Italian white marble demand, such as Calacatta Gold, Calacatta Fabricotti, White Carrara, Bianco Gioa, Bianco Venetino and Calacatta Oro has been increasing steadily. Unfortunately, production of these white marbles have not kept up with demand and availability is becoming more difficult.
Italian white marbles are perfect for the latest trends in metropolitan living and high rise luxury condo construction all over the world. Their uniformity and elegance makes it perfect choice for white marble and marble flooring. Beige marble is no longer the most desired natural stone and Italian white marble is replacing beige marble for flooring and wall applications.
Recent large scale building projects in Saudi Arabia grand Mosque also added additional requirement of Italian marble blocks. Additionally, increasing requirements from India and China for their residential and commercial flooring requirements made the situation worse.
Marble tile and slab production is becoming more difficult as there are less skilled workers in Italy and heavy environmental and requlatory requirements reduce yield in most marble processing facilities around Carrara and Apuano region as the best marble producing region is known.
Most of the major factories producing White Carrara or Calacatta marble closed. Presently, majority of the Italian white marble production goes to China in block form. Chinese factories with cheaper labor and less stringent environmental regulations process white marbles at a cheaper cost. Transportation cost of blocks to China is offset with cost advantage of Chinese marble producers. White marble from China looks different and will not be competition for Italian white marbles.
White marble requires more strict grading compared to beige marbles and a lot of undesirable tiles or slabs is selected out to be made into smaller sizes or mosaics. This is one of the reasons for seeing a proliferation of white marble mosaic production. It is much easier to make smaller mosaics where darker veins or spots are sorted out.