Marble is a beautiful floor and counter material, but most of the time, it feels quite cool when you touch it. You might remember from your primary school science lessons that materials like that are good conductors. They feel ‘cool’ to your fingers and feet because they are instantly absorbing the heat from your body.
The advantage of marble being such a good conductor is that when you heat it up, it soon warms the whole room. Of course, warming marble could be literal or metaphorical. Because marble gives off a classy, sophisticated aura, it could psychologically create the effect of cold, distant elegance. In such cases, you could use style elements to ‘warm up’ the feel of your marble floors.
A few suggestions are to pair your classic floor with rich colours, natural wood, or bronze finishes. In terms of décor, you could go the modern way, engaging bright abstracts, or the industrial way, with bold, edgy design. You could also dress up the marble with soft furnishings and sparkly accessories to add a warm personal touch.
When it comes to physically warming up your marble, your first option is to use natural heat, or rather, natural light. During your home shopping process, don’t just focus on the stylish marble floors. Think about the entryways, and how they will correspond with the marble.
If your living room has large windows, skylights, wide open spaces, or French doors, these will let in a lot of sunlight. All this natural light will warm the room as well as the floor, and the floor will hold the heat well after sundown. If it’s at all possible, consider renovating your living room to increase the inlets for natural light.
Since this is a rather drastic option, you could find a simpler way to add warmth to your living room space. Your choice of artificial lighting could help here. While many modern residents prefer cold lights for their energy efficiency, it might help to switch to warm lights, if only for the winter.
Buy some warm, heat-emitting bulbs and replace your living room bulbs, just for the winter. These kinds of bulbs also tend to have a gentler light which creates a cosy effect, warming up the ambience of your living room. You might consider using ambient scented candles to produce the same aura, though they won’t give off heat. Alternate options are propane lamps which do give off heat.
Electric heaters are also great for warming up your room. Some of these heaters are also great for mood-building. They can be designed in the shape of log flames and hearths, and this gives off a nice campfire feel that will completely change the spirit of your indoor winter nights.
If you’d like your heating options to be more dispersed, get an indoor furnace which warms up the whole room rather than just one spot. There are limitless options for indoor heating. You could install a fireplace in your living room. It’s a large scale renovation, but it increases your property value and doesn’t just add heat, it also adds style to your room.
A simpler option is to buy a hearth. There are virtually limitless options, from walled in electric fireplaces to gas heaters and even wood burning stoves. You could get a massive unit that becomes a permanent living room fixture, or you could get a portable one that you can stow away during warmer summer months. The beauty of furnaces is that there’s such a wide range, you can easily find one that matches your pre-existing living room décor.
The most common choice for warming marble floors is to use underfloor heating. The description is slightly misleading because ‘underfloor’ usually means laying an electric mat on top of your marble. The mat, which can be in fabric, carpet, or synthetic form, is interspersed with electric filaments.
These filaments heat the marble floor beneath, as well as the mat surface above, raising the temperature of the whole room. Some homes have actual underfloor heating installed during construction. In such cases, water pipes are passed beneath the floor, and heated water runs through the pipes, generating warmth for the living space.
Of course if want a basic, low cost, no fuss form of heating, just buy a few fluffy rugs. They’ll get the job done, but they’ll also hide your pretty marble floor, so you’ll have to choose between form and function. Instead of getting a large carpet that will cover the whole floor, you could try getting several smaller rugs that can accent the room while still heating things up.