Marble is considered a classic architectural material and enjoys variety in application from kitchen countertops to the facades on buildings. This page covers the geology of marble, care and maintenance tips and examples of the material in application.

Marble is considered a classic architectural material and enjoys variety in application from kitchen countertops to the facades on buildings. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Taj Mahal, the Parthenon and other ancient greek buildings such as the Temple of Apollo at Delphi were all constructed using marble.

Geology of Marble

A metamorphic crystalline rock composed predominantly of crystalline grains of calcite, dolomite, or serpentine, and capable of taking a polish.

General Information

All marble will acid etch when exposed to acidic foods such as lemons or tomatoes. Most marble has a moderate absorption rating and will stain when exposed to oil and highly-pigmented liquids. Most marble has a low abrasion resistance rating; it is likely to scratch. Most marble has naturally occurring cracks and fissures. In general, light-colored marble is difficult to maintain in flooring applications with heavier traffic and dark marble tends to show more scratching.

Care + Maintenance Tips

  • Always seal marble prior to use.
  • To reduce the appearance of etching in kitchen countertop applications, choose a honed, white marble with a low-moderate absorption rating.
  • To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly-pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.
  • Always use a neutral detergent to clean marble.
  • Always check the abrasion resistance rating. For marble with a lower abrasion resistance rating, use walk-off mats at entrances and expect the material to patina rapidly.
  • If acid etching is an issue, choose a material with minimal acid sensitivity rating, such as quartzite or granite.
  • Expect to see factory-repaired cracks and fissures. The quality of the repair is dependent upon the factory of origin, the fabricator of the stone and the installer.

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