Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Geologists use the term “marble” to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however, stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone. Marble is commonly used for sculpture, flooring, countertops and as a building material.
Marble forms when limestone is heated and experiences pressure in the earth’s crust. The pressure ignites a process called crystallization, thus changing marble’s texture and characteristics. According to Minerals Zone, fossilized materials in limestone and carbonate minerals recrystallize, resulting in large, coarse grains of calcite.
The amount of impurities present during the chemical processes affect marble’s mineral composition. The mineral composition of marble, therefore, determines the colors different grades of marble manifest. For example, the more hematite present produces a red color, limestone results in yellowish marble, and serpentine produces greenish coloring.
Marble Countertops and Marble Tiles is a hard, compact rock with a fine grain, which makes it hard to split into even sheets. Despite the difficulty in splitting marble, it is easy to polish and shine. Marble also has the durability to withstand different temperatures and does not usually react to wet weather. We have many historic marble structures because they don’t erode or burn in fires.
The types of marble vary by the region of the world it is found in and the mineral composition of the soil. In general, all marble contains calcite, dolomite or serpentine materials. Minerals Zone says that the amount of lime (CaO) makes up between 28-32 percent. The amount of silica in marble has the largest variation, ranging from 3-30 percent.
Some of the most famous works of art in history owe their creation to marble. Ancient Greek buildings still standing today are constructed out of marble. Ancients also used marble for dishes and vases. Italian artist Michelangelo used marble for his sculptures, and architects used marble for designs on churches and cathedrals. In the United States, parts of the Lincoln Memorial contain marble. Because marble comes in so many different colors, it adds unique color sequences to the places it’s used. Caves all over the world invite visitors to see marble in its natural state.
Marble, which starts as a pressurized rocks, has been a part of societies formation since ancient times. There are so many varieties because of the different minerals in the countries in which they are formed. The fascinating processes that occur have made marble versatile and strong. These qualities make it uses for construction and invaluable to sculptors.
Common Uses for Marble Countertops and Marble Tiles
- Marble Interior and exterior (in environments where freezing/thawing does not occur)
- Marble Countertops
- Marble Flooring
- Marble Fireplaces
- Marble Vanities
Types of Finishes for Marble
Polished Marble Countertops Slabs and Tiles: During production, a facet is put on each crystal at a microscopic level– much as a jeweler would facet a diamond. The resulting smooth surface allows light to refract in and out of the stone in a parallel way. This enhances the visible sheen and gives the appearance of depth.
Honed Marble: A smooth, non-reflective finish achieved by using acid to grind the surface (available by special order only).
Brushed Marble Countertops and Marble Tiles or Leathered Marble countertops and Marble Tiles: Brushed or leathered finishes for marble countertops or granite tiles, which are also known as antiqued finish, are created by gently brushing the granite’s surface which develops an aged look throughout the stone. Marble is made of different minerals and depending on the strength of each mineral after the brushing process the stone creates a varied texture giving a feel of leather finish. This brushed finish gives your countertops the dramatic and wow look as it looks and feels very different than traditional finishes.
These are some of the commonly used finishes. But as marble is so unique that there are several other finishes that can be made available upon request. Please contact our profession sales staff at our Vancouver location to get more information.
Available Sizes of Marble in Tiles or Slabs
- Tiles 12 x 12
- Tiles 12 x 24
- Tiles 24 x 24
- Tiles 16 x 16
- Tiles 18 x 18
- Marble in 2cm slabs or ¾” and Marble slabs in 3cm or 1 ¼” is available to hand select at our Vancouver location. Please visit us at 117 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, BC or call us at 604 872 8444.
Consider the function of the area involved prior to selection. Marbles range from 5-7.5 on the MOHS hardness scale. Green and black colored marbles require a 100% solid epoxy adhesive as they have a tendency to warp from water-based adhesives. Color variations are common and enhance the natural beauty of marble. Be sure to inspect multiple samples of the stone before selection to ensure satisfaction with colors and patterns.
Maintaining/Cleaning your Marble
- Do clean with a dust mop and neutral cleaner to remove most dirt.
- Do use a penetrating sealer to prevent staining. Because many stones are porous to some degree, excessive water may cause reactions such as oxidation (rust), etc. “Special Impregnating” sealers are recommended to avoid these problems. Aeon Stone + Tile representatives can recommend appropriate sealers.
- Do clean marble with “special stone cleaners”, “pH balanced cleaners” or “neutral base cleaners.”
- Do not clean any natural stone with acidic cleaners, including (but not limited to) vinegar or cleaners with “lemon” or “lime” on the label. These products will abrade the polish from the stone. Sealers DO NOT protect polished surfaces from these types of cleaners.
Common and Popular Marble
Most popular and unique marble countertops and marble come from Italy, Spain and Greece. Italian marbles have been known for their beauty and durability for centuries. Most of these marbles come from the city of Carrara and as such most of the marbles are called as Carrara marbles. The most common marble countertops and marble tiles are Bianco Carrara, Bianco Staturaio or Staturaio, Calcutta or Calacutta. We carry all types of white marbles countertops and marble tiles in stock in tiles and slabs. The Carrara or Calcutta marbles have beautiful grey or gold veins that runs through these marbles. The price point for these marbles increases or decreases based on the purity and clarity of the marble, similar to how diamonds are valued. The whiter the marble and less veins or pronounced veins the more the value. Come and select your full height marble slabs for marble countertops and marble tiles at 117 west 5th Avenue, Vancouver BC.