Marble is a long-time favorite of sculptors and architects. As a matter of fact, we have been using this beautiful stone for thousands of years. Everyone is familiar with sculptures of ancient Greece and Rome. It has been used for some of the most beautiful and intriguing sculptures and structures in human history.
Statues and buildings are one thing, but how about for kitchen countertops? How does it stack up against other stone? Particularly, granite and quartz?
What is Marble?
Unlike granite, which is an igneous rock, marble is metamorphic. The major difference between the rock types is that igneous is formed from magma, while metamorphic rocks are existing rocks that undergo change. In other words, morph. It is metamorphic limestone. When limestone undergoes the metamorphic process, the calcite of the limestone crystalizes. This crystalization creates a stronger rock than before. This is a rather important feature. Calcite is a relatively soft mineral. Without the crystalization, marble would be too soft to be usefull in the many states is has been used.
Marble vs Granite
Obviously, marble is a beautiful choice of stone for kitchen countertops, backsplashes, floor tile, vanities and desktops. In general, it is a little more expensive than granite and other stone surfaces. Marble is even more porous than granite. This is a problem, as bacteria can grow in the fissures. It is susceptable to staining and scratches. It is not as hard as granite, and more susceptable to chipping. More common varieties, such as Carrera is much less expensive than Calcutta. Overall, expect to pay less for granite. This includes the material and the installation.
A Beautiful Alternative
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are many fabulous colors and patterns on the market. Predominately white with swirls of other, darker colors. Commonly sold in 2 and 3 cm thicknesses.