What is Marble?
To understand the properties of your marble flooring, you must first understand what marble is and how it came to be on your floor.
For example, did you know that marble, in fact, started out as the natural stone, limestone?
When limestone is exposed to heat and pressure it goes through a process called metamorphism, which is when the limestone crystallises and then turns into what we know as marble. The size of the crystals in marble will depend largely on how long the stone has spent crystallising, the larger the interlocking crystals, the longer time spent metamorphosing.
If the limestone itself was largely pure, then the marble will be white in colour and slightly translucent. Any impurities in the limestone will turn shades of blue, grey, black and even yellow and pink.
Once mined, the marble is processed and will either be crushed or cut. Just like limestone, marble has a very high calcium content so crushed marble is used to neutralise acidic areas such as soils, lakes and streams.
Crushed marble is also used as an aggregate on road surfaces. Cut or dimensioned marble is used in sculptures, building work, worktops and flooring.
Famous Marble Architecture
Due to its soft composition, marble is easy to carve and has beautifully translucent properties, marble has long been the favoured material to create beautiful sculptures and has been used for centuries for architectural work.
Here are just a few of the famous pieces that you may or may not know have been made almost entirely from marble:
- The Taj Mahal is clad in beautiful marble
- Odeon of Herodes Atticus Theatre was built from marble way back at the time of the Ancient Greeks
- The Washington Monument was built from marble mined from Texas
- The Supreme Court Building is constructed from marble from Vermont, Georgia and Alabama
- The statue of David, one of the world most famous sculptures is made from marble
- The Tower of Pisa
- The Lincoln memorials columns and exterior are made from marble
- The Pantheon was constructed in 125AD from Marble
After it has been sanded, marble can be easily polished to a high shine, which is why it has also become a popular material for floors.
Types of Marble Floor Tile
Polished Marble Tiles
Marble is revered the world over for its ability to take on a high-shine polish. This natural ability means that marble floors can be buffed until perfectly smooth, glistening and radiant. In lighter-coloured marble variations, marble tiles that have been polished will glow as the light is able to penetrate into the marble surface, reflecting it outwards and illuminating the whole floor.
However, polished marble flooring can become very slippery, particularly when wet. Due to their heavy amounts of finish, they show physical damage more readily than other types of finish. Polished marble floor tiles are also easily scratched and show blemishes.
Honed Marble Tiles
Honed marble floor tiles have been ground down until flat and smooth, but not to the point where they start to become polished. Honed marble floor tiles allow you to experience the beauty of natural marble without having to worry about the floor being potentially slippery. That being said, honed marble doesn’t have the same vibrancy, colour and opulence of highly polished marble.
Tumbled Marble Tiles
Tumbled marble floor tiles are perhaps the most ‘natural’ in appearance. When the stone is ‘tumbled’ it is just that, the stone is placed in what is basically a large rock tumbler. After being tumbled, the marble tiles have softer, rounded edges and a surface that has been ‘stipped’, taken back to its most rustic, natural look.
The Benefits of a Marble Flooring
The timeless style of marble
Marble is prized the whole world over for its beautiful style, elegance and opulence. Marble has been treasured for centuries by royalty and celebrity alike. One of the greatest benefits of choosing marble is its timeless style.
Marble will never go out of fashion, it’s above fashion. A marble floor, or any surface, elevates any space, both domestic and commercial. Simultaneously, marble is available in numerous colours and styles based on its composition, all of which can complement any interior design scheme. Marble can be easily cut into any shape, triangles, rectangles or octagons to craft any number of unique mosaic patterns.
The natural uniqueness of marble
As it’s naturally formed over millions of years, every piece of marble is delightfully unique and one of a kind. Your marble floor is unique to you – nobody else has another marble floor like it. The natural uniqueness is more evident when you have heavily veined, multi-coloured marble as you can clearly see its distinctive features. If you choose a more solid marble colour it’s trickier to spot the more subtle differences between each tile. That said, you can still see that as a naturally formed product your marble is bespoke to you.
A striking shine and polish
Unlike a lot of available natural stones, marble has the ability to take a very high shine polish. Marble can be finished to a silky smooth, shimmering shine when given the proper care and attention. A marble floor that has been given a high-shine finish gives a look of class, sophistication and glamour to any space. If you are looking for the most striking marble floor possible then we would certainly recommend a high-shine finish.
Natural heat radiating properties of marble
Marble is a fantastic natural conductor of heat, making it a sensible choice that is compatible with a number of underfloor heating and cooling systems.
Your Marble Floor
Marble floor tiles and staircases are often associated with grandeur as a result of the many examples of marble used in famous architecture. A marble floor will instantly elevate any room often giving it an almost regal feel. Marble is also available in a variety of different colours, meaning it fits in with every colour scheme you may be considering.
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Its translucent properties that have been so popular with sculptures for centuries are also what makes marble floor tiles to attractive. Your marble floor will allow light to penetrate it slightly when the sun hits it, which will allow it to almost glow in the natural light.
Marble is a very effective conductor of heat, this means that it is a perfect choice for any homes investing in underfloor heating. Due to the fact that marble is a natural stone, no two tiles will be the same. Sometimes the differences are subtle, however, in the case of a multi-coloured marble floor tile, the differences can be quite bold.
It is always advisable when having a natural stone floor fitted that you order additional spare tiles from the same batch. This way if one of your marble floor tiles become damaged they can be replaced from the same stone formation as the original tile, making any potential differences less noticeable.
Marble is a soft stone, which is why it is so easy to create sculptures from. However, in terms of your marble floor, this also means it can be easily scratched or chipped when it is not cared for properly. Thankfully, our KleanSTONE marble floor cleaning machines provide a gentle yet powerful clean, which means your delicate marble floor remains clean, without the risk of being damaged, and will last a lifetime.
As we previously discovered, due to its high calcium content marble is used as an acid neutraliser as it will chemically react with acid. This is fantastic for some applications, like when used to neutralise the soil, however, this is something to be wary of for your marble floor.
Acidic cleaners and food and drink spills containing acid (such as soft drinks, fruit juices, wine, vinegar and mustard) will react with your marble floor.
Cleaning and sealing your marble floor regularly will help to protect against this, however, it is always advised to clean a marble floor with an alkaline or pH neutral stone floor cleaner. Here at KleanSTONE both of our stone floor cleaners DETEGON R3 and DEEPCLEAN are safe to use on marble floors.
Another reason to ensure you seal your marble floor regularly is due to its porosity.
Another post on our blog talks in-depth about the porosity of natural stone so you can brush up on your knowledge.
FAQ’s on Marble Flooring:
Q – Are marble floors dangerous?
A – Polished marble flooring can become slippery, especially when it gets wet.
Q – Do marble floors scratch easily?
A – Marble can be easily scratched or chipped when it is not cared for properly or if it has not been sealed properly.
Q – Is marble floor hard to maintain?
A – Not with a KleanSTONE marble floor cleaning machine! By gently cleaning your floor often and keeping on top of dust and debris, you can ensure you marble floor stays clear of scratches & stains and last a lifetime.
Q – Is Marble Porous?
A – Marble is incredibly naturally porous which means that those acidic substances etch the surface of the marble floor which eats into it and removes the natural polish, not to mention they penetrate the surface which also causes staining.
Q – Should you seal Marble flooring?
A – Sealing your marble floor with an impregnating stone sealer will ensure to protect your floor from liquids by blocking contaminants from coming into contact with the stone itself.
Remember, if you have a marble floor that hasn’t been sealed before, it will soak up huge amounts of stone sealant and so multiple applications may be needed to ensure the best protection.
Q – How often Should I seal my Marble floor?
A – Sealing your marble floor regularly, every 1-2 years, will ensure your marble floor is totally protected and will last a lifetime!
Care For Your MarbleFloor With KleanSTONE…
A gleaming marble floor inspires confidence and style in any setting, whether domestic or commercial. Here at KleanSTONE, we supply advanced floor cleaning solutions to help you achieve a spotlessly clean, perfectly finished floor without the elbow grease. Our stone floor cleaners tackle spills, stains and everyday grime with ease for a healthier, happier home or work environment.
Our products extend the lifespan of your flooring with powerful, effective cleaning that is gentle enough to use every day and perfect for floors in your home or business, inside and out.
Aside from offering a range of products for stone floor cleaning, we love to share our knowledge and experience from our years helping customers succeed at extending the lifespan of your floors. Read more on the KleanSTONE Blog, explore our Help & Guides or download our range of Cleaning Guides and learn more about how to care for your natural and engineered stone floors so that they last a lifetime!
Further Reading on the KleanSTONE Blog:
- A KleanSTONE Guide To Stone Flooring
- Which Floor Sealer Is Right For Me?
- Should I Seal My Outside Patio?
- Floor Sealing: The Most Important Thing You Are Not Doing
- Cleaning Quarry Tile Floors
- How To Seal Your Stone Floors
- Is My Mop And Bucket Damaging My Stone Floor?
- How Do I Clean My Natural Stone Floor?
- KleanSTONE, The Pet Safe Floor Cleaner
- What is Travertine?
- Everything You Need To Know About Your Slate Floor…