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Marble Flooring – Dive into the Beauty of Natural Stone

Natural stone – Marble flooring, Granite, Slate, Limestone, Terrazzo,etc. are the different types of Natural Stone flooring.

Natural Stone – Marble Flooring

Marble is a metamorphic rock containing high amounts of quartz and crystal. It is Biodegradable and eco-friendly, Porous, softer than granite. Heavy, smooth, hard, and durable.

Marble creates an elegant and luxurious design expression to the area where it is installed. It is a natural material and has an inlay of natural patterns with the availability of wide varieties to choose from. Marble Stone flooring creates a solid, permanent, and durable flooring that is long-lasting. Marble is also used for decorative wall panels, kitchen countertops, tabletops, fireplaces, etc.

Marble Flooring

Material Properties:

  • Hardness: The primary mineral content and the way it has formed, determines the hardness of the stone. According to Mohs’ scale of Hardness, Marble stone varies from 3 to 5.
  • Thermal Properties: Marble stone has excellent thermal storage capacity. It suites for application in underfloor radiant heating systems.
  • Physical Properties: It is hard, durable, and heavy with fairly consistent color with some varied shading and veins of color.

Advantages of Marble Flooring:

  • Attractive and beautiful
  • Different varieties of colors, polish and textures are available
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Seamless flooring: as they are available as slabs, they can be laid with paper-thin joints to create seamless floor
  • Adaptable to radial heat systems
  • Translucent: allows light to penetrate slightly
  • Inlay work: various designs with colored marble chips

Disadvantages of Marble Flooring:

  • Expensive
  • Soft and porous: not water-resistant
  • Nonresistant to acids
  • Easily gets damaged by spills and stains if not sealed properly
  • Very cold under feet

Types of Marbles:

There are several types of Marbles such as:

  • Calacatta Marble
  • Cararra Marble
  • Emperador Marble
  • Nero Marquina Marble
  • Crema Marfil Marble
  • Bianco Marble
  • Travertine Marble
  • Statuario Marble
  • Onyx Marble

Aesthetics:

Marble with its natural beauty, attractiveness, possessing translucent nature and less maintenance is drawing attention for Architects and homeowners. Each slab is slightly different due to its veining patterns on the surface and careful choice is made to bring in uniformity. The mixture of minerals and other impurities with the surrounding minerals when the stone is formed results in distinctive veining patterns.

Different colors of marbles are also used to create mosaics which can be intricately designed that add beauty and enhance aesthetics.

Colors :

There are wide varieties of colors available in the market ranging from light colors to dark colors and the choices can be made depending on the individual preference and the style of the space to be designed. However, a light-colored floor will enhance the level of light within a room whereas, dark color will absorb the amount of light. The color family of Marble includes White, grey, cream, black, beige, brown, orange, pink, etc, and vary from location to location.

Marble flooring
Marble flooring

marble flooring

Format and Sizes :

Marble is available as slabsveneerstilescut to size. Large slabs are perfect for large areas of floors such as showrooms, Malls, larger living areas whereas tiles are suitable for smaller areas.

  • Slabs: 4’x2’ to 9’x4’. Thickness: 20-30mm
  • Veneers: ¾”,7/8” of thickness etc, As per standards
  • Tiles: 300×300,300×600,400×400,600×400,600x600mm (not exceeding 600mm in its greatest dimension). Thickness less than ¾”
  • Cut to Size: custom order as per design

Surface Finishes :

Available as distinguished finishes creating a “wow” factor and largely depends on the brushing and polishing finishes done after quarrying and are suitable for a variety of applications including floors.

  • Polishedhigh gloss mirror-like surface-Achieved by grinding the surface with abrasive materials. Used in wall cladding, countertops, tabletops, fireplace facing and hearth.
  • Honed/Mattlow gloss-Sanded by grit. Used in high traffic areas, low maintenance areas.
  • Rubbed : Smooth matte surface, slightly rougher than honed finish.
  • Flamed: High heat is applied to create this finish. Textured surface, external use where slip-resistance is concerned.
  • Sand Blasted: This finish is achieved by blasting sand particles on the surface. Rough but tidy look, used in traffic areas.
  • Leather Finish: Suede look and feel.
  • Natural Cleft: This finish occurs by splitting the stone at its natural layer.
  • Brushed: Forms a rough surface as it is brushed by metal brushes.
  • Rough Sawn : Roughly textured finish.
Marble flooring finishes

Patterns :

Marble can also be laid with inlays of different materials like quartz, steel, tiles, etc.to enhance interior projects. A simple plain floor without any pattern just acts as a backdrop whereas as a patterned floor adds visual interest. Patterns can be created with different coloured tiles or materials and they can be added to define certain spaces such as a central lobby or a movement of space such as internal passages with added borders to mark out boundaries.

Image source : The Graphic standard guide to AR(book)

How to Install Marble Floor Tiles

Measure the dimensions of the floor and calculate sq ft for the number of tiles required. Order 10% extra for cutting and waste.

Installation Methods : Thin-set Installation is the most common method for installing stone. Other methods include medium-bed and dry-bed installation.

  • 1. Prepare the surface
    • Prepare the subfloor for a clean and dry, flat and even surface. When installing on concrete slab: clean with a wet sponge to remove any dirt or grime.
    • When installing on wood sub-floor: make sure the area is free from dirt and grime.
  • 2.Measure and find centre
    • Draw a reference line on the surface of underlayment, draw lines and mark the centre.
  • 3.Preview tiles in place
    • Starting at the centre of the room and way outward, lay a row of tiles along the reference line. Once the tile layout is decided, mix the adhesive/mortar/thin-set (as per supplier’s directions). Apply a thin layer of thin-set on the floor surface using a notched trowel. Use the notched trowel edge to create grooves which increases strength to adhesive.
  • 4. Lay the tiles in place and set permanently.
    • Continue the installation process by spreading thin-set and place it where desired. Position the tiles in place using spacers. (use 1/8th inch(3mm) marble tile spacers.)
  • 5. Check the level of tiles
  • 6. Measure and cut tiles with a wet saw to be placed near the walls.
  • 7. Remove any excess adhesive/moisture between tiles.
  • 8. Leave undisturbed for 24-28 hours for the adhesive to dry.
  • 9. Mix and apply grout according to manufactures directions.
  • 10. Clean the entire surface with a sponge to remove excess grout from the top of the tiles.

Sustainable Considerations of Marble Flooring

  • The transportation of the stone slabs from stone quarries to fabricators, distributors and project location sites consumes a varied amount of fossil fuels. Therefore, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is important to source the materials from regional/local sites.
  • Waste generated from processing the marbles stone can be recycled into aggregate to create terrazzo flooring.
  • Care is to be taken so the there is less wastage during cutting and Installing Marble Flooring.

In this article, you can learn about Marble Flooring. Links to other types of Natural Stone Flooring.

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