Marble can be used throughout the house -- on floors, countertops, and even bathroom walls. It is available in a variety of colors, with a polished or nonpolished finish, and in an array of thicknesses and shapes.
Nonpolished marble is very porous, stains easily, and must be sealed with a commercial sealer. Do not use varnish or lacquer to seal marble; it quickly peels off. Polished marble is less porous but can still be stained; a commercial marble sealer is also recommended for this finish.
Marble floors look great after being damp-mopped using either clear water, an all-purpose cleaning solution in warm water, or a mixture of 1 cup fabric softener and 1/2 gallon water.
Self-polishing liquid wax is a fast, shiny finish for marble. Occasionally, you'll have to strip the wax buildup and rewax. After applying the stripper according to the manufacturer's directions, rinse the floor thoroughly, then apply wax.
Use either a water-base self-polishing wax or a paste wax. If you use a paste wax, test it in a corner to see if it will discolor the flooring. If a solvent-base paste wax is used, rewax to strip the old wax and to renew the shine.
Quarry tile -- our next topic -- requires up to three coats of sealer and further protection by wax. We'll guide you through the process.