Post by: Camila da Paz | Source: Realtor.com
When real estate agent Sandra Fiorenza and her husband looked for a house in South Florida, the couple had a few must-haves on their list.
For starters, they wanted a home in the super-secure Coral Gables neighborhood of Gables Estates. The couple also wanted a place with at least four bedrooms, a home that promoted family activities, and a few other features that were a little harder to come by when browsing through existing inventory.
Fiorenza and her husband scoured the Coral Gables area, but nothing fit their needs, so they opted to build their own instead. Now, the house they made home is on the market.
The completely custom, 13,216 sqft home ticks all of their boxes and offers much more. There's a pool and outdoor living space, a wine cellar, staff quarters, and crystal chandeliers in every room.
However, one of the home's unique aspects is that it's swathed in $3 million worth of marble. The entire façade of the exterior is covered in marble. Inside, bathrooms, floors, and walls are made of marble as well.
The sheer quantity of marble used in this home's construction had us asking questions. First of all, how does a builder obtain that much marble? And what about installation and upkeep?
Fiorenza said all of the marble for her house came from one quarry in Mérida, Mexico. She says, “I knew what color I wanted, and I wanted it all to match.”
First thing you need to do is: go to your architect. If you’re going to apply marble to the walls of the home, you need to make sure the home is built to receive marble. An architect must consider the stone and its weight before drawing up plans.
After the plans are in place, contractors, designers, and installers need to figure out the logistics. They will draw out the home and how the marble will fit.
If marble is being used on a home's exterior, thicker, heavier slabs of marble are used. The weight factor is important to consider. Once that’s specified, the builder will reach out to the supplier that has the capability to execute the importing.
For the Coral Gables house, choosing the marble before importing was a pretty special experience. “The marble for the house was hand-picked,” said Fiorenza. “We were invited to the quarry to pick it.”
Once the stone is picked and the amount of marble required is calculated, the process begins. Based on the size of slabs needed, the thickness, and the amount of stone required to complete the job, a stonemason will cut every piece of stone to the required specifications.
For interior spaces, the marble needs to be sealed to prevent scratching and staining, it is suggested sealing once a year. Even so, scratches may occur, so it’s recommended to have the marble polished as well. You can have it polished once a year, or at least once every two years, depending on an owner's lifestyle.
"We have a polisher come in twice a year,” says Fiorenza. She said the frequency makes sense in high-traffic areas of the home that see scratches more often.
As for the outside of the home, which has a natural finish, maintaining the marble is a little less laborious.
Typically on the outside, you don’t seal the stone, so the stone will age. There’s not much to be done about that, so you don’t really need to do much on the outside. Power-washing is about it.
And there you have it: your inside scoop on the world of marble. And if you’re interested in a home full of it, this Gable Estates house might be perfect for you.