Marble has the elegance that always leaves people in awe. The stunning gloss and grace of marble make it a premium flooring choice. Though expensive and a classic flooring option, its demand has never reduced.
But before you choose this flooring option, it is better to know A to Z about marble flooring material. I had researched and experimented with marble before concluding. It helped me know in detail about marble. When you know about the marble flooring material, its texture, and variations, you get to think whether it is suitable or not. Without knowing in detail, it may seem like a maze and you may end up doing a massacre.
So before you install marble, knowing about it is necessary. In this article, I will discuss marble and its properties and analyze whether it is a good flooring material or not. Stay with me if you want to make an informed decision about marble flooring.
Let’s get started!
How Does Marble Form?
Marble is formed by metamorphism. It happens at the lithospheric plate boundaries where the crust is exposed to immense heat and pressure. Some limestones are directly exposed to heat and pressure. Others get heated and pressurized when in contact with metamorphism occurring somewhere near. This happens in the lithospheric plate boundaries beneath the earth as these places are heated.
In the initial stage, calcite particles remain tiny. They start combining and throughout the metamorphism process, the particles start growing into big crystals. The calcite crystals start bonding under pressure and heat. This is why the process is also named recrystallization as the small calcite crystals combine to form larger crystals. Also, the longer the metamorphism occurs, the larger the crystals grow.
As the metamorphism occurs, clay minerals in the marble also form silicate compounds. This creates the color hues in marble and can even give birth to gem minerals like corundum, ruby, sapphire, etc.
4 Things To Consider Before Choosing Marble As A Flooring Material:
Marble is indeed an extraordinary flooring option. But you should consider some factors before finalizing it for flooring. It has perks but it has demerits too. So before you opt for marble flooring, scrutinize the factors mentioned below. This will help you understand the compatibility of marble with the interior.
Where are you going to install marble? If you are planning to install it in the living room, decide which marble will look the best with the interior. Also, if it is a high-traffic area, you may need to install a high-quality marble. For low-traffic areas, basic marble flooring would suffice.
Using marble in the bathroom can be risky. As marble is porous, it locks moisture in the pores discoloring the marble as well as weakening the bond. For high-moisture areas, marble may not be the best option. Even if you use it, you need proper sealing and maintenance. Similarly, if you install it in the kitchen or fireplace, marble is a good option as it is heat-resistant.
All in all, to understand the compatibility of marble, decide where you are going to install it.
How much time and money can you invest in maintaining the floor? If you want something that requires only a little care and maintenance, marble is not your cup of tea.
Marble requires day-to-day cleaning. Besides, you must polish and deep clean marble flooring from time to time to keep up the glamour and gloss. Moreover, as marble is porous, it needs to be sealed frequently depending on where you are installing it. For example, in high-moisture areas, sealing should be done frequently.
Besides the hassle of maintaining the marble floor, you also need to invest money in maintenance. Repairing, polishing, and sealing require investment. If you are ready to do so, you can enjoy the perks of marble flooring.
Marble is an expensive flooring option. If you are looking for something inexpensive, you can go for alternatives like porcelain tile or quartz. But if you are determined to install marble, check your budget.
I am not talking about the cost of marble slabs only. Installation of marble is costly too. Marble is a heavy and dense stone that needs to be carried and installed by experts. This is why the labor charge is why. However, the expenditure won’t stop here.
To keep the marble floor intact and shiny requires high maintenance. Starting from floor sealing to repairing and polishing, you would need to invest money from time to time. Otherwise, the initial investments would go down the drain.
Therefore, consider your budget before choosing marble as a flooring material. If you can conveniently afford it, then yes, there is nothing more glamorous than this.
4. Composition Of Marble:
Marble is a natural stone that is found beneath the earth’s crust. It is also named a metamorphic rock. The main material of marble is limestone which is heated and pressurized naturally beneath the crust.
The primary mineral in marble is calcite (CaCO3). With that, it is often found with the combination of other minerals like quartz, graphite, iron oxides, clay minerals, pyrite, etc.
Under immense heat and pressure, calcite starts recrystallizing to make marble with the tiny crystals of calcite. It often hosts other gem minerals. This means pure marble may not always be extracted. It can be found with other minerals.
Though marble is mostly white or greyish, other colors are found too due to the mixture of impurities. Iron oxides, clay minerals, or bituminous materials often give bluish, pinkish, yellowish, reddish, even greenish hues to the marble slab. All these color variations are due to the impurities contained in marble.
After extracting the marble rock, it is polished and cut into shapes to make it suitable for flooring. The base of marble is natural but what you see on the floor requires polishing, cleaning, and shaping.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Marble Flooring Material:
Marble is widely used as a flooring material. Be it in the bathroom or living or hotel corridor, marble adds a touch of luxury and elegance. It is difficult to find an alternative to marble that can give the same aesthetic value. Though some other materials like quartz can resemble the pattern of marble, marble is still unique and has its own grace.
But just because marble is stunningly gorgeous, is it a reliable flooring material? There can be several arguments on that. Some may say it is the best flooring option while some may disagree.
To understand marble as a flooring material, you have to know the pros and cons. Only then you can scrutinize the merits and demerits of marble flooring and decide whether it is suitable or not.
Advantages Of Marble Flooring:
- Design Variation:
Marble never gives a monotonous or uniform design pattern. Every marble slab is new. The hues, veins, and patterns are unique in each marble slab. As naturally formed, the patterns and tones are random. You don’t get any duplicate pieces as it is a naturally formed stone.
This increases the variation in design and pattern making it unique. No matter how many places you install it, the marble would be distinctive.
- Aesthetically Pleasing:
Marble has a stunning polish and glossy surface. It is reflective and shines even in sheer light. This shine illuminates the entire room making it look gorgeous and luminous. In simple words, marble enhances the beauty of an interior. The polish and finish of marble give a glimmering flooring.
Besides, the natural patterns and hues create a phenomenal look. It is nearly impossible to replicate the look and grace of marble flooring.
- Heat Resistant:
One of the reasons why people consider marble for kitchen and roof flooring is because it is heat resistant. Its heat conductivity is excellent. As marble is thick and dense, heat doesn’t pass through easily. It not only keeps the surface moderately cool but also doesn’t get damaged due to heat.
Even in sunlight, it won’t discolor or crack easily. Marble is even used on fireplaces due to its heat resistance.
Marble doesn’t break easily. Unless the impact is not hard on the floor, marble won’t break. It may scratch or crack due to the impact, but breaking the marble is not easy. If sealing is done properly, marble can sustain for ages.
If you maintain it, marble can be long-lasting. Though soft and porous, highly polished marble is hard to break.
- No Radon:
Radon is a harmful emission that occurs when stones are made or cultured. As marble is a natural stone, it doesn’t emit Radon. The wastages are not toxic. Even after installation, engineered stones keep emitting radon which can cause severe lung and breathing issues. But there is no such risk with marble.
Disadvantages Of Marble Flooring Material:
- Stain Sensitive:
As marble is porous, spills penetrate the surface easily. As spills go through the surface, it settles inside and causes stains. These stubborn stains and marks are difficult to remove. If not cleaned immediately, spills can leave dark marks and stains. This is risky as it can discolor and fade away the glamor of marble flooring.
- Not Scratch Proof:
Though marble doesn’t break easily, even a dust particle can leave a scratch. As marble is a soft stone, it can be scratched easily. If sharp objects are pulled on marble, they will be scratched. So you need to handle marble with care.
- High Maintenance:
Marble needs to be sealed from time to time. It should be cleaned regularly and polishing is needed too. Moreover, the cost of maintaining the marble surface is high. This means after installing marble, you need to maintain it carefully.
Otherwise, all the investment will go down the drain. If you can’t maintain marble flooring cautiously and from time to time, this is not the right flooring option.
Marble is an expensive flooring option. Marble extraction is a costly and time-consuming process. It requires a lot of labor as well as the processing is costly. Moreover, as marble can’t be reused, the worn-out marble slab is wasted.
Needless to say, marble has excellent aesthetic value and is formed from crystals. These are a few reasons why marble is expensive. On top of that, installing heavy marble slabs is difficult and requires expertise.
- Not Eco-Friendly:
Marble can’t be recycled. This means it is disposed of permanently creating a large amount of wastage. Extracting marble consumes a lot of irreversible energy. The process is not energy-efficient. This is the reason why marble is not eco-friendly.
Marble has both advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion, if you can maintain marble flooring, it is an outstanding flooring material. Starting from the kitchen to the living room flooring, marble is a gorgeous flooring material.
Related Questions On Marble Flooring Materials:
Is Marble Good As A Flooring Material?
Marble is quite a durable flooring material. It doesn’t break or tear easily. You need not worry about the durability much if you maintain it properly. Starting from commercial areas to residential spaces, marble is still a popular and admired flooring option.
The only point is to understand the compatibility of marble with space and purpose. If installed in living rooms, kitchens, or indoor areas where the moisture level is minimal, marble is an excellent flooring material. But if you choose marble for the bathroom, it requires high maintenance. So, it is difficult to state marble as a good or bad flooring material.
Marble is a good flooring material only if you can maintain it properly. It is stunningly beautiful in appearance, durable, and heat-resistant. If you can maintain it, marble is a smart option. But if you can’t afford to pay for the high maintenance, marble is not the right flooring material.
How Long Does Marble Flooring Material Last?
Marble is a durable flooring material. Though it is porous and a soft stone, proper maintenance can make it last for a long time. In fact, you can keep up the gloss and grace of marble for ages if you polish and clean it properly.
If cleaned and properly maintained, marble flooring can last over three decades. You may have seen stunning marble flooring in ancient buildings that are still shiny and beautiful. If even the marble is broken, the gloss remains. But only the well-maintained buildings have such marble flooring. If not cleaned and polished or replaced when required, marble will lose its grace and gloss in years.
Therefore, to make marble flooring last for decades, you need to deal with it carefully. Marble requires immense care and maintenance to sustain up to decades.
Does Marble Flooring Crack Easily?
Marble is a soft stone but the density and weight make marble strong. Marble doesn’t break easily. High impacts and pressure or sudden strike by a sharp object can surely leave scratches and marks. But the marble won’t break easily. Now, will marble crack under impacts and pressures?
Yes. Marble is brittle and can crack if it needs to withstand high pressure or impacts. Marble is porous and though the density is high, the marble surface is quite fragile. It may not break easily but it can crack under high impacts. However, under high heat, marble won’t crack. Marble has excellent heat resistance making it survive in contact with high heat.
Try not to give high impacts on marble flooring. It may crack and in that case, you would need to repair or replace the marble slab. To avoid the expenditure of repairing or replacing, deal with marble with care and caution.
Marble Vs Porcelain Flooring Material:
Marble is an explicit natural stone and I agree that its look can’t be duplicated. But porcelain tile is also considered a reliable flooring option. Porcelain tile is often tagged as a better option than marble for casual usage. However, marble’s grace and beauty can never be replicated. Also, from many other aspects, porcelain is a better flooring material. Both have their perks. It depends on you which one will better suit your purpose.
Here is a comparison table comparing factors between marble and porcelain flooring materials. This will help you understand which one suits your flooring purpose.
|Appearance||Glossy And Luxurious||Moderately Shiny|
|Patterns||Veins And Random Patterns||Consistent And Patches|
|Stain Resistance||Not stain resistant||Handles stains well|
|Scratch Proof||Not Scratch Proof||Scratch proof|
|Moisture Resistance||Poor moisture resistance||Good Moisture Resistance|
|Heat Resistance||Favorable Heat Resistance||High Heat Resistance|
|Maintenance||High Maintenance||Low Maintenance|
From all aspects, porcelain is winning the race. Despite the part of excellent aesthetic value, porcelain tile is more convenient to install, afford, and maintain.
Marble is indeed a sign of elegance and beauty. But if you can’t afford to maintain it, it may not be a smart investment. Consider all the aspects of marble flooring before choosing it.
So, how do you like marble as a flooring material? Is it compatible with your flooring purpose? You can also read my other articles on marble flooring to make an informed decision.
You may also want to read:
Marble Flooring On Roof: Know Before You Install
Marble Vs Quartz Flooring: Know The Difference
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