What Is Marble/ Natural Stone Etching?
Marble etching is surface damage due to a chemical reaction in the form of a dull mark on the natural stone that contains calcium carbonate. The etching is caused when an acidic substance comes in contact with a Marble surface. If acid is exposed to Marble for too long it will begin to dissolve and break down the stone’s sealant and minerals. This can leave permanent damage to the surface causing discoloration, uneven texture, and loss of its polished finish. Etching does not only happen to Marble countertop surfaces but also other natural stones such as travertine, limestone, and onyx, less in granite. Can also occur in engineered quartz.
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.
Marble is a mid-high maintenance stone if you want to keep it looking as good as new. Marble is more porous than its biggest competitor granite, which is why marble countertops will require re-sealing more often.
To prevent damage do not use cleaners containing acidic substances, such as vinegar or lemon juice. Stick to cleansers formulated specifically for stone or use mild dish soap. A good rule of thumb is to use a cleaner that has a neutral pH.
Be sure to use a cutting board while preparing food so you do not leave marks or scratches on your surface allowing for it to be more easily penetrated by stains. Keep your countertops clean by wiping up any spills or splatters especially from acidic fruit and juice, tomato-based foods, soda, coffee, and wine.
If you are worried about Marble etching for whatever reason you may want to consider specific marble colors and finishes. Etching is most prevalent on polished marble surface finishes and darker colors
Household Items that may cause Etching on Kitchen Countertops:
Can Damaged Marble Be Repaired?
The simple answer is yes, damaged Marble can be repaired. However, depending on how damaged or etched the surface is will determine the method of repair you should take. It is important to note that removing etching from Marble and removing scratches are two separate processes. In most cases, call a countertop specialist, like Set N Stone.