Pros and Cons of Marble Flooring

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pros and cons of marble flooring

Marble is a natural stone that has visually-striking and veined color patterns which provides a great flooring option for artistic homeowners. Marble has been used in the building and construction sector for centuries. Being a high-end, luxurious natural stone, installing marble floors inside your home will definitely cost considerably more than- say- a granite or ceramic tile floor.

Marble flooring provides a visually appealing-elegant floor, with a diversity of choice to work with. Marble is easily polishable and adds value to your house. It can accommodate a heating system well. However, it has its drawbacks like expensive, scratches easily, slippery, porous, and may require sealing.

Pros and Cons of Marble Flooring, advantages and disadvantages

However- if you’ve got no budget concerns and are considering installing marble flooring inside your property- here are some marble floor pros and cons to give you further insight before you make your final decision.

Advantages of marble flooring

Here are the pros of having marble flooring in your home.

1. Visually Appealing

Given its visually-intriguing, wavy patterns that whirl their way beautifully across each tile, marble floors exude a certain level of elegance that’s hard to achieve with most other types of flooring material.

What’s more, unlike most other types of natural stone, marble can easily be polished to a high-gloss finish, resulting in a sophisticated visual effect that instantly enhances the feel of any room that it’s installed in.

2. Diversity of Choice

Marble comes in different shades- and it all comes down to personal preferences. If anything, you’ll notice color shifts in almost every marble tile- albeit subtle in some.

If you prefer a floor design where the uniqueness is more pronounced, then multi-colored marble is for you. In addition, marble tile manufacturers typically cut the tile pieces in varying shapes and designs, allowing for more creativity in floor design.

3. Great for Radiant Floor Heating

Marble can easily be adapted to a range of underground radiant heating systems, being as it’s a good heat conductor. Installing a radiant heating system beneath your marble floor is a great way to prevent coldness underfoot and add warmth and coziness to your home’s interior- especially during the colder seasons.

4. Simple, Straight-forward routine Maintenance

Apart from the fact that you’ll have to reseal your new marble floor at least once every year, routine maintenance for marble flooring is pretty simple. All you have to do to keep it clean is to sweep and wipe the surface with a wet mop every few days.

5. Simple, Straight-forward Installation Process

The procedure for properly installing marble floor tiles isn’t that much different from that used to install ceramic tiling- or for that matter- any other type of natural stone flooring. First, the contractor will cover the subfloor with a backer board and then use a thin-set adhesive to attach the tiles to the floor.

They’ll then finish off the job by filling in the spaces between the marble tiles with cement grout. The only difference with other types of natural stone floor installation is that you’ll have to seal the marble tiles as well, not just the grout lines; given that marble is highly permeable.

6. Property-Value Booster

Should you choose to cash in on your property in the future, having marble floors installed in your home will definitely boost its market resale value. Virtually every real estate market investor in the country knows the kind of aesthetic value that marble flooring holds- being as it’s a luxurious, premium-quality natural stone.

Disadvantages of marble floors?

Despite its magnificence, marble as a flooring option has a few downsides to it. Here below are some cons of marble flooring.

1. Poor Durability

Unfortunately, your beautiful marble flooring will not last as long as you may have hoped for, due to various reasons. First, given its porosity, marble gets permanently stained when an acidic substance spills on it. What’s more, marble is surprisingly brittle for natural stone and will break if a very heavy object is dropped on it.

Finally, the fact that marble can take a high-shine polish makes scrapes, chips, and scratches more vivid on such surfaces. The solution, usually, is to replace the entire damaged/discolored marble floor tiles.

2. Difficult to Install for DIYers

While the installation process for marble flooring may be straightforward, this doesn’t mean that it’ll still be a piece of cake even as a DIY project. First off- marble is a relatively heavy type of natural stone.

Cutting through marble tiles also requires expertise, as well as specific equipment; which is why marble floor installation is a job best left to the experts. As a DIY project- it’ll take lots of physical effort for you to get the job done correctly and within your projected timelines for completion.

3. Marble Flooring is Costly

As earlier mentioned, marble flooring is considered luxurious and upscale. Very rare varieties of marble tiling may- for example- cost you as much as 40-dollars per square feet.

On average, however, the cost per square foot is usually about 15-dollars. Meanwhile- installation costs are quite similar to the costs of installing other types of natural stone flooring.

Is Marble bad for bathrooms?

Yes- marble surfaces tend to be rather slippery- especially when wet or highly polished. As such, you should avoid installing marble floor tiles inside your bathroom, as it could pose a serious injury risk.

How often should marble floors be sealed?

Marble floors should be sealed immediately after installation- and once a year thereafter. This will help to protect your floor against permanent discoloration from stains. Unlike most other surfaces where stains can be drawn out or lightened using cleaning agents, acidic stains on marble floors are usually permanent.

Marble originates from sedimentary limestone, hence has an alkaline Ph. It is also highly porous and will soak up standing water and liquids that spill on it. As such, whenever acidic foods and beverages spill on marble surfaces, permanent acidic staining occurs. To prevent this, ensure to seal your entire marble floor surface, not just the grout lines, with a penetrating sealer and a surface sealer. The surface sealer should then be re-applied annually to ensure continued protection.

Is marble slippery when wet?

Yes- more so if the surface is highly polished. This can result in serious injuries if not prevented. Ensure to place non-slip mats in areas where water often comes into contact with the marble floor surface- such as in kitchens and bathrooms. Alternatively, you can opt for a subtle polish, rather than a high-gloss finish.

Source and References

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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