Marble characteristics

Marble is a metamorphosed limestone composition. What this really means is that marble originally began as limestone deep in the earth’s crust and through extreme heat and pressure was recrystallized to form the marble stone we know today.

Due to this natural process that occurs in nature, and the vast combination of minerals that exist within the earth’s crust,  marble can be found in an amazing array of colors and shades. The colors range from brilliant white, which is derived from white calcite, to dark red, to black. The marble color depending on the minerals and impurities found within each specific region of the earth where marble is quarried.

Marble is not an extremely hard stone and has a Mohs rating of between 2.5 and 5 (out of 10) compared to granite which is between 7 and 8.

Marble has visible and distinct veins that run through the stone. Due to the natural crystals that exist within marble, the natural stone responds extremely well to polishing and exhibits amazing reflectivity.

Maintenance of Marble

It is not often understood that marble is a high-maintenance product and in order to maintain the beauty and appeal of this magnificent natural stone – you need to perform both preventative and regular maintenance. By doing this, your marble stone floor will last forever.

Preventative Maintenance

A polished marble floor looks fantastic but as it has got a polished finish to the stone, it can scratch quite easily when comparing to granite or porcelain tile. For illustration, sand has a moh’s rating of 7 and hence if there is sand left on a polished marble floor, and you walk on the sand you can in fact scratch the polished marble.

For Floors:

When sediment and grit are walked, dragged or scraped across the marble stone, the natural crystals (as described above, these are what gives the marble its shine when polished) become damaged and the surface is no longer even causing a loss in reflectivity and shine. Thus in order to prevent this type of damage to polished marble floors, it is recommended that you avoid walking in from the outdoors directly onto a marble floor — barrier matting (like welcome mats are important and getting people to take off their shoes before entering your house is recommended (of course I personally think this is a good idea anyway as it creates a warmer and more comfortable feeling at home.)

For floors, counters, tables etc:

Marble is a porous natural stone and even though this porosity is reduced by polishing, it is highly recommended that you apply a penetrative sealer to the marble just after installation. If not, leaving that red wine glass on the marble table overnight could prove to be a very expensive mistake and one that may leave its mark for life.

Regular Maintenance

To delay expensive color restoration to natural stone, it is important to regularly clean and maintain the marble by cleaning the marble floors regularly with a soft mop and soap design specifically for natural stone. Do not let the soap residue build up on the stone over a period of time as this will reduce the luster of the marble.

Always clean up spills on any marble surface immediately and do not use any acid based household chemicals to clean a marble surface — this can cause immediate damage.

To be honest, in order to maintain the perfect marble shine, professional maintenance is required at regular intervals as this cleaning will usually include the use of polishing powders, vitrification chemicals and they will be able to remove any staining that has occurred through the use of poultice powders and other specialist methods.

All this can be quite daunting but luckily there are products available on the market that can make the maintenance of marble easier and ensure that you continue to enjoy the magnificence of nature right in your home for years and years to come. At San Diego Marble & Tile, we keep a full range of marble maintenance and treatment products — give us a call or drop into one of our showrooms and we can help and advise you of the best product for your needs.