Case Study

Commercial Marble Flooring: The Paces 325 Project


When the time came to renovate a local high-rise condo building in Atlanta, GA, both the facility’s owner and architect agreed that the flooring should be constructed from all natural materials, while also delivering an elegant, yet sophisticated appeal. Although the pair knew what they wanted their desired flooring to achieve, deciding on a definitive solution proved to be difficult. With the help of our talented and experienced team, we came up with the perfect flooring solution: commercial marble flooring.

Commercial marble flooring is a luxurious option that has graced the likes of kings and queens for many centuries. With benefits ranging from eco-friendly to unmeasured charm, we knew that this was just the solution to meet the aforementioned needs of both the owner and architect. Now that we had our product established, our next step was determining what type of finish should adhere to the natural stone. Below, we examined the two most popular options, honed vs. polished marble.

Honed vs. Polished Marble: What’s the Difference?

Polished Marble
Marble flooring with a polished finish gives marble’s natural stone a smooth, shiny, and reflective appearance. Not only does the finish give off a stylish look, but it also acts as a form of protection. Once the marble is polished, the pores upon the stone’s surface are closed off allowing it to repel stains and moisture. The downside of a polished finish, however, is that its ‘mirrored’ characteristics make its surface more susceptible to visible scuffs and scratches.

Honed Marble
A honed finish, on the other hand, is where the surface of the stone has been ground to a consistently flat and smooth-like surface. Unlike a polished finish, honed marble displays a non-reflective exterior that protects against scuffs and scratches. Even if the surface does happen to get scratched, light does not obviously reflect it as with polished marble. The downside of a honed finish is that its pores are not sealed off, leaving tiny spaces for moisture to creep into.

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The Challenges of the Project: Matching Design with Performance

Because the owner wanted the stone to truly stand out and be a main focal point within the facility, we agreed that a polished marble finish would help to better achieve this outcome due to its highly reflective surface, which displays the vibrancy of the stone’s natural colors. Once the finish was determined, our team was brought onboard in July of 2017 to provide nearly 3,600 square feet of marble flooring. These products consisted of 12X24 Calacauta Caldi polished marble and 12X24 Black China polished marble.

The challenges included: material delivery delays, marble shading issues, and a completion date that required an accelerated work schedule.

commercial marble flooring

Our Commercial Marble Flooring Solutions and Results

Material delivery delays are always challenging and can really disrupt the flow of work. For this particular project, both marbles had longer than anticipated lead times that unfortunately led to lengthier scheduling. To make up for this, the Black China polished marble, obtained from China, was eventually switched to another source to help eliminate further delays and disruptions.

With marble shading, color variations are to be expected. Just as vegetables grow in all different sizes and shades of color, natural stone will have similar variations. Unfortunately, for this project, 50% of the Calacatta Caldi polished marble came in from Italy out of the range that was submitted for approval. This was not identified until some of the marble had been waterjet fabricated and installed. At this point in the project, we insisted that the architect cull all of the Calacatta Caldi marble that we had. However, once this was done, we found that we did not have enough stone to complete the project. After doing some research, we found that our vendor who provided us with the marble also inventories the same stone, but with a honed finish. To get the project back on track, we were able to get a stone/marble fabricator to polish the honed stone, which allowed us to complete the project by the end of 2017 without having to wait for more imported materials into the new year.

Throughout the project, our dedicated team went above and beyond the role of a typical flooring contractor by continuously providing value engineering of all flooring products, identifying and implementing solutions that kept the project on track and reduced costs.

Commercial Marble Flooring Installation Cost Discussion

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