Marble and Stone
Tiles – The Pros and Cons
There are pros and cons to stone tiles, and particularly with marble.
Generally, stone tiles are beautiful but require more planning before their
installation. Because they are built by Mother Nature and not in some factory,
natural stone tiles are often not uniform in colour and pattern, unlike their
mass produced counterparts. The hardness
of the tiles varies and care should be taken that the appropriate material is
used in high traffic areas. Stone tiles require resealing, and their cleaning
requirements differ from – say – linoleum.
But those few caveats are outweighed, in the eyes of most buyers, by the
beauty of stone, its durability, and its positive effect on the value of a
Pros and Cons
Marble immediately suggests wealth and prestige. Its glossy surface and gorgeous
striations are pleasing to the eye; so is its uniqueness. No two pieces are
alike. Properly cared for, natural stone
has incredible durability. It's hypo-allergenic and, in the kitchen, the
stone's high, impermeable gloss provides a more sanitary surface than many
other material choices. Marble flooring is easy to clean and disinfect, and on
a hot day, the coolness of the material is welcome.
On the other hand, marble requires specialized care. A cutting board is
needed on a marble countertop because of scratching. Because of the uniqueness of
each piece of marble, matching tiles or slabs can be problematic. It requires
regular resealing to retain its beauty and, if uncoated it can cloud. It is
prone to staining. As a floor surface, its highly polished finish makes it
slippery, though there are finish treatments that can go a long way to solving
this. And marble is expensive.
As mentioned, it is important to think carefully about what kind of
traffic your floor is going to have – and pick your stone accordingly. A
softer, more porous stone flooring is inappropriate for a high traffic area.
When you finally make your choice, the purchase price will not be your final
cost – there are inevitable add-ons that
you should make yourself aware of before hauling out your chequebook. In
particular, you should consider:
removal and replacement prior to installation
and disposal of the old flooring and preparation of a new subfloor
of the stone
actual installation cost
additional materials required to properly install the stone flooring
Although it might sound trite, it is important to trust your dealer.
Seek out one who actually specializes in the stone you sell. Those supersized
home renovation stores – with a split focus on thousands of products – are
simply not going to ever have the knowledge that a smaller, focused outfit will
have. One of the easiest ways of gauging who is good at stone floors – both
selling the materials and installation – is to find out how long they've been
in business. At this end of the quality spectrum, word of mouth is key to a
dealer's success, and the longer it has been around, the more that suggests
Marble, in the right places and with the right care, can be one of the
best home decoration choices you'll ever make. It's also one of the most
costly, so educate yourself before taking the plunge.