Marble flooring begins as limestone, undergoing millions of years of metamorphosis to form a dense and polished stone. It is now globally mined and valued for its natural beauty, often used for countertops and flooring. Polished marble enhances room brightness, creating a sense of spaciousness and adding an elegant touch.
Marble, like other stone flooring options, is commonly used in moisture-prone areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Its ability to withstand water splashes without harm makes it a convenient choice. Marble is prone to staining, especially when exposed to acidic and alkaline substances like coffee, juice, wine, soda, vinegar, berries, tomato products, tobacco, oil, grease, baking soda, ammonia, harsh detergents, bleach, and specific types of tap water found in certain regions. Additionally, pet urine can cause permanent damage and etching, making marble less suitable for households with pets. To maintain the stunning appearance of marble, it is recommended to apply a high-quality sealant and promptly blot any spills with a soft, absorbent cloth. It is important to blot rather than rub the stains, as vigorous circular motions or aggressive scrubbing can lead to surface damage and a dull appearance.
If you're considering adding this exquisite flooring to your home design, continue reading to discover the various types of marble, how to select the most suitable one within your budget, and gain some do-it-yourself advice if you decide to take on the task of installing marble flooring on your own.
There are many different types of Marble flooring. To learn more about various types of marble, click here.
Not all marble flooring has a glossy finish, and that is perfectly fine.
The preferred choice for marble flooring is often a high-gloss finish, achieved by using a stone-polishing machine to grind the surface. This process enhances the natural veining of the marble and imparts a radiant and opulent appearance to the floor. With proper maintenance (as outlined below), polished marble can maintain its reflective finish for many years.
The finish applied to this type of marble is a gentle polish that creates a flat and smooth surface without a high shine. Honed marble floor tiles provide a resilient and long-lasting option with a subtle matte finish, which is often considered more grounded and understated compared to the glossy appearance of polished marble.
Marble flooring comes in a range of tile sizes, spanning from small 2-inch by 2-inch squares to large 6-foot by 8-foot slabs. In residential settings, marble tiles are typically smaller than 2-foot by 2-foot as larger slabs, which are quite heavy, necessitate specialized installation. Larger slabs are more commonly seen in commercial and public buildings. The thickness of residential marble tiles typically ranges from ¼-inch to ¾-inch, while commercial marble slabs can be as thick as 2 inches.
The density of Marble tiles
The quality of marble tiles can vary based on their surface design and density. While there is no industry standard, a few factors can indicate the tile's quality.
Mesh-backed tiles are attached to a backing made of fiberglass resin. These tiles are typically of lower quality, as they tend to be less dense and more susceptible to scratches or breakage. Mesh-backed tiles work well in low-traffic areas like bathrooms but are less desirable for high-traffic spaces where signs of wear may appear more quickly.
Lower-quality tiles may have filled areas. When viewed straight on, these tiles may not exhibit any noticeable differences. However, when the tile is turned at a 45-degree angle, irregular dull patches may become apparent, indicating that the surface holes have been filled with a resin compound. Over time, these filled areas may loosen, leaving behind holes that require patching.
Marble tiles with deep fissures are more prone to breaking when subjected to the weight of heavy furniture or appliances. To assess the quality of a marble tile, examining the backside is crucial. If a fissure is visible on both the front and back of the tile, it may crack under the pressure of heavy objects placed upon it.
The glossy sheen of polished marble becomes slippery when it is wet.
Regrettably, the slippery nature of polished marble makes it unsuitable for households with individuals at risk of falling. To mitigate the slipperiness, you can take certain measures. One option is to place multiple area rugs with non-slip backings on the marble floor. Another solution is to apply a nonslip product, such as SlipDoctors' Stone Grip Anti-Slip Treatment, to the surface of the floor. These products are specifically designed to enhance traction and reduce slipperiness without compromising the marble's shine. Alternatively, choosing honed marble floors, which naturally have less slipperiness compared to polished marble, can be a safer option.
Marble exhibits excellent insulation properties
Marble is renowned for its outstanding insulation capabilities. It maintains a cool temperature even when exposed to direct sunlight in the summer, and retains warmth during the winter months. As a result, marble tiles can contribute to cost savings on heating and cooling expenses, to some extent.
In terms of both materials and labor costs, marble ranks among the pricier options for flooring
Marble is Highly Durable than other flooring options
Marble, as a natural material, possesses remarkable durability. Its reputation for longevity has been established over centuries, thanks to its inherent purity and strength. Although synthetic flooring alternatives also boast impressive durability, the preference for marble remains strong due to its completely natural composition. The current trend leans heavily towards using natural marble tiles instead of synthetic options, emphasizing the enduring appeal of this timeless material.
Radiating beauty and luminosity, marble flooring bestows an undeniable touch of elegance upon the spaces it adorns. With its unique veined patterns, marble has remained a favored flooring option for centuries. Its individuality shines through, as no two marble floors are identical, adding to its timeless appeal.
Marble flooring offers a wide range of grades, colors, hardness levels, and finishes, making it a versatile and functional option for various styles of decor. Its durability and suitability for high-traffic areas and wet environments make it a practical choice. With regular care, polishing, and maintenance, marble flooring can endure for a lifetime or even longer, adding to its long-lasting appeal.