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Yet for such an upscale material, marble is also durable and easy-care. You’ll find it often installed in “wet” environments, such as kitchens and bathrooms, where frequent water splashes can be simply wiped away without causing damage.
So if you’re thinking about incorporating this fabulous flooring into your home design, read on to learn what types of marble are available, how to choose the best one for your budget, and glean some DIY tips should you opt to tackle installation yourself.
Marble flooring tiles come in varying colors and surface patterns. The contrasting color lines running through the surface are known as veining, which can be heavy and pronounced or delicate and barely noticeable.
While more than a hundred varieties of marble exist, there are three main categories, each type identified by its appearance.
This popular white marble was used centuries ago in ancient Greece and Rome, appearing in massive pillars and elaborate statues. Today, Carrara marble flooring tiles can be found in limited hues, ranging from light to warm white, and its surface features medium to light gray veining.
A white marble similar to Carrara, Calacatta is closer to pure white in color and features darker gray veining, which creates a contrasting look.
For more color and warmth in marble flooring, consider Breccia marble, which comes in a range of deeper shades, including warm golds, tans, deep browns, and reds.
The dark gray and black veining in Breccia marble tends to appear in ornate swirls, and it frequently includes perfectly round outlines that resemble bubbles trapped beneath the surface.
The most popular option for marble flooring comes with a high-gloss appearance, achieved by grinding the surface with a stone-polishing machine. Polishing brings out the veining in the marble and gives the floor a radiant luxurious look. With the right maintenance (see below), polished marble will retain a reflective finish for many years.
This type of finish is only lightly polished, just enough to produce a flat smooth surface, but not enough to create a shine. Honed marble offers a durable surface with a soft matte finish some consider more down to earth than flashier polished marble.