He is over five hundred years old, yet remains the image of eternal youth. Breathtakingly beautiful, taller than life, David was sculptured by the master Michelangelo out of marble. A metamorphic rock, marble is formed when limestone is heated or squashed.
Used in both sculpture and elaborate architecture, marble has long been associated with opulence. While the majority of us are not chiselling a marble block or building a marble palace modelled on St Petersburg, we may be looking for a marble kitchen counter or bathroom vanity. Beautiful but not practical, marble is very absorbent which means it stains easily. Sugar, alcohol and lemon juice in particular, may leave a mark on your precious marble slabs.
When marble is not so green
Even if you are happy to forgo a few essential culinary ingredients for aesthetics, there is a more troubling aspect to the continued quarrying of marble and that’s the effect on the environment. Marble makes up a large part of the earth’s crust and takes millions of years to fully mature. The effect of marble quarries on the environment include noise and air pollution, loss of aesthetic value to the natural landscape and most serious of all the damage to biodiversity. A range of species from insects to fish, mammals and plants are displaced or lost as a result.
Fortunately for the environment there is a perfect alternate to marble: Porcelain tiles that look like marble. They look the same, feel the same and are practical as they don’t chip nor stain. Porcelain is also a fraction of the cost of marble.
Translucent yet tough
Porcelain too has a storied lineage. Derived from the Italian, porcellana, porcelain is named after the cowrie shell because of its translucent quality.
While marble is a natural stone, porcelain is manufactured and wears better. The man credited with the creation of porcelain is Johann Friedrich Böttger. He was an alchemist who claimed he could turn lead into gold. Maybe not, yet the combination of kaolin and pottery stone endows porcelain with both durability and translucence. It’s low permeability means that it doesn’t absorb fluids, so you can spill red wine over porcelain and simply wipe it clean.
Pixels & polish
The latest technology of high-resolution printers, scan unique photographic images of marble for placement onto porcelain. The high pixel resolution is able to reproduce the finest swirls, veins and colouration of natural marble. Each porcelain tile has a different marble image and is as glossy and polished as a Calacatta slab of marble.
The Tile House has a magnificent range of porcelain tiles that look and feel like the real deal, marble. With no compromise to aesthetics and long lasting, these gloss-finished tiles offer a practical, affordable and sustainable solution. So you can have your cake, or in this case, your red wine, lemon juice and sugar, and drink and eat it!
See it & feel it
Pop into The Tile House and see if you can tell the difference between our porcelain tiles that look like marble and natural marble. Cool to the touch and polished to perfection, we like to think that even Michelangelo, himself, may have been suitably impressed.