Is composite marble better than natural marble, if yes, why and how?
Technically, composite marble is better because it is denser, so less porous; it is less brittle, so while cutting edges do not chip or become jagged, hence fine hairline joints can be achieved; it is harder on Mohs scale (4-5) thus scratch resistant and requires less maintenance vis-à-vis natural marble. Aesthetically, if you want consistency, composite marble is a better option than natural marble where you pay for inconsistency. Economically, it is cheaper because it comes in pre-defined rectangular sizes, so there’s no trimming wastage.
Can we re-polish composite marble?
Yes. This features enables us to use composite marble on vanity tops where the edges need to be beveled, molded and re-polished.
What is composite marble made of?
Composite Marble is 88-90% Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) and 10-12% resin + pigments + other chemicals.
How is composite marble made?
Calcium Carbonate in bleached granulated and powder form is mixed with resins, pigments and other chemicals, cast into blocks that are kept in open under the sun to dry off and the sundried blocks are then sawn into slabs by gang saws. The slabs are passed through an automatic line polisher for thickness calibration, sizing and polishing.
In what thicknesses is composite marble available?
Normally it comes in 14, 15, 16 and 18mm. But, if the quantity is fairly large, >20,000 sq. ft. or so, special thicknesses can be ordered.
Here are a few tips to follow:
- Never use POP (Plaster of Paris).
- Use a high speed cutting machine with a good quality cutting blade
- Use good quantity of water during cutting
- Remove the plastic covering before installation or cutting, the covering is only for protection during transit.
- Preferably use adhesives instead of conventional cement mortar.
- Leave an expansion gap of 5-8 mm underneath the skirting or away from RCC pillars beams or brick walls to counter the structural movement and thermal expansion.
- Leave an expansion gap of 8-10mm every 5 meters wherever the expanse is large.
- Don’t fill the joints immediately, wait for the bed to dry and fill the gap with a high quality resin.
- Never use dark composites on the exteriors, the pigments are not UV protected.
- Use a good quality sealant on textured surfaces before and after installation.
- To clean the composite surface use lukewarm water or some good quality stone cleaner. DO NOT use phenyl or Harpic kind of cleaner, it will stain the surface permanently.
- Composite marble piece should not be more than 5 feet in length and 3 feet in width on floors.
Can we get textures on composite marble?
Yes. Sand blasting, Shot Blasting, Leather, Honed and all kinds of CNC or Water Jet finishes can be done on composite marble. But, remember any texturing makes the surface porous and one must use a high quality sealant to keep the surface stain resistant.
Can we do inlay work on composite marble?
Yes. Because, it is not brittle very fine inlay work can be achieved.
Where all can we use composite marble? Is it advisable to use composite marble on facades and exteriors?
Light colored composites can be used anywhere, interior or exteriors. Dark composite marble should be used only in interiors. If one opts for textured composite marble on facades, exteriors or interiors, it must be sealed first.