Looking for a white marble Carrara Subway Marble look with matching mosaics? And the correct choice is......
One of the most renovated rooms in any house is the bathroom and in particular the master bathroom. This is where the decision maker of the house spends the second most amount of time, first being the kitchen – oh and in case you are not aware the decision maker is the female.
One of the most popular looks at the moment is the Carrara marble look, subway 3x6” tile Carrara marble walls, with a crown trim to finish. The flooring is completed with 12x12 matching Carrara with a Basketweave Carrara mosaic insert, the shower created in a wet room format has a Carrara Basketweave insert on the floor to add grip and in some cases a smaller Carrara Basketweave mosaic insert on the shower floor to break up the subway tiles.
The is the look in most magazines anywhere that show the Carrara marble, you can mix the mosaics, and a 1” Carrara Hexagon mosaic on the floor is perfect for the grip needed.
So now I have described the room lets look at the different products and how names have changed and some of the different options available out there. Firstly in the above description you will not I have spelt Carrara – ‘Carrara’. This is actually the correct spelling; however 90% of people n the USA call the product Carrera, spelt with an ‘E’ – exactly like the Porsche car as opposed to Carrara the region in Italy where the marble is from.
It is obvious that Carrara is the correct spelling of the product, but the Americanism of the word to ‘Carrera’ causes havoc with the search engines and comparison shopping websites and in particular, EBay. How do you advertise as a company you have ‘Carrara’ Marble when everyone is searching ‘Carrera’ marble – erm…..? You have to join the crowd. So for the purpose of anyone actually reading this – I will now call it Carrera Marble (even though I know and now so do you know it is Carrara marble).
Ok – sow now I am more confident that the other 90% of the USA population interested in reading about Carrera Marble will now read my article – let’s move onto the different products out there and examine them, first I will just list them:
- Carrera Venato Marble
- Carrera Arabescato
- Carrera Bianco
- Carrera Statuary Marble
- Alabama White Marble
- Cabot White Marble
- Kesir White Marble
- Greecian White Marble
This pretty much covers all the names – so right from the start it is difficult how do you decide what product to go with. First you need to decide on:
These are your two most important decisions: Budget will determine which and where your white marble will come from. Products Needed will determine if the brand of Carrera has all the matching mosaics and accessories needed to complete your job. For example Cabot White Marble, this is a lower priced white marble generally sold in bulk and has no matching accessories or mosaics.
OK – once you have decided on Budget and Products you need then we can look at each of the marble products above:
Carrera Venato Marble – I put this at the top of the list because it is the only marble that offers the complete selection, with this there are over 20 choices from
-3x6” Subway Carrera Tile in polished & honed
-6x6” Carrera Tile in polished & honed
-12x12” Carrera Tile in polished & honed
-18x18” Carrera Tile in polished & honed
-All the tiles in Carrara Venato can be bought from $7SF to $15SF
Carrera Venato offers over 7 mosaics, from Carrera 1x2” Basketweave in polished & honed, 1” Carrera Hexagon mosaic, 1x1” Square Carrera Mosaic and 2” Octagon Carrera mosaic, etc, etc. All the mosaics are offered in polished & honed. Mosaics verify from $9SF to $20SF – it is the perfect Carrera Bianco substitute.
Trims – 3 to choose, Pencil, Chair rail and the most important crown molding – also they are offered in honed and polished and all offered in black marble to create a modern twist and appearance.
Carrera Arabascato – this is a Chinese Marble – quarried from China and sold in 12x12” & 18x18” in Honed & Polished, I think there are some mosaics out there for this but there is no site that or place that sells the whole product line together.
This is one of the most attractive marbles out there, you must make sure the country of origin is indeed Italy and if there are matching mosaics also ask that the country of origin is Italy. Walker Zanger sells this in their Tribeca collection it is beautiful. However you do need to carefully consider the first option we decided on ‘BUDGET’ if this is genuine Italian made marble then the Basketweave mosaic will be $37.50, a 1” Hexagon mosaic $40.00SF and a 12’ skirting over $35 a piece – the 3x6” will cost somewhere between $30-$50 a square foot.
This product is for the super rich or those with tiny bathrooms (just kidding on the last bit).
If you have no Budget then go with this every time, go to the retail stores, have a designer map out your bathroom and you will pay between $20,000 to $50,000 for the completed room, however this article is not aimed at people like that – as they are not reading this, they are not searching on the internet to decide on which marble to buy or understand the products – they saw their friends bathroom at a dinner party in the Hampton and had their people call mine, etc.
We are trying to simply understand what is out there – and what are those products.
Carrara Statuary & Alabama White Marble
I have put these together – you cannot have really have statuary and a Carrera, as they are slightly different. To be honest little difference and the main reason for putting Carrera Statuary together is for search engine purposes – as then the consumer looking will find the statuary product.
Statuary marble can come from China and even as close to home as Alabama. The Alabama Marble is one of the finest and whitest marbles in the world. The Alabama Marble is quarried in Sylacauga, Alabama. It is a beautiful product completely comparable to the finest Italian white marbles and equivalent to the Carrera Bianco.
However, there are production problems with the Quarry in Alabama and according to one source awaiting new machinery to make smaller sized tiles. The Alabama marble quarry can presently can only make 6x6” & 12x12”. The other issue is the color, the quarry in Alabama are far less consistent, the Carrera Bianco in Italy is always perfect – the quarry in Alabama when good is a perfect match, but that could be only for a few blocks then the color will change.
It is very important with Alabama White to get samples – as with any marble but particularly important for this product.
Kesir & Cabot white marble
These two can go together – the products are from Turkey in the larger formats you will get a closer look to Carrera, in smaller formats or mosaics you will get that completely undesirable ‘Quartz’ appearance – the Turkish marble is stuck with the quartz appearance.
You can almost see a piece at a trade show and without looking know it is from Turkey, the product is cheap and with ‘quartz’ – but priced under $6SF. However, it looks like it costs under $6SF for the real budget conscious – this is the way to go, especially if you are not looking for any mosaics or trims.
Greecian White Marble
This is a real strange and new player in the market and sold by online by the large ‘Orange’ home center Home Depot. Firstly I think as a brand name could have done with some work – even spelling Grecian would have been a help.
What does this tell us – probably some of it made in China (notorious for misspelling words), with the large home center it is offered on their website only and it is reasonably priced.
It does have a lot of weaknesses though:
- Only available in polished
- Only a few mosaic choices (no Basketweave boo...)
- Limited moldings
So if you want a polished bathroom look with limited and simple mosaics and missing some key trim items, then this is the way to go. Seriously, it is a good line and well priced, for small areas this is a good choice.
To summarize you really need a large choice and a great price – unless you are the super rich (which your not otherwise you would not be reading this, sorry – but probably true).
The Carrera Venato is really the clear winner – it offers the greatest choice and the greatest value. Choice is really the key, whether you are looking for honed or polished, different mosaics and accessories with this brand you are offered all the choices you could want.