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Pros and Cons of Marble Kitchen Flooring

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multicolored marble kitchen tile

A multicolored marble kitchen floor tile. You can see how the characteristic veins of color travel through the surface of the piece.

© PebbleArt

Marble is one of the most elegant flooring materials that you can choose for your kitchen. All natural, it is harvested from the belly of a mountain in great slabs of stone, which are then sliced down and refined into the individual tiles, slabs, and mosaics that are used in standard construction processes.

Historically, marble flooring has been associated with a sense of wealth and opulence. It is a material that has adorned the palaces of kings and queens, and been used in some of the great works of art and architecture produced throughout human history. When installed in a kitchen it can create a sense of sophistication which will carry throughout the atmosphere of the room.

Benefits of Marble Kitchen Floors

Color: Marble tiles and slabs are available in a wide variety of colors. There are also multicolored marble materials that are available, which feature a variety of hues arranged in the surface of each piece. Since Marble is a natural flooring material, each piece is going to look slightly different from the other, which means that every tile will have its own unique personality.

When marble is quarried, it is extracted in large sheets called slabs. These slabs contain natural features which form a symphony of colors across the surface of the piece. When the slab is sliced down into more manageable sizes, each piece is a section of that original natural picture. While it is impossible to perfectly reassemble these pieces, an installation of a single material will feature pieces that tend to match one another.

Polish: Unlike many other stone flooring materials, marble is able to take an extremely high polish. This allows manufacturers to get the surface of marble extremely smooth and shiny. Polishing also tends to bring out the colors in the stone making them more noticeable and dramatic.

Light: One of the reasons that marble has so often been used in great works of sculpture is that it has a slightly translucent quality. This allows illumination in a room to penetrate the surface of some lighter colored marble materials. In the right light this material can seem to take on a very slight glowing quality. Even in darker marbles the play of light across the surface of the stone can be quite lovely.

Natural: Marble is an all natural material that is created by the earth. That means that it is eco friendly and bio degradable, and will not cause pollution at the end of its functional life.

Drawbacks of Marble Kitchen Floors

Cost: Marble is one of the more expensive kitchen flooring materials on the market and individual 12” X 12” tiles can cost upwards of $5-$10 per sq ft. When dealing with mosaics, larger tiles, slabs, and non standard sizes the price can be even higher then that.

Slippery: When polished, marble flooring has a very low coefficient of friction, meaning that it may present a slipping hazard. This is especially true in a kitchen where water and other liquids may occasionally spill on the ground. This can be offset to some extent through the use of floor mats.

Scratches: A polished marble tile is relatively easy to scratch; meaning that over time your kitchen floor may be marred by the moving of furniture and the clicking of heals. Repairing a scratched marble tile is a difficult job and usually requires the assistance of a professional.

Stains: Marble is a base material, in an acid base relationship. That means that whenever anything which is acidic interacts with it, a chemical reaction will occur, in the form of a rather noticeable stain. In the kitchen you will often have acidic liquids such as sauces and fruit juices splashing and spilling onto the floor, putting the marble in danger of permanently staining.

Maintenance: In order to prevent the stains mentioned above from occurring, a marble kitchen floor will have to be properly sealed with a manufacturer recommended surface barrier sealing chemical. This will create an invisible layer over the marble, protecting it from staining agents and acidic materials. You will have to reapply this sealant to the marble floor periodically, every six to twelve months in order to maintain the appearance of the tiles.

Replacement: Marble is expensive to install and relatively difficult to remove. While proper maintenance should ensure that your marble kitchen floor lasts for years, when it does come time to replace it you may find that installing a new floor directly over the marble is easier than trying to remove and replace it.

Green Factors: While marble is an all natural product there are some concerns that the quarrying process may cause environmental problems through the use of mining and equipment emissions. Marble is also heavy, so you have to consider the pollution effects of transporting imported marble from overseas.

More About Natural Stone and Marble Flooring

Marble in Kitchen and Bathrooms
Marble Tile Flooring
A Guide to Natural Stone Tile Flooring

Kitchen Flooring Ideas

Kitchen Flooring Options
Laying Out Tile Kitchen Floor Projects
Ceramic Kitchen Floor Tile

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