Differences between a solid and a box-type marble work
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Differences between a solid marble work and a box-type product

Updated 30 May 2019

 

The main difference between a solid marble work and a box-type product is that the first is obtained from a unique piece of stone while the second one is realized with various pieces joined together.

In general, with both techniques, it is possible to realize:

  • steps
  • kitchen sinks
  • washbasins for bathroom
  • fountain basins
  • architraves and fireplaces abutments
  • architectural elements and cornices
  • bases

 

In order to obtain a refined artistic result, the following three aspects are very important:

  1. artistic and technical planning
  2. selection of the raw material, especially for the veined marbles and the polished finish
  3. manufacturing precision

 

The selection of the raw material is very important in order to obtain an elegant and harmonious result.

In the drawing here below, the weight difference, dimensions being equal, between two bases realized with box-type marble (on the left) and solid marble (on the right), is indicated:

The two drawings represent a base h.75 x depht 40 x h. 125 cm. The box-type at the left would have a weight of about 130 kg and the solid one at the right would have a weight of about 840 kg

Technical aspects of the solid marble works and box-type products

Solid marble work

  • it is obtained from a unique solid marble block with a thickness of almost 15 cm
  • normally it is more heavy of a box-type product. Thanks to appropriate manufacturing techniques, it may be lightened without compromising the result, removing parts of raw material hidden from view
  • there is a natural continuity of the veins on the whole work because there are no joints
  • the choice of the raw material is made between solid blocks and rough marble blocks where the veins and the inner features are not visible. Especially in the case of veined marbles, it is impossible to predict the final aesthetic result.

Drawing of a solid marble washbasin. External dimensions 110 x 60 x thick about 20 cm, inside parte and bottom thick of 5 cm, would have a weight of about 155 kg

At the end of the work surprising veins and games of colour can appear.

Box-type product

  • it is realized with various pieces of stone, cut and obtained from thin slabs of 2 or 4 cm, joined together; it is internally empty and recalls the imagine of the box
  • usually it is lighter than a solid work
  • there is no natural continuity of veins and colour background between the different elements due to the presence of joints
    The artistic and decorative manufacturings and the finish “time-worn” allow to hide some union points.
  • the choice of the raw material is made between marble slabs where the features, the veins and the games of colour are visible. Even in the case of veined marbles, it is possible to imagine the final aesthetic result.
    In order to enhance the beauty of the veins, the manufacturing technique called “book matched”, where the marble slabs are obtained with consecutive cuts from the same block and placed close in symmetrical way like pages of an open book, is used.

Drawing of a solid marble washbasin. External dimensions 110 x 60 x thick about 20 cm, inside parte and bottom thick of 5 cm, would have a weight of about 100 kg

The experience and knowledge of the material allow to imagine the final result.

Choice between a solid work and a box-type work

Many times, the choice between a solid work and a box-type product is made depending on personal taste. But sometimes it is conditioned by the following aspects:

 

Availability of the raw material

The natural marbles have availability features that are variable in time and in accordance to the quarries activity:

  • the prestigious and rare marbles are very difficult to find. Sometimes it is impossible to realize a solid work because there are small blocks or slabs of only 2 or 3 cm
  • the common marbles are easily found both in slabs and blocks

 

Technical and functional aspects

The box-type work, being lighter and made of various elements, is perfect:

  • to cover old architectural furnishings elements that do not like or are damaged, such as staircases, pillars and columns in renovation works
  • to be installed on wood slabs or plasterboard walls where there are no suitable structures to support high weights
  • to be handled in the houses already inhabited, without using industrial lifting equipments

Frontal view (at the left) and back view (at the right) of a box-type marble base

Economic aspects

In most cases the solid wood is more expensive than the box-type one.
The processing of big stone blocks, due to size and high weight:

  • increases the processing times and the related costs for handling, packaging, transport and installation
  • produces a large quantity of scraps in the form of wastes, sometimes even for defects, which affect the cost of the raw material

The box-type work can be more expensive than a solid one when it is made of fragile, thin and big elements that need special reinforcement.

The solid marble work is often considered more prestigious than a box-type marble work but the most important aspect is the quality of the final result.

The information contained in this article are for guidance only, every work has to be individually evaluated.
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