While some will say Marble is making a stylish comeback, the truth is: it never left! Even with the constantly changing trends in interior decorating over the years, Marble remains a sophisticated and fashionable choice for a countertop. The signature clean white, gentle movement, and dramatic vein patterns of Marble have made it a highly sought-after Natural Stone, not just today, but throughout human history. The appealing look of Marble has prompted many imitators, with artificial stone, Porcelain, and Quartz manufacturers creating many Marble-like designs for their products.

Dolomite, a similar Natural Stone, can often be mistaken for Marble, even by experienced stone professionals. Sometimes incorrectly labeled as ‘Marble’ or ‘Quartzite,’ Dolomite is more of a middle ground between the two types of stone. Slightly more durable than Marble, and less costly than most Quartzites, choosing Dolomite can be a smart and affordable option for a fashionable countertop!

Is Dolomite a Marble?

While the two stones are remarkably close in appearance and properties, Marble and Dolomite have some important differences. While you can find some Dolomite within Marble, you won’t often find Marble within Dolomite.

Marble is formed when materials like Limestone or Dolomite are mixed with Calcium Carbonate crystals and subjected to metamorphic heat and pressure. This extreme heat over millions of years refines the stone into the gorgeous white Marble patterns you all know and love! The veining or crystallized patterns in Marble are often deposits of Dolomite, Limestone, Quartz, or a number of other minerals.

On the other hand, you can think of Dolomite as an earlier stage of Marble, which gives it some relative advantages and disadvantages. Dolomite is formed mostly from compacted, magnesium-rich sediment at the bottom of ancient rivers or lagoons with a combination of chemical reactions, warm temperatures, and extreme pressure from the water above. This process makes it a quite dense and heavy Natural Stone. It often will not contain the white Calcium Carbonate or similar minerals found in Marble, giving it a great amount of strength and rigidity in comparison.

Dolomite vs Marble Durability

In terms of a countertop, Dolomite will be able to endure more wear-and-tear than most Marbles. Less likely to etch, scratch, or stain, Dolomite can be an excellent option for high-risk areas like your kitchen or bathroom, while still boasting that refined Marble look.

A Marble countertop will be at a higher risk of scratching, staining, or etching than many other stone options. Before you panic and abandon your dreams of a beautiful white Marble countertop, rest assured that it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. While Marble is softer and more porous than other Natural Stones, it’s still just that — a stone. So long as you keep up with prompt cleaning and regular sealing, you’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful Marble countertop for many, many years to come.

Marble Fact:

The calcium carbonate in Marble can have a chemical reaction with acids like vinegar or citrus, leaving behind an “etch” in the polish, or even a stain if it’s not cleaned immediately.

Etches in Marble countertops may be considered an eyesore by some, but others find the textured “brushed” look to add a great deal of character to a home’s interior. This is, of course, a matter of personal taste, but it goes to show that Marble’s ability to change over time can be considered a perk, rather than a downside!

The Pros and Cons of Dolomite Countertops

Pros:

  • Impressively durable
  • Lower maintenance than marble
  • Stain resistant
  • Wide variety of colors

Cons:

  • Not as durable as Granite or Quartzite
  • Can sometimes be brittle and easily cracked or chipped by impact
  • Color tends to be gray or “off white,” unlike Marble
  • Frequent cleaning & sealing required
  • Polish can etch when exposed to acids (citrus, vinegar, wine, etc.)

The Pros and Cons of Marble Countertops

Pros:

  • Unmatched visual quality
  • Signature “clean white” color
  • Can increase home property value
  • Highest amount of sculpting & edging options

Cons:

  • Very soft, easily scratches or chips under heavy use
  • Porous, easily stains from spills
  • Frequent cleaning & sealing required
  • Polish can etch when exposed to acids (citrus, vinegar, wine, etc.)

Dolomite vs Marble Care and Cleaning

Both Dolomite and Marble do require some regular care and maintenance to keep their color and polish looking their absolute best. While Dolomite can sometimes endure more use than Marble, both stones have similar care considerations.

Scratching, staining, and scorching are risks for both Marble and Dolomite. Whichever you choose, it’s recommended to use cutting boards and potholders, when preparing food on a Marble countertop. Even water drops can leave behind minor staining in your stone, so prompt cleaning is encouraged. A simple cloth with soap & water is your best bet for cleaning your countertop thoroughly, without damaging your surface with any harsh cleaning products.

Re-applying a seal to your countertop on a regular basis is a must for a Marble countertop, and while some Dolomites can go slightly longer, it’s recommended that both stones are re-sealed every one to two years. Both Marble and Dolomite are porous stones, and will easily absorb any liquid exposed to an unsealed surface. There are several sealant options available at major hardware stores, for the Do-It-Yourself types, or you can hire the services of a countertop fabricator or installer to apply it for you.

For more info on cleaning your Marble, check out our recommendations

How Can I Tell the Difference Between Marble and Dolomite?

Dolomite has a more “stone gray” look than Marble’s clean white, often featuring gently moving pastel colors such as blue, pink, brown, and even green. The selection of colors in Dolomite has a greater variety than marble, with options ranging from white stones like Shadow Storm, to the popular Fantasy Brown

A quick way to identify Marble is that unmistakable “paper white” color, unique from any other Natural Stone. Marble is also easily scratched by metal, sometimes even fingernails, so the ’Scratch Test’ can help you in determining whether or not a stone is genuine Marble.

Dolomite vs Marble Cost Comparison

The cost of Marble can vary widely, ranging from Entry Level colors to gorgeous Exotic Marbles. The quality, color, and origin of the material will influence the final price of your Stone.

Dolomite often tends to remain within a “mid-level” price range, compared to other Natural Stones. Typically less expensive than higher-end Granite or Quartzite, Dolomite can be an economical choice for those looking for a higher-end Marble look on a budget. While it tends to be lower in cost than many Italian Marbles like Calacatta Gold or Statuario, some rare or high-end Dolomites such as Alba Pietra or Super White will be higher than mid-range Marbles like Bianco Carrara.

Check out our previous article to learn more about The Best Countertop for Your Money to learn more! 

Check out our Online Inventory to view our selection of Dolomite and Marble countertop materials! 

Stop by one of our Natural Stone showrooms to view our slabs in person, now located in Sarasota, Orlando, and Pinellas Park!

powered by BirdEye