Marble floors are elegant and can give a home the look of opulence. But marble floors can become eyesores if they are not maintained and taken care of properly. If you are considering installing marble flooring in your home, it's important to understand everything that is involved in protecting this type of flooring surface. You'll need to know how to protect the flooring from damage so the flooring will remain brilliant for many years to come. Here are a few important things to understand.  

Subflooring & underlayment installation provides protection from cracks

Marble floors can crack, especially if something heavy is dropped on it. Of course, nobody goes around intentionally dropping heavy things throughout their homes. However, because accidents do happen and things are dropped, it's important to have the marble flooring installation done correctly because proper installation can prevent cracks from forming even when things are dropped on the floor.

The reason for this is because marble won't crack when it's squeezed, but it will crack when it is bent or stretched. The subflooring and underlayment needs to be perfectly solid so the marble doesn't bend or stretch when something hits it with force, such as when something is dropped. Solid and level subflooring and underlayment materials are important in protecting marble floors from this type of damage.

This means there cannot be any dips or crevices in the subflooring, such as you would have with plywood subflooring. The subflooring material can also not be susceptible to swelling from excessive moisture, which would cause the marble to no longer be on a solid, even surface. For the best crack prevention, installation of your marble flooring should include a crack-isolation membrane and a self-leveling underlayment.

Application of sealant provides protection from stains

Marble is a porous material, which means it is susceptible to stains when something is spilled on it. Fortunately, there are surface sealing treatments specifically designed for marble floors. The sealant fills in pores of the marble and forms a layer on top of the material so nothing harmful can penetrate it.

When your marble flooring is installed, it should be treated with a surface sealant. The sealant will need to be reapplied according to the manufacturer's recommendations for the amount of foot traffic the flooring receives. Typically, marble floors needs sealing treatment re-applications every 6-12 months. To achieve the desired look, it's important to hire a professional marble cleaning and treatment service to apply the sealant for you.

Maintenance & cleaning provides protection from scratches

Marble floors can be easily scratched. Scratches can leave the marble vulnerable to stains due to the protective sealant being damaged when scratches are made. However, a few simple precautionary measures can help keep your marble flooring scratch-free.

  • When moving furniture and other heavy items, lift them completely off of the flooring instead of sliding or dragging them.
  • If you must slide furniture due to weight, place felt underneath each of the legs of the furniture.
  • Do not wear shoes with pointed heels or damaged soles.
  • Trim your pet's nails regularly and keep the nails smooth.
  • Limit your children's choices of toys to play with on the marble flooring.  
  • Use area rugs for high traffic areas.
  • Regularly vacuum or dust-mop the flooring.

Do not use a broom with hard bristles on your marble flooring. Hard bristles can easily scratch marble, especially when dragging dirt and dust along with the bristles when sweeping.

Marble flooring can be elegant or an eyesore, depending on how the flooring is installed and taken care of. Marble flooring installation, sealant application and cleaning should be done by a professional company like All American Stone & Tile Care Inc.