The most common problems associated with marble floorings are:
- Porosity: Marbles are susceptible to stains due to the porous composition of the material. As with most other stones, marbles have small pores on their surfaces which allows liquids to permeate through. This seepage is more common with marble surfaces with tumbled or honed finishes. These are more porous than marbles with a high polish finish, making them stain easily.
- Etches: Many acidic substances are readily found in homes and are harmful to marbles when exposed to marble floorings. Acidic substances may come from commercial cleaners or home-made cleaning solutions containing fruits, drinks, or vinegar. These chemicals cause chemical reactions with calcium carbonate found in marbles, dissolving the marbles, and leaving etch marks.
- Efflorescence: When marble floors are exposed to moisture, a powdery or chalky residue known as efflorescence may appear. Efflorescence is caused by the migration of soluble salts in the marbles to the surface. These salts can also come from unsealed grout lines or exposure to adverse weather conditions.
- Slipperiness: Marbles can be slippery, especially polished marble floorings. The chances of falls and slips are increased when polished marble floorings are wet. This means polished marble floorings may not be the best choice for places like bathrooms, kitchens, and pool decks. Falling on such surfaces is likely to induce serious injuries such as bone breakages and bruises.
How Much Does Marble Flooring Cost?
The cost of marble floorings depends on the type of marble used, the level of work involved, and the pattern of floor required to be used in the work. Other factors that may come into play include the location where the job will be done, and the marble flooring contractor hired. Note, hired flooring contractors near you may help save some cost due to proximity.
Listed below are some of the average costs involved in marble floorings:
Average Cost for Installation of Natural Marble Tiles
Average Cost to Polish and Restore Marble floorings
Average Cost of Marble flooring Restoration per Square Foot
Below are selected sample total costs with professional installation:
Entryway: About 50 square feet
Bathroom: About 150 square feet
Kitchen: About 300 square feet
What are the Factors That Affect the Cost of Marble Flooring?
The most critical factors that affect the cost of marble flooring works include:
- Marble type: Marble stones may be sorted by color and grade. Marble tiles are graded A, B, C, D by manufacturing depending on quality. Grade A marble tiles have the strongest structure and are the most expensive grade. While common marble types cost about $14 per square foot, rare and premium marbles can be sold for above $30.
- Marble Source: Majority of marble stones are mined outside the United States. Mining labor costs and transportation from the source to America affects marble flooring costs.
- Marble thickness: The thickness of marble tile required on a work plays a part in the total costs. Thin marble tiles are not suitable for commercial and high-traffic areas. Most marble tiles are about 12mm in thickness, while 6mm and 20 mm tiles are also available. The thicker a marble tile, the costlier it is.
- Marble Size: For the same type of marble, prices vary with size. Large marble slabs from which large marble tiles are made are rare and when they are available, costs more than smaller sized marble slabs.
- Marble Treatment or Finish: Marbles can be treated or finished tumbled or smooth. Tumbled types are more suitable for foyers, bathrooms, and other potentially wet locations. Tumbled tiles are more texturized and feel less slippery. Marbles with tumbled finishes cost much higher than those with smoother finishes.
- The type of pattern required - Some clients are very specific about the kind of pattern preferred for their marble flooring works. Some go as far as requiring custom patterns which will require more detailed steps and processes than common patterns. Custom patterns are more expensive than common patterns.
- Ease of Installation: Contractors find it much easier to install marbles in open spaces than around fixtures such as are easily found in bathrooms. The level of difficulty attached to installing a marble floor will influence the total estimates submitted by the contractor.
- Tile Volume: Usually, the more floor area is required to be covered with marbles, the more you will be able to save cost. The more marble tiles you have installed, the less it costs per square foot.
What Qualifications Should Marble Flooring Contractors Have?
As of 2019, there are 123,400 tile and marble setters working in the United States. These setters typically require no formal education to start out in the industry. However, beginners with a high school diploma or equivalent may choose to enter an apprenticeship program. Marble setters may find certain high school courses such as art and mathematics helpful. Marble setters mostly learn on the job working with experienced installers or beginning as helpers. Some marble setters learn the trade within 2-4 years of apprenticeship. Generally, an apprentice must complete a predetermined number of hours of technical instruction and on-the-job training. Technical instruction may comprise mathematics, building code requirements, blueprint readings, and safety and first-aid practices.
Some marble flooring contractors may hold a certification to demonstrate their mastery of marble setting skills. These certifications are offered by organizations including Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), International Masonry Institute (IMI), International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Tile Contractors' Association of America (TCAA), Tile Council of North America (TCNA), International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association(CFI), and International Standards & Training Alliance (INSTALL).
Do You Need a Handyman or a Marble Flooring Contractor?
Although a handyman can help set marble floorings especially for small projects, certain technicalities must be observed or undertaken to achieve safe, durable, and elegantly looking marble flooring. For instance, the subfloor needs to be clean, level, and able to support the weight of heavy marble flooring. A handyman may not be as experienced or knowledgeable enough to fulfill all these necessary conditions for a perfect marble flooring job.
It is also possible for a client to demand custom installation which is not readily available and will require the experience of a professional. It is also much easier to get a warranty from a marble flooring contractor than from any handyman near you. To save yourself from financial liabilities, it is better to hire a professional instead of a handyman who may not be bonded or able to provide proper insurance.
What Are the Common Post Marble Flooring Expenses?
Other than regularly cleaning the surface to maintain the shine of the stone, there are usually no additional expenses after a marble flooring project has been completed. Cleaning the surface of the floor of any debris after the project is undertaken by the contractor or other laborers employed. The cost for this is included in the bill at the beginning of the project.
Also, there may be damages to the home's electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems consequent upon the marble setting. However, a professional marble flooring contractor would have discussed the possibility of such with you prior to the commencement of the work. However, you may want to ask ahead whether there are any post-project expenses required and if the contractor will be responsible for such costs, if any.
Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Marble Flooring Expenses?
Homeowners' insurance policies typically cover damages of sudden and unexpected nature to properties. Expenses related to marble flooring installations done to increase the lifespan of a floor or to beautify a home are not covered by the insurance. However, if marble floorings are to be restored or re-laid as repair work as a result of damage of sudden and accidental nature, the homeowner's insurance policy may cover such. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFRB) encourages homeowners to determine what is covered by the insurance policy, as conditions and events coverage offered by providers often vary. Provisions made as per vandalism, natural disaster, vandalism, and age of the house should be verified. It is also important to ensure that your premiums are always paid up.
Can I Use Digital Payment to Pay My Marble Flooring Contractor?
Yes, you can. Small businesses across the US, including marble flooring specialists near you, have increasingly embraced digital payments following restrictions placed to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is important to inform the contractor ahead of time that you intend to complete payments through digital channels such as bank transfers and debit or credit cards. Digital payments are cheaper, faster, and more secure than traditional payment methods such as cash, checks, and money orders. Regardless of the digital payment method chosen, it is useful to keep receipts generated from the digital channel for record purposes.