Marble and onyx are traditionally appreciated for their aesthetic appeal, often accentuated by distinct veining and bold colours. They are softer than granite and can be scratched by kitchen utensils, so it is best to use cutting boards and other protective measures if being used as kitchen tops. Use only non-abrasive products when cleaning marble. Marbles can also be etched by chemical attack. These stones are calcium carbonate based and are damaged by exposure to acidic solutions such as lemon juice, tomatoes, vinegar, etc. The use of inappropriate cleaning agents may also trigger acidic attack. Acidic solutions can permanently etch the surface of the material. The application of a sealer will reduce, but not eliminate, the vulnerability to acidic attack. For these reasons, some prefer not to install marble as kitchen surfaces.
Marble is typically used for bathroom vanity tops, wall cladding, fireplace surrounds and flooring. In terms of finishes marble is generally presented with a polished surface, but can be honed or acid-washed as required.