Fastening to a Marble Floor

Tips on careful drilling and attaching for setting island cabinets on a stone floor. June 16, 2005

I am new to the install side of the business. I am used to installing kitchen islands to unfinished concrete floors in new home construction. I use my ramset and simply mark off and shoot the floor cleats to the concrete and then attach and fasten the island. What do you veterans do when attaching to a marble floor?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
I mark off the cab as I usually do, but instead of shooting them in, pre-drill the blocks, then use a hammer drill to drill through the stone without going through sub-floor. Fasten blocks using whatever methods fit the circumstances. Then, if the island gets some kind of base all around, I screw through the sides into the blocks or down through the deck with long screws and finish washers.

Before I drill a concrete, finished stone or tile floor, I check to be sure there is no radiant floor tubing for a hydronic heat system.

Hammer drills are great, but might bust a marble tile. I use a glass drilling bit in anything that might crack, including glazed tile. A 1/4" bit is a cheap investment, though maybe a little slower. Drill to the subfloor, and yes, be sure of what that screw will be hitting. This works well when attaching the front of a dummy cabinet end (dishwasher end) down on tile or marble.

Since marble is a naturally occurring material, it does have what is known as "cleavage" due to the natural veining. A hammer drill (although unlikely to) can cause enough harmonic vibration to bust (cleave) a marble tile. I think if you just use a masonry bit without hammering, you should be fine. Tapcon your blocking to the floor and then screw through the kick. Stack your blocking high enough that the fastener won't be seen on the kick and away you go.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor K:

Cut a clearance hole with an abrasive holesaw through the marble, and bolt through a spacer and into the subfloor. Use Bostik best adhesive on base to floor. You transmit no loads into marble. Bolts are pretty much clamps for the adhesive, and adhesive has enough give. You also have a good waterproof joint to the floor.

Comment from contributor M:
Just use weight, no fasteners. If you place a concrete slab near the bottom of the cabinet, it ain't going to go anywhere unless you make an effort to move it. And it leaves no marks if they want to change things later.