Marble vs. Porcelain vs. Hardwood for Flooring

on in Marble, Porcelain Tiles

When it comes to the flooring in your home, you have countless options to consider. Carpet may feel good under your feet, but it actually has the shortest life span and is prone to stains. If you want something more durable that can actually boost the value of your home, marble, ceramic, and hardwood are the top choices. Choosing the right one for your property is a matter of understanding the pros and cons associated with each building material.

Cleaning Considerations 

It doesn’t matter which hard flooring material you choose if cleaning is your top priority. They’re all very easy to clean. These materials aren’t prone to staining and getting rid of debris generally only requires a broom and mop. Mud, dirt, allergens and other items are easily swept away to leave the floor looking like new. However, there are a few key differences that can help you make your decision.

  • Marble is resistant to bacteria: Marble is naturally anti-bacterial and that makes it the right choice if the thought of germs makes your skin crawl.
  • Water is no problem for marble: Water can destroy your hardwood if it’s allowed to sit. The problem is that moisture can seep into the pores of the wood and cause it to swell. If you have pets that may have accidents in the home, it’s important to remember that animal urine that’s not cleaned up immediately will eventually turn your hardwood floors black and leave you with a damaged area that must be cut out and replaced.
  • Scratches and dirt won’t become an eyesore: One of the downfalls of ceramic is that scratches can go through the glazed surface to expose the clay composition below. Dirt can seep into that more porous material and become an eyesore forever. Marble has the same material throughout the tile, so there’s less concern about dirt becoming trapped in a lower layer and turning into a permanent stain.

What Happens with Scratches

Despite your best intentions, accidents will happen and your floor can get scratched. In the case of hardwood, some people like how the scratches look and believe that it gives the floor character and a more authentic appearance. You can also use different waxes and scratch filers to correct or camouflage the problem.

Ceramic tiles are more problematic due to the color and texture difference between the glazed surface and the supporting material. Scratches that go through the glaze will show up more due to these differences, and they’re more likely to capture and hold dirt. Unfortunately, the only way to truly address this type of damage is to have the tile completely replaced. You can avoid this problem by using small throw rugs in areas where the risk of damage is greatest, including in front of major kitchen appliances and doorways.

One of the great advantages of marble is that scratches tend to disappear due to the consistency of color throughout the tile. This is why so many high-end retailers have their floors finished with marble. It can handle the traffic, and the scratches are easily minimized with a little polishing. Install marble floors in any part of your home and you can expect the tiles to continue looking great for decades.

Standing Up to the Traffic

People who have nice, quiet households may not be too worried about durability, but this is huge concern for businesses and busy families. Wood floors are able to handle regular traffic, but the finish will eventually wear down. Wood can be refinished only so many times before the nailheads are exposed and the floor must be replaced.

Ceramic isn’t as durable as wood. Although it can handle the traffic in many situations, it’s more prone to scratching and cracking. Replacing an individual tile isn’t overly difficult, but finding a perfect match in color and style can be tricky after just a few short years. If you go with ceramic, then work with a supplier that can provide you with a consistent inventory so that you can replace tiles at a later time.

With marble, you’ll have a durable product that can handle the foot traffic and won’t have to be refinished. Marble has been used in construction for millennia, and it’s proven that it can handle regular use in both interior and exterior applications. You can keep it looking great by taking the time to polish and seal it every few years, but most homeowners can handle this without the need to call in professionals.

Style Choices

Ceramic is available in countless colors, and that’s one area where it has the advantage over natural marble. However, it’s important to consider resale value. The flooring is a major component in your home. While you may love the look of a brilliant blue tile floor, it can be a major turnoff for potential buyers when the time comes to sell. Marble is available in numerous shades of white, gray, and even red so that you can still add color while maintaining a more neutral finish that will appeal to future buyers. Wood also comes in numerous shades and styles, but you may find that the elegant look of marble gives your home a sophisticated touch that wood cannot duplicate. If you still want the brilliant colors or need accent pieces, then ceramic is the right choice for you.

Price Considerations

You’ll be pleased to learn that marble tiles really aren’t much more expensive than high-end ceramic. It’s available in beautiful colors that are appropriate for any home style, and it lasts much longer than ceramic. The price per foot is more comparable to wood, but marble still has a longer life span. When you add in the lower repair and maintenance costs, it becomes apparent that marble is the more cost-effective choice for all types of property owners. It’s an investment in your property, and you’ll be thrilled with how it looks.

When you make the decision to invest in marble floors, start by visiting Nalboor to look over our selection and see how affordable our products are. In addition to offering marble, we also carry travertine, limestone and even ceramic tile. We help our clients save money with our wholesale prices, and you won’t have to wait long for delivery because we fill orders quickly. Call our friendly professionals today to review your needs and see how we can meet them.