Nothing says luxury and elegance quite like acres of polished marble— particularly in the lobby of an upscale co-op or condo building. Marble has been used in palaces, temples, and homes for thousands of years, and is prized for its beauty, durability, and vast variety of colors and patterns. Stone floors need maintenance, however, and knowing what they need can make them look better and last longer.
Marble as Material
Louis XIV filled Versailles with it, Michelangelo carved David from it, and Shah Jahan used it to build the Taj Mahal—but why? Marble is simply beautiful. Few natural materials have the longevity and versatility of marble, and its wide variety of colors and veining patterns give it personality and mystique.
“It’s extremely in demand,” says John Palomba of Restoration Specialty Services in Manhattan. “I would say that 90 percent of lobbies in Manhattan have at least some marble. When you walk into a lobby and there’s marble, it gives you this pristine feeling—and residential buildings are looking for a pristine lobby.”
“There’s a plethora of different colors and many patterns,” Palomba continues. “There’s white, green, red, yellow, beige, black, pink: it’s pretty much the spectrum of colors. Each architect may have a different vision, making it difficult to say which is the most popular color—but I’ve seen a lot of beige going in lately.”
“Usually the marble is installed as tiles,” says Lina Gottesman, owner of Altus Metal & Marble in St. James, and vice president of the trade organization Professional Women in Construction (PWC). “There are various sizes. Some very large lobbies will use a very big slab—maybe 55-x-100 inches—but that is a much more expensive way to install.”