About Connemara of Ireland
Even though you may be contemplating Connemara marble, that does not mean that it will require extraordinary treatment. Choosing a surface made from marble from Ireland does not necessarily mean that it needs to be treated differently than its counterparts. In this article we will look briefly at the Irish marble known as Connemara. We will discuss why it is like other marbles and what that means for consumers. Along the way we will also consider some things that professionals must be aware of when working with it and how to care for it.
Connemara is Irish Marble
The name is specific and even intriguing, but that doesn't mean that it is indecipherable. Connemara is an Irish
"marble". In the stone industry, the name marble is given to a variety of materials.* In fact, the "marble" label is used for several materials that are in reality classified as a different material geologically. Because of this, it is important that you become acquainted with the particular stone being used for a given project. Connemara marble is actually composed of minerals classified as serpentines. These minerals give the "marble" its green color. It also means that there may be variations in the properties of this material from one stone to the next.
A Relatively Soft to Hard Stone
Connemara is a relatively soft to hard stone. It resides at varying points of the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This fact means that it may not be as hard as other natural stone like granite or quartzite in some cases, and in other cases it might be. The reason for this is that Connemara can contain a variety of different minerals and each mineral will have a different hardness. These variations in mineral content affect the overall hardness of each stone. So it can be a little easier to cut if a particular stone contains a large amount of the softer minerals from the serpentine group.
Even though is a soft stone, it doesn't mean that it is a light stone. Even soft stone is heavy. In fact, fabricators and other stone professionals use
metal plate clamp lifters for handling Irish marble slabs, including Connemara.
Caring for and Maintaining Connemara Marble
Maintaining any natural stone material requires a three phase system. Putting this system into practice makes caring for your Irish marble not only a habit, but it also is the recommended way of keeping the stone in its best condition. The three phases include:
- Periodic Sealer Applications: apply one of the sealers for natural stone on your Connemara surface
- Daily Cleaning: After applying sealer to the surface, whether the marble is from Ireland or anywhere else, clean it using a cleaner for natural marble so it does not harm the sealer you have applied.
- Stain Removal As Needed: even if you do the other two steps, you may need to remove a stain from the surface. If this needed, choose one of the kits for maintaining stone with the appropriate stain remover in it.
Calcareous stone is susceptible to etching. So in addition to the above treatments, you may on occasion need to use an
etch remover for calcareous stone. To determine whether your stone is calcareous, you will need to perform an etch test (also called an acid test) to see if the material contains calcite.
As we have seen, Connemara marble is like other marble, it is just from Ireland. Irish marble not only is beautiful, but it also requires equipment to handle it and caring for it means knowing what to use and how often.
PLEASE NOTE: There is a difference between what geologists define as marble and what is commonly called marble in the stone industry. Some natural stone that gets classified as "marble" in commercial contexts are in actuality, a different stone geologically. Therefore, some materials discussed on this site which are geologically classified as other materials such as limestone, serpentine, and travertine may be presented and referred to as "marble" since consumers may have heard these referred to as such. There is more information about marble types at