Marble tile is a natural floor surface covering that is quarried from mountains around the world. Prized for its beauty, style, and elegance, this material has graced the palaces of kings and queens for centuries, making it an upscale, luxurious option for interiors. However there are some serious drawbacks and maintenance concerns that come with the installation of these floors, that need to be understood before a purchasing choice is made.
Marble Flooring Pros
Style: The biggest advantage of marble floor tile is that it can instantly elevate the appearance of a space, giving it a regal bearing that is hard to imitate. At the same time marble is available in multiple colors, and even in stunning multicolor mixes, providing flexible options for a variety of decorative schemes. Tiles can also be cut to rectangles, and triangles of varying sizes, in order to create complex mosaic piece installations.
Stone Tile Flooring Glossary
Unique: Because it is a product of the earth, every single piece of marble tile used in every single floor is a one of a kind, and there is no other like it anywhere in the world. In the case of multi colors this can be quite extreme, with distinct features blaring forth from every tile. With more solid colored looks the shifts and changes will be much more subtle and subdued, but still present, making your floor stand out with its own personality.
Natural: The look of a marble floor can bring the stunning power and dignity of a flowing mountain range into an interior space. Even if the material is heavily refined, the inherent feel and presence of its energy can have a potent effect, injecting an environment with trembling energy and awe, while also connecting it to the greater outside world.
Translucence: Artists have treasured marble for centuries because it has a natural translucent property that allows light to penetrate through it slightly. This can make a statue, or even floor tiles seem to almost glow when the sun hits them just right.
The illuminated effect is much more pronounced in white and lighter colored materials.
Polish: Unlike most natural stones, marble is able to take a very high polish, getting silky smooth and shimmering when treated properly. This is a look of sophistication and glamor, that evokes the highest sense of elegance in a space. It’s also a truly distinct look, which can make a difference when trying to create a flooring installation that really stands out.
Radiant Heat: Marble is a great conductor of heat, making it eligible for a variety of below surface radiant heating systems to be installed. This can infuse the tiles beneath your feet with a rush of cozy warmth that can be thrilling, especially on cold wintry mornings. In some cases it will also be possible to install radiant cooling systems that will chill surfaces down on sultry summer days.
Replacement Tiles: Whenever marble is installed at least one full box of extra material should be purchased and kept in storage. That makes it possible to easily replace a tile if it cracks, breaks, or becomes stained over time, which is much more cost effective than having to replace the entire floor.
If extras are not maintained it may be difficult to find a good color match to the installed pieces if a replacement becomes necessary.
More About Marble Flooring
Marble Flooring Cons
Scratches: Even though it is essentially a rock, marble is actually a relatively soft material that can be scratched, scraped, and chipped under the wrong conditions. This is especially true if the material is polished, as the imperfections will be more noticeable in the smooth, flat solid surface. Unfortunately, scratches can not be easily repaired without replacing the damaged material completely.
Acid Stains: Marble is a base on the PH scale, which means that it will have a chemical reaction whenever it comes in contact with acidic substances. This can include a wide variety of foods, sauces, beverages, and cleaning products. Unfortunately, the discoloration stains that come from these processes are permanent.
Water Damage: All natural stones are porous, and marble is prone to water penetration, and staining from colorful liquid agents. This can be prevented by applying a chemical below surface penetrating sealer, as well as a barrier above surface sealer to the stones after installation.
However, for optimal protection, this will have to be reapplied annually.
Cracks: Being relatively soft, marble floor tiles can suffer from cracking, breaks, and chips. If the floor is improperly installed this can be a particular problem, as any gaps between the material and the subfloor will be weak points ready to burst and break under even standard pressure.
Slippage: When polished, marble can be an extremely slick and slippery surface, that may be a hazard for accidental falls. This is especially true if the material gets wet due to environmental concerns or spillage, and is compounded by the fact that the hard surface characteristic of these floors can be unforgiving on bones and bruises.
Price: Marble floors are a premium architectural element, and they are priced accordingly. Generally, they fall on the high-end range as far as natural stone costs, while having a shorter lifespan than harder, more durable materials like slate and granite.