Micro marble is the most popular choice of marble used for fireplaces today and outstrips natural marble in fireplace production and sales ten fold.
So what is this type of stone?
It is a man made stone consisting of finely ground real marble and other stone, mixed with resins, hardeners and other additives. Colour is added to the recipe and then it is mixed, before being poured into huge metal moulds. These are around three metres long, 1.2 metres high and 1.2 metres wide.
The mix is then left to harden, once set, the block of man-made marble, which weighs several tonnes, is removed from its mould and taken to huge gang saws, where it is sawn into sheets.
These three metre sheets are then taken to a finishing production line where they are calibrated, finished and polished. The sheets are then ready to be shipped to factories where they will be cut and fabricated into hearths and backs for fireplaces or complete fireplaces. Micro marble can be cut and worked far easier than real marble, and is just as hard and durable.
This man-made stone offers numerous colours, varying from near white to near black, with a large number of beige variations (the most popular). Some even have veins and mottles created within the stone. The best are difficult to tell from real marble. Most, unlike real marble are fairly plain, which goes well in today’s fashion, and allows the marble to blend well with a great variation of décor.
The advantage of man-made marble over real marble is oddly enough, its disadvantage too. Being very consistent in colour and certainly not without beauty, most sheets of the same type of micro are almost identical, so each fireplace made in micro marble is the same as the one before or the next – the fact is; when you buy this type of fireplace you know exactly what colour and markings you are going to get!
Natural marble fireplaces are beautiful and will always be unique in their colour and shade. Real marble can vary in colour, one batch to another; this is due to the fact that Nature favours variety and therefore makes few things identical to each other. You really cannot know the exact colour or veining the next natural marble fireplace will be, whereas, with man made, you can…
The uniqueness and beauty that natural marble possesses, is also its strength; the purchaser can always be assured that no other purchaser will have another natural marble fireplace, totally identical to theirs.
The other important factor with artificial marble being so popular today, is the price – They may well cost less than half a natural marble version and this combined with its consistent colour, makes these types of stone fireplaces fantastic value!
Micro Marble Fireplaces can be purchased from btf1.co.uk. They are based in Broxbourne, on the border of Hertfordshire and Essex, but supply micro marble fireplaces to many locations throughout the UK.