Marble is one of the most durable, elegant, and beautiful flooring materials used for centuries. Marble flooring is a superior quality flooring that can match any architecture concept and never get outdated. Apart from presenting luxurious interiors, the marble flooring can enhance the value of the building.
Despite being one of the best flooring options, marble stone got their disadvantages also. This article provides a fair knowledge about the advantages and disadvantages of marble stone flooring.
Composition of marble
A sedimentary stone like limestone subjected to enormous heat and pressure for millions of years is transformed into a much harder stone with elegant color, swirls, and veined patterns. This process of transformation is known as metamorphosis and the natural stone developed through this process is known as marble stone. The marble is quarried and cut into slabs and tiles and used for applications like flooring, countertops, wall cladding, floor and wall tiles, antique pillars, etc.
The veins and swirls present in many marble pieces occur when various mineral impurities like clay, silt, sand, iron oxides, etc mixed with the original limestone. On polishing, the marble looks elegant, smooth, reflects light, and feels the interior more spacious.
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Marble flooring stones – Types
Marble is a semi- transparent and soft natural stone. They have a tendency to penetrate and reflects lights, They are porous stone with a high water absorption rate, Marble flooring tiles come in varying colors and surface patterns. Here we are listing some of the popular types of marble stone available.
- Makarana Marble
- Italian Marble
- Rajnagar White Marble
- Ambaji Green Marble
- Kesarayaji Green Marble
- Udaipur Pink Marble
- Udaipur Green Marble
- Jaisalmer Yellow Marble
- Abu black Marble
- Aandhi Marble
Marble flooring – Finishing
Marble floors/sculptures are finished in different patterns depending on the architecture concept and usage.
- Polished marble
- Honed finished marble
Polished marble is the most popular finishing option of marble flooring. The marble surface is ground with a stone polishing machine using a variety of stones. Polishing gives a smooth and high gloss look to the marble floor. Polishing exposes the veins and swirls in the marble and provides a classy, superior, and elegant look. Polished marble is less porous and very easy to maintain when compared to other finishes and able to retain the sheen and charm for many years.
Polished marble is very slippery and not preferred in areas where there are chances of any water presence.
b) Honed finish
Honey-finished marble is the lightly polished form of marble finishing done just enough to produce a minor glossiness. These are less slippery but they may not be scratch resistant. Maintenance is also a little bit difficult when compared to polished marble.
Advantages of marble flooring
Marble flooring is one of the most popular options and is available in a wide range of colors, textures, and patterns. They are durable, elegant, and gives a superior feel to the interiors. Despite all these enormous advantages marble got a bit of a disadvantage also. These parameters have to be taken into account while considering the option of flooring with marble stones.
Marble is a natural material and got a reputation for durability over hundreds of years now. Marble is extremely durable,scratch-free, and long-lasting and can withstand any traffic and external pressures, and weight changes. Apart from residential uses, they are suitable for high traffic areas like commercial buildings, hotels, institutions, etc.
b) Versatile Designs and natural elegance
Marble is available in different colors, veins, swirls, patterns, and shades and can match any color scheme of the space and the customer’s needs. No other natural stone is elegant as marble that gives a simple and natural look to any space. The patterns, color, and design vary slightly in each slab/tile resulting in a custom look for each tile/slab.
c) Translucent properties
Marble is a translucent, semi-transparent material that allows some light to pass through it. The shiny translucent marble surface reflects light and thereby enhances the amount of natural light present in the rooms. This makes the rooms brighter, open, and more spacious. Because of the translucent properties, white and light-colored marble is best for flooring works. White cement grouts are more suitable for marble laying instead of grey cement.
d) Ease of cleaning
The marble floor is seamless and smooth and hence can be cleaned easily using mild detergents and water. The maintenance cost of a marble floor is low when compared with tile or any other type of flooring.
e) Ease of cutting and moulding
Marble stones are soft and the exact size as can be cut, moulded and shaped very easily.
f) Eco-friendly material
Marble is an eco-friendly and natural material. No chemical process is involved in the manufacturing of marble. Marble is a completely degradable material.
g) Cool feeling on foot
Marble stone provides a cool feeling in hot climates.
h) Architect favourite
Marble flooring gives an excellent look when mirror polished and provides a significant aesthetic for interiors. Marble flooring can match any color scheme of the space. The light-reflective properties enhance the class of this product and hence preferred by architects and interior designers.
i) Heat conduction
Marble is a good conductor of heat and is an integral part of radiant, in-floor heating system . This can make us feel warm even in the coldest temperatures.
j) Antibacterial and anti allergic properties
Marble eliminates microscopic particles and germs if it is cleaned properly.
Disadvantages of marble flooring
Despite its beauty, elegance, durability, and classic looks marble has some disadvantages. Let us go through the disadvantages of marble flooring.
a) Softer stone
Marble is a softer stone and is susceptible to scratching, chipping, breaking, etc when compared to any other material like granite, tile, etc. The surface is smooth and light in color and tends to show scratches and defects. Any damage may lead to the replacement of the total area with another piece.
b) Vulnerable to acidic substances
Marble is vulnerable to acidic substances like cleaners, lime, wine coffee, sauces, etc. These can permanently stain and decolor the marble surface.
Hence marble flooring is not preferred for kitchen counters.
c) Slippery surface
Marble gets its looks from polishing. But polishing can make it slippery when it is wet. Hence marble flooring is avoided for wet areas like bathrooms, kitchen, etc.
For overcoming this situation semi-polished or horned marble finishing is to be done. But the horned finish is not as attractive as the mirror finish.
d) Water absorption
Because marble is porous, it’s susceptible to water seeping in and causing damage,stains or discoloration. A penetrating sealer helps keep water from soaking into the flooring.
e) High cost
Marble is one of the high-end stone flooring options. But the durability and life will not be in line with the total cost price of the marble. They may not necessarily last longer than any other flooring options like granite and vitrified tiles. Marble stone is soft and may chip or damage in long run.
Marble stone is very heavy and increases and thereby increases the dead load on a structure. Lifting of marble is difficult when compared to any other flooring material. The building structure has to be strong enough to support the weight of heavy floors.
g) Skilled installation manpower
Marble flooring needs highly skilled and expert manpower for fixing systematically by matching the swirls and grains. Marble stone is a soft material and is prone to cracks. Any mistake in installation may ruin the pattern and also causes huge wastage and financial losses.
Acid free mild detergents are to be used for cleaning marble floors. Marble flooring requires annual sealing to restrict the penetration of water and liquids.
Marbles are low heat resistance stone so its floor getting very cold in winter season. So it not suitable for cold regions.
i) Wastage and no availability of matching stone
Marble is a soft stone and tends to crack during loading,transportation and installation and creates a lot of wastage at site.
It is very difficult to change/replace marble flooring once installed. The stone of same colour and design is hard to find after few years. You have to maintain some minimal stock while buying the marble tiles.
Conclusion : Marble is one of the most versatile and luxurious flooring materials that can match any color schemes and themes. The selection of marble as a flooring material depends on the economy, aesthetic requirement, function, and purpose of space.