Nothing pleases the eye more than a well-made marble floor. Nothing disappoints it more than the same flooring filled with cracks! Marble is a tasteful yet expensive choice for flooring. Thus, one would automatically expect it to last for a very long time in the future. The prospects of having to rip away the entire flooring to get it remade can often bring tears into the eyes of the most stoic person, if the flooring happens to be made of marble! But the good news is that there is a simple, elegant and effective fix available. And all you need for doing it is some wall grout.
Marble flooring usually has random veining and this could be used to great advantage. Begin by doing a sample testing to get your technique right. Grout the cracks that have appeared between the marble with the color that matches the veining of the marble. Do it in the way one would do between the gaps of tiles. Get the consistency and color right before you proceed to repair the entire flooring. The grout should be of the consistency of pre-mixed cake icing at 60 F. Make use of a rubber float to apply the grout in the cracks of the marble. Remove the excess grout off the marble.
You will notice a slight haze of grout on the marble. Do not remove this. Let the whole floor stay that way for about 30 minutes. Then, slowly sponge away the haze of the grout on the marble. Ensure that you do not dig out any of the grout from in between the marble! When you are done, the grout filling must be in level with your marble flooring. Ensure that there is neither a bump nor a depression in the flooring.
Oxygen bleach is an excellent cleaner for marble and it removes stubborn organic stains. It also does not harm the marble in any way. Commercially, it is available as a powder that could be mixed in water and used. Make a solution with this oxygen bleach and spread it on the floor. Allow the floor of marble and grout to soak it and see the magic that oxygen does. After about 15 minutes, use a nylon brush with stiff bristles to scrub the floor and then rinse the floor. The marble should be looking as good as new!
Prevention would be a good idea if your floor has not developed cracks yet. While marble has good compressive strength which means that it can withstand squeezing, it has low tensile strength which means that it cracks when stretched. Make sure that your marble flooring is not attached to a wooden floor below because wood has a good stretching coefficient which the marble will not be able to stay up with.
Thus, cracks may also appear if there is a heavy load at a single point on the flooring. Running hot water pipes under your flooring is another sure shot recipe for cracks. To be safe, always ensure that the flooring is installed with a crack isolation membrane which is very effective in stopping the tension forces from pulling the marble apart. Marble is beautiful and these measures will ensure that it stays that way for a long time to come!