Marble is one of the most beautiful and sophisticated natural stones available. This stone has the impressive ability to add large amounts of class to any space. It also has the unique characteristic of offering a wide range of colors and patterns. Marble is an inspiring natural material that is found as a strong element within the built environment dating back to the Greek era through today. Marble has made a profound impression on architecture, furniture design, and the art community, to name a few. Although solid marble is a hard material, it can look softened by the complimentary elements around it, especially metal. Metal is used to support marble both structurally and aesthetically.
Architectural Marble and Metal
Marble is used in architecture not only to adorn a building on the interior and exterior, but also to increase the buildings appeal by adding value. Marble is often reinforced by metal to increase its strength and enable the stone to support additional weight. Metal is also used to aesthetically accent or highlight the stone in architectural details since the two elements are complements of each other. In classic architecture, metal is often found as a dark finish as either black or bronze that creates a high contrast to the light-colored marble. Metal is used on the exterior of a building in modern architecture as a framework to support marble cladding. In addition to metal framed doors and windows, it is also used as ornamentation, facade panels, canopies and sculpture. The metal support is not always seen from the outside of the building. Many times metal is used as reinforcing bars within the marble or brackets behind the marble to support it structurally without being visible. These are excellent examples of how complimentary metal is to stone whether it is seen or not. Metal is a common thread in marble architecture both to support and accentuate the natural beauty of stone.
Marble and Metal Staircases
Marble is a popular choice for stair treads both for inside and outside spaces with its varying colors and natural characteristics. The normal wear, including scratches and etching, is part of the characteristic of natural marble and add to its beauty. Although marble stair cases often have marble or wood balustrades, the most elegant and aesthetically balanced choice is metal railings. The more traditional choice would be wrought iron railing in a black finish. They are typically either cast iron scroll patterns or twisted rod designs. A modern take on metal railings is stainless steel with horizontal bars or cables. Both the traditional and modern metal railings compliment marble stair treads well.
Marble and Metal Vanities
In the bathroom, marble is commonly used on the bathroom vanity and often supported by a metal frame or cabinet. A stainless steel base with marble top makes a great combination in a bathroom looking for a modern look or wanting a sleek style that is clutter-free and easy to clean. Metal bases lend themselves well to small bathrooms where a wood cabinet may take up too much space or doesnt achieve the desired look. The combination of the metal base with a marble top, floor, or walls, allows the beautiful marble to be the feature of the space and softens the look of the stone. Other metal elements in the bathroom that compliment the stone are faucets, hardware and light fixtures. Metal has the unique ability to make marble look softer, whether it is through a supporting frame or ornamentation of an installed fixture.