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What are Marble Floor Medallions?

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  • Written By: S. Mithra
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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Marble floor medallions decorate formal rooms with inlaid designs made out of mosaic pieces of natural marble. The rich luster, raw color, and texture variation make marble inlays a perfect material to construct a highly ornamental visual accent. Marble floor medallions heighten inlaid hardwood, ceramic tile, glass, limestone, granite, and other high-end floor coverings.

Whether you'd like to spruce up a foyer, guest bathroom, formal dining room, or fireplace hearth, marble floor medallions offer a dynamic range of organic colors, nuanced textures, and customized designs. The most popular shape remains the circle, but they can be created as a square, rectangle, oval, diamond, or octagon. They often contain geometric patterns like a compass rose, stylized blossom, sunburst, star, pinwheel, or mandala. Their borders can be scrolled through with garlands or weaves and their centers punctuated with intricate emblems. Some homeowners even istall realistic mosaics of a Chinese dragon, lotus flower, or lion to complement Eastern d├ęcor.

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Since marble is a natural, metamorphic stone material, it can scratch, scuff, and stain even when sealed, so it is best used in areas of your home that carry less foot traffic. As an alternative to a high-gloss polished surface, you might request that the medallion be honed, which leaves it slightly duller but might seem warmer and better suited to surrounding wood. Marble can also be combined with brass and glass inlays. The natural variations in veining and shade are considered part of the beauty and character of marble. A less expensive material with a similar aesthetic is slate.

Marble floor medallions are cut into their mosaic constituents using a laser or high-pressure waterjet at the manufacturer. You can draw or find your individual pattern and a skilled professional will slice the necessary shapes in different shades. Like other kinds of mosaic tile, the pieces are arranged in the requested pattern, leaving small spaces in which to grout joints. Over the back of the pieces is laid a webbed backing that keeps them in place. Finally, a contractor installs the medallion with adhesive and grout and the surface is sealed for protection. Standard dimensions are a thickness of 3/8" (1 cm) and a diameter of 36" (91 cm), 48" (122 cm), or 60" (152 cm) in the round or square.

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