Limestone which has been subjected to the heat and pressure in the earth's crust undergoes a process of recrystallization, changing texture and composition to become marble. Often, because limestone and travertine can be polished to an impressive glossy finish like marble, people will refer to them as such; however, true marble must be a product of recrystallization.
An elegant, natural stone treasured for its beauty and durability, marble has been used for millennia in statues and monumental construction projects. The colors and patterns of marble vary from stone to stone, so no two slabs are exactly alike.
Although marble is durable, it is softer and more porous than many natural stones, such as granite, making it prone to gouging, scratching and etching when used as a kitchen countertop. Instead, marble is used successfully in less arduous situations, such as vanity tops, fireplaces and furniture tops.