Marble Flooring, the Cool Alternative?

There are many myths about certain types of flooring materials. Some are believed to be easily damaged, others to be difficult to maintain or keep clean, still others to be limited it their variety or style. Marble floors, however, seem to have escaped most of these often unfounded concerns. Here we will discuss not only the reasons why a marble floor is a great choice for a new home, but also its cooling properties in warm climates, timeless visual appeal, its durability and ease of cleaning and maintenance. Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of this fascinating medium.

Marble floors conjure up visions of cool, white, Spanish style houses with small paved courtyards and sunny terraces. Hot, sunny days and long cool drinks enjoyed around a low, wrought iron table in the middle of a large, airy room with a white marble floor. In the heat of summer, just imagine walking barefoot on that cool, smooth marble floor. There is the first of the great advantages of marble flooring. It stays cool in the heat of summer and feels smooth to the touch.

As marble floors can be found in many homes in warmer climates, there is a huge market for them. The quality and finish of the marble is very high and due to the myriad of different natural patterns of veins running through the stone, there is a huge variety to choose from. For this, among other reasons, marble never seems to go out of style.

Marble as a flooring medium is surprisingly durable. When it is first laid, it is treated with a propriety stain resistant sealant, which protects the floor for around ten years, after which it is recommended that it be resealed. It will survive most spills as long as they are cleaned up right away, although strong acidic liquids may cause stains, which can be professionally removed. Other than keeping them clean, marble floors are virtually maintenance free.

Cleaning marble floors is as easy as mopping with hot water and leaving to dry. A propriety cleaning fluid can be added to the water, although this must be mild, bleach-free, non-caustic and pH neutral. There are several brands available, but if in doubt only go for the ones that are clearly marked “suitable for marble floors”.

The disadvantages of marble floors are few. Once professionally laid, they will remain in place for their extremely long lifetime, unlike ceramic tiles, which can lift with moisture invading through cracked grouting. They can be stained or marked by spillage of caustic liquids if not cleaned up right away, but this is a common disadvantage with most flooring materials. While marble is wonderfully cool to the touch in the heat of summer, it is a different story in winter. A marble floor can then make a house feel cold. This can be simply remedied by using Hessian backed rugs to cover the floor during the cold months.

With all the above in mind, it seems clear that marble flooring is a good choice for a new home, especially those located in warmer climates. They look good, come in a variety of styles and are long lasting and durable. They are easy to clean and maintain and have few disadvantages. All in all, marble really is a cool choice for any home.