What is Marble?
Marble is a naturally occurring Metamorphic rock. Similar to Limestone, Marble is a sedimentary rock which is forced down into the ground and put under intense heat and pressure. This changes the structure of the rock over the thousands of years. This also changes the density so marble has much fewer voids and often none at all compared to other types of natural stones.
What are the characteristics of Marble?
Marble is seen as a very elegant stone, which has been used for statues and buildings across the world since classical times. Some characteristics of Marble include:
Naturally white in colour, the marble effect is created by veins within the stone, caused by various mineral impurities which create the different colours. This uniqueness is just one reason why Marble is such a popular stone!
The crystals in Marble allow light to penetrate several millimeters into the surface, giving a beautiful depth to the stone. Reflections of light from the surface add to the luxurious elegance that the stone brings.
Although Marble is much denser than other natural stone like Travertine, the surface is still naturally porous and needs sealing to avoid staining. With the correct products and care, looking after your tiles will keep them in the best condition, so that you can enjoy them just as much as you did when they were first laid.
Types of Stone Finishes
Marble tiles are available in a range of different finishes, so you are able to choose the best style to suit your room and personal preference. From rustic to a high shine deluxe finish, these should be considered when thinking about which tile you would like to use in relation to the feel and atmosphere you are looking to achieve within your space.
Honed and filled tiles are tiles where the surface has been filled and sanded to a soft and flat finish.
Tumbled finish tiles have been tumbled in a machine, which rounds off the edges; this is a great finish if you are trying to achieve a rustic style.
A chiseled finish is similar to tumbled, but it also gives the effect that the edges have been chiseled off for a natural and rugged feel.
A polished finish is a really popular choice; where the surface has been mechanically polished to give it a flat and shiny surface. If you’re aiming to get a grand and lavish feel in a room, then a polished finish tile would fit perfectly.
You can find the perfect finish for you by taking a look at all of the available finishes in our dedicated area for Marble Tiles.
Using Marble Tiles in Your Home
Marble has been used over many years, so it is well-known for adding a timeless style to buildings and now homes. It has connotations of luxury, having been used for building iconic buildings and statues around the world.
With its distinctly beautiful pattern, Marble Tiles can add a classy and elegant look to your chosen room. It brings a luxurious and classy personality, and is typically used for adding an airy, relaxed and sleek ambience to the room.
Marble is very versatile as a natural stone in itself, but also as a material for styling options; there are so many elegant looks to pair with this type of tile. Pair with rustic wood or metal for an industrial take on the crisp modern style of marble.
Or add metallic accents or furniture including gold and copper materials or chrome finishes, for some extra subtle elegance. The Cappuccino Light Polished Marble for example, in a bathroom with chrome finish towel and hand rails really adds a touch of opulence.
As it has a classy look and feel, Marble looks stunning in any room; adding texture and dimension with its natural pattern to both walls and floors for years to come. We love the Vanilla Cream Tumbled Marble brick style tiles on kitchen walls, to create a clean and crisp feel with a unique touch.
Fixing of Marble Tiles
As with Travertine and other natural tiles, any Marble tiles should be dry laid first by mixing up the tiles from different boxes or crates until you are happy with the shading across the area to be tiled.
If the substrate shows any signs of dust or decay, it will need to be prepared with Primer G in order to allow adhesive to stick to it.
How to prepare Marble Tiles
Marble tiles should be cleaned before installation, using LTP Grimex to remove any dirt or grime. This stops dirt and grime getting sealed on to the surface when the subsequent sealer is applied.
A coat of impregnating sealer should be applied before fixing, which will help to stop adhesive and grout sticking to the pores in the surface while the tiles are being fitted.
Tumbled or unpolished Marble can be sealed with LTP Mattstone. Polished Marble should be sealed with LTP MPG Sealer which will require buffing off after 20 - 30 minutes.
The adhesive used should be suitable for the conditions and it is also recommended that White adhesive is used on light coloured marble. This is to avoid dark shadowing from the back of the tile after installation.
The adhesive you require will be dependent on the conditions and substrate that the tile is being fixed on. In most cases you will require Keraquick White.
Fixing Marble Tiles
Marble should be fixed on a solid bed of adhesive, so that no voids remain behind the tiles after fixing. The adhesive should be spread on to the substrate and trowelled out as a ribbed bed. Marble has fewer voids on the back of tile (if any), however care should be taken to check for these and the tile should be ‘back buttered’.
Grouting should be carried out in accordance with Mapeis’ instructions. Care should be taken with Polished Marble that the grout is not allowed to dry on the surface and make any marks.
For polished marble, we recommend Keracolour FF Grout as it is fantastic for delicate surfaces.
Now that your tiles are fully grouted, we need to do a final clean and seal.
The tiles should be cleaned with LTP Grimex and sealed again with the sealer used during the first seal (e.g. LTP MPG). This will provide the final seal for the stone.
Regular cleaning of Marble will help keep the tiles looking as good as the day they were fitted. LTP Stonewash is an ideal everyday cleaner for Marble.
We recommend a specialist cleaning product because ‘off the shelf’ supermarket cleaner may be too acidic for the surface of marble and cause damage.
Please contact customer service or speak to one of our expert staff in store for more information on caring for the tiles you have chosen to use.
Things to consider
Although personal taste and style is obviously a huge factor when choosing your Natural Stone tiles, there are also some other areas below which should be considered.
Another very important consideration when tiling on walls is the weight of the tiles because Travertine and Marble are obviously heavier than a ceramic tile.
Listed below are some popular substrates and what they can hold. Also bare in mind that the weight of the adhesive will add approx 2-3kg per sq metre.
- Gypsum Plaster - Max 20kg/m²
- Gypsum Plasterboard - Max 32kg/m²
- Gypsum Fibre Boards - Max 40kg/m²
- Plywood (WBP) - 30kg/m²
- Tile Backer Board (No More Ply) - 40kg/m²
- Glass reinforcement cement sheets (Aquapanel) - max 50kg/m²
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We would love to see your newly installed Marble Tiles, so please tag us in your photos on social media! Alternatively, head over to our YouTube channel to browse our how-to videos, or contact our team for further expert advice.