Marble flooring has long been the material of choice in custom homes and buildings because of its natural elegance and luxurious aesthetic. If you tour the old homes and monuments of Europe, you’ll see marble everywhere. But even in the 21st-century, where there are more flooring options than ever before, marble continues its reign as king of high-end flooring.
Although most people are familiar with marble as a material, many don’t know a lot about it — what it is or how it can be used to create unique, beautiful custom floors.
If you’re looking for a custom design to highlight your home’s elegance or enhance the beautiful features already in place, then you’ll certainly want to consider this natural material.
What Is Marble?
Marble is a metamorphic rock formed over time as sedimentary rocks, such as limestone, are transformed under pressure and heat. As they’re transformed, they are compacted, creating the beautiful lines and veins that are a trademark of marble. Marble is typically quarried in mountainous areas around the world and requires minimal processing to create tiles and slabs. Even as other materials, such as hardwood and engineered stone have become more prevalent, the elegance and appeal of marble have cemented its place as the flooring of choice for elegant homes, hotels and even some businesses.
Marble Floor Benefits
Marble flooring has been used for thousands of years. Its timelessness speaks volumes about its quality, however, there are a lot of benefits of marble flooring to consider.
1. Natural Elegance
Marble is a high-end finish, meaning it’s used to give spaces an elegant, luxurious look. But it also lends a simple, natural look to any space. Because marble is not human-made, the patterns found in each tile or slab vary slightly, resulting in a custom look every single time. Add that custom look to a one-of-a-kind installation and design, and you’ve got a floor that will take your room to the next level.
Marble has long been used by the privileged and wealthy around the world, which lends to its regal feeling. But its regal nature doesn’t mean that it only works well in traditional homes. Marble can be selected and cut to complement more contemporary spaces as well. In fact, marble’s translucent properties make it a great addition to more modern spaces because they enhance the amount of natural light available in the room. What does that mean? Marble is slightly translucent, which allows some light to pass through it. When the sunlight hits marble — especially if it’s white or lighter in color — it can almost appear to be glowing. This makes the room feel brighter and more open.
2. Easy to Clean
As long as its seal is properly maintained, marble floors are resistant to liquid and other substances. As long as you wipe up messes as soon as they occur, there’s no reason to worry. When marble does become wet or dirty, it’s easily cleaned with a rag or mop. Depending on the color you select, marble also makes it easier to spot dirt or pet dander, which means it’s easier to clean up messes thoroughly before they damage the floor or create bigger problems.
3. Lots of Colors to Choose From
When it comes to marble flooring benefits, “natural” doesn’t mean you’re limited in your options. In fact, marble flooring is available in a wide range of colors and patterns. Some homeowners select marble flooring that complements other existing features in their homes. Others opt for the flooring of their choice and then design the rest of the room around it. Whichever route you choose to take, there are plenty of options out there to choose from.
If you opt for a marble inlay design on your floors, then you can select design colors to incorporate your own personal taste or the design and decor of the room or space the floors will be featured in. This is a great way to bring color and design into a room that is otherwise neutral in color or to highlight a unique or distinct aspect of your home or business.
4. Excellent Heat Conduction
Marble floors have a reputation for being cold, but they don’t have to be. Marble is a great conductor of heat, which makes it a prime candidate for homes that use radiant heat for warmth. Imagine stepping onto a warm marble bathroom floor on a snowy winter morning — you’ll be so comfortable that you’ll never want to leave. Marble floors paired with radiant, in-floor heating are delightfully comfortable and keep you feeling cozy even on the coldest of mornings.
But marble flooring can also be helpful if you live somewhere that tends to be hot and humid in the summer months. Marble does tend to stay cool if it’s not being heated, which can help your home stay cool during long, hot summer days.
Marble floors are durable as well as elegant. Marble floors can stand up to just about anything you can throw at them. Chairs scraping across them in the dining room? Dishes dropped in the kitchen? Water sloshing over the bathtub? Marble can handle it. As long as they are properly maintained, marble floors are scratch-resistant, and they hold up well, even in high-traffic areas of your home. Another great advantage to marble is that if the floor has sustained some wear after many years of heavy use, flooring professionals can polish it back to it’s original finish.
Unlike carpet, allergens can’t cling to and build up on a marble surface. Even if dust or pet dander does begin to collect, it’s easy to see on marble. A brush with a mop can quickly eliminate these elements before they trigger allergies.
Marble flooring is also eco-friendly. Because it’s a natural material, it’s not constructed or processed with a bunch of chemicals. At the end of its lifespan, it’s degradable. When you have marble flooring installed, you choose a material that doesn’t negatively impact the environment.
8. Joints Are Easy to Match
If you hire a professional who is experienced in laying marble floors, they will have no trouble lining up the joints and veins for a cohesive look. This is one project that you don’t want to go DIY on. If you’re purchasing a luxury product, hire a professional to ensure that it comes together for a high-end look.
9. Easy to Customize
One of the biggest advantages of marble flooring is the ability to incorporate custom marble inlays into the design. Each marble floor is a custom work of art, but the addition of bespoke marble inlays really sets this material apart. Inspired by historical art and architecture, as well as the architecture of your home, marble inlays can be designed to tell a story about your home, your family or your business. Aalto’s luxury hand-crafted signature medallions, accents and borders are intricately designed by our in-house artists with your specifications and taste in mind.
Things to Know Before You Buy Marble Flooring
Marble is an excellent flooring choice for a variety of home or office spaces. But when you’re considering the marble flooring pros and cons, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.
1. Moisture Resistant Doesn’t Mean Stain Resistant
One thing we love about marble flooring is that it’s moisture resistant. This makes it easy to wipe up spills and messes when they occur. But you should never allow food or beverages to sit on a marble surface for any length of time because marble surfaces can be stained. Acidic foods and beverages, such as red wine and citrus, can be particularly problematic if allowed extended contact with marble surfaces.
2. Proper Maintenance Is Key
For the most part, marble is a low-maintenance flooring option. It’s easy to clean and doesn’t absorb liquids that spill on it. However, to maintain these desirable qualities, it’s essential that you reseal marble when it’s first installed and then once each year to maintain the protective barrier.
3. You May Have to Get New Dishes
Marble is very hard, which makes it a wonderful option if you’re looking for durable flooring that will hold up to foot traffic, spills and whatever you drop on it. The downside to this is that if you drop glassware or dishes onto a marble floor, they will shatter. Your floor will still look great, but you’ll likely need to replace your dishes. However, when you consider the cost of replacing a wine glass versus replacing floor tiles, we think you’ll agree it’s worth the risk.
4. Slippery When Wet
Because of marble’s smooth, highly polished surface, it quickly becomes slippery if it gets wet. This can create hazardous conditions, especially if you install it in a bathroom or entryway where it will frequently be exposed to moisture. To avoid slips and falls, you can select complementary rugs to use on your marble flooring in high-traffic areas. It may also be a good idea to avoid using marble in areas frequented by children or elderly adults.
Should I Get Marble Flooring?
Marble is a beautiful choice for flooring, especially if you’re trying to achieve an elegant, high-end look in your home or office space. It does take some work to prevent staining and keep it in good condition, but it’s similar to what you would do for granite countertops or hardwood floors. How can you decide if marble floors are right for you? Before you make the leap, consider these questions:
1. How Will I Use It?
Marble flooring can be a great addition to spaces throughout your home, however, its tendency to become slippery when wet means that it may not be the best choice in certain areas of your home. For example, marble flooring makes a great addition to a master bathroom or den, but may not be a good choice for a child’s bathroom or playspace.
2. Am I Prepared to Maintain It?
Marble has a reputation for being difficult to maintain, but it’s actually relatively low-maintenance. Resealing marble flooring once a year goes a long way toward protecting your investment from spills, dirt and other substances that find their way onto your floors.
3. Who Is Installing It?
The installation of marble flooring requires a skilled professional who can accurately measure and cut each tile to limit waste and accurately match the veins in the patterns. It can be tempting to save money by installing marble yourself, but this is one time that paying a professional to do the work really pays off.
4. What’s My Return on Investment?
If you’re planning to sell your home, marble flooring makes a huge statement about the value and elegance of your home. It’s eye-catching and sends a signal to potential buyers that your home is move-in ready. It can also go a long way toward convincing them that your home is worth exactly what you’ve asked for it.
Marble Flooring in the Workplace
Marble flooring is also an elegant addition to businesses, such as financial firms, law offices and hotels. Its durability can stand up to the regular foot traffic of an office space, but its elegance makes a bold statement about your company’s success and outlook for the future. It can also make a beautiful addition to fine dining establishments and entertainment venues.
The beauty and elegance of marble aside, its anti-allergenic properties and easy-to-clean nature also make it a prime choice for businesses, hotels and restaurants. Instead of struggling to keep thick, beautiful rugs clean and sanitary, marble can help you to maintain the beauty of your space without the work.
Aalto Marble Inlay
At Aalto, we consider every design project to be a work of art. Our goal is to take our client’s vision for their space and bring that vision to life using marble sourced from locations around the world. What makes our process unique is that the artist who creates the electronic rendering of what your design will look like is the same artist who draws the lines that will be used to cut the pieces of stone into the right shapes and designs for your project. Our extensive color collection ensures that each tile and every design will create the look and feel you want each and every time.
Over the last 30 years, it has been our privilege to create original inlay designs for upscale homes, ballrooms, hotels and other venues. We work closely with our clients to create a design that will reflect their own personal taste, as well as the nature of the space where it will be installed. Then, we use an advanced waterjet cutting process to create each inlay before it’s laid into place.
Contact us to start your custom design process today.