Construction and finishing material
Definition and Characteristics
Marble is an metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbon materials, commonly limestone.
Pure white marble comes from clean limestone.
The color variations come from additional components mixed in with the limestone such as sand, silt, clay or serpentine.
The color and composition of marble is heavily influenced by its origin.
For example, green marble is found in Italy and Sweden, and pink marble is found in the United States and Romania.
The marble production industries is dominate in Italy, China, India and Spain.
Combined, these four countries represent more than half of the marble production around the globe.
Use in Buildings
The Romans first discovered marble, and it can still be seen in their buildings and sculptures today, proving its durability.
In construction, marble can be used as a dimension stone, the same way as bricks. Due to costs and weight, designers today have found an alternative way to achieve the marble block appearance.
Tiled marble that is fastened to the outside wall as a facade finish. This way, you get the same marble block appearance, but it is much cheaper and lighter.
Here is a list of where marble appears in building finishes:
- counter tops
Because of its crystalline properties, it can take a very high polish, so it is used in many decorative ways to make a building seem rich and luxurious.
The Taj Mahal, perhaps one of the most famous buildings in the world, is built from marble.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Marble contains calcium carbonate, which is very sensitive to acidic agents. Exterior marble is deteriorated by weathering such as when rain combines with atmospheric acids.
Another factor is temperature, which can cause expansion and contraction of the stone and the patterns within the marble to change.
Other issues with marble are erosion, crumbling, chipping, cracking, peeling and sugaring.
Marble is extremely durable and doesn't absorb a lot of moisture. Due to this property, many oil, ink, organic, metallic and rust stains can be removed.