The use of natural stone in home design is not a new fad. In fact, stone has been used for artistic, decorative and functional purposes for thousands of years. The use of stone in dwellings is found throughout human history and across all continents and cultures.  The earliest uses of natural stone appeared mainly as rudimentary chairs and tables, as well as in food preparation, tools and human conflict.  Greece popularized natural stone and are largely credited for using marble in public, religious or government buildings due to its relative softness and for its pure white colors. Marble stone, in particular, possesses an inherent elegance and has become a symbol of nobility.


Marble Throughout History 

During the 6th and 4th century BC, marble was used in Greece for major structures like the temple of Olympus, the Theseum, and parts of the Parthenon which can still be seen today. Because the process to quarry marble was long, labor intensive and arduous, its use was not popular in homes. Marble was mainly cut into blocks and used for sculptures, columns or wall facades.

Few materials evoke high-end living as simply and effectively as marble. It has been used for some of the world’s most notable structures, from the Pantheon in Rome and the Taj Mahal in Agra to more contemporary buildings, such as London’s Marble Arch and the Peace Monument in Washington DC.  Marble has been favored by artists since ancient times, but marble saw its full bloom during the Renaissance period.  Perhaps the most famous sculpture, Michelangelo’s, “David,” helped characterize the western concept of aesthetics. The use of marble as an artistic expression and for its historical heritage has only strengthened a cultural bond where it has become the global symbol of refined taste and sophistication.

Marble as a building product began because the original methods of constructing important or symbolic buildings did not provide long-lasting solutions.  During the Grecian era, their structures were made of wood and deteriorated over time. But the Greeks and Romans recognized the durability of marble and its beauty. As methods for procuring marble improved and the costs reduced, marble slowly began to appear in wealthier homes of the Greeks and Romans. However, it was primarily used as building material in bathrooms and main rooms where business was conducted to function as a symbol of status. Moreover, the amount of marble in a home served as a mark of wealth.

Some of the most famous marble, such as Calacatta, Statuario and Carrara, comes from Italy. The Romans made use of Carrara and Calacatta for both sculptures and construction. In homes, rather than using blocks, the marble would be cut into slabs and used as a fascia over brick-and-mortar exteriors. The Romans considered Carrara and Calacatta marble to be the purest stone because of its pure white and subtle blueish grey color.

Marble’s legacy grew during the Renaissance and Victorian eras as a symbol of wealth. Considering that there was still a great degree of difficulty and expense involved in obtaining marble, it was primarily used as material in churches, government buildings, and mansions.

Marble Countertops Emerge in Kitchens

Vast improvements in technology have made quarrying marble faster and more efficient than ever before. The use of wet cutting with specialized blades and power equipment have reduced the cost considerably.  The cost to procure marble meant a much lower acquisition cost. Even polishing methods greatly reduce the time and effort to create a bathroom floor, island top or kitchen backsplash. Because of these advancements, marble became affordable. And, not only is the cost to upgrade to marble manageable, but also the benefits of having a highly durable, impact resistant material gives homeowners a nice return on the investment.

Marble countertops peaked in popularity in the early 1900s. Then, in the 1950s and 1960s, they were dethroned by cheap and colorful laminate countertops.  In the 1970s, granite countertops became the preferred material, while in the 1980s, ceramic tile was widely used as countertops and on floors, because their wide appeal of colors.  Porcelain and ceramic materials are an easy alternative to marble, as they could replicate the look at a much lower cost.  Today, laminate and other human-made materials, like concrete, metal, quartz, wood, ceramic and porcelain products compete in home design.  However, all of these alternatives haven’t been able to dethrone the value and the timeless elegance that marble brings to home décor.

Even though more affordable marble alternatives continue to prove popular, and provide versatile design options, the authentic and timeless beauty of marble stone will never fade.  Marble is very much here to stay in the world of interior design and is sought after by those purists who understand the appeal of the classic elegance and the luxury of nature.  

As interior design continues to explore the boundaries of marble and has been a profession to influence design, marble is recently experiencing its own renaissance in home design.  For example, described by many as a new niche in floor and wall coverings, Dulcet Tile, has found a pathway away from dimensional tile to bring the beauty of nature back into the home.  

Dulcet Tile offers industry leading designs and artistic beauty in marble mosaic tile.  With honed and brushed finishes and pillowed or chiseled edging, a wide selection of colors and color consistency, Dulcet’s mosaic patterns are a fresh alternative to square or rectangular formats.  With decades of experience in both contemporary and classic designs, their collections are designed with timeless elegance that are destined to impress for years to come.  Always innovating and ushering new and artistic styles to the market, Dulcet Tile has become the innovator in elegant marble mosaics.   For more information, go to or call (714) 822-1237.