Why Does White Marble Turn Yellow? Can it be Fixed?

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Why Does White Marble Turn Yellow?

 The problem of yellowing white marble is not uncommon. Its actually very common.  Every week prospective clients call Granite Heroes asking about the maintenance of their white marble counter tops. Clients ask us, "Can you get the yellowing out of my marble countertop? Why do you think this happens? All over the Chicago land area we  have encountered marble counter tops, flooring, showers, statues that has become discolored yellow or brown. Not every situation has the same outcome, however  the yellowing of your marble is treatable, but there are some things you should know.



What Causes Marble to turn yellow or brown?

In the above example of the stained floor, the yellowing was a result of oxidation and moisture. Many white marble tiles contain naturally occurring deposits of iron. The presence of iron when combined with consistent exposure to moisture, the iron begins to rust or turn yellow. Iron is a mineral found in stone and can be present throughout the stone. Marble tile containing iron or higher counts of iron will begin to oxidize when exposed to water, acids or household bleach.


How long does it take for marble to turn yellow?

White marble tiles can remain in place for years without yellowing, then over time may slowly turn yellow. Situations where the marble has been flooded the marble can turn brown. Marble containing the iron experiences a rapid oxidation process when the tile is saturated with water like in the above example of the white marble shower in Chicago, IL. This process of oxidation is similar to the rusting of metal.


Can the marble yellowing be removed?

If you expose a brand new nail to water and air it will rust and turn brown. The same process is occurring with the iron in the marble. This is the reason white marble suddenly turn yellow or brown. The affects of marble yellowing can be corrected in the first stages of yellowing. The marble restoration process takes approximately 2 days.  The first day consists of treating the yellowing with a natural stone compound.  Day 2 the stone is honed and polished back to its factory finish.


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