Marble is a metamorphic rock, formed when limestone is subjected to staggering amounts of pressure. It consists mostly of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), or a combination of calcite minerals and dolomite. The rock’s name stems from the Greek word “marmaros”, which in literal translation means “shiny stone”.
In it’s purest form, the stone is white, but it comes in many colours such as white-grey, greenish, black, pink, reddish or black-blue. Since the pure calcite is white, the variety of colours is a result of impurities in the limestone and dolomite rocks. For example, green colouration is induced when the limestone from which marble originates is magnesium-rich.
This breathtaking rock had been exploited in ancient Greece since the mid 6th century. Nowadays Greek marble is quarried from several areas around the country, each having unique characteristics. Pure crystalline Greek marble is also known as Pentelic marble. The name is derived from mount Pentelicus, located near Athens, from which it was quarried and used to build many ancient Greek monuments, such as Acropolis for example. The grey-white variations can be found in the region of Drama-Kavala-Thasos. The world-renowned pink marbles come from the areas of Lafkos and Pelion.
You may have heard people say that marble is a timeless investment. Moreover, this ought to be the case if you make the right decisions when choosing marble for your specific project. What you don’t want to do is pick the specific tiles just because of the looks, but consider their given purpose and quality.
Use of marble outdoors isn’t limited to flooring only, as it also is a fantastic choice for constructing outdoor accent walls, or even furniture, such as tables. Marble furniture is quite expensive, but it does provide a unique ambient to your outdoor or indoor areas.
If you decide to make an outdoor marble tabletop, make sure to seal only the upper surface, and leave the rest unsealed, so the stone can “breathe”. This prevents water from penetrating inside and cause further damage. Have in mind that marble stains easily, and even a spilt glass of water will leave a mark.
Marble is the only stone which is slightly translucent. This means it allows the light to slightly penetrate it, hence it was treasured by sculptors for centuries for its illuminating effect. It conducts heat incredibly well, which makes it an excellent choice for a variety of floor heating systems. This also eliminates one of the marble’s cons – the coldness underfoot.
There are a few additional downsides. Marble is a brittle rock, so the cracks are likely to appear after a given time. This is directly tied to another issue you may encounter – it’s challenging to find perfectly matching replacement tiles. When polished, marble surface is quite slippery, and you ought to expect it to scratch after extended use.
On the other hand, marble has a distinct advantage among all other natural stones, the unique appearance and elegant style. It ennobles any given space, both indoor and outdoor, as no other material. It is quite pricey and requires high maintenance, but the pure beauty it provides to the dedicated space is well worth it.