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Dolomite is one of the oldest architectural and decorative materials. In many cases, the statues and buildings made of marble far outlasted the ancient cultures that built them. The well-known Calacata and Carrara marbles are geologically dolomites.

Harder than marble but softer than granite, dolomite provides the perfect balance of durability and visual appeal. The veining and patterns found on each slab of dolomite are unique and cannot be replicated or reproduced. Dolomite slabs are frequently used to create bathroom as well as kitchen countertops that boast of great performance and striking beauty.

Dolomite is a common rock-forming mineral. It is a calcium magnesium carbonate with a chemical composition of CaMg(CO3)2. It is the primary component of the sedimentary rock known as dolostone and the metamorphic rock known as dolomitic marble. Limestone that contains some dolomite is known as dolomitic limestone.

Dolomite is very similar to the mineral calcite or traditional marble.  Calcite is composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), while dolomite is a calcium magnesium carbonate (CaMg(CO3)2).

The best way to tell these minerals apart is to consider their hardness and acid reaction.

  • Calcite has a hardness of 3, while dolomite is slightly harder at 3 1/2 to 4.
  • Calcite is also strongly reactive with cold hydrochloric acid, while dolomite will effervesce weakly with cold hydrochloric acid. So, while traditional marble to etch heavily when placed in contact with household acids, such as lemon, vinegar, coffee, dolomite shows very slight to no etching under similar circumstances.

Because of it is harder than the typical calcite marble and reacts weakly to acid, dolomite is much more appropriate for kitchen countertop application than the traditional calcite marble. While it can still etch and scratch slightly, and may require slightly higher maintenance that granite, dolomite is frequently used by designers for kitchen countertops. However, homeowners should be aware that some etching or scratching can happen with this stone.

MATERIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Abrasion Resistance

Dolomite has medium abrasion resistance. Hardness of 3.5 – 4.0 by Moh. While it is slightly harder than calcite marble, dolomite can still scratch

Absorption

Dolomite is mildly absorbent material and should always be sealed after installation.

Acid Sensitivity

Dolomite is of a medium acid sensitivity. It reacts weakly to acid and performs much better than calcite marble, but it can still etch.

HELPFUL TIPS

Always seal after installation.

  • To reduce the appearance of etching in kitchen countertop applications, choose a honed finish versus polished.
  • To reduce the appearance of staining, always wipe up spills immediately. Oil and highly pigmented liquids can penetrate and stain the stone and may need poultice to remove the stain.
  • Always use a neutral detergent to clean marble.
  • Expect to see factory-repaired cracks and fissures. The quality of the repair is dependent upon the factory of origin, the fabricator of the stone and the installer.

APPLICATIONS AND FINISHES

Applications

  •  Interior Flooring
  • Interior Tops – including kitchen countertop
  • Interior Wall Application
  • Tub Surround
  • Exterior Pavers
  • Exterior Cladding
  • Monuments & Statues

Finishes

  • Polished
  • Honed
  • Brushed
  • Tumbled

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Disclaimer:

Please note that the information on this page is a general summary of industry-accepted standards and tips regarding natural stone considerations, applications and care. We have compiled this information to help you in your stone selection and care. MGSI is not involved in geological testing and has no formal proof of the information presented in the article and relies on industry wide information and standards. MGSI will not be responsible for any direct or indirect claims and damages, resulting from the improper application and/or interpretation of this information. Please note that natural stone varies substantially. Ask your stone specialist what works best for your project

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