Portuguese marble is pretty in pink.
In previous blogs, we've talked about Portuguese limestone, and how these Portuguese stones are loved by designers for their uniformity and predictability of colour, veining and shelling. But the Portuguese also have a range of marbles which are really eye-catching.
Portugal has a very long heritage of supplying marble for sculpture and architecture which dates back to the Roman times. Portuguese marble was widely exported throughout Africa, Asia and South America and was used in the building of the Circus Maximus in Spain. Today Portugal is second in the World when it comes to the export of marble, behind Italy. Along with Vila Viçosa and Estremoz, Borba is one the main marble producing areas in Portugal and is internationally known for its fine natural stone. In particularly high demand with designers (and with us) at the moment, is the range of pink marbles known as Rosa Aurora (or Estremoz) marble. If you are looking for a dash of pink in your stone for a design or architectural project then Portuguese marble should be at the top of your list. But it’s worth understanding how the various types of Rosa Aurora marbles differ from each other.
Below, we have separated out the four main characteristics but you should bear in mind that this marble is all from the same quarry and you may find something of each in every one. For example, there will be a flash of pink in the Rosa Aurora Claro and perhaps even a little blue in the Rosa Aurora Creme.
Rosa Aurora Crème
Internationally recognised, this cream rose marble is one of the finest natural stones when polished. As the name suggests, it has a cream colour background with warm tone pink / peach veins running through. It is also known as Estremoz Cream.
We recently paired this up with the French Noir St Laurent marble to create an exquisite variation on a "black and white chequerboard" theme.
In this image of the shower room, we used 600x600mm tiles of polished Rosa Aurora on the walls and we honed 1000x1000mm slabs for the main part of the floor. In the shower tray, for extra slip resistance, we treated the same stone with Fila's Deterdek to make it safe in a wet area without losing the colour or making it rough to the touch.
Rosa Aurora Claro (White)
This marble, although still part of the Rosa family of Portuguese marble has a whiter background and brownish veins running through. It offers more flexibility by being of a more neutral colour. Also known as Estremoz Bianco.
Like most high quality marbles, the quarry grades the output and the higher grade versions of this stone have a whiter, cleaner background with more defined veining. The quarry defines the grades as "P1" (higher grade) and "P2" (standard grade). Both are top quality marbles and suitable for use throughout the home.
Rosa Aurora Rosa (Pink)
One of the most famous varieties: the Rosa Aurora Rosa or Estremoz Pink, as it’s also known, has a more pronounced pink background with some sage green, brown and reddish veins running through it.
We recently supplied this marble for the table tops in a London restaurant. The interiors architects (Gundry and Ducker) made a fantastic job of the restaurant interior and reflected the colours of the Rosa Aurora Rosa in the other materials in Bill Granger's new Kings Cross restaurant. The bar was lined with the same shade of pink and the sage green was matched in the leather of the banquette seating. This particular colour palette has influenced quite a few other restaurant and hotel design schemes that we have been involved in.
UPDATE 02/05/17: You'll see more of our Rosa Aurora Rosa marble, along with our Spanish and Italian marbles, in Bill Granger's latest restaurant in Pavilion Road in Chelsea, London.
Rosa Aurora Azul (Blue)
One of the least known of the Portuguese marbles is the Rosa Aurora Azul (or Blue). Quarried in the same location as the better known pink marbles, there is a seam of blue marble. It has a white or cream background with wide blue veins. As bookmatched slabs, this can make a dramatic statement in an interior design project.
You may have a preference in mind if you are set on a Rosa Marble but it’s always worth remembering that marble is a natural stone and can vary considerably in shade and markings. Each of the varieties of Rosa Portuguese marble discussed above, have their own hues and shades but we would always recommend calling us to discuss your project so we can help you select the correct material for the application you have in mind. We can help with lots of advice about choosing the right marble or limestone for your home.
The most common type of surface finish for the Rosa Portuguese marbles is polished. This shows off the pink colour and highlights its vein patterns really well. However, lots of other surface finishes are available such as honed, brushed and acid etched. Just talk to one of us for more options.
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