Marble gets a bad reputation these days. People are shying away, choosing manmade stone, quartzites or granites. While this is all well and good (and often recommended!), it is important to remember that marble has long been the leading stone when it comes to durability and beauty. Varieties of marbles have been used for eternity and well and truly stood up to the test of time. Natural stone is not a perfect product, but the options are pretty damn good!
It is considered a soft stone when compared to other natural stone surfaces. It is completely natural and is made up mostly of calcite. Calcite is considered soft, so it will etch and dull with exposure to acids. It can also scratch. However, in saying this, marble receives a 3-4 on Moh’s Scale of Hardness. This is actually average hardness. By no means is marble weak. It’s counterparts, granite and quartzite are ranked at 6-8.
It is important to remember that marble is an extremely good benchtop and building material. When treated right, your benchtop, vanity, floor or table will last many lifetimes and stay looking great! In fact, many people find the beauty of marble lays in the way it ages, giving eternal character.
Many think the only redeeming factor of marble is its look, that it’s simply irreplaceable. While it’s true you can achieve the look with alternative stones, why not dive right in and go for the real thing?
It is extremely durable.
There is a reason why statues and buildings built thousands of years ago still stand today. There are actually marbles that are very hard, found in Asia. The softer stones are the European ones. Many famous sites are made entirely of the stuff and have stood for centuries.
It does not hold nor conduct heat.
The stone is heat resistant, naturally of course. It has been used to cool down interior spaces, especially in hot climates. This is one of the reasons a marble bath that is not heated is maybe not the best idea (unless you like cold baths!)
Marbles are available in a range of colours.
Carrara and Greek marbles are the most famous. Many think the stone only exists in white and grey, like the famous Calacatta or Statuario. Marbles actually are found all over the world and can be red, green, pink, brown, yellow or combinations of all of the above. Many of the coloured marbles are much, much harder than the typical stone found in Carrara,
Slabs are not as expensive as you might think.
The price of the stone is actually extremely variable and is determined by the quarries. The famous Italian stones can range from $100 – $3000 per m2.
Etching gives your stone character!
We just love the idea that etching and stains give your marble character! The European attitude is that you shouldn’t seal your marble, so it can soak up the excitement of life. Stains and etchings are signs of a well-loved benchtop and of good times!