Marble is a natural stone used widely for indoor flooring, countertops, and other interior surfaces. It is not one a symbol of elegance and refined taste but also an excellent addition when it comes to installing durable flooring. Though marble is porous, it is still a popular and preferred flooring option.
But how about installing marble in outdoor spaces? Marble is also profoundly admired for its use on rooftops, pavements, balconies, backyards, swimming pools, etc. The marble looks equally gorgeous and stunning in outdoor areas and if maintained properly, it can be a valuable addition to a space. However, it is better to learn A to Z about marble flooring outdoors before you install it in outdoor spaces.
To help you decide, I am here with a detailed article discussing different aspects of using marble in outdoor areas. Read carefully and think about whether it is a good idea to install marble in outdoor spaces or not. Stay with me and make an informed decision.
Let’s get started!
3 Best Marble For Outdoor Flooring: Enhance The Outlook Of Your House
Not all marbles are ideal for outdoor flooring. High-grade marbles like Calacatta, Carrara, Emperador, etc. may not survive the harsh outdoor conditions. Similarly, a finely polished marble surface would be a farce investment for outdoor flooring. This means, you not only need to decide on the marble type but also the finish.
Outdoor marble finishing is discussed in the next section but for now, let me tell you the best 3 marble flooring options for outdoor areas:
1. Makrana Fine Honed Marble:
Makrana marble is used in the Taj Mahal which still has the same shine and grace. It is a finely honed marble with a smooth and glossy surface. White Makrana marble with grey veins and patterns looks stunning on outdoor flooring.
Makrana is a reliable outdoor marble flooring option. It is sturdy and capable of withstanding weather conditions. However, it can be slippery if wet. Also, sealing and maintenance are required.
2. Sand-Blasted Crema Marfil:
Sand-blasted Crema Marfil is another excellent outdoor marble flooring option. Sand-blasted marble has a rough and tough surface that would not be slippery. Crema Marfil is a sturdy and high-quality marble and sand-blasted texture that makes it suitable for outdoor spaces.
Sand-blasted Crema Marfil has tiny splinters and a crisp surface that everyone would admire. Therefore, it is a smart outdoor flooring option.
3. Coliseum Stone Rustic:
Coliseum stone with a split-faced finish gives a rustic look suitable for outdoor usage. Its texture is resistant to impacts and even if damaged slightly, it won’t be noticed much. The uneven and chiseled surface gives a warm and cozy look.
Coliseum stone rustic marble, therefore, is an exotic flooring option that can adorn the exterior areas of your property.
5 Marble Finishes For Outdoor Flooring:
Marble finishes are different. This depends on how it is polished. For outdoor flooring, you need to understand different types of finishes. Because not all finishes are suitable for outdoor flooring. As outdoor spaces are exposed to pollution, moisture, and sunlight, choosing the right finish is important for long-term benefits.
Here are the 5 marble finishes that are suitable for outdoor flooring:
1. Fine Honed Marble:
The most common marble finishing is the honed finish. Here, I am talking about finely honed marble which is derived from rough honed marble. Rough honed marble is polished with a high-grade polishing disc-like carborundum disc to make finely honed marble. The surface of finely honed marble is silky smooth, solid, and shiny.
Fined honed marble looks gorgeous in outdoor spaces and is capable of bearing different conditions like moisture, pollution, impacts, etc. It can be used in swimming pools, roof flooring, balconies, backyards, etc.
2. Bush Hammered Marble:
This finish doesn’t give a smooth surface. It is done by hammering the marble surface with a bush hammer to make the surface uneven and rugged. The more frequent the hammering, the finer it is. The incessant hammering throughout the marble creates uniformity and enhances the beauty. The natural marble veins are not visible in this finish and seem like patches.
You may have seen this marble in residential pavements, around fountains, commercial car parking areas, etc. As it looks as rough as an unpolished rock, it easily blends with the outdoor condition.
3. Sand-Blasted Marble:
Sand-blasted marble has a rough surface less than bush hammered marble. In this finish, small silicon, corundum, or sand particles are blasted on the surface of the marble to make it slightly uneven and jagged. The veins are slightly visible in this marble finish.
Suitable for outdoor cladding and flooring, sand-blasted marble is sturdy and reliable for rough usages.
4. Sawed Marble:
Sawed marble is the very primary stage of polishing. It has a very natural texture, almost as rough and raw as pure marble rock. In this type of finish, the marble is sawed with diamond wires and blades. These vigorous strikes make the surface rugged and harsh. As the strikes are done in a definite direction, you can see fine lines of cutting on the marble surface.
The rough and tough finishing makes it a bit dull but suitable for casual usages. It provides excellent foot grip and gives a very natural look.
5. Split Faced Marble:
Split-faced marble is widely available in rectangular tiles instead of large slabs. It creates a rustic and pure pattern done by striking the surface with a chisel. This makes the surface crisp and cragged. The dented surface has a warm and rocky vibe making it ideal for outdoor flooring and cladding.
Split-face marble is a commonly used marble finish in outdoor spaces as well as high-moisture areas like bathrooms. The biggest benefit is they don’t wear out easily and can camouflage minor cracks and damages.
Pros And Cons Of Outdoor Marble Flooring:
To decide whether marble flooring outdoors is suitable or not, you have to know the pros and cons. Marble flooring outdoors has both merits and demerits. You need to decide after scrutinizing both the factors to make the right choice.
Here are the pros of marble flooring outdoors:
Marble is glossy and exotic in appearance. It is unique and each marble is distinct from the other one. The shiny translucent marble surface looks luminous and in any weather condition, it will show the same glow and beauty. You can hardly find any other alternative that would look as stunning as marble.
You will get a variety of marble flooring options. Starting from shiny smooth surfaces to rough and tough marble slabs, you can get different types of marble patterns and designs. The veining and color patches are unique in each slab. Therefore, for extensive outdoor flooring versatility, marble is a great choice.
The best fact about marble is, it is heat-resistant. Even when exposed to the scorching sun, marble won’t be affected or fade away. In fact, marble will glow and keep the surface cool for a long time. This is because marble is dense and has outstanding heat conductivity. This makes it suitable for hot weather areas.
Marble is durable if maintained properly. It doesn’t break easily. It may crack or scratch due to impacts but breaking marble is not easy. The rough and uneven surfaces of marble are not easily broken. Finely honed marble is also durable but can be slippery and scratch easily. But rough and sawed surfaces are quite durable.
Here are the cons of outdoor marble flooring:
- Stain And Scratch Sensitive:
Spills can leave marks of white marble. If not cleaned immediately, spills can leave stubborn stains that can discolor the surface. Besides, though marble is not easily breakable, it gets scratched easily. Scratches may disrupt the smooth surface of finely honed marble. Therefore, you need to be careful about staining and scratching marble.
- Moisture And Acid Sensitive:
Another con of outdoor marble flooring is it can become fragile with time due to excessive moisture. If not sealed from time to time, marble pores absorb moisture weakening the bond. Also, as outdoor conditions can’t be monitored, exposure to acid may happen. This corrodes marble. It means exposure to moisture and acid can damage marble.
- High Maintenance:
The biggest hassle with outdoor marble flooring is you need to take good care. Installing marble would be useless if you fail to clean, polish, seal, and maintain it properly. Poor maintenance can destroy the durability and beauty of marble. The maintenance is frequent, expensive, and time-consuming. This can be an inconvenience for many people.
Marble Or Granite, Which Is Better For Outdoor Flooring?
Granite is another popular outdoor flooring option. People often confuse these two stones. Both are aesthetically pleasing and can offer favorable outdoor protection. But while choosing one between marble and granite, you need to have enough knowledge about both the alternatives.
Here is a comparison table mentioning the basic properties of marble and granite. This will help you understand the differences.
|Durable||Moderately Durable||Very Durable|
|Heat Resistance||Heat Resistant||Heat Resistant|
|Maintenance||High Maintenance||Low Maintenance|
|Staining||Stains Easily||Not Easily Stained|
|Scratches||Sensitive To Scratches||Sensitive To Scratches|
As you can see, marble and granite have more or less the same features and properties. But it is evident that marble is less durable than granite. Also, for casual and rough usages, granite can provide better service than marble in outdoor spaces.
Marble and granite both are metamorphic rocks but are composed of different materials. Marble is formed of calcite crystals as they combine. Calcite particles in limestone combine and form large crystals under high pressure and heat. Though it is generally white, different impurities add hues and shades to marble. In contrast, granite is made of silica mixed with other minerals like mica and quartz.
Both are porous but granite has less porosity. It sustains in moisture conditions and is less sensitive to impacts, stains, and scratches. Therefore, granite is a better outdoor flooring choice when compared to marble.
Is Porcelain Tile Better Than Marble For Outdoor Flooring?
Porcelain tile is excellent in terms of appearance and durability. It has a smooth and polished surface available in different designs and patterns. Porcelain tile is available mostly in light tones like white, grey, beige, etc. When compared to marble as an outdoor flooring option, porcelain will be the winner for several reasons.
Porcelain requires low maintenance and is durable. It can withstand high impacts and doesn’t scratch easily. It doesn’t corrode or discolor when exposed to sunlight and UV rays. Marble is heat-resistant too but it requires high maintenance to let it perform well. When it comes to handling moisture and stains, porcelain performs better than marble. The best part is, porcelain is way cheaper than marble.
However, in terms of appearance, marble is the best one. Its shine and glamor can never be replicated. But in terms of longevity, maintenance, affordability, stain, and scratch sensitivity, porcelain tile is the convenient outdoor flooring option to choose.
What Should Be Done To Maintain Marble Flooring Outdoor?
Marble flooring is still a popular choice for outdoor usages. But it can provide the best service only when you maintain it properly. Without proper maintenance, investing in marble flooring for outdoor spaces would be a loss.
To maintain the condition of marble and keep it intact, sealing should be done at least twice a year. As marble is a porous stone, pores are to be sealed to protect the marble from moisture and pollution. So the first task is to seal the marble slabs twice a year.
The other task is to be regular and careful about cleaning. Don’t use abrasives to clean marble. Use a pH neutral and mild cleaning agent to wash the marble flooring. As outdoor spaces are exposed to different adverse conditions, clean them regularly. In case of spills, blot them up and clean them thoroughly. Consider vacuum cleaning every day and mopping at least twice to thrice a week. Besides, polishing the marble is required once every 2 to 3 years. It will make the surface smooth and keep it in good condition.
The last thing is to repair or replace the marble slabs in case of cracks or breaks. If you miss out on repairing, it will weaken over time.
These are the basic maintenance tasks that you should not miss out on to keep the marble as shiny as the first day it was installed.
Does Marble Flooring Outdoor Shrink?
Marble is exposed to both cold and hot weather conditions. This is why people often want to know if marble shrinks or gets affected due to any of the weather conditions. Let me clarify this issue.
Marble does shrink. But it only happens when the marble is fully heated and when it cools down completely, it shrinks. But this condition can only rarely happen in extreme areas. In tropical areas, the intensity of cold and hot are quite high. But still, on a sunny day, the heat can’t penetrate the marble surface completely. The shrinking occurs only when the heat penetrates all the layers of marble slabs. But as marble is dense, this situation can’t happen normally. Thus the risk of shrinking is zero.
Therefore, if the marble is not completely heated, the chance of shrinking is zero. If the weather condition is extreme, be it hot or cold, try avoiding marble flooring for outdoor conditions especially on the roofs.
Does Marble Flooring Outdoor Remain Cold?
Marble has excellent heat conductivity. So it doesn’t get heated easily. This is the reason many may say that marble remains cool even on a sunny day. But the reality is different.
Marble doesn’t get heated easily; this is true. But the reason why it feels cold is different. Marble generally has the temperature of the air that you feel against your skin. Now when the air is hot, your body gets warm. When you touch the marble floor on a hot day, the floor feels cold as your body is warm. So it is not the marble for which it feels cold but your body that gets warm.
However, yes, marble is quite a comforting flooring material on sunny days. If you want a cool roof, backyard, or balcony flooring, you can choose it. No matter what the reason is, your body will feel cool on marble flooring outdoors.
How Long Does Marble Flooring Outdoor Lasts?
If cleaned, sealed, and polished from time to time, marble flooring can last for three decades. You may see the ancient monuments and buildings like the Taj Mahal made of marble that is standing with the same grace and shine.
Marble flooring in outdoor areas can sustain for decades. But it requires care and maintenance. As outdoor flooring is exposed to moisture, pollution, and sunlight, it needs immense care. If not cleaned and maintained properly, marble will eventually lose its glow and glamor.
Hence you can make marble in outdoor spaces last for several decades if you can take good care and maintain it properly.
Marble flooring outdoors is a suitable option only if you can maintain it. Now that you have learned all the benefits and disadvantages of using marble in outdoor spaces, you can think and decide if it is convenient or not.
If yes, which marble and texture are you choosing?
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