If you’re looking to buy marble tiles for your home you have made a good decision. Marble is a beautiful natural stone quarried in Greece, Italy, and Belgium as well as the United States.
It has been used to add a touch of luxury to buildings for thousands of years and by installing marble flooring you will not only add to the beauty of your home but also to the value as future buyers are sure to appreciate the quality finish.
Once installed, marble tile flooring is easily maintained by simply sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping although (if your flooring is not pre-sealed) you should always seal the surface of the tiles on installation to prevent staining and scratching. Once installed marble tile makes a fuss-free floor.
Brilliant in summer and hot climates, it remains cool to the touch. Although marble flooring is more common in the kitchen and bathroom, if you use it in the living room you may want to install underfloor heating and add an area rug or two for coziness particularly in winter.
Marble is a versatile material and can be used on surfaces other than the floor. In kitchens, it can be used for worktops and splashback and in the bathroom as wall tiling. Some of the most luxurious rooms have wall-to-wall marble but that can be a bit overpowering in my view and a matching floor and countertop are quite enough for any home to allow for other finishes to add interest on the remaining surfaces.
When choosing marble floor tiles do not be concerned so much about where the marble is quarried as about the quality of the marble you will receive. Although marble from Europe may be more expensive it will not necessarily be of better quality than the stone you find in the U.S.
As marble is a natural material no two tiles are exactly alike which adds to the character of the flooring in your home. If you want a flat even color then natural stone flooring is not for you! Each marble floor tile will have veins of color running through it so although you buy a particular color you can expect some variation. You can get marble tiles in many different colors. Black and white marble tiles are very popular but so are the natural shades of green, beige, gray-blue, and cream.
Marble tiles also come in a number of different finishes. Glazed tiles have a hard stain-resistant surface which may be high gloss (for a polished look) or matte. You can also buy tumbled marble tile where the marble has been literally tumbled in a vat with sand and water or other lubricants to give an aged rustic appearance to the stone.
Marble tiles come in standard sizes usually 12 or 18 inches. (Bigger sizes are generally used in large commercial buildings). The best size is the one that is suitable for the size of the room.
Twelve inches will be fine for most rooms. Eighteen-inch tiles would be good in a loft-sized apartment or room. And if you are tiling a small bathroom floor then you can make it seem a little bigger by using marble mosaic tiles. These come in sheets usually 12″ square for easy application to walls and floors.
Marble flooring is something that we often associate with grand buildings but more and more of us are aspiring to bring the beauty of marble into our homes where it makes an impressive and effective floor for many types of room and decorating styles.
As marble is a natural product and there are natural variations in the color and veining no marble floor looks exactly like any other and that makes your floor unique as well as beautiful.
When you buy marble it comes in the form of tiles and there are various choices to be made which will affect the look and character of your floor;-
Marble floor tiles come in interesting color variations from an almost white ivory color to very dark shades almost black. Different colors will give a very different effect when used as a backdrop to the room so you need to think carefully about your whole room scheme before choosing your tiles.
You do not want a large area like a floor to be the main event in the room or the room will look out of balance. As you are likely to keep your flooring for a long time choose a neutral color for your marble flooring tiles, and one which is in the same color family as you plan to use.
In large rooms, all colors from ivory to honey beige are generally quite effective although you can go to town a bit more in a small room like a bathroom.
You will see that marble tiles come in various standard sizes. The largest sizes of marble floor tile should only be used in public buildings where large expanses of flooring mean minimal cutting. The most practical size for home use is a 12-inch square tile.
Although you will also find a lot of tiny marble mosaic tiles that are particularly suitable for use in the bathroom, these also come in the form of sheets generally 12 inches square too. As well as 12-inch tiles you will also find 18-inch tiles for the domestic market. They are suitable for the larger expanses of flooring in the home.
Marble tile flooring comes in several finishes which affect the character of the floor and how you care for it. The main finishes are glazed and unglazed. The unglazed tiles have a more natural finish but they are susceptible to staining so glazed is best for ease of maintenance.
If you prefer the natural look you can choose a glaze that is matte rather than high gloss. If you are using marble flooring in an area that gets damp such as a bathroom, take care to use a slip-resistant mat. In fact in the bathroom, the highly polished surfaces of a marble floor might be best replaced with mosaic tiles where you are less likely to slip.
Marble floors, of course, are not cheap so you want to be sure to make the right choice. That is further complicated by the fact that high prices do not always go hand in hand with high quality.
Some imported Italian marbles are the most expensive of all yet they are no better and sometimes worse than the marble quarried in the U.S. This makes it doubly important to go to a supplier you trust and not to just go for the lowest price or best-advertised discount marble flooring.
Using Marble Tile to Accentuate Your Bedroom
Mable is one of those materials that has been used for centuries in the building of homes and businesses. It is one of the most durable materials that can be used in a home and has the ability to withstand everyday use that would destroy most other flooring surfaces.
Of course, this isn’t an improvement that everyone can make due to the amount of money it will take to refloor your bedroom with marble, but if you have the money available, you should seriously consider it. Not only will your floor look immaculate, but your bedroom furniture will become a focal point in your home.
When most people think of their bedrooms, they consider the fact that all they are used for is sleeping. But with marble flooring, you can bring a bit of excitement to that one room in your home that few people enter.
You can literally transform your dull and drab bedroom into a luxurious palace where you can rest after a long hard day’s work. This is the type of thing that marble can do for you and your bedroom.
With so many designs available, there is nothing you can’t do with marble to make your bedroom unique and extraordinary.
Marble is most commonly found in the kitchen as a hardtop counter or even backsplash, but in the bedroom, it can bring an amount of class that is otherwise forgotten to most. You can literally pick out just about any color of the marble to match the furniture you have in your bedroom to help them stand out or blend in.
This gives you the ability to combine materials in a way that shows off who you are when you want to relax.
One of the best things about marble flooring is the fact that it is very easy to maintain. When it comes to wood floors, you have to reseal them or stain them every few years to keep them durable, whereas marble tiles only need to be swept and mopped occasionally to keep them clean.
If you don’t want to spend hours maintaining your bedroom floor, then marble tiles may be just what you need to purchase. With so many benefits, it makes you wonder why more people aren’t using marble.
How to Lay Tile
Hard flooring, including ceramic and quarry tiles, stone, and slate, creates a hardwearing, waterproof finish that is perfect for busy areas of the home. Laid correctly, it will give years of service.
This flooring is not as easy to lay as soft floor tiles, so it is worth planning the layout first on graph paper and investing in the correct cutting tools.
Plan the layout of ceramic tiles as for soft floor tiles, then fix two marker battens (furring strips) against the edges of the last whole tiles laid. Use a try or combination square to ensure the battens form a perfect right angle, and on a solid floor secure them with masonry nails.
Apply adhesive with a notched spreader to an area of about 1 sq m (1 lsq ft), and lay the tiles according to the dry run. Use pieces of thick card or floor tile spacers to maintain even gaps for grouting. Lay up to a dozen tiles at a time, using a long straightedge and spirit level to check that the tiles are straight and the surface horizontal.
Work across the room in this fashion, then leave the tiles for 24 hours to set before tackling edge tiles.
To mark an edge tile for cutting, follow the technique described for soft floor tiles. A proper floor tile jig will make cutting easier. Apply tile adhesive to the back of cut tiles, not the floor. Leave the floor for 24 hours, then grout it. Apply grout with a dry sponge to lsq m (1 lsq ft) at a time, neatening joints with a grouting tool or piece of dowel.
Wipe off excess grout with a damp sponge and, when it has set, buff the surface with a clean dry cloth.
Quarry tiles, stone, and slate
Plan the layout and set out two guide battens in the same manner as described for ceramic floor tiles. The battens used should be twice the thickness of the flooring.
Dry-lay a batch of tiles and nail the third batten to the floor so that it butts against them and is parallel to one of the other battens. Check that the battens are level, adding packing pieces to adjust them if necessary.
Mix mortar from one part cement and three parts builders’ sand. Lay a 12mm (Kin) thick bed for quarry tiles and 8mm for stone and slate, leveling it by dragging a notched board across the bay. The cut notches at each end of the board should be the thickness of a tile less than 3mm.
Sprinkle dry cement over the mortar, then lay all the tiles to complete the bay. Insert floor tile spacers or pieces of dowel to maintain even gaps between machine-made quarry tiles. Use the point of a trowel to form 10mm gaps between hand-made tiles and slabs.
Tamp down the tiles with the unnotched side of the board until they are level with the battens, and wipe any mortar from the face of the tiles before it hardens.
Move the outer batten to form another bay of the same size and work section by section across the room until the main area of the floor is complete.
Leave to set for one or two days. When the tiles can be walked on, remove the battens, and fit the edge tiles. Apply mortar to the floor and level it first with a small notched piece of board.
Seal joints with a waterproof grout or point with a dry 1:3 mortar mix.
To cut ceramic and quarry tiles to fit around obstacles such as pipes and external corners, mark the cutting line on the tile and nibble away the waste with pincers.
When most of the waste has been removed, smooth the rough edge with a tile file. Stone and slate must be chipped away with a bolster chisel and hammer. For cutting ceramic floor tiles, hire or buy a floor tile jig capable of cutting thicknesses up to 18mm.
Ceramic tiles can be laid on a plywood sub-floor over floorboards, but a suspended timber floor may not be strong enough for other types of hard flooring. Solid floors provide an ideal base, and hard flooring can be laid where there is underfloor heating or no damp-proof course.
Tiles with a smooth back can be laid on a thin 3mm bed of adhesive, but tiles with studs will need a 6-12mm bed.