We wrote about this in a previous article and have some updates to share. When we think of a showcase home in all its magnificence, the first thing that comes to mind is luxurious natural marble flooring. When we think of homes in Arcadia, to the Biltmore area and of course the Mountainside mansions of Silverleaf in Scottsdale, images of luxury stone floors and marble tile come to mind.
For many homeowners, marble floors might seem like a dream come true that is out of reach in terms of the budget; but marble flooring is actually much more accessible (and even affordable) than most people realize. And while wood flooring is also a stunning choice, some homeowners opt for hardwood because they don’t believe that marble is either affordable or readily available.
The truth is, thanks to advanced technologies in the manufacturing of natural stone flooring, marble flooring is now a realistic option for many homeowners.
Once upon a time, marble tiles had to be specially ordered — and often imported — which could take weeks and incur high import costs. Today, many of the major US flooring manufacturers carry luxury marble tile at a variety of price points, so it’s no longer inaccessible or unaffordable. You don’t need to own a mansion in North Scottsdale to have marble flooring.
Why Choose Marble Flooring?
What’s not to love about marble flooring? Like a grand staircase or a crystal chandelier, it immediately brings to mind a certain grandeur and magnificence such as you’ll find in the world’s most beautiful mansions. At the same time, it’s a versatile type of flooring that can be used in any setting or design scheme, from casual to elegant.
Aesthetically, marble adds a cool softness to a room. Who doesn’t love the feel of a cool surface on their feet when the temperatures are over 100 degrees in the summer? It also has a natural glowing surface that reflects light beautifully; so much so, it actually gives the appearance of bringing more light into a room. As with any type of stone, marble is always cool to the touch, which makes it especially ideal for hot weather climates like Arizona.
Outside of aesthetic considerations, marble is one of the very easiest types of flooring to maintain and is surprisingly strong and durable. It’s impervious to the types of damage that many floors — including hardwood and vinyl — are susceptible to. Plus, marble flooring has an inherent strength and longevity that’s virtually unsurpassed — after all, just think of those Roman and Greek marble statues that have survived for thousands of years.
As for cleaning, marble is recognized as one of the easiest types of flooring to keep clean — a quick wipe with a clean cloth will usually take care of it on a day-to-day basis.
Popular Types of Marble Flooring
Marble flooring typically comes in two different finishes: polished marble and honed marble.
Remember those glossy, gleaming marble floors that we’ve all seen in mansions on TV? Those floors are made of polished marble, which has a very high sheen.
Honed marble, although it’s also polished, has a slightly rougher texture. From a practical standpoint, honed marble is better for high-traffic areas — such as kitchens and bathrooms — because it’s not as slick and slippery as polished marble.
In addition, you’ll also find sanded/abrasive finishes that add texture to a marble tile. With textured finishes, the marble tile is brushed, distressed or antiqued to create a myriad of patterns, ranging from light, feathery brushstrokes to decorative pitting.
Here’s a look at the most popular types of marble tile:
Carrara: Famous as the marble that’s most associated with classic Greek and Roman statuary, Carrara marble has a warm white tone that’s streaked with shadowy strands of gray.
Breccia: Another popular option, Breccia marble has an off-white, ecru, tan or gray shade that’s streaked with striations of white, tan, dark gray and other tones.
Calacatta: Calacatta marble is similar to Carrara, but has a snowy-white sheen accented with darker, bolder streaks of black, gray or gold. Calacatta marble is rarer — and consequently more expensive — than Carrara.
Best Reasons to Choose Marble Flooring
- Brings amazing beauty to any room
- Imparts a soft glow and reflects light beautifully
- Stays cool underfoot so it’s perfect for warm weather
- Conducts heat well, and can be installed over a radiant heating system
- Available in a variety of styles for any décor
- Comes in an array of striking original designs
- Adds a customized, decorator look to your home
- Available in a wide range of prices for any budget
- Extremely easy to clean and maintain
- Amazingly durable and long-lasting
Why is Marble Flooring a Good Alternative to Hardwood?
Marble flooring makes an excellent alternative to hardwood not only because of its uniquely luxurious look; but also because of its durability and ease of maintenance. Unlike hardwood flooring, it’s not prone to scuffs or cuts, nor does it get dry and brittle. In addition, marble flooring doesn’t buckle or warp the way that hardwood can.
The main damage that marble can sustain is chipping or cracking, because it’s softer than most types of stone. In addition, marble can stain; and because it is porous, it can be prone to water damage. However, you can prevent this by applying a chemical sealant that’s specially formulated for marble.
While hardwood has a warmer look, marble has a cool, inviting appearance that’s especially alluring on hot days or in warm weather climates. Plus, and perhaps surprisingly, marble is actually a wonderful conductor of heat, so for an extra luxurious rush of warmth you can install a radiant heating system underneath your marble tiles; not that you would want to in Phoenix or Tucson.
As for maintenance, cleaning marble is just as easy as cleaning hardwood. And unlike wood, marble has a natural shine and doesn’t need to be polished regularly, except for a professional polishing every couple of years.
Marble Flooring vs Hardwood Flooring
Both hardwood and marble flooring are excellent choices, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
Pros and Cons of Marble Flooring
- Unsurpassed elegance and beauty
- One of the easiest types of flooring to clean
- Exceptionally strong and durable
- Doesn’t cut, scuff, warp or dry out
- Extremely long-lasting
- Always cool underfoot
- Doesn’t need regular polishing; the glow is natural
- Wonderful heat conductor; can be installed over a radiant heating system
- More expensive than other types of flooring
- Spills need to be wiped up immediately to prevent staining
- Softer than other stone, and can chip and crack
- It’s porous and can be vulnerable to water damage
- Harder surface to walk on — not as cushioning as vinyl
- Polished marble can be slippery to walk on
- Should be professionally polished every couple of years
Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring
- Aesthetic beauty and elegance
- Brings a warm, comfortable (and inviting) vibe to any room
- Goes with any type of décor
- Extremely easy to clean and maintain
- More durable and long-lasting than many other materials (if treated with care and maintained properly)
- Available in a wide variety of natural wood patterns
- Available in a wide range of prices
- Can be damaged by scuffs, cuts, splits, and warping
- Spills need to be wiped up immediately to prevent buckling
- More expensive than other types of flooring
- Harder surface — not as cushioning to the feet as vinyl
- Unlike marble, some types of hardwood flooring can’t be installed over a radiant heat system
- Will need regular polishing to maintain shine
- May need professional polishing every four or five years
In the end, the choice between hardwood and marble flooring is basically an aesthetic/lifestyle choice. Both types are famed for their elegance and beauty, both are easy to clean and maintain, both are durable and both are available in a wide range of designs and prices. Likewise, both types can be affordable — it’s just a question of budgeting for them, and shopping for the best flooring sale and installation deal from a reputable flooring store.
Marble-Look Flooring: An Affordable Alternative
When we see marble flooring, the first thing that comes to mind is “expensive”– but thanks to today’s marble-look tile flooring options, you can get the look of luxury marble at a fraction of the cost and no one else needs to know.
Major flooring manufacturers such as Armstrong and Congoleum are even creating elegant vinyl flooring that beautifully replicates marble but without the high price tag. This marble-look process involves similar digital print technology and embossing methods to recreate the appearance of natural marble. Likewise, manufacturers such as Armstrong, Shaw, and Daltile are producing porcelain tile from specially-formulated clays and finishes to mimic not only the look but also the feel of marble. As a result, you can enjoy luxurious flooring that has all the appearance of marble, combined with the easy-care qualities and affordability of ceramic and vinyl tile.
How to Maintain Marble Flooring
Marble flooring might look difficult to maintain, but don’t let looks fool you. That highly-polished surface is one of the marble’s natural beauties and greatest advantages because it doesn’t need polishing at all — except for a professional polishing every couple of years or so.
Otherwise, the best way to maintain marble flooring is to dust it with a dry dust mop once or twice a week (depending on traffic and how many people are in your home). It’s best to avoid vacuuming, even with a soft brush nozzle, because the edge of the vacuum can scratch your marble tiles. Once a month or so, you’ll want to deep clean your tiles with a soap-free cleaner that’s specially formulated for marble flooring.
Cleaning Marble Flooring
First, wet the surface with water (using a mop or spray bottle), then wipe on the cleaning solution, and rinse it off with fresh water. Before using any cleaner, make sure that it’s safe for marble. Otherwise, you could damage or ruin the finish of your floor. After cleaning, be sure to dry the marble tiles thoroughly with a soft cloth after cleaning.
Important note: Some types of marble contain iron oxide — and if it’s left wet, it can result in unsightly rust stains. That’s why it’s important to dry your marble tiles immediately after spills or cleaning.
Also, spills can stain the porous surface of the marble, so make sure to clean them up as soon as they occur. To clean stains, you can use homemade solutions such as a combination of 12 percent hydrogen peroxide mixed with a few drops of ammonia. Never add ammonia to other cleaners, however, because it can cause toxic fumes.
Where to Buy Marble Flooring
Are you ready to enhance your home with genuine gleaming marble flooring? If you are, and if you live in or near Tucson or Phoenix, Arizona, then it’s time to contact Express Flooring, where you’ll find a flooring and installation deal that can’t be beaten. Best of all, you won’t have to trudge down miles of flooring aisles, because we bring everything — samples, and swatches — right to your home. And thanks to having a million feet of in-stock inventory, we can even offer you next-day delivery and installation.
Another Express Flooring advantage: We use only the best, most-qualified professional installers in the business — and they’ll even move your furniture out of the way so you don’t have to. Plus, Express Flooring hardwood deals, marble deals, and all other flooring deals come with a lifetime installation warranty.
Benefits of Buying from Express Flooring
- Free in-home design consultation and estimate, seven days (and evenings) a week
- You can shop at home; no need to come to a store
- A million feet of in-stock flooring, so we can install it the next day
- Best flooring sale and installation price anywhere
- Great financing plans
- Year-round sales and clearances
- Year-round discounts for seniors, teachers, and government/public service employees
- Best-in-the-business professional installers
There’s nothing like marble flooring for beauty and elegance — and Express Flooring can help you find the best marble flooring — for your lifestyle and your wallet. When you’re ready to start shopping, be sure to contact Express Flooring for your free in-home design consultation and estimate. Once you do, just leave everything else to us; and in a day or two, you can have luxury marble or marble look flooring that will beautify and enhance your home for a lifetime. Also, be sure to ask for the Vacation or Cruise Voucher at your appointment.