Master craftsmen have used marble for many years to make the most amazing of palace ceilings, walls, and floors, driven by the urge to express the homeowner’s wealth and social power, and to impress his visitors.
Nowadays, marble is more of a conventional choice that suits all types of homes, particularly applied in bathrooms and outdoor areas.
One of the reasons marble has been handled in so many creative ways throughout the years is the versatility of patterns and colors it offers, and the fact it can match almost all shapes and materials that are ascribed to current design concepts.
In fact, there is much more to do with marble nowadays, when you can cut it in irregular shapes and place it in the least expected place without being worried to make a mistake.
However you choose to apply it, marble will still bring the ‘royal vibe’ with it, and make your place look exquisite and expensive.
Image source: GREER Interior Design
The best ways to use this refined material are marble bathrooms and saunas, where you can either opt for the standard white marble tile, or limit it to a marble tile shower and keep the homey wood-and-stone concept.
Note that marble tiles do cost more than any other bathroom suitable material, but the investment makes absolute sense due to the material’s vintage looks and impeccable durability.
Marble bathroom tiles, in particular, are the perfect setting for retro touches and delicate appliances, especially if the facility ought to be used by a creative girl.
Still, should you or should you not invest in a marble bathroom?
We’d say, if you want it, go and get it. Marble is an endangered material slowly reaching its finite amounts, and will be either brutally expensive or completely gone in few years.
The advantages and disadvantages of using marble, and few things to keep in mind when putting marble showers or marble floor tiles in your bathroom
For the sake of curiosity, marble represents a metamorphic rock product whose benefits have been discovered a long time ago.
Image source: Interiors by Royale
Marble pieces may look similar to each other, but they will never be the same.
Most designers believe the difference in colors and patterns is the top trait of this material, as they ensure you will have a unique bathroom regardless of the type you’ve purchased.
With high-end marble, for instance, you can choose between softer veining palettes for a sophisticated and sleek look, but you can also purchase a more affordable type where the look is not so uniformed.
It will all depend on the price you’re willing to pay.
The final result of using marble in the bathroom is a classy and elegant appearance, in particular when the walls’ patterns are not as well-defined as the one of the marble tile flooring.
Durability and damage-resistance
Thanks to the complicated production process, marble ends up being a hard and durable material, able to break glass in hundredths of pieces without being damaged.
That makes marble bathroom floors a pretty smart idea, because you can be absolutely sure they will last for years even without regular maintenance.
The drawbacks to keep in mind
Image source: Mitchell Berry Architects
Marble is very solid, but that also means it absorbs a lot. As an example, dying hair over a marble shower base can easily stain it, unless you’ve combined it with durable porcelain to prevent such damage.
Image source: Gregory Phillips Architects
Marble is so cool that it would probably be present in every home, hadn’t it been for its incredibly high price.
As Handy American compares, marble tiles cost five times the price of traditional bathroom ceramics, which means it won’t exactly fit a modest makeover budget.
To make matters even more complicated, marble is not a DIY-friendly material, so you have to plan the expenses needed to hire professionals which can install it for you.
Nevertheless, you’re not obliged to go for the finest possible white marble bathroom – the price most of the time depends on appearance, so choosing a less impactful type can keep the extra bucks on your account.
Before you’ve installed it, test its reaction to acidic materials, in particular cleaning detergents and heavy body lotions. Besides, make sure your children will be careful not to damage it.
Image source: Stoneville (UK) Ltd
Let’s assume annual resealing is not such a problem, because you’ll probably need to do it with every material.
The problem with marble, on the other hand, is that it requires additional precaution measures to remain in good condition, such as washing it with mild detergents that are not chlorine-based, or drying it instantly to stop the absorption process that could make it softer.
Once marble starts softening, odds are good you will have permanent stains and cracks to deal with.
Important tips and considerations
Most of marble’s basic ingredients are minerals, meaning that close contact with iron elements may cause those to rust right inside your bathroom.
This is very important to remember because of your beautiful hangers on marble shower walls or the marble shower edges that protect the glass.
The deeper the iron is buried inside marble, the more it will lose its color due to moisture and humidity.
Ideas for an elegant marble bathroom
Image source: Robin Baron Design
A glamorous and sophisticated bathroom can’t go without a marble finish, ideally such that will caress the senses of the entire family.
Besides, there is a huge floodgate of choices and options related to marble which give every homeowner the chance to be proud of a unique bathroom.
To start with, you can make marble the focal material in your bathroom, and apply it on all walls to avoid a uniformed and sketchy setting. The classic combination is white and grey, but you’re free to choose absolutely every color you like.
As we said even before, all marble patterns are unique, which allows you to personalize your bathroom and add an artistic flair by simply purchasing several types of tiles.
Marble will look the best on few topped floating cabinets and tilled tubes, ideally placed in a spacious, well lit bathroom facing a gorgeous outdoor view. For a more unified look, pick patterns that are not well-defined.
If the bathroom being redesigned is your master bathroom, consider making it more mature with mahogany cabinets and dark granite counters.
Another great idea is to beautify the central area with dual-vanity white marble bathroom sprawls, or a matted glass enclosure for the soaking tub.
Marble can also be applied to make the bathroom look more dramatic, but that’s only for cases where the surrounding décor is simple and neutral.
For instance, you can design your own fabulous walk-in shower where you can sneak in straight from your veranda, or install large windows to bring the most sunshine inside possible.
A luxurious-looking choice is a circular bathroom, where vanities are curved and cabinetry is white, while ceilings are artistically carved and hold a lavish chandelier hanging from the center.
Another way to achieve the same effect is to carve the walls, and put sconces to flank the large mirrors you’ve hung on them.
Image source: Sarah Fortescue Designs
In all cases, be brave and combine more than two marble types. Ideally, add some contrast using dark and white tiles in a symmetric order.
Still, remember that a marble bathroom will look impressive even with few acres of single-color flooring and a couple of oversized elements (an oval pedestal tube in the center, or a ceiling-to-floor mirror, for instance).
The bigger the marble slabs are, the less you will have to worry about combining patterns.
An incredibly cute idea we came across was a cozy bathroom placed right beneath a large skylight.
The bathroom relied exclusively on the view to appear luxurious, because it had simple sky-blue walls with few shelves, and a floor paved with small tiles.
If you wish to make a classy, yet simple bathroom like this, try using Calacatta marble because of its unique, yet unobtrusive patterns.
Image source: Flüff Designs & Decor
Remember: not everything in a marble bathroom has to be marble.
The same shiny and sophisticated effect can be obtained without richly veined designs, commitment to top notch quality, and unique patterns: many affordable marble types are iconic in the design world, even if they feature simple colors, and don’t ooze the same luxury at first sight.
What will on the other hand depend on marble type is the mood present in your bathroom, so make sure you and your designer have a clear vision on what you’re creating, and how you should balance the final product’s looks and functionality.
Image source: Britto Charette – Interior Designers Miami , FL
Many people perceive marble bathroom as the ‘gift of few’, and think their homes are not suitable for such elegant scenarios.
The first thought that comes to our mind when mentioning marble is the expense related to it, but it is because of that we unfortunately neglect the good sides of this special material.
Marble bathrooms are a decent investment, but they will last much longer than other materials.
Plus, marble is an excellent choice for an elegant makeover when you don’t have a clear idea on how to take design to the next level.
You may disagree at the moment, but bathroom design is totally worth of the money and efforts invested in it, as it is one of the rooms where you spend most time, and where you can have your private moment, far from every noise or disturbance. Why not turning it into the luxurious getaway you’ve always dreamt of?