Marble: Main uses
We know marble thanks to the numerous art pieces which are made of it, but this precious material can have many other uses. We can recap them into five main groups: art, construction industry, city planning, objects and furnishing, industry.
The most famous use of the marble is for the creation of art pieces: sculptures, reliefs, architectural elements, decorations, monuments. In the territory of Carrara, there are several workshops in which artists from all over the world create sculptures that will be displayed in exhibitions and museums. A particularly flourishing use of the marble is related to the funerary art: it is a sector in which marble demand is particularly high and also for this use there are several artisan workshops in Carrara, to satisfy the buyers’ requests.
In the construction industry, marble is used largely. It can be found in the structural elements of buildings (Carrara Cathedral is an example as it is built completely in marble), though the competitiveness of cheaper materials has now reduced enormously the use of marble as a supporting element of a building. However, the material mined in Carrara’s quarries has still been largely used as an element for building coverings: the marble is particularly appreciated for its aesthetic characteristics. Flooring, wall coverings, portals, pillars and fireplaces, columns, decorations, staircases, windowsills and balconies are the main elements of buildings that can be made of marble.
The marble is particularly popular for urban planning structures, from monuments to squares and street paving, fountains, pavements, benches, portals, statue bases. Carrara marble is appreciated across the world and urban planning pieces made of the Apuan material can be found in every continent.
Objects and furnishing
The beauty of the marble makes it an exceptional material, which is particularly apt for the creation of furnishing elements and objects that decorate houses, offices, commercial activities such as hotels, bars, restaurants, shops, in addition to public facilities like schools, hospitals, museums. The marble, in these fields, is used to produce many objects: vases, flowerpots, lamps, tables, kitchen tops, storage compartments and many more.
Marble is a suitable material also for industrial purposes thanks to its versatility. The waste of production is reduced into powder and, due to the different characteristics of the calcium carbonate of which the Apuan marble is composed, is used in different fields: as a matter of fact, calcium carbonate can be used as an abrasive material (also in toothpaste), as the base for cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, colourants and paints, for the production of paper, glue, plastic and isolating material, in the food industry and as an element to lower the emissions of coal power plant.