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Marble Care

Marble Care and Cleaning Guide

What are the different types of Marble and their characteristics?

Marble is probably one of the most well-known and loved natural stones. It has gained an association with luxury interiors due to its beauty and uniqueness. From the pure splendor of Statuario to the bold magnificence of Calacatta Borghini, there is a marble for all occasions.

Properties Of Marble: The distinctive aesthetics of marble are owed to its geological components and formation. Marble actually starts life as limestone and is classed as a metamorphic rock. This means that through high heat and pressure, the structure of the limestone is transformed. The resulting stone contains all of the original carbonate materials (fossils and minerals) which are recrystallized into calcite. It is the other minerals present in the limestone that are responsible for the stunning colors that you associate with marble. For example, iron present in the limestone will result in reddish tones, whereas serpentine is responsible for green marble formation.

Just like limestone, the high levels of calcium carbonate present mean that it is highly sensitive to acidic substances. This is particularly pertinent for marble intended for use in a kitchen. Everyday acids such as lemon juice or vinegar that come into contact with the stone will cause a chemical reaction. This results in a burn or an etch mark. Read on for advice on how to avoid this and what to do if it does happen.

Another similarity to limestone is the softness of marble. The measurement on the MOHs hardness scale is usually between 2-3. To put this into context, diamond is a 10 on the scale and talc is measured at 0. This means that extra care has to be taken to prevent scratching the stone. However, it also has the advantage that unlike the harder granites and quartzites, it is much easier to restore the surface of marble after installation.

Marble Finishes: The crystalline structure of marble created during the metamorphic process means that, in general, it is easier to polish. This is another reason why it is a stone often associated with opulence. The beautiful shiny finish created when marble is polished is truly exquisite. Honed and satin finished marble are also starting to become more popular. A honed finish refers to a marble slab that has been ground to a smooth, flat finish. The surface is matte with a velvety feel. This is a beautiful way to finish a tile and also has an impact on maintenance. Although not more hardwearing as such, having a honed finish will show scratch marks and chemical etching less starkly than with a polished finish. One of the benefits of natural stone is that it can be honed or polished at any point if you change your mind.

How to care for Marble

Caring for your marble and understanding the do's and don'ts are essential to prevent any issues occurring and for preserving the beauty of your stone. The following tips are our recommendations for various parts of the home such as the kitchen, bathroom, and flooring.

How to look after your marble flooring: Marble is a soft stone. For this reason, it is essential that you keep your marble floor free from scratch hazards. Good quality matting at each entrance to your home will pick up a lot of the dirt, sand, and small stones which can scratch your floors. Clean these mats regularly, especially the outdoor ones. When they become saturated in dirt they will cease to do their job. Having a ‘shoes off policy’ in the house will also help reduce the amount of abrasion to a stone surface from foot traffic. Felt or silicone pads on the bottom of furniture and chair legs will also help minimize the likelihood of scratch damage to your marble floor.

How to look after your marble worktops and sinks: For worktops and sinks, we recommend using coasters to form a barrier between the stone surface and any potentially damaging liquids. Oils and vinegars in the kitchen and cosmetics in a bathroom have the potential to stain or etch sensitive stone surfaces. It is important to blot up spills as soon as possible. Most spillages onto kitchen worktops and bathroom vanity tops are likely to damage a calcite-based stone (marble and limestone). Try not to wipe spills as this will spread the damage, but blot up with absorbent paper as soon as possible.

How to look after your marble bathroom: Hard water can affect your stone, especially around taps and in shower areas. Installing a good quality water softening system will reduce limescale and mineral deposits occurring in these areas. In bathrooms, it is essential to wipe up sitting water from all surfaces. This includes squeegeeing down the walls after everyone has taken a shower for the day. Take note of anywhere that water pools and try to keep on top of drying these areas. Keeping your bathroom well-ventilated will also help to keep surfaces dry.

Recommended tools and products for cleaning Marble: We would recommend using a long-hair Swiffer and combine this with a silicone molt-net spray when cleaning marble floors. For mopping, invest in a good quality cotton Kentucky mop with a suitable bucket. Larger buckets are key to allowing any dirt from the mop to fall to the bottom of the solution and not get reapplied to the floor. Ladybug buckets with a good quality wringer are our recommendation.

A pH neutral cleaning detergent is recommended. Use of pH neutral cleaning detergent is vital. Many common household cleaners are acidic and will damage your stone. Acidic products react with the calcium carbonate in marble, causing a chemical burn known as an etch mark. Heavy-duty cleaning concentrates are often alkaline in makeup. They work very well to remove dirt; however, they will react with the sealant applied to protect your stone. This can make the floor more porous and susceptible to staining and dirt ingress. Fila Cleaner Pro is our recommendation for a maintenance cleaner that is pH neutral and very effective.

How to clean Marble: Cleaning your marble is an important part of maintaining the elegance of your stone. In this section, we concentrate on the kitchen, bathroom, and flooring, and there is lots of practical advice to ensure your marble retains its natural beauty.

How to clean marble countertops: In a kitchen, the acid sensitivity of marble is particularly pertinent as everyday acids such as vinegar and fruit juices can easily come into contact with your stone. We recommend using trays and coasters to store these products to prevent them from coming into contact with your marble worktop. When spillages do occur, it is essential to ensure that you blot the liquid rather than wiping it. The acid etching will be almost instant, so wiping the liquid across the surface will further exacerbate the damage.

‘Fila Brio’ is an all-surface cleaner that is ideal for natural stone. Spray this cleaner directly on your marble to kill bacteria and break down grease, just as you would with any other surface cleanser. You should then use a soft, dry cloth to wipe down your worktops. As it does not leave any residue, you