Marble. This classic beauty has been used for thousands of years by kings and queens and evokes a sense of luxury when mentioned nowadays.
Due to its natural qualities, this stone has a reputation of being ‘soft’ and a no-no as a kitchen countertop. However, if you follow certain guidelines and are willing to take care of this material, there is nothing quite like the stunning classic look of marble.
The History of Marble
Marble starts out as limestone on the shores and beds of tropical seas. Limestone contains shells and shell remnants that are made of the mineral calcite which is responsible for the softness of marble.
Since ocean beds are constantly moving from the center towards the continents, slipping under the edges, this movement, combined with heat, forms the layers of marble.
The heat fuses together calcite, the singular particles do not melt but become malleable to be packed together tightly. The grey swirls are the occasional clay and sand layers folded into the white mass just like if you would bake a marble cake.
The Properties of Marble
Yes, marble is regarded as porous and soft, however, it also is seen as luxurious and is used extensively in high-end projects.
One of the most heat resistant stones, much more so than quartz that is usually being offered in case a client wants a white kitchen, it is loved by bakers as a countertop but also can be put around fireplaces. Further uses can be in the bathroom, flooring or as an accent wall.
Honed and structured surfaces can handle much more kitchen day to day activities than polished countertops which can etch through acidic liquids. With their soft, satin finish customers seem to prefer them even just for the look of it.
How to Care for Marble
Marble, like other natural stones, should be cleaned with mild soaps or special stone cleaners. Usually, just wiping off the dirt with a wet sponge is sufficient for daily maintenance.
You can prevent stains often caused by red wine or oils by using cutting boards and coasters and wipe off spills right away. A lot of stains can be removed by restoration.
Acidic liquids like citrus fruits, vinegar, tomatoes can etch the marble when left for too long which is invisible on honed or leathered surfaces.
Long term care
It is recommended to seal your marble countertops when needed (similar to carpet cleaning, you will see when it’s time). The sealer can prevent staining through penetrating and filling the pores just underneath the surface of the stone to prolong the absorption of liquids which gives you more time to wipe off the spills. However, the sealer cannot shield off etching.
Marble can be refinished endless times because only a tiny layer is being taken off by the restaurateur. Just keep that this an undertaking that requires a lot of effort. And nowadays, sealers are highly effective without changing the color of the stone itself.