Marble is a versatile, fairly homogenous and durable calcium carbonate rock with a wide range of colors. The colors arise from various minerals leeching into limestone - many marbles are limestones - that metamorphose (transform) from exposure to heat, pressure, and water. Usually, marble has a polished finish; yet, marble can be customized to a honed finish. The stone is not as durable as granite, but it is suitable in most any area in the home.
If polished, marbles are susceptible to two major blemishes: scratches and etches. Scratches are caused by dirt and sand tracked through a home. Etches are caused when an acidic or caustic liquid comes into contact with the calcium in the stone leaving a dull, whitish mark. With professional care, both problems are easily remedied. Usually maintenance is needed every 1 - 3 years depending upon wear, location, type, and care.
- All marble should be sealed.
- Neutral pH stone soap is best even for daily cleaning.
- White, plain bleach can be used on heavier soils and greasy film.
- Always test cleaners in an inconspicuous area and ensure to follow directions.
- Floor mats, especially those made of natural fibers, will reduce scratches.
- Use vacuums with soft brush attachments to remove dirt and debris prior to mopping.
- Tumbled marble is treated similarly. Care must be taken to keep its wider joints clean. Scrub brushes are helpful.