Marble Essay by 491777


									Kyle Hamilton

Mrs. Park

ARID 3320

October 31, 2011


       Marble is a metamorphic stone. This means that another rock changes over

time into marble. Mainly these stones are limestone and dolomite. Marble is

composed of calcite, aragonite and dolomite crystals. Its hardness is a rating of

between 2 to 5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This is means that overall its

considered a softer stone then most. Marble is available in a multitude of colors;

pink, red, grey, green, blue, brown, and black. White marble is sought after the most

out of all the different marbles. White marble is the result of metamorphism of a

very pure limestone or dolomite. Green coloration is often due to serpentine

resulting from originally high magnesium limestone or dolostone with silica

impurities. These various impurities have been mobilized and recrystallized by the

intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism. Marble with veins or streaks occur

from mineral impurities present when marble is formed including sand, silt, clay

and iron oxide.

       Marble has been prized for its many uses for more than two millennia. The

classical Greeks and Romans used it in their sculptures and architecture.

Michelangelo immortalized it in his many Renaissance sculptures. The Hindu

glorified the stone when erecting the Taj Mahal. Today it is still used for building

and high-end designer finishes, as well as for art and sculpture. It is ideal for foyers,
bathrooms, floors, and hearths. Marble has both a scientific and commercial

definition. Scientific marble was once limestone that achieved metamorphosis from

intense pressures and high temperatures within the earth. This altered its

crystalline structure and introduced other minerals that produced the valuable

colors and veining. Commercially, any stone capable of taking a polish (with the

exception of granite) is known as marble. This includes travertine, onyx, serpentine

and limestone. Marble is found in the mountainous regions of Canada, Italy,

Germany, Spain, the U.S., Greece and other countries worldwide.

       Marble adds a sophisticated element to your home, and its wonderful

appearance, superior engineering characteristics, and ease of maintenance makes it

a natural choice for floors, wall coverings, fireplace facing and hearth, table tops, and

bathroom walls, floors, vanity tops, tub decks, and showers. Marble should be cared

for as you would a fine wood finish. Using coasters on tabletops and cleaning up

spills immediately will preserve marble's natural beauty.

       Polished marbles will serve well as flooring in areas where little sand is

tracked onto these floors. Honed marble will do very well in high traffic areas.

Polished marble on a bathroom countertop requires you not to leave any thing that

will cause rust, chemical, or food stains on the countertop and the counter top will

need to be sealed occasionally. Lemon juice or other food acids can etch polished

marble, and cause flat spots and oils, juices and metals more easily stain marble.

Stains on marble are more complicated to remove. A honed marble on a kitchen

countertop is a better choice than polished. Never use bleach, Comet or acidic

cleaners on polished marble. These will etch the surface and remove the shine.
       Carrara marble is one of the most expensive building materials. It gets its

name from Carrara, Italy, the city in which this marble is most commonly quarried.

With its beautiful white or grayish-blue hue, Carrara is a highly desirable marble.

Carrara marble, like all marble, is a metamorphosed limestone. Marble starts its life

beneath the Earth's surface as limestone. As the limestone is subjected to heat and

pressure through millions of years, it recrystallizes into marble. The quarries of

Carrara, Italy, are where Carrara marble comes from. The marble is blasted off in

huge blocks and then taken to a factory to be cut and polished. Today, technology

allows quarry workers to use giant cutting machines to remove marble from the

quarry, but in the past, they had to use dynamite.

       Carrara marble has been favored as a sculpting material throughout history,

especially in the Renaissance. Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, "David," is made of

Carrara marble. The ancient Greeks and Romans used Carrara marble in

architecture, usually as exterior cladding, and it still is used occasionally used today.

The famous Amoco skyscraper in Chicago originally was clad in Carrara marble but

had to be reclad in a different material once the Carrara marble started to crumble

and fall down to the street below. Carrara marble most commonly is used today in

home design as countertops and floor tiles. White Carrara marble especially is

desirable for its clean, aesthetic qualities.

       Connemara Marble is now recognized as the leading luxury green marble in

the world. It is quarried from the ancient quarries at Ballynahinch in County Galway,

Ireland. Famed in legend and story, Connemara marble is highly variegated with
wild veining and patterns that have inspired great architects and designers through

the centuries. This highly patterned marble, especially with the particular 40 shades

of green which are unique to Connemara is all too rare in marble, and is prized

among the true aficionados of decorative marble. The quarries are now producing

maximum size blocks all year round, which means that there is always a great

selection of full size slabs to select from. It is also known for being used in jewelry.

       Tennessee marble is a type of crystalline limestone found primarily in East

Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. Long esteemed by architects and

builders for its pinkish-gray color and the ease with which it is polished, this stone

has been used in the construction of numerous notable buildings and monuments

throughout the United States and Canada; including the National Gallery of Art and

the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., as well as parts of the

United States Capitol in Washington, Grand Central Terminal in New York, and

Union Station in Toronto. Tennessee marble achieved such popularity in the late-

19th century that Knoxville, the stone's primary finishing and distribution center,

became known as "The Marble City."

        The stone occurs in belts of Ordovician-period rocks known as the Holston

Formation, and is quarried primarily in Knox, Blount, Loudon, Union, and Hawkins

counties. While pink is the most well-known Tennessee marble color, the stone also

occurs in gray, dark brown, and variegated shades.

       The use of Tennessee marble declined after World War II, when cheaper

building materials became widely available. There are currently only six active

Tennessee marble quarries, all operated by the Tennessee Marble Company. The
stone has most recently been used in the floor of the United States Capitol Visitor

Center, and for the 170-ton "First Amendment" tablet that adorns the facade of

Washington's Newseum.

       These are only three of the many marbles available in the world. Marble is

sought out for many reasons and is always a good choice. The history of marble

throughout art and design is overwhelming but interesting. Through years to come

marble will be a top choice for counter tops, flooring, and many other things.

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