Marble floors are timelessly classic and are an excellent choice for different rooms in your home. Beautiful marble tiles are available in differing sizes, ranging from small, 2-inch by 2-inch squares, to large marble tiles. They also come in a wide range of color options with different surface finishes (polished, tumbled, and honed), so you are faced with a great choice.
For example, popular white Carrara marble tiles that feature medium to light gray veining can be found in limited hues, ranging from light to warm white. They will look great both indoors and outdoors. Elegant Calacatta marble tiles are closer to pure white and feature dark gray veining. Tumbled marble tiles usually feature earthy natural nuances like beige, milky or gray and have a rustic appearance.
Looking for tips on marble tile installation and maintenance? Read on to find advice on installing marble tiles to create different looks and how to take proper care of it to ensure it lasts for years to come. Whether you are wondering how to seal marble tile or looking for recommendations on how to polish marble tile, you'll find this information in our short guide.
How to Lay Marble Tile
First, you have to determine the tile pattern that you want to use for your marble floor. You can play a bit with a pencil and a piece of paper or use one of the free online design tools to visualize better.
How to lay marble tile on your floors? It depends on the look you would like to achieve.
If you want the minimalist look of one solid surface, arrange large marble tiles in a simple, straight pattern. Choose grout that matches the predominant color of the marble to make the joints less visible.
If you want to achieve a sophisticated, timeless style, you can lay rectangular or square tiles in such traditional floor patterns as straight course, staggered brickwork, or diagonal.
Want a delicate, elegant look? Install tiny rectangle tiles with faint veining in a herringbone floor pattern, or install tiles of two slightly different gray shades to create an understated checkerboard design.
Prefer a rustic look? Use square and rectangular tile of multiple sizes to create a hopscotch pattern. Combine multiple marble colors in warm shades of copper, gold, and brown and use thick grout joints in earth-toned colors.
Want to create something complex, for example, a striking focal point? Install marble mosaics in the middle of the floor. You can also inlay marble tiles in triangles, circles, diamonds, and polygons that will remind you of medieval churches' decorative stone floors.
How to Install Marble Tile
Installing marble tiles is similar to installing other types of tile, for example, large porcelain tiles. In fact, all the steps are pretty straight-forward. After preparing the subfloor, you need to mix thin-set mortar, glue down the tiles, grout them, and then seal.
Your marble tile installation will look best if the tiles radiate outward from the center of the room. You will need to create reference lines on the surface of the cement board underlayment to achieve this symmetrical effect.
How to Cut Marble Tile
The marble tile is thick and hard. That's why you cannot cut it with a snap cutter commonly used for cutting ceramic tiles. So how to cut marble tile? You can easily do it with a motorized wet saw. But remember that marble is a delicate material, and it's easy to crack, so you should move very slowly as you cut each piece. And if you need to cut holes in marble tile, you should use a special hole saw with diamond blades.
How to Seal Marble Tile
Once your tiles are laid, you need to seal them properly before applying grout. By applying a high-quality marble surface sealing agent, you will safeguard them from staining, cracking, chipping, as well as general wear and tear. You should do it before the grouting process because the grout mix can stain the tiles.
It is important to note that marble is a very porous material. If you leave it unprotected, both dry dust and wet grout can soak into the pores of these tiles, causing permanent stains. That's why you should seal it every year to keep it looking shiny and new.
How to Grout Marble Tile
It's better to use un-sanded grout because sanded grout can scratch the surface of the marble during installation. Here is how to grout marble tile. Mix a small amount of grout according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use a grout float to direct the mix into the grooves and remove the excess from the tiles.
Clean the grout lines 20 to 30 minutes after filling with a wet sponge. After finishing this step, you will need to apply another layer of sealant to protect the grout.
How to Clean Marble Tile
Although marble tile has a porous surface that stains easily, caring for its classic beauty may be easier than you think. Here are some tips on how to clean marble tile.
You should frequently dust-mop marble tile floors and clean them with a mild, phosphate-free biodegradable liquid dishwashing soap or powder. You can also use a stone soap. Soapless cleaners are better because they minimize streaks and film. After you finish washing, you should rinse the surface with clean water and dry it.
Don't use cleaners that contain acid, including grout cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and tub and tile cleaners, because they can cause etching.
How to Polish Marble Tile
As time goes on, marble may lose some of its lusters, but you can fix it and restore its good looks. Here is how to polish marble tile. After you clean the marble and remove all stains, make sure you have a clean, dry surface before polishing. Use a dry Microfiber cloth to gently remove any remaining dust and dirt. Then sprinkle a small amount of marble polishing powder onto the etched spots. After that, you should gently buff the powder into the blemishes, using your damp cloth according to the product's instructions. Finally, use a damp rag to remove the powder residue, and wipe the marble tile dry to reveal the restored shine.