White marble is one of the natural stones preferred by architects, decorators and interior designers. These 6 types of white marble are popular and widely used in residentail and commercial uses.
There are countless natural stones with white or off-white tones of different origin (igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary). Here we will focus on the “marbles”, that is, those whose denomination coincides with both the geological and commercial terms.
They are metamorphic rocks of calcareous nature with a variable proportion of dolomite.
They are formed by a white matrix that will vary in tonality depending on the composition of the initial rock. Its grain size -always visible to the naked eye-, presence of impurities (other minerals) and texture will be fundamental aspects to differentiate some types from others.
1. White Thassos marble
This stone owes its name to the Greek island of Thassos, from which it has been extracted since ancient times. Important works of art such as the “Victory of Samothrace” were made of this material.
It is a very pure dolomitic marble, characterized by an exceptional whiteness, a very small grain size and a practical absence of veins, especially in the higher qualities.
Its almost immaculate whiteness due to its great purity, together with its hardness and consistency (typical of marbles from the geological point of view), allow this material to be used both in interiors and exteriors.
However, the most advisable is the use of this stone for interiors. As it is a white material, in exteriors it can become yellowish with time, due to its exposure to meteorological agents such as the sun and humidity as well as atmospheric dirt (dust, pollution, etc.).
The use of surface treatments can, of course, slow down these effects, although they will eventually lose their effect. Its purity, quality and beauty will go much less unnoticed in interior environments.
2. White Sivec marble
It can also be found in the market as “Yugoslavian White”, “Macedonian White” and even “Chive White”.
Like Thassos, it is a marble of extraordinary whiteness. It is characterized by its very fine grain size, microgranular texture and a very limited presence of veins. Only in the blocks of lower qualities some colored spots and some grayish veining start to become visible.
In general, it is a marble that has a very high resistance, even superior to Blanco Thassos, making it a material suitable for any type of application, both in exteriors and interiors. In flooring and cladding, kitchen countertops, bathroom and handicrafts and of course for artistic elements.
3. Statuario White
It is an Italian marble extracted from the well known area of Carrara, located in the Apuan Alps and from which up to 7 different varieties of marble are extracted, of which the Statuario marble is the most valued.
From the aesthetic point of view, it is a very white marble, almost snowy, which may well drift towards more grayish shades as its quality decreases. It is characterized by a gray vein, more or less dark and whose thickness can vary from a few millimeters to even centimeters. Occasionally, the grain can have ochre or golden tones.
It is also one of the scarcest Carrara marbles. This, together with its magnificent aesthetic and physical-mechanical characteristics and a high demand, have raised the price of this material considerably.
Just as other types of white marble, Thassos and Sivec, Statuario is perfectly feasible for exterior use, it is more recommended for interiors, where its durability and beauty can remain almost unalterable over the centuries.
4. White Volakas
This is another Greek marble in high demand in recent times. Like Thassos, it owes its name to the region where it is extracted and where there are about 10 quarries.
With a grayish-white background, they present a large volume of veins of typically gray color, not very dark and quite marked. In the lower ones, greyish spots of variable sizes are quite frequent.
As with the materials described above, this marble can be cut in all types of formats, both standard and “cut to size”.
We could say that at an aesthetic level, Volakas would be equivalent to a low quality Blanco Sivec. Although its physical-mechanical parameters are very similar.
5. Carrara white marble
As its name indicates, it comes from the famous Italian region located in the Apuan Alps.
It is a white matrix marble with a tendency towards greyish tones. It is characterized by the presence of quite visible grey and even bluish veins, even more so as the quality of the material decreases.
It is a fairly fine-grained marble, whose texture can become somewhat floury. Of very high compactness, it is suitable for almost all types of uses, spaces and with a wide repertoire of finishes. With polishing, it acquires a very intense shine, but it can be finished with honing, sandblasting, antiquing, etc.
Blanco Carrara is one of the most accessible types of white marble in terms of price, so given its aesthetic and physical-mechanical characteristics, it is a material in great demand even though its whiteness is not as immaculate as the previous varieties.
6. Macael white marble
It is extracted from the well known Almeria Macael area. Nowadays, its extraction volume is beginning to be somewhat reduced, especially in comparison with the previous marbles. However, like the previous ones, it is a very good alternative for any type of use, being able to be found in the market at very competitive prices.
It is a very compact calcitic marble with a whitish-milky aspect and greyish tendency. Of medium grain size and typically saccharoidal texture.
Its appearance varies from a very white matrix somewhat veined (in the Extra grades), to a variable whitish-grayish matrix with gray veins of variable thickness. Depending on the specific extraction zone, it may present greenish or even orange veins.
See also: What are the marble stone characteristics?