What are hard marbles?

The new trend in the ornamental stone market is gaining strength in the world: Brazilian hard marble.

The most wonderful ancient buildings and works of art in stone known to mankind to this day are still standing. They are witnesses and reminders of our long-standing relationship with natural marble as a functional element to inspire the development of spaces and create ways to express our ideas and feelings through masterpieces that transcend centuries and even millennia.

Marble is a metamorphic rock, resulting from the chemical modification of limestone and the environment in which it is found. The process known as metamorphism is a response of rocks and minerals to pressure and heat. In the end it is mainly compounded of two predominant minerals: Dolomite and Calcite.


To define whether a marble is hard, just check its chemical composition. Geologically, a material is classified as marble dolomite when 50% of its weight is composed of the mineral “dolomite”. So, the higher this percentage, the harder the stone is. That’s why we also call them “dolomite marbles”.

Dolomite is a calcium magnesium carbonate. Magnesium is well known as a natural acid neutralizer. Its use in agriculture, to control soil acidity and even in medicine, as pills that aid digestion, are good popular examples of the properties of this mineral, which also influences natural rocks.

Therefore, marbles with high dolomite content are more resistant to being affected when in contact with acidic elements, such as lemon juice, wine, among others.

The two most common tests to learn more about the hardness of marbles are: absorption rate test (wet weight vs. dry weight), and the Mohs Scale.


In the field of Mineralogy, to quantify the hardness of a mineral, the Mohs Scale is used, developed by the German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs in 1812 and is formed by 10 minerals organized in order of hardness.

mohs hardness scale 2
Mohs hardness scale

Talc is the lowest hardness mineral on the scale, so it can be scratched by any of the others. Diamond is the hardest, therefore, it scratches all other minerals and cannot be scratched by any of them, only by another diamond.

To determine the hardness of a mineral, it is necessary to scratch the standard mineral (from the scale) with the mineral to be classified and check which one presented the scratch on its surface.

The nail, for example, scratches talc and plaster, but it is scratched by calcite and thus has a hardness of 2.5. Slate, used in the manufacture of the blackboard, for example, can scratch topaz, but not corundum, and, therefore, is at level 8.5 on the scale.


Hard marble is inserted between 6 and 9, which can vary depending on the degree of dolomite mineral present in the stone. Thus, we break the taboo that marble is not ideal to be applied in kitchens, for example.

In the infographic above, we can see that the kitchen knife has a 5.5 mark, that is, Zucchi’s hard marble is more resistant. In addition to performing well in kitchens, dolomite marbles can be used in other indoor and outdoor ambiances as well.



Michelangelo Prime

In order of appearance: Milano, Valentino and Michelangelo Prime.

However, our specialist in ornamental stones, André Zucchi, warns that “this stone is still marble and needs special care, don’t try to let your dolomite marble sleep with wine and lemon stains overnight”.

As our Commercial Director, Leonardo Pellegrino, emphasizes “the dolomites are taking the use of natural stones by the architecture and design industry to an even higher level”. Dolomite marbles are the most sophisticated and luxurious type of marble. “They not only tend to have a very attractive aesthetic appearance, but they are also more resistant to scratches, stains and corrosion than classic marbles”, he says. In other words, they are hard marbles with an amazing appearance and great application performance.

The hard marbles available at Zucchi are: Alba Pietra, Michelangelo Prime, Michelangelo Calacata, Calacatta Columbus, Florence, Matarazzo, Milano, Milano Venato and Valentino.


Zucchi’s secret lies in its production capacity and the technology of its industrial line, which is one of the most modern in the ornamental stone market. In 2017, we launched the first factory in the Americas for exclusive marble processing. This innovation was responsible for considerably raising the finish and quality of Zucchi’s Brazilian marble, which became one of the most desired, especially in the North American market.

Welcome to the #ZucchiWay!