Caring for Marble Floors

By Jill Mead , last updated March 10, 2011

Marble floors are elegant, classic, and beautiful, but they are also delicate and require constant care. This soft stone has been used for floors for at least a thousand years, and with proper upkeep, your own marble floor could last for centuries.

The care of marble floors is largely a matter of protection from damaging elements. Marble floors are easily stained. It is very important to exercise caution with food and drink, especially dark substances like red wine or cola. Acidic liquids are also harmful and can leave discolorations where they eat into the marble over time. It is recommended to have a very absorbent towel handy in case of stains and remember to blot and not wipe, which could spread the stain.

Marble floors are also softer than other materials, and more vulnerable to being scratched by grit and sand tracked in on the bottoms of shoes. It is helpful to place area rugs at the entrance to rooms to catch some of the dirt and stones. It is very important to get into the habit of regularly, even daily, using a dust mop or vacuum to remove rough particles from the floor's surface. Over time, foot traffic can press accumulated dirt into the marble, where it is harder to remove. Sand has a sandpaper effect on marble, causing microscopic scratches that damage and dull the floor.

It is very important to remember that most detergents created for use on other surfaces might contain oils or acids that can damage marble floors. In place of detergents, use a marble-specific cleaner or simply warm soapy water to mop. It is also possible to treat the floor with a sealant, which will provide a barrier that protects the floor. Using these prevention and care measures will ensure a shiny floor for years to come.

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