Marble is most easily identified by the delicate veins visible on the surface. It’s available in many hues and surface finishes. While this sophisticated choice will easily give your home a luxurious look, it comes with many important care considerations. Get to know the ins and outs of marble tile with this FAQ before making your final selection.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Can marble tile be repaired if it’s damaged?
In many cases marble can be repaired. Most often, an epoxy glue or filler can be used. Consult an expert’s advice for product recommendations that will suit your marble.
What other questions do you have about marble tile? Let us know in the comments?
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