What Is Marble? A Guide to the History, Properties and Uses of Marble
Did you know that there are more than 4000 types of minerals? Some examples include calcite, quartz, pyrite, and dolomite. As it is, many of these are found in metamorphic rocks. Put simply, they’re rocks that have undergone intense pressure and heat.
Take quartzite, for instance—it’s composed almost entirely of silica, one of the most abundant minerals in the Earth’s crust. Marble is another example. What is marble? It’s a luxurious stone that’s used for a number of things from counter tops to monuments. Want to learn more about its history and properties? If so, be sure to read the rest of the page!
What Is Marble?
Marble is a type of metamorphic rock that forms under the Earth when limestone is exposed to high heat and pressure. While it’s mainly composed of calcite, it also contains other minerals such as quartz, micas, graphite, and pyrite. In its pure form, the rock is white with a sugary appearance. Depending on the minerals present, however, it can also be pink, gray, green, or brown.
How Is It Formed?
Marble starts out as limestone—a type of rock that’s made of hardened fossils. Over time, it’s exposed to heat and pressure, which transforms it into marble. More often than not, this occurs at convergent plate boundaries. Put it simply, it’s where the Earth’s plates are pushed together. Some marble also forms when hot magma heats up limestone.
History of Marble in Architecture
Marble stone has been used in architecture for thousands of years. In fact, it was used extensively by ancient Roman and Greek architects. Chosen for its beauty, the rock was used for a variety of structures from pillars to temples. They would pull it from the Earth with the help of levers, winches, wooden beams, and pulleys. Take the Roman Colosseum, for example—it used to be filled with marble decorations, though most have disappeared over the years.
Physical Properties of Marble
Marble is relatively soft with a hardness of three on the Mohs hardness scale. As a result, it can be scratched easily with a blade— this is one of the reasons why it’s ideal for sculptures. Composed of calcium carbonate, it’s also capable of neutralizing acids. In fact, crushed marble is often used to neutralize acid in lakes and streams.
Why Is Marble So Popular?
Marble is highly elegant. Not only will it add value to your home, but it’ll add aesthetic appeal as well. While it might not be the cheapest, most would argue that it’s worth the investment. On top of that, it’s durable. Given the proper care, it can easily last for many decades—perhaps even longer.
Familiarizing Yourself With Marble
Hopefully, that answers the question of “what is marble?”. Given all of its advantages, it’s not surprising to know that it’s so popular! Looking for professional marble cleaning services? Feel free to contact us for a free quote!