Today I would like to take you on a journey of understanding, consideration and beauty. What do I mean? Well, so often folk come to Union Tiles with the idea that they are going to buy natural stone. The desire for the product is sometimes based purely on the fact that the client has been advised, that this marble, granite, travertine etc. Matches their home and image. My question then is, ‘Does it really match the taste and lifestyle of the customer?’ Consider all of the following before you make your decision. So often the customer falls in love with the stone, but, their lifestyle just does not match the use of certain stones.
For the first part of this journey let us explore the first stone that comes to mind, MARBLE, I will admit that it happens to be one of my favourites.
What is Marble? (Geology.com) Marble is a metamorphic rock formed when limestone is exposed to high temperatures and pressures. Marble forms under such conditions because the calcite forming the limestone recrystallizes forming a denser rock consisting of roughly granular calcite crystals. The variety of colours found within the stone are a consequence of minerals being incorporated with the calcite during metamorphism. This process takes millions of years to form.
What should you understand about marble tiles/slabs before buying them?
Firstly, you are buying something so unique, so magical, a part of something created as a historical event, yet it remains timeless still today. The idea that each piece is unique and different and, created in nature is so incredibly humbling.
Consider this though, because the minerals do not disperse evenly, you are not going to have an even colour and, no two tiles will necessarily have the same vein or shading. Do not expect the tiles to be the same. Some marbles shading is gentler than others and, their background colours have more of an even tone, whilst others can change more dramatically. Always ask the sales person to unpack a few boxes of the tile you are interested in, the larger the quantity you are purchasing the larger the sample.
In other words, if you want to purchase between 100 and 200m2 ask them to unpack between 10 – 15m2 for you as a dry lay. What do we mean when we say ‘dry lay’? WHEN TILING NATURAL STONE YOU MUST ALWAYS UNPACK THE STONE – MIX THE SHADES TO YOUR LIKING BEFORE ‘STICKING’ DOWN the tiles with adhesive. Oh, and please, use the correct adhesive for marble – Marble fix. In addition to this, make sure that you make use of a highly reputable tiler who has years of experience laying marble tiles. At Union Tiles, we have a range of natural stone cleaners and sealers, which have been specifically formulated and tested on natural stone.
Once you have your tiles on site, ask your tiler to do you a ‘dry lay’ in order to ensure that you are satisfied with the sample ‘mix’. NO grout must be left to dry on the surface as it can be extremely abrasive when removing the excess, thereby causing scratches on the surface of the tile. The tiles must be washed with the recommended tile cleaner, making use of a soft cloth.
Once these tiles have been thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry you need to seal them. (SQT products only) Make sure that the workers on site are not walking over the tiles with wheelbarrows and boots that are covered in gravel and cement. In fact, when your tiles are tiled and cleaned, NOBODY should be walking over them without thoroughly removing all grit from their shoes first. Ensure that you have a good quality mat at the entrance in order to do just that, remove the dust and grit from your shoes and that of your guests. Dogs’ nails can scratch marble as well, so ensure IF YOU HAVE PETS that are in the home, their nails should be well trimmed. Do not leave wine, tomato sauce or lemon juice on your marble as these will cause stains or etch your marble.
Marble needs to be nurtured, loved and cared for. If over time some of the shine starts showing signs of wear and tear, this can be polished again. Just because marble is a stone does not mean it is a hard material, in fact, it is quite soft.
Marble responds to those who love it, are you that person? If you are not willing to pamper and look after your floor, buy a porcelain look-a-like!
Marble is an investment in your home, not just for its indelible beauty and the incredible impact it makes on your floor. Marble is unique and every piece is a testament to some part of history now discovered and opened by man. Marble is timeless and if it is looked after it will give you years of pleasure. Lavish it with love and reap the reward of the deep reflection of eternal beauty. Please join us at Union Tiles and we will gladly show you this incredible product that has journeyed for so long and is now available for you. At Union Tiles, we would love to share more information with you over a cup of tea or coffee. Please join us.