Blok kamene

In a recent article (Kurier Kamieniarski No. 6/2020), we highlighted that although it is so common around the world to hear of Bianco Carrara C, Bianco Carrara CD and Bianco Carrara D, the vast majority of natural stone retailers seem to misunderstand the meaning of the C, CD and D classifications. Unfortuntely, a whole number of traders completely disregard the fact that these “letters” should not be considered as names of specific subtypes of Bianco Carrara. They only serve as a conventional code, a term referring to the background colour and the amount of lapping in the general classification of the appearance of Bianco Carrara blocks, slabs and tiles. The use of this classification is relatively recent, it only dates back to the second half of the 20th century, and its use became widespread from the 1960s onwards.


Before going any further, it is certainly worth recalling the criteria underlying the ‘C, CD and D’ classification:

– Blocks, plates, and tiles in quality C are characterised by a pearly white, uniform background colour and subtle veining.

– Blocks, plates, and tiles in CD quality have a whitish, light grey uniform background colour and moderate veining.

– Blocks, plates, and tiles in D quality have light grey, grey, greyish, uniform background colour and moderate veining.

Sometimes, when trying to classify Bianco Carrara based on the above division, you may encounter a problem – some subtypes clearly do not fit into any of the three “letter” categories.

Bianco Carrara C, CD or D must have a uniform appearance. Both the background colour and the use should be uniform in their form. In reality, the Carrara quarries produce a large number of blocks with a non-uniform colour and uneven veining. Is the known “letter” division incorrect for that matter?

The answer is: No – it is merely incomplete. In fact, it is nothing more than a simplified version, or rather a part of a slightly older and much more comprehensive method consisting of five designations: C, CD, D, Corrente (otherwise known as Commerciale), Edilizia. The definition of the additional designations is as follows:

– Blocks, plates, and tiles in Corrente quality are characterised by a whitish-grey, non-uniform background colour (this means that the background may be lighter than D quality, but have darker and lighter spots) and an uneven lining pattern.

– Blocks, plates, and tiles in Edilizia quality are characterized by grey, non-uniform background, intense, uneven and rather unsightly veining.

Undoubtedly, the classification “C, CD, D, Corrente, Edilizia” is much more complete, logical and easier to apply. It is, therefore, surprising that nowadays it is a completely unknown form of subdivision of Bianco Carrara. We carried out a number of studies on the subject, which finally led us to the conclusion that the reason lies in the expansion of the market. Until the 1980s, the materials classified as Corrente and Edilizia were mainly distributed on the Italian market, being used for low-budget projects or projects where, due to the antique or anti-slip surface finish, the colour and veining were not important.


The situation was reversed in the case of slabs and tiles intended for export to richer markets (mainly the USA and Great Britain). Materials coming only from selections C, CD and D were destined here, which resulted in the spreading of these three quality categories. In a short period of time, global demand for Carrara marbles increased significantly and many countries started to import this raw material, including some requiring cheap materials. As a result, slabs from the Corrente and Edilizia categories also entered the export market.

In order to make their offer more attractive, most of the “new” importers decided to use only the names of the best known Bianco Carrara quality categories. In the long run, this state of affairs has led to an unfortunate situation: misattribution of the categories C, CD and D. This is why it is becoming more and more common to see Bianco Carrara slabs with a dark background and uneven veining under the name Bianco Carrara CD, or even Bianco Carrara C. In the articles to follow we will bring some more focus and analysis of the current situation and propose some solutions.


Source: Kurier kamieniarski

Author: | Published: 3.3.2021