5 Pros and Cons of Using Marble Floor in Bathroom

Discover the marble floor in bathroom pros and cons. While it can add a luxurious look, it requires maintenance and can be a safety concern. Is it worth the investment?

Luxurious Look: Marble Flooring in Bathrooms

Marble flooring in bathroom pros and cons can create an elegant high-end look and enhance the overall decor.The smooth polished surface and natural patterns of marble flooring give bathrooms a luxurious feel that is hard to replicate with other materials. The classic beauty of marble has made it a symbol of wealth and sophistication for centuries. In addition to affluence, marble flooring conveys a sense of grandeur and style that uplifts the ambiance of any space.

For homeowners looking to increase the perceived value and curb appeal of their property, marble floors are an ideal choice. Upscale marble bathrooms are highly coveted and sought-after, allowing homes to sell at a higher price point and faster rate. Although marble requires significant upfront investment, its timeless appeal means that it does not date and always remains in style.

When installed and maintained properly, marble flooring can last for generations. Unlike carpeting, wood or tile, marble does not need to be replaced frequently due to damage or changing fashion trends. This permanence and legacy contributes to marble’s prestige. For all these reasons, marble flooring in bathroom pros and cons has enduring popularity and visual drama that is hard to surpass.

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Photo by Adrien Converse / Unsplash

Durability: Pros and Cons of Marble Flooring

Marble is an enduring and durable stone that has been used in construction for thousands of years. However, marble floors may stain, scratch and chip over time, especially in high-traffic areas like bathrooms. With proper sealing and care, many of these issues can be prevented.

Marble’s durability depends on several factors:

  • Hardness: Marble rates from 3 to 5 on the Mohs hardness scale, which means it is relatively soft and prone to scratching compared to harder stones like granite. However, marble’s hardness can vary significantly based on its geology and stone type. Dense, compact marbles with small, uniform grains tend to be harder and more resistant to wear.

  • Sealing: An impregnating sealer is essential for protecting marble and enhancing its longevity. Sealer penetrates the pores of the stone to shield it from the absorption of liquids like water, oil and grease that can stain and damage the surface. Sealing marble also helps prevent the growth of bacteria and mould. For high-traffic flooring, monthly sealing is typically recommended.

  • Etching: Marble’s calcite composition makes it susceptible to etching – a dull, whitish spot or mark caused by acidic liquids like wine, juice or cleaning products. Once etched, marble requires professional polishing to restore its shine and smoothness. To prevent etching, wipe up spills immediately and avoid using acidic cleaners.

  • Staining: Like most natural stones, marble can become stained if left unsealed or if a sealer is improperly applied. Stains caused by oil, ink or rust may be difficult to remove. For stubborn stains, professional marble polishing or poulticing may be required.

  • Chipping and cracking: Heavy impacts or dropping heavy, sharp objects on marble can cause chips, cracks and breakage. Cracks also form more easily if the stone encounters tension from an uneven subfloor or shifts in the foundation.

ProsCons
Long-lasting and durableProne to staining, scratching and etching without proper sealing
Impervious to water damageRequires frequent maintenance to prevent damage
Adds value to homesExpensive to repair cracks and breakage

In summary, while marble flooring has good durability if well-maintained, there are several potential downsides to be aware regarding its care and longevity in bathrooms. With regular sealing and by taking simple precautions, marble floors can stay pristine and suffer minimal wear and tear.

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Photo by Derick McKinney / Unsplash

Maintenance: Keeping Marble Floors Clean

Marble flooring requires frequent maintenance to keep clean and prevent damage. Due to marble’s porous nature, spills and stains can easily penetrate the surface if left untreated. Marble must be sealed regularly to protect its appearance and quality.

Daily cleaning

For daily cleaning of marble floors in bathrooms, sweep or dust mop the floor to remove loose dirt and grit. Mop the floor with a pH neutral cleaner and warm water. Avoid using too much soap, as it can dull the stone’s lustre. Make sure to wipe away spills like oils, lotions or makeup immediately to prevent staining. Rinse the floor with water after mopping and dry with a soft cloth to prevent water spots.

Sealing

Marble floors should be resealed once every 6-12 months, depending on the level of traffic and wear. solvent or water-based sealers can be used for marble. Sealers help prevent staining by creating a protective barrier, while still allowing the stone to breathe. For heavier-use areas like bathrooms, an impregnating sealer formulated for natural stone is the best option.

Deep cleaning

For stubborn stains or built-up grime, a periodic deep clean will be needed. A commercial marble polish or poultice can help lift tough stains from the surface. For polishing dulled areas or etching, use progressively finer grits of sandpaper (400, 800, 1500, 2000) with a marble polishing compound. For heavy stains or scratches, professional marble refinishing or repairs may be required to restore the floor’s shine.

Precautions

Some additional precautions to keep in mind for marble flooring:

• Avoid using abrasive cleaners, strong ammonia or acidic solutions which can dull the finish and etch the surface.

• Never use abrasive tools like scouring pads. Soft cloths and mops are best.

• Place protective pads on furniture to avoid scratching. Wipe up spills immediately to prevent etching.

• Use coasters for glasses and mats under pottery to guard from cracks.

• Avoid walking on marble floors with high heels.

• Include cleaning, sealing and maintenance schedules in regular usage estimates.

Care

Following a regular care and maintenance schedule for marble floors can mitigate damage and keep them pristine for decades. Consistent and proper cleaning, sealing and stain prevention will maximize the lifespan and beauty of any marble flooring. With some effort, homeowners can enjoy the luxurious and long-lasting benefits of marble.

marble floor in bathroom pros and cons, marble, a white painted wall with white paint on it
Photo by Steve Johnson / Unsplash

Slippery Surface: Safety Concerns in Marble Bathrooms

The polished, smooth surface of marble flooring can become slippery when wet, posing safety hazards in bathrooms. Marble’s slip resistance depends on factors like surface finish, porosity and footwear. While marble flooring may appear perfectly safe when dry, once liquids are introduced, the surface can become perilously slick.

Several measures can be taken to improve the slip resistance of marble floors:

• Choose a honed or textured finish rather than a high-gloss polish. A matte, gritty finish provides more traction when wet compared to a slick, shiny surface.

• Seal the marble to limit absorption of water and oils. An impregnating sealer penetrates the stone while still allowing it to breath. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria but also reduces how slippery the floor becomes when wet. Re-sealing every 6-12 months is typically recommended for high-traffic bathrooms.

• Use bath mats, area rugs or slip-resistant decals in key areas like in front of showers, sinks or baths. Adhesive-backed strips, dots or appliqués can be placed directly onto the marble for added grip.

•Consider installing slip-resistant flooring on entranceways, like tile with an abrasive grit. This helps prevent excess water from being tracked onto the marble flooring.

•Wipe spills up immediately to avoid a buildup of moisture. Allowing excess water to pool on the surface of the marble greatly increases the slip hazard.

•Wear appropriate footwear with slip-resistant soles. Bare feet or smooth-soled shoes have little traction on wet marble, while textured rubber soles grip much better.

• For severe slip hazards, anti-slip treatments can chemically etch the marble to create a permanently non-skid texture. Professional services use strong acids to lightly etch the surface of the stone to increase friction.

•As an alternative, consider installing radiant floor heating. Warmer marble floors will dry faster, and the heat may improve the slip resistance to some degree. But moisture, spills and proper footwear are still concerns with heated marble.

In summary, there are several strategies homeowners can implement to improve the safety of marble bathroom floors, from choice of finish and sealant to floor mats, heating and footwear options. With some precautions taken, marble can be used without undue fear of slips and falls. But when the floor is wet, caution is always advised.

Cost: Is Marble Flooring Worth the Investment?

Marble flooring is an expensive investment, so homeowners must weigh the pros and cons relative to their budget. The cost of marble depends on several factors:

Type of marble: Rare, high-quality marble types like Carrara, Calacatta and Statuario can cost up to $25 per square foot. More common marble varieties range from $5 to $15 per square foot. Exotic imported marble tends to be on the higher end of the price spectrum.

Finish and thickness: Polished marble costs slightly more than honed due to the labor-intensive finishing process. Thicker slabs, like 3/4″, also come at a higher price point than thinner, 1/2″ pieces.

Installation: Professional marble installation averages between $8 to $12 per square foot. The total installation cost depends on the intricacy of the pattern, tooling and edge details as well as the condition of the subfloor.

Sealing and maintenance: Initial sealing costs $3 to $5 per square foot and resealing runs $1 to $2 per square foot. Periodic repolishing and stain removal add to ongoing maintenance fees.

Additional features: Special cuts like mosaics, tumbled edges or decorative inserts can increase the total cost by 20-50% or more depending on the option.

While the initial investment in marble flooring may seem sizable, there are several advantages that make it worth the money for many homeowners:

Durability: Marble lasts for generations and holds its value well over time. It does not need replacement every 10-20 years like carpet or wood.

Easy to clean: Marble flooring does not trap dust and allergens and can simply be swept and mopped. It does not require special cleaning treatments needed for upholstery or rugs.

Style: Marble flooring adds a touch of elegance and visual appeal that helps increase a home’s resale value. Its classic, timeless quality never goes out of style.

Value: Marble flooring can increase a home’s worth and selling potential thanks to its luxury status and perceived quality. Potential buyers will pay more for a home with high-end marble bathrooms and floors.

So while marble requires an initial investment, its longevity, low-maintenance and ability to improve home value and style make it worth considering for those wanting to add sophistication and grandeur. For budget-conscious homeowners, lower-cost marble options or marble accents may offer an affordable means to achieve a similar opulent result.

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