Building a house is a big deal and there’s literally so much one has to know about when doing that. A very important decision regarding a house or flat is the flooring. The flooring sets the tone for the entire place and it indeed is something someone needs to educate themselves on beforehand. And if that is what you’re trying to do, look no further for you’ve come to the right place.
Marble is a natural stone that is formed when limestone undergoes metamorphic crystallization. Tiles on the other hand are made from a mixture of clay and silicates baked at high temperatures.
Marble is slightly harder to maintain and take care of. Even though both marble and tile are fairly stain proof, still if the two are compared marble is easier to stain. Tiles are comparably easier to maintain and they’re quite stained proof.
Marble is available in a wide variety of forms. From Carrara to Emperador to countless shades and whirls and patterns. Likewise, Tiles too are available in various different types such as ceramic, granite, glass, porcelain, etc.
Marble comes in four different finishes. Polished, honed, tumbled, and brushed. Polished is the most common form of marble we find in Indian homes. Here the marble is polished using diamond discs to give it the glossy look. Honed marble is the type where abrasive scratch away tiny bits from the marble’s surface, giving it an old-world look. Honed marble is porous than other finishes and hence slightly more difficult to maintain.
Tumbled marble is, as the name sort of suggests tumbled in a drum with stones and sand and other abrasives. This makes the marble look very unpolished but it actually feels smooth. Also tumbled marble gives better grip which is why it’s a good option for bathrooms and showers. Brush finish marbles are the antique kinds. Manufacturers lightly brush the surface of the marble until it becomes aged and textured. This kind of marble finish is fit for an old-world aesthetic but it’s very high maintenance. You need to vacuum it often and of course, make sure you don’t spill anything in it.
Tiles come in slightly more number of finishes than marbles which are also luckily named according to the type of finish they have. These include a matte finish, glazed finish, unglazed finish, polished finish, glossy finish, textured finish, and one lappato finish which means that the tile has been polished but not enough for a full reflective finish effect.
As compared to tiles, marbles are fairly porous. This is due to their crystalline structure. Also due to the fact that marble originates as sedimentary limestone, it’s on the basic side of the pH scale which means that it can react when in contact with acidic substances. Tiles, especially glazed finishes are way less porous in nature. Vitrified ceramic tiles are even chemically inert and thus won’t react to acids. Porcelain tiles also react fairly well with acids but regular usage may cause corrosion over time.
Marbles are sustainable as once they’re ready they can be used for decades but not exactly eco-friendly. Though often used they’re a non-renewable resource. In fact, their extraction is a very energy-intensive process and it has irreversible effects on the environment. Tiles when compared to marble are considered eco-friendly. The manufacturing process consumes less fuel as the materials used are plentiful and easy to mine.
It is pretty obvious that marble being a natural stone is a lot more expensive than tiles that are man-made. Also, the entire process of extraction is a costly process which only adds to more reasons why marble is so expensive. But then the aesthetic that a marble flooring adds to a place is worth the extra bucks you spend on it. Tiles, themselves aren’t so bad either, to be honest, at the end of the day it’s really your decision.