Classic marble Classic marble
The term marble comes from the Greek marmaron or “crystalline rock” or shining stone. Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbon rocks more commonly known as limestone or dolomite rock. Metamorphism causes recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains. The resulting marble rock is typically composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals.

Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of a very pure (silicate-poor) limestone or dolomite.
Marble mining Marble mining
The characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are usually due to various mineral impurities such as clay, silt, sand, and iron oxides which were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone. Green coloration is often due to serpentine resulting from originally high magnesium limestone or dolostone with silica impurities.

Marble is mined throughout the world, but notable locations include Italy, Brazil, India, Turkey, and Greece.
Marble slab Marble slab
Though marble is virtually unrivaled for its beauty, this classic material has several inherent issues which can cause havoc for a vanity top.

Marble as a result of its base structure as limestone is a relatively soft material. Although not as soft as some top materials, namely cultured marble, it can scratch, thus care in handling must be taken with this material. Further, its soft structure makes it susceptible to open pores. Proper sealing of marble can make a difference in its stain fighting properties. Finally marble’s structure typically contains far more cracks, fissures and stress points that can make it difficult to machine for vanity tops.
Marble composite Marble composite

A solution to some of the difficulty in fabricating marble is the development of marble composites. These aglomerate marble stones consist of marble chips combined with a small amount of resin bonding. These newer materials have the benefit of the beauty of marble with the added bonus of being very easy to machine. However, one still has to be cautious in proper sealing, the use of acids as well as being cautious with hard metals as this material is still susceptible to scratching.
Transolid white carrara vanity top with bevel edge Transolid White Carrara Marble Vanity Top with Bevel Edge