The word “marble” derives from the Greek marmaros, “shining stone”. This stem is also the basis for the English word “marmoreal” meaning “marble-like”.
Marble is a crystalline form of calcium carbonate being composed of fairly pure calcite. The metamorphosis of sedimentary carbonate rocks, either limestone or dolostone lead to a complete re-crystallisation of the original rock creating an interlocking of mosaic and/or dolomite crystals. The temperatures and pressures needed to create marble usually destroy any fossils and sedimentary textures which occur in the original rock.
The metamorphism of very pure limestone results in pure white marble with the coloured and characteristic swirled and veined marble being the combination of mineral impurities such as clay, silt, sand and iron oxides which were originally present in the grains or layers in the limestone. High magnesium in limestone or dolostone with silica impurities creates a classic green marble colouration.
Historically important marble named after the locations of their quarries include:
- Carrara (Italy)
- Pentelicus (Greece)
- Proconnesus (Turkey)
Since classical times, white marble like Carrara, has been the prized use for sculpture with its softness and resistance to shattering. With its low index of refraction of calcite, light can penetrate several millimetres into the stone before being scattered out, resulting in the characteristic “waxy” look which gives “life” to marble sculptures of the human body. Michelangelo created all his Renaissance sculptures in marble
Marble was the favourite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects, becoming a cultural symbol of tradition and refined taste. MarbleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s extremely varied and colourful patterns make it a favourite decorative material and is often imitated in faux marble or faux marbling being a wall painting technique that imitates the colour patterns of real marble.
In folklore, marble is associated with the astrological sign of Gemini. Pure white marble is an emblem of purity. It is also an emblem of immortality, and an ensurer of success in education.
Marble is a symbol of luxury and status and although once thought of as decadent and expensive has now become competitively priced with its durability giving long-term advantage to the investor. During hot summer months, a cool marble floor can make for a soothing underfoot surface. Marble has a unique quality to resist the dissemination of germs and bacteria helping to maintain a germ-free home and keep the inhabitants healthy
From the mirror-like highly polished, the soft ancient feel of the tumbled or the elegance of the crÃƒÂ¨me the choices available will give any interior a quality which will enhance your home. The unique composition of marble creates a complex colour pallet from soft cream and pale biscuit through to the dark steely grey and black letting let you create a look from serene through to the dramatic. Marble tiles are strong and durable and when properly laid can resist surface stains and blemishes. Marble requires very little maintenance and with the proper care can last a lifetime. Marble tile flooring is a superb way of accenting any interior.