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Beautiful marble flooring started its journey into our homes as limestone. The dense, variegated stone that resulted through millions of years of metamorphosis—intense heat and pressure—can be polished to a brilliant finish. Since it is a natural commodity, marble is now mined all over the world and is highly valued for worktops and floors. Polished marble reflects light to add a sense of refinement and make spaces appear larger.

Similar to many other forms of stone flooring, marble is frequently put in “wet” areas like bathrooms and kitchens where frequent water splashes may be easily wiped away without doing any harm. Marble is, however, prone to stains, particularly from very acidic and alkaline substances, such as coffee, juice, wine, soda, vinegar, berries, tomato products, cigarettes, oil and grease, baking soda, ammonia, harsh detergents, bleach, and, in some regions of the country, “hard” tap water. Marble is not the best material for homes with pets since it is highly susceptible to stains from pet pee, which can etch the floor permanently and cause irreversible damage.

If you’re considering adding this gorgeous flooring to your house, keep reading to find out more about the numerous types of marble that are available, how to select the one that will fit your needs and budget, and some DIY advice in case you decide to install marble flooring yourself.

1. There are several marble flooring variations, which can be divided into three primary groups.

Tiles made of marble available in a variety of hues and surface patterns. Veining is the term for the lines of contrasting color that run through the surface; it can be strong and obvious or subtle and hardly perceptible. Although there are more than a hundred different kinds of marble, there are only three basic types, each of which is distinguished by its appearance.

Carrara: Ancient Greece and Rome made use of this popular white marble material for its colossal pillars and ornate statues millennia ago. Today, Carrara marble flooring tiles are only available in a few shades, ranging from light to warm white, and they have medium to light gray veining on their surfaces.

Calacatta: While Carrara and Calacatta are both white marbles, Calacatta is closer to pure white in hue and has darker gray veining, which gives it a striking contrast.

Breccia: If black marble floors have captured your attention, you probably want to look at Breccia. Compared to Carrara and Calacatta, Breccia marble is more colorful and hospitable. It comes in a variety of darker tones, such as warm golds, tans, dark browns, black, and reds. Breccia marble’s dark gray and black veining frequently takes the form of elaborate swirls and includes precisely round outline veins that resemble bubbles trapped beneath the surface.


2. Marble flooring isn’t always shiny, nor should it be.

The above types of marble can be finished to either a high gloss or a matte look, depending on what’s best suited for the location.

Polished marble: The most common marble flooring option has a high-gloss appearance that is obtained by using a stone-polishing machine to hone the surface. Marble’s veining is highlighted by polishing, which also gives the floor a gleaming, opulent appearance. Polished marble will maintain its reflective finish for many years with the proper maintenance (see below).

Honed marble: A flat, smooth surface is produced by this sort of finish, although it is just lightly polished, not enough to give a shine. Honed marble floor tiles provide a sturdy surface with a gentle matte texture that some people find more approachable than more glitzy polished marble.


3. Marble tiles smaller than 2 feet across are most common in-home installations.

Marble flooring is available in a variety of tile sizes, from tiny 2-inch by 2-inch squares to enormous 6-foot by 8-foot slabs. Marble tiles are rarely larger than 2 feet by 2 feet for household use because larger slabs, which are very heavy, need professional installation. Large slabs are typically only found in public and commercial structures. Residential tile thicknesses range from 14 to 34 inches, whereas commercial marble slabs can be up to 2 inches thick.


4. The coveted shine on polished marble is slippery when wet.

Unfortunately, polished marble is inappropriate for houses with inhabitants who are at danger of falling because to the slide problem. Consider utilizing various area rugs with non-slip backing or coating the floor with a non-slip treatment, Non-slip products are made to improve a floor’s grip traction without dulling its gloss. Compared to polished marble floors, honed marble surfaces are inherently less slick.


5. Marble is one of the more expensive flooring options in terms of materials and labor costs.

Even lower-end marble is expensive because it requires a lot of labor to quarry and finish the stone. The price per square foot of a tile increases with its size.


6. Unless you have experience with tile-setting, don’t DIY marble flooring to save money.

Similar to ceramic and porcelain tiles, marble floors can be installed inexpensively by homeowners who are trained about the fundamentals of tile installation. However, if you’ve never installed tiles before, it would be best to hire a pro to do it.


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7. Marble flooring requires routine sealing, fast spill cleanup, and daily cleaning.

While marble is a durable flooring, it requires a little extra care to help it retain its beauty.


8. More than just a marble floor repair kit is frequently needed to fix scratches, stains, and cracks.

Don’t worry if your lovely marble flooring start to show signs of wear and tear; because marble is a natural stone, damage is usually not irreversible. Smart DIYers can fix marble floors, but it’s crucial to employ the proper method and materials. You may wish to contact a specialist if you are unsure. Marble most frequently experiences general dullness and surface scratches. There are many marble restoration products available that may remedy tiny blemishes and bring back the luster of a marble floor. A high-quality marble polish will frequently work; however, wash the surface first and give it a buff with a moist cloth before applying the polish. Using thin coats of polish, apply it as directed by the manufacturer. Patience is a virtue when it comes to restoring marble because it may take several coats of polish to fill in the scratches and restore the sheen.

Depending on the extent and depth of the damage, deeper scratches and chips may need professional marble repair. Cracks in stone need to be professionally repaired because chips frequently cause them. Crack repair often entails sealing the crack with a high-quality glue, cementing it in place, and then refinishing and polishing the surface.


9. Having second thoughts about putting up marble flooring? Think about heated marble flooring.

Marble can be cold underfoot, but it has very high thermal conductivity, which means it transfers heat effectively from a heating system to the surface of the floor. Marble also retains a significant amount of heat, which makes it energy efficient.

There are basically two options for keeping your tootsies warm with heated marble floors: toe-kick heaters and under-floor heating, which comes in either hydronic or electric varieties.

Under-floor heating, also known as in-floor or radiant heating, is installed underneath the marble floor, and therefore has to be put in before the flooring. Under-floor heating is either hydronic, which uses hot water circulating in tubing under the floor; or electric, which uses cables under the floor.


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Final Thoughts

Marble flooring is stunning and luminous, adding an undeniable aura of luxury to the areas it graces. Because no two marble floors are exactly same and have a characteristic veined appearance, it has been a well-liked flooring option for generations.

This type of flooring is a versatile and useful option for many different types of decor because it is available in a variety of grades, colors, hardness, and finishes. Marble can withstand heavy traffic and moisture, and with regular polishing and maintenance, it can last a lifetime or more.


Q. How long do marble floors last?

A. Marble floors can literally last a lifetime. On average, a marble floor will last 25 years or more, with proper care, cleaning, and regular maintenance.


Q. What are the disadvantages of marble flooring?

A. Although marble is beautiful, that beauty comes with a high price tag. Indeed, one of its main disadvantages is that marble is not a budget-friendly choice; it also typically requires professional installation, which adds to the overall cost. Marble is a natural stone and therefore is porous, so it requires regular sealing. Marble can be slippery and cold underfoot, making it a poor choice for people with mobility concerns. Marble also is susceptible to staining, scratching, chipping, and cracking.


Q. Are marble floors pet friendly?

A. Unfortunately, marble floors are not so good for homes with pets. Marble is susceptible to staining by acidic or alkaline substances, and pet urine is extremely acidic. Polished marble floors are also slick and can be scratched by pets’ claws. Therefore, marble floors are not the best choice for pet owners.


Q. How do you maintain marble floors?

A. A regular cleaning and maintenance routine will keep your marble floors looking like new. Use a clean, soft cloth or natural dust mop to remove grit and dirt on a weekly basis. If using a vacuum cleaner, use the softest brush attachment. Minimize dirt and debris accumulation by putting area rugs or runners at entry doors and in high-traffic zones. Wipe up any spills promptly, blotting with a clean, soft cloth (do not rub.) Polish and seal marble floors once or twice a year. And, when the marble starts looking a bit dull, call in a professional to clean, polish, and seal the floors.

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