When you think of the marble industry, which has a long, rich history dating back to ancient times, many things may come to mind.
Construction. Architecture. Art – like the world-famous statue of David by Renaissance artist Michelangelo, displayed in Florence, Italy. Even the ever-popular kids’ game, which these days is played with glass marbles, used to be played with marbles that were actually made of marble.
Today’s marble industry is a vital part of the global economy with countries all over the world – including Italy, China, India, Turkey, and Greece – producing and exporting this durable, natural stone. These countries have a long history of producing high-quality marble, and their products are in high demand all over the world.
According to a new report, ‘The marble market by colour, application and product’, released by Allied Market Research, the material is especially relevant to the Australian construction industry due to its popularity in residential construction.
So it may come as no surprise that the building and construction industry is expected to exhibit the highest growth rate in the marble market during the report’s forecast period, driven by a rise in demand for residential and non-residential development of necessary infrastructure.
In the construction industry, marble is a great material for use in applications such as flooring, columns, and walls because of its physical properties. Rising demand for the expansion of infrastructure in developing countries drives the growth of the construction industry and the use of marble in the market.
The Australian construction industry has suffered since the initial COVID-19 outbreak, which led to a temporary halt in the sector in the first half of 2020.
But the industry has since rebounded and is now seeing record levels of construction across the nation, with the number of new houses rising in the September quarter of 2022 to 103,000 new buildings, compared to the rate of around 60,000 prior to the pandemic, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
So aside from being extremely beautiful, what is marble, anyway?
In geological terms, “marble” means a highly modified limestone – a metamorphic rock made of recrystallised carbonate minerals, usually dolomite and calcite. It’s formed when limestone is subjected to high pressure and heat. This process causes the minerals in the limestone to recrystallise, forming a hard, dense and colourful stone that is prized for its beauty and durability.
The price of marble can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the quality of the stone, its colour and pattern, and the location of the quarry from which it was taken. The most expensive marble in the world is the pure white Carrara marble from Italy, which has been used in some of the most iconic buildings and sculptures in history (such as Michelangelo’s David).
Marble has endured and flourished for centuries, and it shows no sign of stopping. It’s certain to be an important part of the design and construction industries for many years to come.