Home > Fabricator Resources > Dekton vs. Marble

Comparing DEKTON® With Marble

In our consideration of how DEKTON® compares with other materials we have seen that there are many other things to consider when trying to look at two materials side by side. This consideration of DEKTON® with marble will take a look at some of the key aspects of each of these countertop surfaces. We'll look at the characteristics of marble and DEKTON®. Afterward we will discuss some of the benefits that each material offers. So let's get to work at looking at our comparison; DEKTON® vs. marble.

Characteristics of Marble

We'll start with the characteristics of marble as we compare these materials. Marble is a natural stone that is quarried for the ground and cut into slabs using various kinds of cutting techniques. Marble has been used in design and architecture for centuries and has proven to be a very durable material for constructing buildings of all types. Additionally, marble is used for creating sculptures and has long been used in such a capacity. Why is marble such a popular and historically rich building material? The answer lies in the characteristics this beautiful stone contains.

Marble's Composition

As we mentioned, marble is a natural stone that forms over many, many, centuries. Wikipedia defines marble this way:

Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Marble is typically not foliated, although there are exceptions. In geology, the term "marble" refers to metamorphosed limestone, but its use in stone masonry more broadly encompasses unmetamorphosed limestone. Marble is commonly used for sculpture and as a building material.

To simplify the explanation a bit, marble is a rock that is composed of "calcium carbonate" or "dolomite". These minerals are related in that each of them is a carbonate mineral. However they differ in chemical composition; with dolomite containing magnesium along with the calcium. At any rate, as explained in the definition above, marble can be composed of either type of carbonate. That might not seem like that big of a deal at the moment, but it is. We will get to that later, but for now, let's focus on some of marble's other characteristics.

Visual Appearance of Marble

Marble's visual appearance varies somewhat. However, the purest marbles are white in color. Other marbles might contain impurities such as clay minerals or other materials like iron oxide or bituminous substances. This means that marble can actually come in various colors since the aforementioned impurities produce colors other than white.

In addition to impurities changing the color of marble, there are also products called stone dyes that can be use to alter the color of natural stone surfaces. This means that marble can actually be use in a variety of deigns and color palettes.

Because of its composition, marble is able to be polished to a high sheen. This makes it suitable for glossy surfaces like countertops, floor panels, and more applications.

How Hard Is Mable?

Compared with other natural stone, marble is relatively soft. How soft? Well, on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, marble is about a 3. The scale ranges from 1 to 10 and is used for determining the hardness of natural stone surfaces. Since marble is a "soft" stone, it can be worked with easily. However, selecting the proper tools for fabricating marble is important. For example using a diamond blade that is not designed for working with soft stone can make cutting less than optimal.

Without going into too much detail, different blades are designed for cutting specific materials. A part of the blade known as the "bond" must be made to wear at a rate that interacts with the stone efficiently. Because of this, there are blades for cutting marble as well as blades for cutting other types of materials.

Characteristics of DEKTON® Ultracompact Surfaces

In contrast to marble, DEKTON® is a material that does not form on its own, naturally. Since DEKTON® is produced in a controlled manner by humans using a proprietary process and recipe.

Technology of Sinterized Particles

TSP, or Technology of Sinterized Particles, is the process used to to create DEKTON®. This process represents an accelerated version of the metamorphic process of stone. TSP uses a specific recipe of natural minerals found in stone and puts them through a process that uses intense heat and other forces (pressure, electricity, etc.) to induce the transformation of the particles into a solid mass of material. This material is DEKTON®

Composition of DEKTON®

As mentioned, DEKTON® is composed of minerals that are all natural. When these minerals are transformed in to the material we call DEKTON®, The composition of the material is affected by the minerals that were used. Since very durable minerals commonly found in hard natural stone is used, the resultant material is also very hard.

How Hard Is DEKTON®?

DEKTON® is an extremely hard material. It register at 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Because it is so hard, the material must be worked using specific techniques and best practices. The techniques and best practices for working with DEKTON® are determined by Cosentino, the maker of the material. Cosentino offers a complete guide to fabricating this material. That guide covers specific practices that must be followed for the best results.

As we mentioned with marble, cutting stone materials and Ultracompact surfaces like DEKTON® require specially designed blades. As a result, there is a list of approved DEKTON® tools and approved DEKTON® blades that should be used for cutting this material.

Comparing DEKTON® & Marble

So how do these two materials stack up against one another? Let's consider each area one at a time and discuss how each area translates into practical value.

Hardness: comparing marble's hardness with that of DEKTON® Ultracompact Surfaces, we find that DEKTON® is much harder than marble. This characteristic significantly contributes to the scratch resistance of a material.

Scratch Resistance: the harder that material the more scratch resistant the surface is. Because DEKTON® registers at 8 on the Mohs scale and marble at a 3, it stands to reason then that DEKTON® would be more scratch resistant.

Color Variations: since marble is a material that forms naturally and is free from the control of human intervention, there is relatively more of a color variation than that of DEKTON®. Yet, it also means that the consistency is not as regular. For example, looking at slabs in a slab yard, one might see a marble slab that is very desirable. however, trying to find the exact same look in another slab yard would be difficult to say the least. On the other hand, DEKTON® colors are consistent and there is a very diverse selection of colors from which to choose. Getting the same appearance form to different suppliers is much easier than it would be with marble.

Heat Resistance: both marble and DEKTON® are heat resistant and can withstand temperatures around the household environment. However, DEKTON® is more resistant to heat than marble. As a precaution it is commonly recommended that a hot pad or trivet be used on a marble surface. On the other hand, Cosentino actually promotes the fact that hot pans can go directly on DEKTON® surfaces.

Stain Resistance: this aspect of a stone is heavily dependent on the stone's porosity. Since marble is a naturally forming material and cannot be controlled, its porosity can vary but all marble requires sealing. Because of this fact, porosity tests need to be performed periodically to check the absorption of a given slab. This test reveals whether a surface is ready for another sealing. DEKTON® though is non-porous and does not need to be sealed. It is non absorbent and any substance that gets on the surface stays there and is not absorbed.

Table of Characteristics

Of course, ratings can be subjective. However, based on the content outlined in this article, the following table summarizes an estimation of various characteristics in a comparative format as a general guideline for comparing the two materials.

Characteristic Ratings on 1-10 Scale
Characteristic DEKTON® Marble
Hardness On Mohs Scale 8 3
Scratch Resistance 8 4
Color Variations 6 7
Heat Resistance 8 7
Stain Resistance 9 4

Comparing DEKTON® with natural stone like marble is a good exercise. It allows for a clear comparison to be made; lining up characteristics and looking at the benefits of each. For many, having a stone surface that is extremely hard as well as heat, scratch, and stain resistant is very appealing. If that is you, we encourage you to look into DEKTON® Ultracompact surfaces.