Marble is one of the hardest wearing of flooring materials. If it is cared for and maintained well, it will last a lifetime and more besides. It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance and can be said to be virtually maintenance free. However, marble is a natural material with a very similar composition to shells, pearls, teeth and bone and as such is prone to damage and etching if exposed to anything acidic in nature.
Place a tooth in a glass of cola and see what happens. Leave the tooth in cola overnight and the tooth will be gone by morning. Likewise, if you get lemon juice in a cut you’ll end up yelping like a dog which has had its paw trodden on. If your kitchen has a marble tiled floor, you need to keep an alkali solution (neutral pH) close to hand. By applying a neutral pH substance to a marble surface which has been exposed to an acidic liquid or material it will immediately counter the potential harmful effects.
Typical acidic foodstuffs you might end up using in a kitchen are diverse; a selection is listed below:
- Olive oil
- Sour apples
This isn’t an exhaustive list but does offer some indication of the type of foodstuff which can cause damage to marble surfaces. The acid has the potential to leach into the marble; discoloration, pitting and scarring are just three of the possible results of such an attack if it isn’t dealt with or cleaned up straight away.
Cleaning marble floors
Where outside shoes are worn on indoor surfaces, regular sweeping with a soft broom is essential. Small pieces of grit can etch the surface of marble, especially if it is rubbed over the surface under heavy footfalls. If you have pets (dog, cat or both) you will need to sweep more often, as they will carry grit and dirt in on their coats.
Where stains and marks are left on the surface, these can be easily cleaned off with a soft cloth dipped in warm water. With persistent stains which will not rub off with a cloth soaked in warm water, a neutral pH cleaning concentrate should only be applied. These types of cleaning solutions can be sourced in most supermarkets or specialist hardware stores.
Protecting marble flooring
Although marble is reasonably hard wearing, standing heavy furniture on marble can have a detrimental effect, as can scraping heavy objects over the surface also. One tip I can recommend is to stand a table on the floor with a small piece of old carpet under each leg. This will prevent damage and stop any potential for scratching if the table gets knocked out of position.
If you have a large piece of furniture such as a dresser unit or chest of drawers, a square of carpet cut to base size, which the unit can stand on, will protect the floor in the same way.
If you need further information about protecting marble floors from Marmol or any other supplier, ask when ordering or indeed when having the floor laid. You’re paying to have a floor laid and you’ll want to make sure it is always protected. Ask the experts; people love to talk and show off their expertise and you’ll be surprised the amount of help and information you’ll glean from them.