An instantly recognizable natural stone with a rich architectural and design history, marble is highly coveted for its beauty, durability, and distinctive vein patterns. Discover more about the benefits of marble, where to use it, and how to care for it. 

Long admired for its beauty and durability, marble has been used to construct some of the most recognizable structures in the world, including the Washington Monument, the Taj Mahal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Marble Arch in London. Over the centuries, it has been carved by history’s best artists into some of the most recognizable works of art.

The aesthetic appeal of marble is easy to understand, and today the stone is used in a variety of ways to add timeless elegance to home interiors. Read on to learn more about this remarkable stone, how it forms, and how to properly care for your marble countertops, floors, and more. 

What is marble?

Marble quarries can be found all over the globe, some of the most predominant being located in China, Greece, India, Italy, Turkey, and Spain. Certain types of marble, including Calacatta and Carrara marble (both from Italy) are considered highly precious, due to their rarity and high demand. 

But what is it? 

Marble is a type of metamorphic rock. Metamorphism refers to the process by which one type of rock (in the case of marble, this is most often limestone) transforms into another type of rock as the result of extreme heat, excess pressure, chemical changes, or some combination of these three factors. 

Depending on where it is sourced, marble comes in a range of different colors, with subtle—or sometimes not so subtle—variations in veining that make some types of marble more coveted than others. 

Veining refers to the visible lines or branch-like patterns that accent the natural stone, created when foreign elements get trapped in the stone during metamorphism. These features add to the attractiveness of marble by ensuring that no two slabs are alike, and they may be emphasized using a technique called book-matching.

Book-matching (or bookmatching) is the process of taking a large slab of marble and splitting it down the middle, the way you would separate the pages of a book with your thumb. The result is two new individual slabs, which create a perfect mirror image of one another. These are often used side by side to create a stunning design element in the home. 

Why choose marble for your home surfaces? 

As natural stone varieties go, marble is instantly identifiable and one of the most beautiful—and versatile—options for interior design. 

The word marble is thought to come from the Greek marmaros, which translates to “gleaming stone” or “shining stone.” Indeed, its glossy shine is one of the things that make marble so appealing. 

Though marble floors and countertops are perhaps the most popular use of the stone, marble shower walls and tub backsplashes can turn any bathroom into an opulent oasis. In the living room, a marble fireplace façade or accent wall makes a bold conversation starter. 

As benefits go, its natural heat resistance makes marble a smart choice for kitchen countertops and islands. Likewise, marble floors retain their coolness even in summer heat. 

Caring for your marble accents

When well cared for, marble will retain its beauty and shine for years. The important thing to remember is that although it is an extremely durable natural stone, marble is also inherently porous and therefore susceptible to scratching and etching if not properly sealed and cleaned. 

Quickly wiping up any spills or messes, keeping floors and walls dry, and regularly resealing marble surfaces will go a long way toward ensuring your marble home accents will last as long as the Parthenon. 

If your marble surfaces are looking a little dull, or if you have noticed signs of etching, stains, or scratches, the experts at Arizona Stone Proz can help restore them to their original luster and magnificence. Our highly skilled craftsmen specialize in natural stone restoration and work diligently to restore, polish, seal, and repair your marble—without the need for a costly and time-consuming replacement. Call us today at (520) 779-2052, or schedule an appointment using our online form.