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Can I Use Marble on My Fireplace?

Updated:2013-10-08 15:10:38
Marble is a beautiful and elegant stone, full of veins and character and capable of taking a high polish. Marble has been used for centuries as a building material and as a decorative, sculpting material.

Marble fireplace surrounds whether made from one, solid piece of stone, or made up of marble tiles, can enhance any home's decor.

                                                     

Marble as a Surround
Marble is a metamorphic stone, comprised mostly of calcite. To be created, sedimentary rock, such as limestone had to undergo immense amounts of heat and pressure. Pure white marbles contain mostly calcite in their makeup, while veined and colored stones will contain impurities or minerals that were present in the ground at the time of the marble's forming. This metamorphic change from limestone to marble has resulted in a stone which is much harder and denser than limestone, and capable of taking a high polish to its surface.

As a building material, marble is available in two forms, as a slab or as a tile. A marble slab used as a fireplace surround will consist of either one, large piece of marble approximately 1-1/4 inches thick shaped to fit the opening of the firebox, or three smaller pieces of slab, also 1-1/4 inches thick pieced together. The marble in this case can be polished, honed or carved to form a decorative covering. A marble slab fireplace surround is generally more costly than marble tiles, but will also have a more striking affect.

Marble tiles can also be used on a fireplace surround. Marble tiles are available polished, honed or tumbled in finish and in sizes ranging from 5/8 inch mosaic up to 16 inch square tiles. Most marble tiles are approximately 3/8 inch thick and should be adhered to a smooth, level surface.
Since marble has already been subjected to a tremendous amount of heat during its formation, the normal amount of heat generated by a fireplace should have no effect upon the material. To protect the stone from absorbing small amounts of soot present in airborne smoke, a sealer can be applied to the surround during installation. If the sealer used is an impregnating sealer, meaning that it penetrates the stone, the stone may not need re-sealing during its lifetime.

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