Italian marbles are among the most commonly used marble today and if you’re on the market to get some natural stones and you would want the best for your house, chances are, you would be told to go for Italian marble. But the challenge is Italian marble is relatively more expensive when compared to marble from other places.
For this article, I did research on why Italian marbles are so expensive and what’s special about them and I’m ready to share with you all that I have found.
So why are Italian marble expensive? Italian marble is the best and finest marble your money can buy. Italian marble comes with beautiful feathery veins, has very few fissures running through them, and as a result, Italian marble is classified as Group A. The two main factors that account for the hefty price tag of the Italian marble are their cost of harvesting (from the deep mountains of Carrara requiring high-tech machinery) and the cost of importing them.
To learn more about the reasons why Italian marbles are expensive, keep reading this article.
1. Italian Marble Is a Pure Natural Stone
Italian marble is a purely natural stone and this is one of the basic reasons why Italian marble is relatively expensive. Italian marble just like most other natural marbles does not have its materials manufactured in a factory.
Italian marble is not synthetic, they are formed when nature exerts a large amount of pressure and heat on limestone in a natural phenomenon that occurs in the crust of the earth.
This massive pressure and heat occur on limestones when Plate tectonics shifts over them in the earth’s crust.
This massive amount of pressure happens over a timeframe that is estimated to be millions of years. So it’s indeed understandable why no factory can replicate such an elaborate act of nature – at the same level nature does it.
This is something you need to understand about how marble is made and the kind of value that comes with such an elaborate act of mother nature.
It’s purely an act of magic by nature that cannot be perfectly replicated in any factory.
2. Italian Marbles Are The Finest In The World
The premise of Italian marble being expensive is also due to the fact that Italian marbles are the finest natural stones you can ever buy.
There are a bunch of different variations in the natural stones that marble is made out of and while most marble will claim to have been crafted from natural stones the fact remains that all marbles can never be the same.
The different variations of natural stones also mean that the kind of quality you get with marble will greatly vary.
Italian marbles are sourced from the Mountains of Carrara in Italy where the natural conditions are exceptionally good with limestones having significantly fewer impurities.
Due to this, Italian marbles are the least to weaken and become brittle. This is certainly one of the major reasons why Italian marbles are by far distinguished in terms of their quality and price.
3. Cost Of Harvesting Italian Marble Is High
The cost of harvesting Italian marble is also one of the reasons why Italian marbles are expensive. In Italy, the Mountains of Carrara in the Apuan Alps, a mountain range in Nothern Tuscany hosts about 188 quarries where the best marbles of the world come from.
This site has the best marble and Michelangelo himself used to visit to choose slabs for some of the renowned sculpture pieces we all know today.
Marble has been harvested and carved over at the mountains of Carrara since Ancient Roman times. With such a long history of marble harvesting that spans over a millennial, a lot of marble has been produced on the Carrara mountain more than any other place in the world.
With over 4 million tons of marble harvested each year, it is no surprise that the cost of harvesting marble in Italy is gradually becoming even more expensive.
This is because querries will now have to dig deeper to get the very best marble. Marbles extracted from caves are even more expensive as the cost of caving mining marble bears a much higher extraction cost – They require better technology, sophisticated machinery, and highly skilled manpower.
Because of this, the cost of getting the raw material for marble has gone up and will still continue to rise and this ultimately influences the upward trend in Italian marble prices over the years.
4. Italian Government Regulatory Policies
During the harvesting of the marbles over in the marble quarries in Italy, huge blocks of marbles need to be lifted and carved. Sometimes, these marble blocks may have natural fractures on the stone that can cause the marble to crumble into pieces after they have been harvested.
The Region of Tuscany has put in place regulations to preserve 25% of all stones harvested, turned into blocks, and stored to regulate the quest of these queries for the perfect marble slabs.
The regulations are also to help regulate the amount of wastage that may occur in those quarry sites.
So the gap or deficit that occurs between scrap marbles and usable blocks marble coupled with government regulation is sometimes responsible for making the price of Italian marble skyrocket.
5. Italian Marble Is A WorldWide Luxury Stone
It is common fact that Italian marbles are for people who want to own the best things in life due to the luxury associated with it.
Italian marbles are also known to be a worldwide luxury stone and like any reputable brand or product, marble from Italy attracts high price tags to them.
All over the world, marble from Italy due to its quality, beauty, and long-standing production history, has over the years been accepted as a premium or luxury stone and as such it is often the material of choice for some of the world’s luxurious hotels, upmarket residential homes, office lobbies, restaurants, etc.
6. Exported Italian Marble
If you do not live in Italy and your country has to import marble from Italy then it’s also going to make the Italian marble in your country relatively expensive.
Every year, about 1.2 million tons of marble blocks leave Italy for the United States, China, and Germany as the top 3 importers of Italian marble.
Due to high competition among importers from these first world countries prices are relative. Basic economics 101. Demand and supply. But more importantly, while importation charges add to the retail price of the item, how far your country is from Italy or Europe, will sometimes mean a hefty price due to the transportation cost for long-distance travel.
The marbles then go to local businesses who then hike the prices for maximum profits.
One of the things that threaten the imported marble market is the rise of people’s consciousness to be as green as possible.
More and more people now prefer marble that has been quarried in their home country and show no love to marble that has traveled thousands of miles away.
The notion that marble that has been flown halfway around the world may have in one way or another caused massive pollutions throughout their journey from the vessels, they were shipped in.
7. Italian Marbles Are Highly Versatile
Italian marble is highly versatile in terms of its look and function. When it comes to their look, Italian marbles come in a wide variety of colors and veins.
In terms of their functionality and practicality, Italian marble can be used for places with high traffic, indoors, outdoors as they can withstand exposure to spills and excessive heat.
For example, some of the more popular Italian marbles like the Carrara, Calacatta, and the Statuario marble are absolutely perfect for indoor applications and such as bathroom vanities, kitchen benchtops, splashbacks to mention a few.
Italian marbles are also the most commonly used for statues and other sculpture works. They are the best due to their fine grain size which is ideal for carving.
8. Durability And You Get What You Pay For
When compared to most other stones, Italian marble is simply pricey due to its utmost durability, high-quality luster, and luminescence.
One of the common concerns among most people who often want to go for marble is talks of how most marbles are delicate, vulnerable, the tendency to chip very easily, and requires a lot of baby-ing.
This usually serves as a major turn-off from natural stone marble. But what we often forget is all the architectural structures and sculptural pieces that have stood the test of time for thousands of years and have survived till this day.
This long-lasting durability is what Italian marbles will have to offer. Italian marbles simply offer you the quality that will outlast many other materials or types of marbles sourced from other parts of the world.