White Marble - Important Facts and Considerations

White MarbleWhite marble is a significant feature of Greek and Roman ancient history, especially when considered under artistic and architectural circumstances.
White marble has been used in several beautiful, grand structures like the Taj Mahal, and in artistic sculptures like the historically infamous David, one of many sculptures in which the illustrious artist, Michelangelo, specifically employs white marble.
How is White Marble Made
White marble is derived from a rock known as metamorphic rock. The term describes any type of rock that has undergone some sort of transformation as a result of exposure to either heat, pressure, or any other agent, while never experiencing a liquid phase. The process of transformation that many metamorphic rocks experience, often result in igneous rocks. This type of transformation may be referred to as contact metamorphism. Other, frequent types of transformation are:
  • Regional metamorphism
  • Dynamic metamorphism
  • Aside from white marble, other types of metamorphic rock are:
  • Amphilbolite
  • Gneiss
  • Blueschist
  • Migmatite
  • Phyllite
  • Slate
  • Soapstone
  • Quartzite
  • Cataclasite
  • Eclogite
  • Hornfels
These are just a handful of the several types of metamorphic rock. However, the most popular metamorphic rock - white marble - is one that appears fossil-free because of the heat necessary to producing white marble. When creating this specific type of marble, very hot temperatures are needed, which in turn eliminates any signs of fossilized life, giving the marble its clean, white, appearance.
Things to Consider When Working with White Marble
When new to working with stone, or specifically white marble, many often forget to consider the parent rock of the material being used. It is very important not to overlook the parent rock that was used to create the marble slab that will be used to create anything from interior flooring, fireplace surroundings, furniture, countertops, sculptures, architectural details, and so on. A professional white marble manufacturer will ensure that the parent rock of the marble - often in many cases, limestone - will not contain any impurities. Impurities are detrimental to the quality of white marble because it deconstructs the fundamental structure of the marble, making it likely to eventually break down and crumble.
Staining is another factor to consider when working with marble, especially white marble. As marble is quite porous, white marble will stain if it contacts any sort of dyes or pigments. Most organic stains are temporary unless oxidation occurs, which is likely to cause permanent damage to the stone.
Lastly, another key factor to consider is the finish of the marble, especially in relation to erosion. A polished finish is the most common type for marble. However, this glossy appearance will lose its luster when exposed to wind or heat, as well as any acidic material. This factor is especially important to keep in mind when working with outdoor structures. Exposure to abrasives like particles of sand or dirt in wind, also contribute to the loss of luster for marble structures.
White marble is a beautiful material, ideal for creating aesthetically pleasing structures. As it is a strong and durable material, it will not only enhance the appearance of any space or structure, but it will be able to sustain practical demands and uses. However, it is important to keep in mind where and how it will be used, as these considerations greatly impact the life span of the material, as well as its upkeep and appearance.