Marble is a natural stone used in a variety of applications around the home. From tiling to walls, to countertops and splashbacks, marble is a premium material that gives your residence a unique and classy look. This natural stone forms when other sedimentary materials, such as limestone, experience heat and pressure. The result of this process is a harder stone, with beautiful veined patterns and colours.
Marble suits any room in the home. However, this natural stone is soft, and it tends to chip and crack if you drop heavy objects on the surface of the tiles. Replacing marble tiles is costly, and you may have to lift the entire floor to repair the damage. If you drop a cast-iron pan on the tiles, you may chip multiple tiles, resulting in a costly replacement expense.
It’s for this reason that we don’t recommend marble tiles for kitchen floors, and prefer porcelain ceramics for this area of the house. However, marble tiles make fantastic splashbacks for the kitchen, and they’re great for walls tiles as well.
As mentioned, marble is a soft natural stone that’s prone to chipping, cracking and breaks. The best way to prevent damage to your marble floor is to ensure you use a professional installation service for fitment. Any gaps that remain between the subfloor and tiles creates weak points that are prone to cracking and breaks. However, if installed professionally, marble tile flooring is reasonably durable and robust, and it suits low-traffic areas in the home such as the lounge, dining room and libraries or conservatories.
Polished marble tiles have a dangerously slippery surface when wet. However, marble flooring in the bathroom looks exquisite, providing a luxurious feel to the bathroom. We don’t recommend marble floors for seniors or parents with young children, as the surface increases the risk of a slip-and-fall.
The hard surface of the floor tiles may also cause injury during the event of a slip-and-fall, which may lead to broken bones or damaged joints. However, if you own a contemporary home, and you have no children or seniors living on the premises, marble is an excellent option. We recommend that you use non-slip mats around the shower, bath and sinks to prevent slips.
When installed professionally and maintained, your new marble flooring will last a lifetime. However, this natural stone is somewhat soft, meaning that it may scratch easily. If you drag furniture on a marble floor, and debris like sand becomes trapped under the feet of the couch while moving, it may result in scratches.
You may be able to fill and polish out the scratches, but in some cases, the damage is permanent and requires a costly replacement. Marble needs refinishing annually by a trained professional to maintain its shine and lustre.
Marble is one of the most expensive materials available. While the price of a set of marble tiles may seem affordable when you consider the trade-off between aesthetics and the cost, you need to take into account the fitment fees as well.
Installation and fitment of marble tiles can add up to more than the tiles themselves, and you’ll also need to take into account the maintenance fees for refinishing the floors each year. Marble deposits around the world are at all-time lows, and we expect the price of this premium material to soar in the coming years as supplies dwindle.
Marble tiling is some of the most expensive architectural material available for your home. If you’re thinking about installing marble, you can expect to pay between £53.21/m2 and £65.36/m2, depending on the grade.
Fitment may end up costing you more than the tiles, depending on the surface area you need to cover. Marble is dense and delicate, and the last thing you want is for the tiles to chip or break when fitting them yourself. Using a professional, guaranteed, fitment service ensures that your new marble flooring will last for a lifetime.
Marble is a scarce material, and deposits around the globe are running low on available stock for purchase by tiling manufacturers. The cost of excavating it from the quarry, cutting, and polishing adds to the production costs, which manufacturers pass on to the public. Some types of marble are more expensive than others, with Calacatta or Statuario marble tiles being far more costly than Carrara.
Marble is a scarcer material than granite and has a higher demand for luxury décor. Granite is a durable and attractive material, with similar properties to marble, but it has a much harder surface that is challenging to scratch, even with knives.
Marble can retail for around 40-per cent more than granite, but granite slabs with distinctive and unique colouring may fetch a higher price than Carrara marble.
Most marble floor tiles measure 1-cm in thickness, and they come in sizes of 600mm x 600mm, or 593mm x 593mm.
Quartz is another natural stone that looks fantastic around the home. Manufacturers crush quartz stone and combine it with a polymer resin to form the tiles. This manufacturing technique is different when compared to marble cut from a slab.
Quartz is an affordable material when compared to other similar natural stones, such as marble and granite. However, it lacks the veining that makes every marble tile unique. If you’re looking to tile an upmarket, contemporary home, we suggest that you go with marble for the low-traffic areas, and use quartz for the high-traffic areas. The quartz will stand up to the abuse of wear and tear far better than marble.
When cleaning your marble tiles, avoid the use of vinegar, bleach, and ammonia on the tiles. These cleaners can etch the surface of the tiles, leaving the marble looking lifeless and dull. Strangely enough, most commercially available household cleaners are not suitable for cleaning marble tiles either.
Make sure that you don’t use any abrasive pads or cleaners on your tiles, as the rough bristles may scratch the surface. We recommend you look for professional marble cleaning products available on the Atlas Ceramics website.
Treated and polished marble tiles are somewhat water-resistant, but you should clean up any spills as soon as possible to avoid permeation of liquids into the stone.
Leaving water or other liquids on marble tiles overnight may result in staining and discolouration.
In our experience, we find that using hot distilled water provides the best shine for your tiles. Adding some specialist cleaner to the water helps to remove dirt and grime, bringing your tiles back to their original glory. Use a soft mop to clean the floor, and then buff it with a micro-fibre broom after cleaning to bring out the shine.
We recommend you use sealed marble tiles on areas in the bathroom and kitchen where moisture is a concern. While sealing your marble will not waterproof it 100-per cent, it provides you with a safeguard while you clean the affected area.