Ming green marble floor maintenance?

remodelflaMarch 12, 2013

I'm collecting tile samples for my future tiny master bath remodel. what kind of maintenance should I expect with a ming green marble floor and shower walls? It's just the two of us, and 90% of the time that bathroom is used just by me. Do I have to seal/grout/seal again? Occasional re-sealing? Special cleansers?

We are all about low/no maintenance is everything we've chosen in this house. As much as I love a tile... I am at least equally about not having to muss with it now or in the future beyond cleaning.

I got two samples of lovely limestone tile that I got excited about till I read about the maintenance involved. No way we're willing to deal with that.
Thanks in advance for any input.

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No, you cannot clean marble the way you do tile, it will etch the surface. It is also very slippery for a floor. Personally, I don't think it is a practical choice. People like it anyway. I do know a couple people who did polished marble shower walls and floors and they would not do it again. Precious, fragile, stressful, can't use typical bathroom products that disinfect and kill mold/mildew. One had to have all their marble repolished because the house cleaner used products on it that dulled the surface.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 1:05PM
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well thanks snookums... that's exactly the kind of info I wanted/needed. I actually thought that the ming green would be OK based on how many bathrooms I see with that finish. I know myself, and I am not one who wants to baby a surface no matter how much I appreciate it's beauty. I received some limestone samples that I was able to trash in less then 24 hours with some toothpaste, vinegar, bleach, and nail polish remover. I don't mind sealing once a year but beyond that not a willing participant.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Before you use all those toxic cleaners the regular (non health-food) grocery store sells, think of what it does to your body, if it's doing THAT to your marble. Most of getting rid of the germs is removing them from surfaces, not launching an all out nuclear attack.
I think you should try the same tests you did on your limestone on a Ming marble sample. I had a gorgeous pink marble tile floor in the hall/kid bathroom in my old house. The bathroom was also the home of the washer and dryer, and all associated products (for me, those would be 7th Generation detergent, baking soda, and vinegar).
At the time, we had 4 kids (3 boys!). I would do the marble again in a second. Now, I did not mind that the floor got scratched and scuffed. I considered that a patina, and that it made the floor less slippery. When we moved out, the floor was not as glossy as the day we put it in, but it still looked beautiful. I did use a little bleach around the base of the toilet, to get the grout white again. This was after 3 years of boys in various stages of potty training.
I have been to Italy, where marble floors and countertops are ubiquitous. In the very old houses, the marble just has a matte finish. In Baltimore city, the old rowhouses are reknowned for their beautiful outdoor marble steps the ladies would scrub EVERY day.
Toxic bathroom cleaners you buy in the regular old grocery store are bad for your health and the environment anyway. You can clean your whole bathroom with things like baking soda, vinegar and water in a 1:4 ratio, steam (I got a $30 steam-cleaner at Tuesday Morning -- the steam kills EVERYTHING loosens up all bathroom gook, etc. with no toxic fumes. It's just water!) Seventh Generation makes a kick-arse toilet cleaner.
If you want the bathroom to smell clean and to kill germs and mold without ruining your body or your marble, put a couple of drops of essential oils of lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, cedar, pine, tea tree, tangerine, or some combination thereof, in your homemade cleaning solution.
It only takes a minute to put a glop of Bi-O-Kleen all-purpose cleaner degreaser in a spray bottle, fill up the bottle the rest of the way with water, shake it up, and go to town on the bathroom. I promise it will still sparkle like you used the Dupont and Dow crap that uses known endocrine disruptors.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:45AM
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Thank you natural for your experienced and thoughtful response. Mostly we do use hot water and vinegar. I haven't bought the Bio Kleen but will check into it. It was the vinegar that literally ate at the lovely limestone. I plan on trying the vinegar, toothpaste, nail polish remover, and yes... some bleach on the ming green sample. I'll be delighted if it holds up decently. I think I"d prefer a honed finish to a polish on the floor anyway. I'll let you all know how it pans out. I received the most beautiful and unusual sample of glass tile that would look AWESOME (I think) with the ming green.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:27PM
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I'm also all about low maintenance and we also don't use the toxic cleaners. However, we do hire to have our house cleaned and sometimes they will use stuff to clean that isn't our choice based on who showed up a particular day. That is why I never choose something that can be damage by normal cleaning practices or needs special knowledge or babying. Just something to think about.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:25PM
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I know this is a late post but I hope that everyone who considers marble in their house has learned to never use vinegar to clean it. Its too acidic and will etch and damage you stone. There are other non toxic neutral cleaners out there.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 8:47AM
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