Marble is forever

Beautiful, elegant, durable, luxurious, natural but expensive. These are the words Italians use to describe marble, one of the most popular materials in homes throughout Italy, including the islands.
Natural stone is popular in the living room (50.1%), the bathroom (46.3%) and the kitchen (42.5%), and in one home out of two it is already a companion in everyday life, even if only with small elements such as window sills. And among those who do not have it at home, 60% declare an interest in this material and want it for their homes.
This is what emerges from the EMG Different study, a research institute based in Milan, which interviewed a representative sample of 2,000 Italians aged 30 and over between December 2021 and February 2022. The research was commissioned by Marmomac, the international exhibition dedicated to stone, design and technology, scheduled at Veronafiere from 27 to 30 September 2022.

The data collected snapshot the behaviour of Italians in using marble and their perception of its characteristics. The analysis shows that natural stone is the second most popular material after ceramic and followed by wood/parquet, stoneware, terracotta, cement and laminate. The uses are quite clear: floors (55% of responses), kitchen and bathroom tops (42.4%), stairs (39%) and windowsills (36.2%). A choice that stands out especially in the South and the islands where it is present in 62.4% of homes.
Marble, therefore, is generally well appreciated by Italians, a strong point being its great versatility of use. However, the research highlights some chiaroscuros. On the one hand the advanced age of the owners (66.8% are over 70 years old) who live in dwellings renovated more than a decade ago. On the other hand, a large majority of respondents who recognise the value of marble and natural stone but state that they do not have enough information to purchase (50.1%).
All the players in the supply chain, from the stonemason to the architect or interior decorator, from the shopkeeper to the retailer to the construction company, therefore have a great importance in supporting the consumer, educating him to a correct knowledge of this material.

The research highlights a disconnect between insiders and the consumer,” comments Giovanni Mantovani, Director General of VeronaFiere, “but at the same time it becomes an opportunity marking the direction to follow. What is needed is a coordinated communication strategy at supply chain level in which Marmomac can play the role of aggregator, providing companies, associations and operators with all the necessary tools: from market intelligence to the educational initiatives of its Academy and international promotion of natural stone. The study also indicates that among consumer information sources, online channels have a strong potential to be explored to engage a younger audience. And with Marmomac Plus we already have the largest digital portal available to the global marble community”.
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Photo 1 bedroom, Photo Credit: Marmomac Plus, Sezgin Marble
Photo 2 kitchen counter, Photo Credit: Marmomac Plus, GR Marble