Marble Floors Explained

In the last few years marble floors have become increasingly popular in North America. Long a tradition in warmer European climates, North Americans are starting to recognize marble floors are both great looking and durable yet easy to maintain and take care of. Since marble is a totally natural product, marble also allows homeowners concerned with their environmental footprint to have a beautiful, long lasting floor and no concerns about negatively impacting the environment.

If you’re considering marble floors for your home, here’s some information on marble you might find interesting.

Marble’s Make-up

  • Marble is actually limestone that the natural pressure of the earth has compressed to form into a hard rock consisting of crystals with beautiful lines and colors running through it.
  • The color of a marble rock is entirely dependent on the natural elements in the soil where it was formed. It can vary all the way from white to black with highlights of virtually any color, including basic reds, browns and grays but in some cases actually including pinks and greens.
  • As a natural product, each piece of marble is unique in its appearance, with the veining and flecks adding character and beauty.

Marble Flooring

  • Marble flooring is most commonly installed as large tiles, usually 12” up to 24” square.
  • Since it’s stone, marble is extremely durable. Although more porous than granite (and as a result requires sealing after installation), once sealed, marble is both moisture and stain resistant as an added benefit is both allergen and bacteria resistant, (making it a fine choice for anyone with breathing problems).
  • Maintaining a marble floor is simplicity itself. A regular mopping with warm water then leaving it to dry is all that’s needed to keep it looking good. This easy maintenance makes marble extremely versatile and commonly used in many areas of a home, such as entranceways, kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Marble’s hard surface stays cool even in the hottest days of the summer, making it an attractive option for homes located in the South where the summers are long and hot. However, perhaps one of the best features of marble flooring is because of its beauty and durability, marble will add significant value to your home, now and at resale.

Marble does have some disadvantages

  • As a natural stone product marble is quite heavy and difficult to work with. As well, because of its weight and dense structure installing marble requires specialized tools (wet saws) for cutting and shaping it making hand tools are virtually useless.
  • Marble is also brittle so the potential for breaking or cracking marble tiles during installation is always present. So, while installation isn’t beyond the capability of a skilled DIY’er, in most cases installing a marble floor is a job for an experienced professional.

As well marble needs to be resealed on a regular basis to prevent staining. Depending on where in a home the marble is located, professionals recommend it be sealed immediately after installation and then resealed every 9 to 12 months in a kitchen or bathroom or every 12 to 18 months in an entranceway.