Marble Bathroom Countertops
One of the hallmarks of elegance is a marble bathroom countertop. This exquisite stone adds beauty to any room in the house, but it creates a particularly luxurious impression when used in the bathroom. Marble is the ultimate in natural stone. Homeowners can choose to use marble tiles
or the classic marble slab countertop. Marble is available in a wide variety of rich colours featuring textured grains and veins.
What is Marble?
Marble is quarried in all parts of the world. The stone is formed when limestone, softened from heat and pressure, re-crystallizes and undergoes mineral changes, resulting in marble. The main components of the new stone are calcium and dolomite. Marble scores from 2.5 to 5 on Mohs Scale of hardness. It is softer than stones such as granite and is capable of taking a high polish.
Marble has been used for more than two millennia in building and art. It was used extensively in ancient Greece; the Parthenon was constructed of white Pentelic marble, for example, and statues such as the Venus de Medici were carved from luminous Parian marble. Ancient Romans also used marble; the famous Carrara and Siena marbles of Tuscany were used by the Romans and the Italian sculptors of the Renaissance.
The word "marble” comes from the Greek word "marmaros,” which means "shining stone.” Marbles range in colour from pure white to ebony black, with many shades in between, including red, pink, yellow, green and beige. The colours in marble are caused by the presence of other minerals and impurities, often presenting in patches or bands.
Marble may be finished in various ways. Polished stone is highly lustrous and is associated with formal rooms, while honed marble has a matte finish and is less likely to show scratches or wear patterns.
The Price of marble can vary greatly. Rare colours are more expensive, as is marble that come from quarries in far-flung corners of the world due to increased transportation costs. Slab marble
is costlier than tiles.
Caring for Your Marble Countertop
Marble is softer than many other materials. Once your bathroom counter is installed, you need to follow the advice of your stone supply company about sealing the surface. If too much moisture penetrates the stone, it can cause damage. Modern sealants applied regularly are effective at preventing this.
Cleaning marble is simple, but you must be sure to use only recommended methods of cleaning. Marble is sensitive, so never use anything to clean your countertop that you wouldn't use on your own hands. For example, never use steel wool pads or powdered cleansers to clean your countertop. Even liquid "soft scrub" cleaners contain pumice (powdered stone) that can cause damage. Acid causes "etching” or marking on marble, so it's also important never to use any product which is acidic. Ammonia and many common liquid cleaners (such as window cleaner) contain acidic elements and will damage marble. There are some excellent products designed especially for stone that are simple to use and safe for your countertop.
With proper care, your marble countertop will add beauty to your home for decades.