Everyone knows marble looks great and is probably one of the best investments a homeowner can make, but there are many other aspects of this natural stone that are worth learning about. Marble has occupied a special place in the fields of masonry and construction for thousands of years. We’ve likely learned everything there is to learn about it, but some facts are more interesting than others. Here are five curious facts about marble and its various uses.
1. Some Marble Is Actually Limestone
The geologic process that results in marble starts off as limestone. Tectonic and volcanic activity consisting of extreme heat and pressure causes limestone to remineralize and change its molecular structure and appearance. Some exotic marble quarried in the Sinai Peninsula has a creamy yellow color with a pattern reminiscent of gold flecks. Since the geologic process in this part of the Earth’s crust was interrupted before reaching the surface, it would be more accurate to call this yellow marble limestone.
2. Some Egyptian Pyramids Were Covered in Marble
Thousands of years ago, many pyramids in Egypt used to be gleaming white. Ancient builders cut and polished massive slabs of white limestone for the larger pyramids and beige marble for the smaller ones. Marble blocks and columns used to decorate Egyptian temples, but they were later removed to build mosques during the caliphate periods. For this reason, you can find hieroglyphics on the marble panels of ancient mosques outside of Cairo.
3. Marble Has Uses Beyond Construction
Pulverized marble is used to make adhesives, paint, fine paper, and even luxury cases for the iPhone. Marble powder is sometimes added to “China clay,” the bonding material used to make pills. There’s one more pharmaceutical use of marble powder: since its minerals have properties that can reduce digestive acids, it can be found in medications such as Alka Seltzer.
4. Michelangelo Was Wrong About Marble
Renaissance artists sought to improve upon the classics, but they were astonished by the keen sense of aesthetics shown by ancient Greeks and Romans. Michelangelo thought his ancestors brilliantly chose marble for their sculptures because of the elegant look of pure white stone. What he didn’t know is that these statues were garishly painted in various colors, but the pigments eventually faded away.
5. Marble Never Stops Changing
Even after being cut, finished, and installed, marble will never cease to be a metamorphic rock. What this means for homeowners is that their floors and countertops can potentially go through chemical reactions that alter their appearance. Acidic substances, minerals found in hard water, acid rain, and extreme heat are some of the situations that can cause marble to react and change. The best way to prevent unwanted reactions that can alter the appearance of marble is to regularly apply sealant. You should also clean marble on a regular basis. If you don’t know how to clean natural stone such as marble, the first thing you need to know is that you should only use a stone-safe cleaner such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner®.
When caring for marble, it’s a good idea to have a marble and granite polishing kit on hand that contains many of the products you need to keep your stone looking as good as new. If you have any questions about caring for marble or other types of natural stone like granite, slate, or limestone, reach out to Granite Gold® today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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