One of the best investments a homeowner can make, for sheer enjoyment or for resale, is installing statement-making white marble.
“Before investing in white marble though,” says Dean Dupre, owner of Champion Tile & Marble in Clearwater, Fla,, “make sure you know the quality of the stone. This means taking the time to carefully examine the stones you want to use. You want only the best and most durable.” In addition, a tile should not show signs of filling: small, dull patches, seen when tilted at a 45-degree angle under a light. If the tiles are filled, they are not high quality, which affects their integrity and durability.
White marble stones may be polished, but the idea is that the finished product looks smooth and attractive. If the stone has been improperly buffed up, swirl marks are visible on the surface. This detracts from the stone’s beauty, while calling its quality into question.
When it comes to white marble tiles, there is currently no existing industry standard. That means any home renovation expert, or even a do-it-yourself kind of individual, needs to personally check the quality of any stones under consideration. Doing so requires carefully judging the material by looking at the back of the tiles first.
The surface must not have a net or mesh covering. “If there is a net or mesh on the back of the tile,” adds Dupre, “it is a weak stone and likely to crack or break and is susceptible to scratching and/or etching.” Make sure the stones have straight edges and are evenly shaped. Straight edges grouting will be easier once the project is finished. Imperfectly shaped tiles or stones are hard to shape for a complete a flooring plan, and installation of such misshapen tiles is difficult.
Most marble is notable for its veining, and white marble is no exception. Veining provides the stone’s character. If white marble tiles do show this characteristic, turn the tile over and check for cracks, or other surface imperfections, along the vein trail. These tiles may still be used in low traffic areas, or on walls. “If you do choose tiles with imperfections, still make sure they are a uniform thickness. Uneven tiles create dangerous floors, ripe for trip and fall accidents,” advises Dupre.