What is the difference between Calacatta and Carrara marble?

Marble is the most known and prestigious natural material, yet the copious existing varieties may mislead the non-experts.

Calacatta and Carrara are two natural stones which have become famous thanks to the legacy of artists such as Michelangelo, Donatello and Canova – to mention a few. They come from the Apuan Alps region, also known to be the cradle of another charming marble we do love, Arabescato Vagli

What does “Carrara marble” mean?

Carrara marble is an umbrella term including different kinds of marble, among which are Calacatta, Bianco di Carrara and Statuario. During the Renaissance, Carrara was used by Michelangelo and Donatello in their works of art, making it known worldwide and confirming it as a prestigious and timeless material. 

Carrara vs Calacatta Marble: a guide

Carrara and Calacatta marble are two well-known natural stones quarried in Italy, in the Tuscany region. Being the extractive zone so vast, from one quarry to another, marble may slightly change and acquire some peculiar features. Both of them are suitable for wall and floor applications and countertops.  

Carrara Marble

Carrara is an Italian marble quarried in Tuscany, in the Carrara zone. According to the features of the extraction area, it may have a different shade of white and a black-grey veining that may be more or less dense. 

There are many kinds of Carrara marble: the Carrara C and CD vary according to their white hue, and the Statuario. This one is the most prestigious and stands out for its utter white colour, defined by its peculiar crystalline structure, making it Michelangelo’s favourite.


Calacatta Marble

Quarried in Tuscany, always in the Apuan Alps region, the Calacatta marble includes different types, too. Among them, Calacatta Viola and Calacatta Oro (Paon Royal) are those we selected for our material palette. 

Calacatta stands out for its lively background structure and emphasized veins.

It is so prestigious and longed for that its name has become a quality guarantee, so much so that Calacatta names other kinds of material. 

It is the case of “Calacatta quartzite”: a quartzite – so not a marble – named this way because of the aesthetical features evoking the Calacatta. 

calacatta-marble calacatta-marble_

How to choose which type of marble is best for a project? 

Marble is always a perfect choice to create spaces making an impression and never going out of fashion. 

But which marble to choose from the wide range available?

The answer is not as complicated as you may imagine, though.

First, it needs to be clear where it will be placed. 

For indoor applications, all kinds of marble may be suitable. 

Looking for something classical and neutral? Carrara, Arabescato Vagli and Calacatta Oro (Paon Royal) are what you need. 

If you want instead to push the boundaries and create a bold space, the vivid purplish background and veins of Calacatta Viola would be the one. 

Not forgetting that even the most classical marble tone may acquire a bolder personality if matched with specific decorative elements. 

Every marble is like a blank page to fill in with a new story: here are some tales of décor and style with these stones. 

Which type of marble is best for the living room?

From a functional point of view, Calacatta Viola, Arabescato Vagli, Calacatta Oro (Paon Royal) and Carrara fit all living room wall coverings and floors. 

So let your imagination and creativity be inspired!

Have a look at how CS Design used our Tropico texture in Carrara marble to cover the main wall of this urban and playful living area. 


Or the chromatic contrasts the Chiffon 3D wall covering in Calacatta Viola marble may create if matched with a green sofa. 


The Arabescato Vagli marble matches the geometric Polis wall texture in a Scandinavian-style living room. Do you like how the classic allure of the Calacatta marble has become more contemporary?


Which type of marble is best for the office?

The technical features of Carrara and Calacatta marbles make them perfect also for office design

In these two office interiors – the Department One showroom and the Ashan Headquarters –  we took advantage of the translucent properties of Carrara to filter light through 3D engravings.



Which type of marble to choose for your next project?

Whether it is Carrara or Calacatta marble, it doesn’t matter. 

Each one may be the right choice for your next interiors.  

Why not explore which wall texture to combine with them?

Discover our wall coverings or contact us for further information. 


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