Last week we looked at the gamut of shortcomings of investing in marble in the home. As a result, we despaired that we’d have to forego that luxurious, sophisticated marble look. And then, just as all seemed lost, we learned that Tile Devil supplies a wide range of marble effect tiles that precisely mimic the lustre and opulence of marble, while eliminating almost all of its shortcomings.
To appreciate just how closely marble effect tiles emulate the real thing, check out our gorgeous Verona floor tiles below. The warm pearly tones and delicate veining of this tile perfectly replicate the splendour of the historical marble floors of medieval Verona.
So What Exactly are Marble Effect Tiles?
Marble is formed deep within the earth along the edges of shifting tectonic plates. It takes millions of years to form. The extreme temperature and pressure caused by the shifting plates provide the necessary environment for any limestone present to undergo a complete transformation of shape and form (known as absolute metamorphosis). It emerges from this protracted and natural process as marble. As the necessary conditions are found only along the edges of shifting plates, marble can only be found in certain parts of the world.
Marble effect tiles, on the other hand, are the product of a man-made process and, thankfully, take considerably less time to form. The two types of tiles commonly used are ceramic and porcelain.
Ceramic tiles are made of clay that is shaped and fired twice in extremely hot kilns. Nowadays the clay usually comes from the dust of pulverized rock, slate, or marble. Between firing, the tiles are coated with a durable glaze which carries the colour and pattern. For more modern tiles, this is achieved with digital printing. In the case of marble effect tiles - such as in the image below – it’s this glazing or printing that provides the “marble effect” or marble look.
Porcelain tiles are produced in a similar fashion, but use a finer, denser, more impervious clay than ceramic. They are shaped or “formed” using a higher pressure, and are subsequently fired at higher temperatures. This makes them stronger, harder, and more damage resistant than non-porcelain ceramic tiles. Our striking porcelain Tiffany marble effect tile below is another superb example of how wonderfully marble effect tiles simulate the grandeur of marble.
How do Marble Effect Tiles Neutralise the Drawbacks of Marble Stone?
In terms of appearance, marble effect tiles do exactly as it says on the tin. They convincingly resemble marble, and porcelain tiles in particular have an amazing ability to emulate the sumptuous stone. However, their real attraction is that while doing so they also mitigate almost every drawback of using marble in the home:
Affordable and Little Wastage
Less Installation Work
Easy to Keep Clean
No Staining or Etching
Slip in a Warning
“Wow!” you might conclude, “so tiles neutralise every drawback of marble in the home?” Well, there is one drawback that they don’t fully mitigate against, and that’s the “slippery when wet” problem. The fact of the matter is that all floors are slippery when wet, and we can’t defeat nature on this one.
However, as tiles are man-made, rather than made by Mother Nature, producers have been able to create tiles with higher coefficients of friction. In the UK and Ireland, authorities use a slip rating system known as R-Ratings, where a higher rating indicates a more slip-resistant tile. Manufacturers have recently crafted a non-slip or anti-slip variant. However, the term “non-slip” is something of a misnomer when it comes to tiles, and it’s important to keep in mind that no tile can be guaranteed to be slip-proof.
So there you have it. It seems like a no brainer. Tile Devil’s marble effect tiling offers you the splendid, commanding look of marble, yet negates almost all of its drawbacks. Don’t just take my word for it; the writers on interior design website Houzz also suggest porcelain tiles as an alternative to marble.
So don’t lose your marbles with marble; instead, go for the classic tiled marble effect!
By The Tile Monk.
About The Author
The Tile Monk lives a simple life devoted completely to tile worship. He meditates on tiles, about tiles. He no longer lays tiles; that’s for his younger apprentices. You cannot follow him on Twitter or Facebook, as his time on this earth is dedicated solely to the contemplation of tiles, and occasional blogposts.