If you are buying a marble slab as part of a home
renovation, you should work with a stone specialist. Read on to find out what a
marble specialist can bring to the table.
Is an Ancient Stone with Modern Uses
That marble slab that is enriching your Toronto home's
countertop comes with a pedigree. Marble has been used as a building material
since ancient times. In fact, the word ‘marble’ likely comes from the Greek
'marmaron,' or ‘shining stone.’
Marble is actually metamorphosed limestone. As it transforms,
it becomes an interlocking mosaic of carbonite crystals. Those hallmark swirls
are the result of impurities like clay, silt, sand and iron oxides.
Part of marble’s popularity has come from its
accessibility. Marble is quarried from all over the world. From Italy comes the
famous Carrara marble - noted for its milky white colour and (as Michelangelo
knew) terrific for sculpting. Ireland is the source of Connemara marble, which
is green, of course. The United States has celebrated varieties from Vermont
Marble has graced cathedrals, palaces and courtrooms -
and is now finding its way into Canadian kitchens.
Your Marble from a Specialist
The most important advice for buying stone for your
home is to consult a specialist. An established stone dealer won’t see you as
just another consumer. The dealer’s whole reputation is built on one product –
stone – and he’s going to take care and pride in every sale. For many dealers,
stone is a lifelong, multi-generational vocation, and your best bet is to find
a small, family-run stone dealer.
It is also important to find a dealer with a good
stock of marble. You want to view the slabs – not just small samples. Only the
full cut will allow you to see the unfolding swirls and patterns of the stone,
because - keep in mind - no two slabs are alike, and within the slab there is
A good dealer will educate you about the strengths –
and weaknesses – of marble. As a kitchen countertop it is superb, but it can
scratch and stain. The dealer can tell you ways of avoiding that. If you are
thinking more in terms of flooring, the dealer will want to understand the
traffic flow of the location you have in mind. If the traffic is heavy, marble
may not be the right choice. For starters, it’s a slippery-when-wet stone, so it
is not the best material for a washroom floor.
Once you’ve selected your slab, the dealer’s role is
finished (unless the dealership is looking after the installation as well). It
is now time for the craftsman to make an appearance.
Fabricator Is an Artist in Stone!
A granite fabricator basically takes a slab of raw
marble and turns it into a gorgeous countertop. He is contracted separately
from the dealer and will come to your home and measure out the area to be
covered. He then makes a template of the countertop and cuts the stone to
shape. He will bevel the edges, hone the surface if needed, polish the stone to
perfection and add any other accents you might want.
Some fabricators install the slab, or work with others
to do so. Fabrication is a highly skilled occupation. Only the experienced eye
of the fabricator can see what is required to convert your marble slab into a
gorgeous Toronto countertop.