London builders: Marble is a glittering stone. Part one.
Marble’s name speaks for itself (marmaros, Gr. – glittering stone). During several thousand years it has preserved the right to be considered a decoration material, shiny in every way. Artists noticed that it is a unique material for sculpture as long ago as ancient times. The Venus of Milo, Parthenon, Zeus of Olympus temple, columns of Artemis temple in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, were created of soft white marble.
Owing to moderate hardness, this stone is polished perfectly well, and gives soft glitter coming from the inside. Under the rays of light penetrating into the stone, marble comes to life – light shinning aureole appears around it. It glitters with pink, yellow, grey, blue, greenish, reddish, brown, black tones and amazes with their various combinations. Colored marble usually has many “stone veins”, which are splits filled with natural admixtures. On the shears of Verona, Fossile Marrone, Jura, Rosso marble, an attentive eye will distinguish shapes of ancient shellfish, corals, petrified algae, shells. Some types of marble having quartz and pyrite admixtures glitter with crystal and golden tinges.
Variety in texture and color (from deep black to milkwhite, which, by the way, was worshipped by Michelangelo) allows to make the brightest ideas come true. Subject to chosen colors, the “stone” interior can be warm or cold, massive or airy, luxurious or simple, dark or light.
Most of the stone working companies produce marble flag of standard size: 300 x 300, 305 x 305, 400 x 400, 600 x 300 mm. Thickness varies from 10-20mm and more, subject to purpose. Considering tile texture, there are not too many ways of marble surface treatment: polishing, grinding, bush-hammering, artificial ageing.
Polishing and grinding emphasize the natural beauty of the stone. Bush-hammering adds useful antiskid lines to the material. “Antique” becomes more and more popular being preferred by lovers of the antique in general and interior antique stylization. It is believed, that the natural ageing imitation (artificial weathering) creates a special atmosphere of softness and warmness. Weathered marble is widely used for floor tiling in modern restaurants and saloons: with its help the designers try to add an air of authenticity to the interior. Artificially imitating this natural phenomenon one can get different degrees of ageing. This effect is achieved through special surface treatment technology, which may include mechanical (including manual) and chemical influence. For example, for producing tabletops, wall and floor decoration, stone mosaics is often used. It is put into a special barrel where stones rub themselves against one another acquiring rounded shapes.
This decoration material is applied for inner and outer decoration. Floors, walls, staircases, fireplaces, columns, tabletops, kitchen worktops, lamps, decorated with marble always look wonderful.
Marble is lasting, firm, weather-resistant. Nevertheless, with all its firmness it remains a soft absorbing material. As is known, marble and shale are carbonate sediments that are vulnerable to acid, coloring agents, thermal impact. Marble surface should be protected from thermal impact – a cup of hot tee or coffee may turn out fatal for a tabletop. It is possible to make stairs or floor surface of marble, but one should prevent a possibility of dropping of such abrasive particles as sand on a marble surface, as they will scratch the stone.
Choosing a marble for wet premises one should remember that a long-during contact with water changes marble’s color. The reason of it is oxidation of ferruginous mineral admixtures. Nevertheless this material is more preferable for bathrooms than granite, as its structure is more porous, which provides better binding.