Buying a Marble Table? Read our Guide

Buying a tulip style marble table is a big investment. Getting the right size to fit the space whilst allowing for the seating capacity required takes a bit of planning so the following buyers guide may be of some help if you are currently thinking about a marble tulip dining table.


Marble table tops are usually factory polished, which means they have been machine polished to a high gloss, however, they remain 'unsealed' and as marble is a natural stone it is recommended to seal the top prior to use.

Before use and upon delivery, it is normally recommended to apply a marble sealant specifically made for 'machine or factory polished marble. This should be re-applied every three months or so depending on use.

Most hardware stores, online shops or tile merchants sell brands of sealants. It is normally applied using a lint free cloth. One example is:  Lithofin MN Stain-Stop sealant and  Lithofin MN Polish Cream for everyday care

A marble wax polish such as Antiquax Marble Wax Polish is also a good care product to use sparingly occasionally to enhance and maintain the shine and polish of the top.


Marble does not "stain" that easily, however, it can "etch". A true marble stain is from some substance absorbing into the marble creating a dark spot.

Etch marks are dull spots or rings from glasses, vases etc. Since an etch mark is clear or whitish in color it is often called a "water stain". It is not caused by water. Nothing has absorbed through the marble, rather it is like a faint burn mark on the surface.

Marble polishing is required to repair an etch mark, and can be done using an Etch Remover / Marble Polisher product.

Note: Sealing does not prevent marble etching.

Day to day care of a marble table should include the use of placemats and coasters. Use mats for vases also.

Wash or wipe down your marble table with a mild washing up liquid detergent and warm water. Never use abrasives or acidic based cleaners or anything like vinegar or lemon juice as this can permanently stain the stone.

Being a natural stone it will have unique markings, very minor blemishes sometimes and a unique pattern and mix. It is normal for marble tops to acquire little marks and minor stains over time and use. Like any natural surface, it shows they are being used and enjoyed.

There are marble restoration services available in most localities who can repolish marble tops also should you want to refresh the marble in the future.

The beauty of marble tables is that they are timeless and classic and the tulip stem is a design that is effortlessly stylish in most dining settings.

Many different styles of the stem 'tulip style' table have been created since the 1950'S  from the basic circular or square tops so often favoured by restaurants, to the refined and elegant tapered edge tables finished in circular and oval options.


As a general guide for seating,
Circular Tables
90cm will seat four people
100cm, 110cm diameters will seat four comfortably.
For five people 120cm circular tables are a good option
For up to six people, the 130cm and 140cm diameter sizes are best.
Oval Shaped Marble Tables
150cm x 120cm which is an egg shape to seat 6.
150cm x 100cm and 150x110cm both 150cm in length but more slimline in width 
170cm x 110cm slimline oval will seat six people very comfortably and seven at a squeeze.

Note: The above guide is not to scale and will depend of course on the width and style of chairs used also.

Quality can vary from cheaper Asian marbles to Italian quarried natural stone.
Chinese marble can still be of good quality but tends to be slightly yellower and not as crisp as Italian marble, which is considered one of the best in the world. Most reproductions are manufactured in Asia simply due to labour and production costs, as is much furniture in general these days, so this is not necessarily an issue.
Types of Marble
Below are characteristics of some of the most popular marbles for tables and furniture:
Carrara: White/Grey mix with feathered veins. Quarried in Carrara,Tuscany, Italy. Carrara marble has been used since the time of Ancient Rome and notable uses of it include The Pantheon, Michelangelo's David and Marble Arch.
Arabescato: White with strong dark grey waves of veining. Quarried in the Apuan mountains.
Portoro: Nero Portoro, a  black rich velvety looking marble with gold veins, from Porto Venere Liguria, Italy. Rich and luxurious looking.
Emperador: A brown mix marble with veining in honey, gold and cream tones, extracted from Spanish quarries.
Nero Marquina: A black marble with fine white veining, extracted from the region of Markina, Basque Country in the North of Spain.


Cast aluminium. Made from a one piece mould, it is stronger and much lighter than fibreglass options.
These are sprayed in a powder-coated step process to a high gloss or matt lacquer finish to match the top..
Cheaper bases tend to skimp on the paint process to save on production costs which in turn can lead to bases chipping and having less strength leading to excess flex, which in turn again, can lead to a wobble on the larger table tops. The stems should have an elegant taper to the narrowest point in the middle of the stem. Cheaper manufactured tables tend to have chunkier stems.
Tip: Check base material. If possible choose an aluminium option.
Marble table tops are heavy with larger sized ones up to circa 130kg in weight, so it is always advisable to ensure the area is suitable pre-purchasing and also to measure up the space correctly, to allow for the right size to fit with chairs around it.
A very simple method is to lay out some white A4 paper in the space to visualise how the top surface will look in the space.
Check access carefully and measure up - this can be important, as if you are living in a property where the table needs to go via a narrow staircase with a turn for example, then a large marble table may not have flexibility to bend around a tight corner!
These are heavy items and require specific logistics. Most retailers and delivery companies will charge for their time for failed installations if they arrive at a property and the access is not suitable or if they have not been pre-notified of any  steep steps or narrow access issues. Some narrow staircases are not suitable to get larger marble table tops up safely.

ASSEMBLY There is a normally a baseplate on the underneath of the marble top which will have pre-drilled bolt points. The stem base will align and screw into this plate, usually via several bolts and an allen key provided. If you plan on moving property then the table can be disassembled for transport in the future.

Tip: If you are assembling the table yourself or using your own assembly people, open the crating and pull back the internal packaging but leave the table top with baseplate facing upwards in its protective packaging and crate on the floor. (put rug underneath to protect flooring).
Unbox the base and turn it upside down onto the top. You can then affix the base more easily. Once secured correctly, using two persons (or more for larger tables), lift the table by its edges, out of the crate and turn it upright.


If you've enjoyed this post you can might like to view our Buyers Guide to Eames Style Lounge Chairs also.
Copyright: Onske Interiors Ltd. 2021

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