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What Type of Rock is Marble? Understanding the Countertop Material

Written by Stephen Baez on August 20, 2020
Edited By Angela Warren, Last Updated On January 01, 2024
Reviewed By Samantha Peterson
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Marble has been one of the world’s most popular building materials for centuries. This elegant and durable natural stone is featured in everything from some of the world’s most famous statues to kitchen and bathroom countertops in homes. This guide will help you understand more about what type of rock marble is, information about its composition and other helpful information about the material.  

What Type of Rock is Marble? 

Marble is a metamorphic rock. Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have undergone a change in composition due to intense heat and pressure. Marble begins as limestone before being subject to the changing process, referred to as metamorphism. 


What Types of Rocks Are There? 

Metamorphic rocks are one of three main types. The other two primary types of rocks are igneous rocks and sedimentary rocks. Igneous rocks are formed by the cooling and solidification of lava or magma. A good example of an igneous rock is granite. Sedimentary rocks are created by other rocks or fossils that form deposits on the earth’s surface. Limestone is a form of sedimentary rock. 

How Does Marble Form? 

Limestone contains a mineral called calcite. When this calcite recrystallizes, it transforms the limestone into marble. As mentioned above, this process involves high amounts of heat and pressure. Marble can also form from the recrystallization of dolomite. 

How Marble Forms
Step 1 The calcite in limestone becomes subject to intense heat and pressure.
Step 2 The limestone begins to recrystallize.
Step 3 Once the recrystallization process is over, the limestone has converted into marble.

What is Marble Made Up Of? 

Marble is primarily made up of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). It also contains various other minerals, like micas, quartz and more. 

What is the Difference Between Rock and Stone? 

Marble is one of the most popular types of stone countertops. This may raise the question: What is the difference between rock and stone? Despite the two terms being incorrectly used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Rock is found within the earth; stone is cut from the rock. For more information on the difference between rock and stone, check out this article

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are Marble Countertops Good for the Home? 

Marble countertops are one of the most popular choices on the market. The natural stone has a timeless elegance and can be found in many different colors and styles. As long as it is properly cared for, your marble can stay in terrific shape for years on end. 

In addition to countertops in the kitchen and bathroom, marble makes a great addition to the home as a backsplash, fireplace surround and many other home surfaces. No matter where you install it, marble will look amazing. 

How Much Does Marble Cost? 

Slabs of marble will generally cost somewhere between $40 to $100 per square foot, based on a range of factors. Some of these factors include how rare the type of marble you choose is, how many special cutouts and angles you require and how much of the material you will need for your job. 

Where is Marble Found? 

Marble is extracted from quarries all around the world, from Italy to China to even the United States. The country of origin of the specific type of marble you choose can also impact its cost. 


Is Marble a Hard Stone? 

Hardness is measured by the Mohs scale, which ranks minerals from 1 to 10 based on their hardness, 1 being extremely soft and 10 being the hardest you can get. Marble is ranked at a 4 on the scale, meaning that it is relatively soft, albeit not the softest material you can find. 

Installing marble in your home is a great way to add visual appeal to any space. There is no mistaking the natural beauty that marble will bring to your home as a new countertop, backsplash, bathroom vanity top, fireplace surround or other surfaces. Reviewing this guide can help you know what type of rock marble is, what it is composed of, and answers to some common questions regarding its application in the home.

Why you can trust
When it comes time to get the job done, our fabrication and installation teams have the equipment and expertise it takes to get your project cut and delivered the right way, every time. We at are known for our incredibly quick turnaround, as we understand having countertops and other mainstays installed quickly and properly is important to our customers. We value your time, and our goal is to create the best work possible and have you enjoying it as possible.
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