Red marble generates a powerful and daring design statement in home spaces. The striking color and patterns of red marble provide dynamic movement and vibrancy when used in both sparing and immersive ways. Red marble is characterized by eye-catching color and vivid movement.
Designers and architects use red marble for countertops, bathroom tiles, wall cladding, fireplace surrounds, and marble top furniture. Using red marble accents is a way to add some excitement to your interior design while still incorporating the elegant and sophisticated beauty of this natural material into your home.
What is Red Marble?
Red marble is a naturally occurring stone that is formed from heated and compressed limestone rock. The resulting metamorphic stone is strong and durable with striking red color shades and pattern variations.
The shades of red marble vary from pink marble to deep wine red. The color of light red marble is due to the presence of iron oxide impurities in the surrounding soil. The formation of deep red marble depends on the presence of serpentine and rich magnesium. Each red marble type contains distinctive patterns that give each variation of red marble a unique character. These patterns were created during the metamorphic process and vary from veining to speckled designs.
Popular Types of Red Marble
Red marble varies widely in color and pattern. Some red marble has a restrained color and style while others are bold and contain strong movement within the stone.
Rojo Alicante Marble
Rojo Alicante is a light orangey-red or rust-colored pink marble from Italy. This marble has a regular color tone throughout with wide-spread white veining. This is a popular type of red marble, so it is available in many forms including tiles and slabs. This marble is suitable for outdoor use because it can withstand freezing temperatures; yet, its primary usage is indoors.
Rosso Levanto Marble
Rosso Levanto is a deep burgundy red/brown marble that is quarried in Italy. This marble is characterized by its bold white vein patterns that run throughout the stone. This pattern is not regular; instead, it has striking vein patterns which make it vivid and full of movement. Rosso Levanto is further enlivened by the appearance of other colors including brown, black, and gray. This is a highly durable stone that has been used since ancient times in columns, statues, and Etruscan funerary artifacts.
Rosso Verona is a rust-colored medium-tone red marble quarried in Italy, near the historic town of Verona. The overall color is tighter and more regular than some of the other red marbles with more distinct vein patterns.
This marble can feature both brown and yellow intrusions. The dense nature of this marble means that it is a durable exterior material that can be used on floors, stairs, sculptures, and monuments. The striking coloring of this marble means that it is also an elegant addition to interior spaces.
Rouge Royal Marble
Rouge Royal marble is a dark, bold-colored red marble that is quarried in Belgium. This marble has dramatic white and gray veining. It was a particular favorite of Louis XIV of France. He used it extensively throughout many of his palaces, including Versailles on both furniture and architectural features such as fireplace surrounds. This is a popular red marble for countertops, bathrooms, wall cladding and floors.
Rosso Lepanto is similar in pattern, color, and name to Rosso Levanto, so these marble varieties are often confused. Rosso Lepanto has a deep red, almost purple coloring with dramatic thick and thin white veins. Rosso Lepanto is a dense marble that is suitable for exterior and interior uses, including wall cladding, flooring, countertops, monuments, and pool applications. This marble is quarried in Turkey.
Finish Options for Red Marble
The finish option you choose for your red marble feature depends on its ultimate use as the finish can impact the durability and look of the marble. Certain finish options are more suitable for different uses and weather exposure. Some of the most common finish options for red marble are polished, honed, leathered, brushed, and tumbled.
- Polished – Polishing the marble creates a shiny and reflective surface. This finish is typical for countertops, floors, and decorative detailing. Polishing the marble brings out the fine details and beauty of the surface, but it can be problematic in some spaces. Polished flooring is not ideal in shower spaces or some outdoor spaces because it is slippery when exposed to water. This finish creates the densest surface, so it is the most durable in resisting water and stain damage.
- Honed – A honed marble surface has a matte or satin-like quality. Fabricators create this finish by exposing the surface to abrasives. Honed red marble is common for flooring and some countertop applications. This finish does expose the pores of the marble. But experts consider this a durable and resistant finish if sealed on a regular basis as it does hide etching and staining from liquids.
- Leathered – Leathered marble has a matte sheen with a minimally textured surface, similar to leather. Fabricators achieve this finish by exposing the marble to diamond-tipped brushes. Leathered red marble is common on countertops and backsplashes.
- Brushed – Brushed marble has a matte sheen with slightly more texture than leathered finishes. Fabricators create a brushed finish by exposing the marble to wire brushes. Experts consider this a good finish option for shower floors as the texture helps prevent slipping.
- Tumbled – Tumbling marble creates a weathered and rustic style finish. This is a common finish for marble tiles used as flooring in high-traffic or wet areas like bathrooms.
Red Marble in Home Design
Red marble presents an energetic and daring option for home design in a variety of contexts.
Red Marble Countertop
Red marble, in particular, is a dense and durable material and a viable option for countertops. While not as popular as Carrara marble countertops, red marble countertops have much to offer in the way of beauty and versatility. Red marble countertops are a striking option for interior design. When paired with light wood and neutral color accents, they are a way to add eye-catching color to your kitchen design.
Red Marble Bathroom Tile
Because of the ubiquity of white bathroom tile, homeowners and designers are looking for more exciting bathroom tile options. Both red and green marble tiles have become a more viable option in recent interior design. Because red marble is becoming a more popular choice for homeowners, you can readily find marble tiles, particularly of the Levanto and Alicante varieties.
Red Marble Fireplace
Red marble is a surprisingly versatile material that works with a wide range of styles and color palettes. Red marble fireplace surrounds are common in historic properties, but they also work well in contemporary spaces. Pair red marble with warm textured woods to tone down the bold look of this marble. Use a red marble fireplace surround with a neutral-colored room to bring a bold accent to the space.
Red Marble Wall Cladding
Not every house is suitable for red marble wall cladding, but if you want to bring the look of rich luxury to your home, it is an ideal option. Use Lepanto, Levanto, or Rouge Royal red marble options for rich variation in color and pattern. Red marble options like Alicante or Rosso Verona have a vibrant warm color with fewer color variations and a tighter pattern with less dramatic veining.
Red Marble Architectural Accents
Red marble accents in your home can be bold, dramatic, and striking. Consider the use of red marble to trim the island in this kitchen from HBD Systems. The red marble trim draws the eye and enlivens the contemporary neutral kitchen design.
Red Marble Flooring
Red marble is not as common in US homes, but it is a common flooring material throughout Europe, especially in Italy where so much of it is quarried. Red marble floors have the advantage of hiding dirt and dust. Red marble gives the static floor surface a dynamic quality.
Red Marble Furniture
Red marble is an adventurous material that may not suit all home environments. One way to add red marble to your space is to find red marble topped furniture. Consider options like red marble top dressers or tables to bring this bold natural material into your home.