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How to Clean Marble Tile Floors

Marble Tile Glossary

Whether you love it on the floor, on the wall, or in your shower, marble tile brings a sense of elegance and timelessness to any space. The variety of colors, sizes, and patterns makes marble a go-to material for all areas of your home. Check out the below glossary of terms to learn more about this beautiful natural stone.

Accent tile: A secondary tile used to decorate and bring out the qualities of the field tile. An inlay, for instance, might show off marble tile mosaics in a checkered or repeating pattern.

Artificial marble: Also known as cultured or reconstituted marble, this engineered product is made from a combination of stone particles and synthetic resins, which are cast and designed to look like authentic marble.

Bullnose: A piece of marble that has a convex or rounded edge. This edge type is used for stair treads, countertop edges, and trim.

Carrara: One of the most popular types of marble for sculpture and building décor. Carrara marble is usually white, gray, or blue-gray, and features linear vein patterns.

Caulk: Generally silicone based, this material is used to seal joints between tiles and other surfaces.

Coefficient of friction: A calculation used to measure tile’s smoothness or slip-resistance. Textured marble is more slip-resistant than high-gloss tile.

Cure time: The time required for an adhesive to dry and set completely. For example, when installing marble tile you must wait for the grout to cure before you can seal it.

Field tile: The tile material chosen to cover most of a space, such as a floor. Accent tiles can be used for borders, mosaics, and other creative designs.

Grout: A thin mortar that’s used to fill the joints between marble tiles. For joints 1/8” or smaller, use unsanded grout; sanded grout is commonly used for joints 1/8” or larger. Sanded grout can scratch polished marble, so install this type of tile with unsanded grout and joint widths smaller than 1/8”.

Honed: A marble surface finish that produces a satin or matte (and not glossy) look and feel.

Large-format tile: A tile is deemed large format when at least one of its edges is longer that 15”. Large-format marble tile options include 12”x24”, 18”x18”, and 24”x24”.

Listello: Border tiles used to enhance a wall or other field.

Marble: A metamorphic rock formed when limestone is exposed to intense heat and pressure. Other minerals present in the limestone, like clay, sand, or silt, give marble its characteristic vein patterns. It takes polish well.

Molding (trim): Decorative edging applied to a marble tile field. Sometimes molding hides spaces between tiles and other flooring materials or between floors and walls.

Mosaic: A decorative design element/pattern created with small tiles in a specific area of a floor or wall.

Polished: A smooth surface finish that gives marble tile high reflectivity and a glossy sheen.

Porosity: The number of tiny holes on a surface that allow liquids to absorb into the material. All natural stone is porous to some extent; polished marble is less porous than other finishes, making it less vulnerable to absorbing liquids.

Sealer: A protective, topical coating applied to natural stone tiles to prevent liquids or other materials from absorbing into the surface. This will protect the stone from staining.

Spacer (shim): A cross-shaped piece of plastic or rubber used during installation to create the grouted space between marble tiles.

Thinset mortar: A blend of cement, fine sand, and water retention compounds used to adhere tiles to a substrate.

Variation: The changes in color and tone that occur on a piece (or multiple pieces) of marble tile.

Veining: The lines of color that run through the marble’s dominant color.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is marble?

Marble is a metamorphic rock formed when a carbonate rock (either limestone or dolostone) is exposed to high temperatures and intense pressure. The heat and pressure cause the recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains, which forms a denser rock. The characteristic swirls and veins found in marble are usually due to the various mineral impurities (clay, sand, silt, iron oxides or chert), which were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone.

What areas are most appropriate for marble tile?

Marble is an extremely versatile natural stone that has been used as a building material for centuries. Ideal for foyers, hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms, its uniquely varied patterns and colours give it a timeless appeal. Due to its vulnerability to acidic substances, it is not recommended for kitchen countertops.

How is marble formed?

Marble is a metamorphic rock that’s formed when limestone comes in contact with high pressure and intense heat. Under these conditions, the calcite in the limestone recrystallizes into a denser rock. Other minerals present in the limestone impact the color and appearance of the marble. Mineral impurities such as clay, sand, or silt create the veins and swirls characteristic of marble.

Where can marble tile be installed?

Marble is a stunning choice that can add character to any part of your home. As a sleek flooring option, it fits beautifully in a foyer, kitchen, bathroom, or hallway. You can use marble for a backsplash or countertop, but you must be mindful of the potential for staining, particularly if it comes into contact with acidic substances. Marble is also suitable for many commercial spaces and can even be installed outdoors in milder climates.

What marble tile sizes are available?

Marble tiles come in a wide selection of sizes, from large format squares to intricately designed mosaics. For floor tile, you’ll often find these four standard sizes: 12 x 12 x 3/8 thick, 18 x 18 x 1/2 thick, 12 x 24 x 1/2 thick, 24 x 24 x 5/8 thick

How durable are marble tiles?

With the proper care, marble is a very durable choice that will look great for years. You should seal the surface with an impregnator to fill pores in the marble. This will protect the stone from stains and moisture absorption. Depending on the level of traffic in your home, you may need to reseal the surface every 6 to 12 months. Acidic substances such as fruit juice, soda, or vinegar, will discolor the marble, so you must wipe up any spills immediately to preserve its appearance. Marble is also susceptible to metal abrasion.

Are cracks on the surface normal?

Minute, crack-like patterns are a normal feature of marble. Sealing your marble tile will help ensure it stands up to foot traffic and moisture. Otherwise, what is referred to as veining is due to the different minerals that have become trapped in the body of the stone over millions of years; this accounts for the swirling color patterns that give marble its character.

Is sealing marble necessary?

Sealing is definitely recommended because marble is a porous material, which means any liquids that come into contact with the surface tend to leech into the body of the stone.This can cause discoloration and staining. Sealing marble can help make sure that materials remain on the surface of the marble until they’re cleaned off. This is the best way to retain marble’s original appearance for as long as possible. Talk to an expert about which sealer to use and how often you should reseal your marble. As always, read the labels of the products you plan to use, take necessary safety precautions, and follow instructions carefully.

What are the most important considerations with marble tile?

Marble tiles must be properly gauged with perfectly square corners and calibrated to have a flat back. It’s important to understand that these tiles have natural shade variations throughout. This will give your project a distinctive look that no one else can replicate. Have your installer lay the tiles out before installing them so you can adjust their placement as needed to get the pattern and appearance you’re looking for.

How do you clean marble tile?

Regularly remove dirt, grit, and other materials tracked in from outside. These materials can cause tiny scratches on the surface of marble, which can become more noticeable with time. Clean the surface with a damp cloth, soft broom, or vacuum quite often. Spills should be cleaned immediately, especially if they’re acidic in nature. Fruit juice, coffee, and red wine are particularly problematic because of their tendency to stain. Even if your marble is sealed, it’s best not to take any chances. Also, don’t clean with bleach, vinegar, or any harsh acidic cleaners as these will degrade the marble’s surface over time.

How do you remove stains from marble?

Stains can be removed from marble by using a procedure called poulticing. This procedure draws the stain up from marble and into another material – a mixture of a reducing agent soaked into a cloth or paper towel is the most basic type of poultice. Since the best stain removal methods should always be measured against the type of stain you have, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from an expert if you’re unsure what procedure to use based on the type of material that has stained your marble.

Can I purchase just one box of tile before I place my full order?

We’re unable to sell individual boxes of tile due to shipping costs. The cost to safely ship one box of tile can be more than five times the amount of the actual tile. To see our tiles in person before you buy, check out our free sample program. We’ll send you up to five free samples right to your doorstep. No credit card required. Also, we offer a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, which means if you aren’t completely satisfied with your tile prior to installation, you can return it for a full refund within 30 days of delivery.

What about samples? Will they match my order?

Samples are a great way of finding out if the marble you’re interested in is what you’re really looking for. Since there will always be variation in terms of both color and surface pattern with this natural stone, a sample should be viewed in the broadest terms only. This means that the colors you see in your sample are a very general guide as to how the marble in your order will look. Aside from this, a sample offers ideas about textures, weight, and durability before you buy. In this, ordering samples is always a great idea. If samples are available for the product you are interested in, you can request a sample directly from our website. We will send you up to five samples for free with no credit card required.

How to Install Marble Tile

While installing marble tile isn’t the single most difficult task in the realm of Do-It-Yourself home repair, it can still be a tricky process that requires precise planning and intricate implementation. This type of installation can be quite an undertaking, with large rooms requiring two or more days to complete with another three or four days for drying. However, by breaking down the task into some easy-to-follow steps, you can install marble tiles and add a stunning enhancement to almost any room. Learn more here!

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Types of Marble Tile: How are They Different?

Marble tile comes in a wide range of colors, making it an ideal choice for accentuating any type of decor. In addition to the multitude of hues available, the differences in vein patterns and grain distinguish various types of marble from one another. To the untrained eye, it might be difficult to differentiate the types of marble. With so many options to choose from, it’s helpful to do some research so you make the best decision for your renovation project. Learn more here!

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Marble Tile from BuildDirect

The marble tile we offer is renowned for it ornate, refined beauty. For centuries, marble tiles have been a symbol of affluence, exuding sophistication and an air of artistry that make marble tile a classic choice. A common feature in the Greek and Roman spas of the ancient world, to Renaissance courtyards in Europe, all the way to Trump Tower in New York City today, marble has been a heavily relied upon natural stone. We are committed to continuing that tradition, while going beyond your expectations too.

Benefits of our Marble Tile

Our marble tile flooring is quarried and cut in Italy, Spain and Turkey and is available in a variety of different colors to suit your artistic and practical tastes. Veined with rivulets of subtle color on varied background of earthy tones, marble tiles from Troya, Cabot, Kesir, Prevalle, and Carrara Stone can offer a subtle or a bold feature in the modern designer's vision, offering colors such as beige, brown, white and even red.

Marble Tile is popularly used in:

  • modern kitchens
  • hallways
  • bathrooms
  • foyers

Why Buy Marble Tile From BuildDirect?

We've got an eye for the best in marble tile for residences and commercial spaces, just like you do. And we've got the know-how to get it to you at the best price, without sacrificing on quality. We offer you marble tile that demonstrates the same visual effects that captured the imagination of the architects of anccient Greece and Rome. And from us, you get those same effects for less.

While we sell discount marble tile, we will never sell cheap marble tiles. All of our products undergo rigorous product quality testing before we offer them to you and they are constantly rechecked for quality to ensure you always get the best products while still paying below wholesale prices.

Explore our great selection of marble tiles and marble slabs, and feel free to ask one of our friendly BuildDirect product specialists if you have any questions. Call us toll-free at 1-877-631-2845

Read a Marble Tile Article:

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