Putting Wood Floors Over Marble: Is it Possible?

can wooden flooring be done on marble

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Marble is a luxurious and elegant flooring material that can add value and style to any home. However, marble requires considerable maintenance to keep it looking pristine. The porous stone absorbs spills easily and is prone to etching, scratches and discoloration over time. 

If your marble flooring has lost its luster, you may be considering replacing it with wood flooring for a fresh new look with less upkeep. But is installing wood flooring over your existing marble possible or advisable?

There are a few factors to consider when putting wood floors over marble. With proper preparation and installation, wood can be installed successfully over marble. Here is an overview of the issues involved with placing wood flooring over existing marble tiles.

Assessing the Existing Marble Floor 

The condition of the current marble will impact the installation process. Cracks, chips, wide grout lines or extensive flaws will telegraph through the new flooring. moisture issues also need to be addressed first.

Before installation, inspect the marble for any needed repairs. Fill cracks and chips with epoxy resin filler. Regrout stained or missing grout lines. Moisture test to ensure no excess moisture is trapped under the marble that could damage the wood over time.

If the marble itself is in generally good shape, you can probably install wood floors over it. If there are extensive imperfections or moisture issues, you may want to remove the marble completely before installing new floors.

Choosing the Wood Flooring

Once you determine the marble subsurface is solid, choose the type of wood flooring. Because of the potential for some unevenness, a flexible engineered wood floor is a better choice than solid wood, which cannot flex as easily to minor irregularities.

An engineered wood floor has multiple layers of plywood topped with a hardwood veneer surface layer. This multi-layer construction is more dimensionally stable and able to handle imperfections better than solid wood.

For installing over marble, look for an engineered floor rated for installation over concrete. The planks should have a thick enough top layer – at least 3-4mm – to allow sanding for refinishing over time.

Prepping the Marble for Installation  

Installing over the marble requires proper preparation to create a smooth, even subsurface:

  • Deep clean the marble thoroughly to remove dirt, oils or waxes that could impede adhesion. 
  • Grind down any significant height variations in the marble to flatten the floor.
  • Skim coat the entire marble surface with cement-based leveling compound to fill smaller cracks and create a smooth subsurface.
  • Once dry, sand the leveling compound surface. Vacuum well to remove all dust.

The marble is now ready for installation. Follow the wood flooring manufacturer’s recommendations for any additional subfloor prep.

Installing the Wood Flooring

Most engineered wood flooring today has a click-lock system for floating installation. The planks interlock together without nails or glue. Follow all manufacturer instructions for proper layout, spacing and click locking the planks.

Leave 1/4” gap between flooring and all walls. Undercut door jambs and casings to allow room for expansion. Install transition moldings at doorways to allow for slight height differences with adjoining floors.

Avoid nailing directly into the marble, which could cause cracking. Floating installation is best for minimizing subsurface damage. If gluing planks, use appropriate adhesives for non-porous surfaces like marble.

Caring for Wood Floors on Marble

The finished wood floor must be properly cared for, especially since wood and marble have different responses to moisture and humidity. Follow all manufacturer instructions for cleaning and care.

A few tips for maintaining wood on marble:

  • Use area rugs and doormats to minimize moisture exposure and scratches.
  • Immediately wipe up spills and wet areas. Never allow excess standing moisture.
  • Maintain indoor humidity between 35-55% year-round.
  • Avoid using excessive water when cleaning. Use designated wood floor cleaners.

With proper installation and care, a beautiful wood floor can be installed successfully over existing marble. Take time to ensure the marble offers a smooth, dry base for the wood, and your new floor will maintain its beauty for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, with proper preparation and installation techniques, wooden flooring can be successfully installed over existing marble.

Yes, you can install flooring over marble.

Avoid nailing directly into the marble and opt for floating installation methods to minimize subsurface damage.

If the marble has extensive imperfections or moisture issues, removing it before installing new wood flooring may be preferable for optimal results.

Assess the condition of the marble, address any imperfections or moisture issues, and choose the appropriate type of wood flooring.

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