Marble is a natural stone, and a gorgeous one at that. It’s been a prized building material for millennia, gracing the palaces of kings and queens and sacred temples, as well as hotels, galleries and, in more recent years, contemporary Australian homes.
Naturally occurring, it is formed over millions of years as sedimentary stone, such as limestone, is compacted within the earth and transformed under heat and pressure. It’s sometimes confused with granite, another natural stone, but granite is derived from volcanic magma.
Marble is quarried from different mountainous regions around the world, such as Carrara in Italy and Calcutta in India. It’s cut into slabs of rock and sent to factories for polishing to be used in a number of building applications, including countertops, furniture, flooring and wall tiling.
As this beautiful stone is naturally occurring, it varies enormously in texture and vein. No two pieces of marble are ever the same, which is a part of its natural beauty and why it’s so highly desired.
Additionally, it also varies in colour, from striking black to creamy white and even yellow, red and green. For countertops, dining tables, vanities and flooring, the most popular choices are neutral black, white and grey, as they go with everything.
Marble is a valuable addition to your home, whether used in fixtures such as countertops and tiling, or in your furniture choices. It can add an instant sense of luxury to any room. But there’s more to marble than just aesthetics. It’s also very strong and extremely durable. It won’t corrode, decay or degenerate over time, as some materials can. It’s completely natural, sourced straight from the earth. It’s also easy to polish, which makes it a wonderful choice for benchtops and tables.
As with all natural stones, marble does need a little maintenance to keep it looking its best. As it’s a porous material, it requires regular sealing and everyday care to prevent scratches and stains.
CARING FOR MARBLE
- For everyday cleaning, use warm soapy water and a non-abrasive cloth to clean the surface, then wipe dry with a clean, dry, soft cloth.
- Because natural stone is porous (marble in particular), clean up excess water and spills immediately using a blotting action (rather than wiping). If water is left on the surface for a long period of time, it will mark the finish.
- If watermarks have appeared on the surface, you can try to remove them by using a hairdryer on a low heat while using a circular motion to dry the stone out.
- To give extra protection against hot cups, plates, etc. and accidental spillages, it is always best to use table runners, placemats and coasters.
- Avoid using or spilling products that are oil or petroleum-based, acidic or caustic, e.g. vinegar, citrus, sodas, chlorine, nail polish remover, etc.
- Don’t use Windex or similar cleaners on stone surfaces.
- Avoid cutting with knives directly on top of stone surfaces as it will damage both your knife and your stone top.
- Water-based waterproofing sealer will need to be re‑applied over time. To test whether your top needs to be resealed, just place a few drops of water on the top; if it soaks in within 30–60 seconds, then your top will need to be resealed. If it doesn’t, then no sealing is required.
- When moving stone-top tables, always have someone to assist you and lift from both ends. Never drag the table as it can stress and weaken the frame or even snap legs.