How Durable Is Marble Flooring? Find out

How Durable Is Marble Flooring

Marble is a metamorphic stone that forms when limestone is placed under intense pressure over an extended period of time.

A newly polished marble floor can last between one to three years while marble floors in low traffic areas can last up to five years. The marble stone itself lasts up to 100 years.

Marble is composed mainly of crystalline calcium carbonate or calcium magnesium carbonate has now become a sensation in modern times due to its beauty and durability.

The marble floor is known for its durability but that’s not all there is to factor in when choosing a floor. The pros and cons of marble floor needs to be known so that you can make an informed and right choice.

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Things You Need To Know About Marble Floor

Wide Range Of Colors And Finishes

Aside from durability, there are different features of a marble floor that should be looked at before it is installed. Marble flooring is available in a wide range of color options and surface patterns but can be sorted into three main categories.

There are contrasting color lines that run through the surface which are known as veining, which can either be heavy and pronounced or barely noticeable.

There are more than a hundred varieties of marble floors that exist, but there are mainly three main, and each type can be identified by its appearance. The different types are as listed below;


This is a popular white marble that was used centuries ago in ancient Greece and Rome, for building massive pillars and elaborate statues. In modern times, Carrara marble flooring tiles can be found in limited hues, that range from light to warm white, and there is medium to light gray veining present on its surface.


This is a white colored marble tile that is similar to Carrara, but Calacatta color is closer to pure white and darker gray veining, which gives it a contrasting look.


Breccia marble tiles offer more color and warmth as it comes in a range of deeper shades, which includes warm golds, tans, deep browns, and reds.

It features dark gray and black veining which tends to be in ornate swirls, and it sometimes includes perfectly round outlines that make the surface look like it has bubbles trapped underneath.

Aside from the different types of marble tiles available, you have the option to finish your floor to either a high gloss or a matte look, depending on the look you want and the location of the floor. There are two different finished options you can opt for your marble floor and they include;

Polished Marble

This is The most popular option for marble flooring and it comes with a high-gloss appearance, which is achieved by using a stone-polishing machine to grind the surface.

This helps to bring out the veining in the marble and it also gives the floor a radiant luxurious look. Polished marble will retain its reflective finish for a long time as long as it is given the right maintenance.

Honed Marble

This type of finish is polished lightly, not enough to create a shine but enough to produce a flat smooth surface. Honed marble floor offers a durable surface that has a soft matte finish, which many people consider to be down to earth compared to flashier polished marble.

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Different Sizes Of Marble Tiles

Marble tiles are available in different sizes, ranging from small which is 2-inch by 2-inch squares, to large which is 6-foot by 8-foot slabs.

If you intend to install marble tiles in residential premises it is recommended to opt for tiles not larger than 2-foot by 2-foot, because larger slabs are very heavy and require specialized installation.

Large marble slabs are usually installed in commercial and public buildings and their thickness can be up to 2 inches while residential tiles have a thickness that ranges from ¼-inch to ¾-inch.

the Quality of the tiles also depends on its surface design and density and although there is no industry standard a few factors can help you to determine the tile’s quality.

lower-end marble tiles are Mesh-backed tiles which are mounted on a backing of fiberglass resin. They are often less dense and more likely to scratch or break.

Mesh backed tiles are best for low-traffic rooms, such as bathrooms, but they are not suitable for areas that receive high-traffic because they may show signs of wear more quickly.

Lower quality tiles tend to feature-filled areas which may not be noticeable when the floor is looked straight on, but when the tile is turned at a 45-degree angle, you might notice the irregular dull patches, which indicate holes that have been filled with a resin compound on the tile’s surface.

With time the filled areas may start to become loose, which leaves holes in the surface that will require patching up.

if there are deep fissures present on your Marble tiles, there is a greater risk of it breaking under the pressure of heavy furniture or appliances. 

To determine the quality of a marble tile, just turn it over and check the backside, if it has a noticeable fissure on both the front and the backside of the tile, it may crack when a heavy item is placed on it.

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Polished Marble Is Slippery When Wet

Due to the polishing and shine present on a marble floor, it makes it slippery which makes polished marble unsuitable for homes with little children and elderly residents due to the risk of falling.

Fortunately, this can be combated by using multiple area rugs with non-slip backing or applying a non-slip product to the floor’s surface.

You can safely use Non-slip products on your marble floor as they are designed to increase the grip traction of the floor without reducing its shine. Also, Honed marble floors are naturally less slippery than polished marble floors.

Marble Floor Is Expensive

Due to the amount of labor that goes into quarrying and finishing marble tiles, even lower-end marble can be very expensive to install.

The least expensive type of marble tiles starts around $5 per square foot while higher-end marble tiles can cost anywhere from $10 to $40 per square foot, depending on the tile density and veining patterns.

The size of the tile also affects the price of the tiles. In comparison, other types of tiles like Ceramic and porcelain costs just $1 to $3 per square foot.

marble tiles also require Professional installation which can add an additional cost of $3 to $7 per square foot, depending on the cost of labor in your area and whether additional work is needed. Some factors that could add to your installation costs include:

  • uninstallation and disposal of your previous floor.
  • if you are opting for Specialized installation, like incorporating decorative tile motifs or borders.
  • due to the weight of marble tiles, the existing subfloor needs to be structurally sufficient and if this isn’t the case with the existing subfloor, it will need to be reinforced before the tiles are installed.

Requires Technical Expertise 

Marble tiles might not be the type of floor to practice your DIYing skills on. Unless you have had some basic knowledge in tile-laying, it is not recommended to carry out the project yourself.

Because although installing your own marble floor can help to save you a lot of money, you also run the risk of damaging your floor If you decide to carry out the project yourself there are some tips you should keep in mind:

  • The subfloor has to perfectly flat, without any dips or bumps that could create an interference with the tiles. If the subfloor isn’t flat, you can fix it by applying a self-leveling compound to fill in dips and smooth out the surface.
  • Marble tiles have to be installed over cement board underlayment, because of their ability to resist moisture damage. Regular plywood subfloors are not suitable for marble tile.
  • you can butt Marble tiles tightly together to create an ultra-smooth look, or you can choose to install them with gaps between the tiles and fill the joints with grout. If you decide to apply grout with your marble tile you have to make sure that you use unsanded grout as sanded grout can scratch the surface of the marble tile during installation.

Marble Flooring Requires Constant Maintenance

Although marble tiles are very durable, they require constant care and maintenance in order to maintain their beauty.

Sweep your marble floors daily to eliminate tracked-in sand or grit because walking over sand particles can leave scratches on a marble floor.

Spills should be wiped immediately as they occur. Acidic liquids, such as orange juice or vinegar should be kept off the floor surface as they can stain the marble. Although Water won’t stain marble, it can dull its surface over time.

Polished marble floor should be sealed with a good stone sealant at least once a year. Honed marble should be sealed twice a year due to its high porosity compared to polished marble.

When cleaning your marble tile only use a mild, non-acidic floor cleaner. Before using any product it should specify that it is suitable for marble floors on the label.

You can also make your own gentle marble tile cleaner by combining ½ cup of ammonia and 1 tablespoon of dish soap with a gallon of clean water.


A marble floor is a beautiful addition to any home but unless you already know the “ropes” of a marble floor, you need to some research before carrying out that installation process. Although marble floor is very durable that isn’t the only factor to seek in a flooring.

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