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What’s the Difference Between Carrara Marble and Calacatta Marble?

As we sell an array of marble-effect porcelain tiles of different colours, detailing and finishes, we’re often asked what the distinction is between two popular Italian types with similar names: Carrara marble and Calacatta marble. Here are some top tips on how to tell the two apart and where they might best be used in your interior (and exterior) design projects.

Carrara marble tiles

Carrara marble effect porcelain tile from the Porcel-Thin Ferrara collection

Pale grey to the background with feathery veining of a gentle tone and more delicate and subtle form, Carrara marble is often a favourite for more traditional deluxe decors and looks fantastic everywhere from bathrooms to patios. Although the veining also tends to be more linear, which lends itself to settings of contemporary elegance too.

While Carrara usually boasts a soft grey base, variations of colour in this natural stone can differ with some presenting closer to white. So, it’s always worth looking at a sample to see the subtle colour differences between the two marbles. Of course, there’s no need to worry about inconsistencies when you opt for our Carrara White Marble Tiles, which are excellent mimics that offer more continuity control!

Calacatta marble tiles

Calacatta marble effect porcelain tile from the Porcel-Thin Ferrara collection

While natural Calacatta marble comes from the Carrara quarries in Italy (a little confusing, we know), it’s different from Carrara marble in the following ways:

  • The patterning is more dramatic, with darker and thicker veining, so Calacatta marble tiles make excellent feature walls and splashbacks
  • Calacatta marble is rarer so often considered the more opulent choice
  • A largely white background adds an airy appearance to the walls and flooring of bathrooms and other small spaces
  • The background can be so light and the veining so dark that this creates a glorious monochrome effect, favoured as much by the ancients as developers and designers today
  • Just as the background tone can differ with Carrara, the veining colour can vary with Calacatta. Some stone even has golden highlights, which only adds to its luxurious look

Marble effect tiles from Porcel-Thin

Thunder grey marble look tile by Porcel-Thin

Ultra-thin (just 4.8mm) and made from porcelain for hardiness, longevity and dirt-resistance rather than labour-intensive natural marble, our Carrara Marble Tiles have the softer veining described above for that cool classic look. Cutting-edge digital printing technology has been used to create tiles with such authentic light feathery detailing that you’ll wonder why you ever considered expensive marble against our marvellous marble-effect beauties.

Arabescato white marble effect porcelain tiled lounge floor in matt finish

With a matt finish for extra slip-resistance under-foot, our Calacatta White Marble Tiles exude luxury and will make any bathroom or kitchen palatial. These porcelain tiles offer a pearlier background and slate grey detailing for that classic contrasting look. Our Calacatta marble effect tiles are also available “book matched”, this means that just 20 of our large-format porcelain tiles can be installed in one grand space to create a continuous Calacatta marble design that closely emanates the real-deal.

Bianco white book matched marble effect porcelain tiles used to create a feature lounge wall

Discover more marble-effect Porcel-Thin tiles here.

Four different types of marble effect porcelain tiles from Porcel-Thin