously, ceramic is a much cheaper alternative to marble, yet it is still a practical choice as it is available in various sizes, shapes, and patterns that might be similar to marble. The main downside of choosing ceramic tiles is that they need recurrent thorough cleaning of the interspaces between the tiles. As for the maintenance, it is easily done and rarely costs much.
They are made in a process similar to ceramics, and the major difference is that porcelain is made of denser clay that faces even higher grades of pressure and temperature, making it even more durable than ceramics. It is present in different sizes and shapes and is characterized by being the best choice for watery areas such as bathrooms and pools. It is non-porous as it is synthetic and has the same features of easy repair and the lack of the need for sealing, so it is a non-expensive and highly effective alternative to marble in the watery areas.
6. PVC marble sheets
It is a synthetic product made out of calcium carbonate powder mixed with plastic resin that is then formed into panels and sheets that can be interlocked together to form a similar appearance to marble. It is available at a very reasonable rate and is highly practical as it is of various designs and patterns and has a versatile usage due to its durability and resistance to different factors, either environmental, mechanical, or chemical, which makes it desirable to use in different settings and for different purposes. It not only has great features, but it is also considered a green product, which means it is made of sustainable, eco-friendly materials, which corresponds to the current trend of protecting the ecological system.
Deciding which to use, either marble or any of its many alternatives, is a subjective process that cannot be objectified. Each of us has our own needs, so when making your choice, you should take into your considerations: your budget for purchase and your budget for maintenance, as well as the characteristic features, whether aesthetic or functional, that you would like your choice to have, and last but not least, the hassles of each type, which hassles you would like to avoid.