The geologic definition of marble is a metamorphic rock predominately consisting of fine- to coarse-grained, recrystallized calcite and/or dolomite. It has a texture of relatively uniform crystals ranging from very large (inches) to very fine, small, uniform-sized crystals.

While marble is a beautiful natural stone with huge aesthetic appeal, there are certain characteristics that should be considered before finally deciding to use it for your project. These are its ability to scratch, etch and stain.

A sealant is a great barrier against staining, considering the tops have been sealed properly. Some stones will take just one sealant coat while others may take multiple coats to ensure that the surface isn’t penetrable. Each stone variety will have a different porosity. This is what determines a stone’s ability to stain. It also affects how often it needs to be sealed and how many coats.

Staining isn’t the only thing to consider before you finalize your decision. Some types of marble are easily scratched and this is something you will want to be aware of before you purchase. Stone density is measured by a scale called the Mohs Hardness Scale. It rates stones from 1-10, from softest to hardest. Marble rates about a 4, while granite and quartzite will be rated around a 7 or 8. There are some marbles that are denser and, for that reason, may scratch less easily than others, but that doesn’t mean you are out of the woods yet.

Etching is the final, perhaps most prevalent, issue that needs to be addressed before you choose marble for your countertops. Etching is a reaction that happens to a stone made of marble. Calcites, dolomites and onyxes are all considered to be in the marble family. If you see a slab that is labeled Calcite or Dolomite, you can be assured that the stone will etch if it comes into contact with anything acidic.Many things we use in our kitchen everyday have acidic properties…lemons, limes, oranges, tomatoes, tomato sauce and vinegar. Even milk is an acidic, on the low end of the spectrum, but still acidic.

Still considering marble for your project? A simple conversation with us about what you want is the best place to start. There’s always a perfect product for each customer’s lifestyle! See our Blogs & Articles Page for additional quartzite information…

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