Marble, Soapstone, and Quartzite

What is Marble? What are its properties?

Marble is another type of natural quarried stone composed mostly of Calcite, making it softer and more porous compared to granite. Because of its characteristics, marble is more susceptible to staining, acid etching, and scratching. Etching occurs when acids microscopically eat away at the surface of the stone, and are characterized by dull areas or spots on the surface. Etching can be minimized by using a matte/honed finish instead of polished. This stone is meant to age with accumulated changes, (known as a patina) over time. Marble slabs can be sealed with our More Marble sealer to help prevent against staining.

What is Quarzite? How does it compare to granite or quartz?

Not to be confused with quartz, Quartzite is a natural and quarried stone. It is a metamorphic rock made almost entirely of mineral quartz. Quartzite is made up of sand grains which over time become compressed together to form sandstone. When the sandstone gets buried deeply underneath layers of rocks, it gets hotter and more compressed. With enough heat and pressure, the sand grains lose their original shape and fuse together, forming a dense and durable rock. Quartzite is usually white or light-colored because quartz sand is light colored.

This natural stone is a very dense and durable material. In some cases, it can be denser than granite. Quartzite is resistant to acids, staining, and scratching, much like a granite. Since this stone is natural, it should be sealed properly.

What is Soapstone?

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock composed mainly of the mineral talc, along with stronger additives that add to its durability. Soapstone occurs in areas where tectonic plates are sub ducted, changing rocks by pressure and heat creating a very dense and non-porous stone. This stone is relatively soft, and can feel “soapy” to the touch. Although it is soft, its high density allows this stone to hold up well in highly used areas such as kitchens. Soapstone is not sensitive to heat or acids and does not need sealers applied to keep from staining. Because it does scratch easily, oiling the tops with mineral oil can soften the look of scratches. Having an impenetrable surface, soapstone will not stain. Soapstone will naturally darken (oxidize) over time. Oiling your tops will also create darkening in color.

How do I clean my marble, quartzite, or soapstone countertops?

While there are different properties to these stones, it is recommended to clean with simple soap and water or mild cleaning products. Stronger cleaners such as bleach or ammonia should not be used on these countertop surfaces.

Where do I pick out slabs of Marble, Quartzite or Soapstone?

Hallmark Stone works with several different stone suppliers in the St. Louis area. Please call our showroom at 636-349-1288 for an associate to direct you to a supplier to select your material.