Looking for pros and cons of marble flooring? You'll find all the information you need in this article. Marble has been a popular material for construction and art over the centuries.
Known for its regal elegance, it is quarried in various mountains across the planet and has graced royal castles and prized sculptures alike. Now, it is even more accessible to the general public, making it a popular material for floors and furniture.
Marble flooring's durability and adaptability to various temperatures make it a surprisingly practical choice for something with a luxurious reputation. Its uniqueness, high resale value, and seamless installation ability have earned it the position of being a prized material.
On the flip side, though, it's also commonly known for being high-maintenance. It's a natural, soft, and porous rock that can scratch, stain, and discolor easily, with a sensitivity to specific substances.
It needs consistent maintenance and the high price can be quite shocking and unpredictable! So, should you opt for marble floors in your home? Here are the pros and cons of marble flooring!
12 Pros And Cons Of Marble Flooring You Need To Know
Pros Of Marble Flooring
1. It's durable and resistant
Marble may be known for being fancy, but make no mistake – it doesn't give up durability for its aesthetic! Marble has a very long life and, when installed correctly, can last you two or more decades.
Regularly polishing and maintaining marble will allow it to last even longer. Marble also gets more durable with time, allowing it to handle a lot of foot traffic.
The longer marble is left in its finished form, the harder it becomes. It is very weather-resistant! In fact, environmental effects are often not easily visible on marble.
This is often seen in its fullest force in ancient sculptures and statues of marble, which even experts struggle to date due to its resilience in any environment.
2. It's easy to keep clean and allergen-free
Marble's shiny, sleek surface makes it easy to clean. You can grab some cloth, a mop, or a broom and get rid of dust and spills quickly and with little fuss.
This also makes marble flooring quite hypoallergenic. However, it's worth noting that marble needs specific care.
While it's an easy and mostly hassle-free process to do the actual cleaning and maintenance, you still need to know what you're doing. Certain products can end up harming it – more on that later.
3. No two pieces of marble are alike
Marble is a natural stone, and that means that every single slab of marble is entirely unique. The wisp-like markings, which are actually impurities but give marble its signature look, differ completely from piece to piece.
This guarantees that your marble flooring will always be 100% unique and one-of-a-kind. No one else will have the exact tiles that you have!
4. It adapts to various temperatures
Many forms of tile may suffer from fluctuating temperatures. They expand with heat and contract with cold, eventually leading to cracks and deformation.
But marble flooring doesn't have that problem! It's able to withstand these changes without showing any sign of wear. This makes sense; marble is an ancient stone, after all.
It's not going to crumble under simple climate shifts. If you often have cold floors, marble is among the best flooring materials to use!
It's resistant to high temperatures and conducts heat well. So if you have radiated heating in your floors or plan to install some, marble will take well to it and create a lovely, warm ground to walk on.
And when the hotter months come around, you won't have to worry, either. It tends to stay nice and cool exactly when you want it to. If you have the air conditioning on, it'll absorb that coolness and send it back to you nicely.
5. It adds to resale value
Marble is known for its elegance and timelessness. It's a classic look that few people want to get rid of when buying a home.
It makes any location seem more opulent, and that reflects in how much you can sell a building with marble flooring for!
6. It can be installed seamlessly
Marble comes in slabs that need to be installed piece by piece into a floor. But a skilled contractor can make your marble appear entirely seamless.
You won't see a single sign of connections or joining marks like you would with tiles. This makes the cleaning process even easier and creates a stunning, luxurious aesthetic.
Cons Of Marble Flooring
1. It scratches easily
Marble is a fairly soft material as far as flooring options go. This means that its surface can become scratched relatively easily.
Sure, it doesn't break or crack quickly, but blemishes and scratches are commonplace. As time goes on, those scratches build up and can ruin an aesthetic.
Worse still, given how smooth marble is, scratches are extremely obvious to the naked eye. Things as simple as dust can scratch it if it's the wrong material, which can be a headache for those who can't afford to tiptoe around on it!
To add to all of that, you can't truly completely prevent scratching on marble flooring. Protective coatings can work wonders, but at the end of the day, there will be scratches, and you can't get rid of them without replacing the marble.
That's just the nature of the material.
2. It can stain
As a natural rock, marble is quite porous. Sure, dust and debris can be cleaned off easily, but liquids must be wiped immediately or they can cause discoloration and imperfection.
If you drop something especially staining on it, you'll have to rush to clean it before it sets in and gets absorbed. Once the marble is stained, it has to be specially cleaned, which can be quite a hassle.
Even standing plain water can result in changes in color!
3. It has a negative reaction to acid
Marble is an alkaline rock because it comes from sedimentary limestone. This pH means that it doesn't play well with acidic materials, liquids, and substances.
When it comes into contact with these types of items, marble flooring can become very discolored and that change is often permanent.
On the surface, this doesn't seem like a big deal, but you have to think about the huge number of things that can be acidic. Foods, drinks, sauces, and even cleaning products are acidic!
You can protect a marble floor with a sealant that protects it against chemicals. It will also likely need a surface sealer of some kind.
But that protection has to be reapplied on a regular basis, often once a year, in order to maintain its effectiveness.
4. It has a high and unpredictable price
Marble, given its reputation for being fancy, is certainly quite expensive! But those high prices can vary significantly depending on the kind of marble and the current demand.
On average, you can expect about $10 to $20 as a fair price per square foot for marble flooring. But it can still cost as little as $8 or as much as $47, and the reasoning for these fluctuating prices can be confusing!
This means it's hard to know for sure if you're really getting the best value out of the amount you're paying.
Specialty marble can be especially high in price, so those with discerning tastes will need to be very shrewd to determine if they're receiving an acceptable deal.
One of the reasons for marble flooring's high price is its weight. Marble is very heavy and requires special installation that can be very time-consuming.
It's logistically difficult to move from place to place and you need a good deal of labor to pull it off. Contractors have to charge for all of those details, too, not just the marble itself, which adds to the expense!
5. It can be slippery
The shiny, sleek polished look of marble doesn't come without its downsides. Marble flooring can be quite slippery, so when it's wet or has just been polished, you should avoid walking on it as much as possible. Some forms of marble can circumvent this, but those are rare and often more expensive.
6. It requires regular maintenance
Sure, all flooring requires some maintenance. But to upkeep the appearance of marble, that maintenance must be done consistently and regularly.
You simply can't skimp on it, or there will be long-term negative effects! Plus, that maintenance has to be very specific.
It's technically easy as a process to perform, but you need to be aware of each step and product in order to pull it off well. That's quite nerve-wracking for many, and this high-maintenance nature is a turn-off for some.
Is marble flooring right for you? It is high-maintenance and requires constant upkeep and awareness to protect its appearance.
Avoiding scratches, stains, and acidic spills isn't always easy. The fact that its price isn't easy to gauge and it can be very slippery doesn't help matters.
But at the same time, it provides quick cleaning, high structural durability, temperature benefits, and a beauty that adds to a seamless aesthetic and resale value.
Overall, marble's luxurious reputation isn't without reason. That's why marble is best suited for those who have the means – in terms of both money and time – to take care of it.
With the expensive installation and material costs and the need for regular, specific maintenance, it needs proper attention, as any “luxury” item may.
If that's doable, then congratulations – you've scored yourself a breathtaking, elegant form of flooring! It's a great fit for rooms where it can be away from the risk of spills and stains.
Make sure that you use proper sealing products to further protect your marble flooring!