For centuries, limestone and marble have been used to create man-made monuments and structures. The Great Pyramid of Giza was one of the first architectural marvels crafted with limestone. So what exactly is the difference between limestone and marble? Here’s a look into what makes these stones so unique.
Different Types of Rock – Limestone and Marble
The earth is huge and very diverse. Like an onion, it is composed of many layers, and each of these layers is made up of different materials. Igneous rock is made up of solidified lava and magma. Sedimentary rock is made up of accumulated minerals and organic particles. Metamorphic rock is made up of igneous and sedimentary rocks that have been crystallized at a high temperature. The primary difference between limestone and marble is that marble is an example of metamorphic rock, while limestone is an example of sedimentary rock.
Limestone is formed when mud, sand, and shells are deposited into oceans and lakes and develop into a sedimentary rock. Limestone is made up fossilized particles, which makes it porous and soluble in water. Composed of silica, clay, silt, and sand, limestone comes in a variety of colors and may have a crystalline, clastic, granular, or massive finish. The primary advantage of limestone in construction is that it lasts long and is easy to cut and carve. It is also used as a raw material for cement and mortar.
Marble can be thought of as the next evolution of limestone, as it is formed when limestone recrystallizes during the mountain-building process. When limestone is heated and squeezed, the grains recrystallize to create what we know as marble. Marble is often used as a building material and in sculptures. It features many colors due to the mineral impurities in limestone, but those used in sculptures are typically white. Marble is slightly denser and harder than limestone, but both stones are relatively soft which makes them easy to work with. Both stones also share a vulnerability to acidic materials.
Masonry Repair and Restoration from Del Prete Masonry
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