Marble Tile vs Marble Effect Tile: Which Is Best?
This post is sponsored by Alexander James Tile Studio.
The pros and cons of marble tile against marble effect tile and how to know which is best for your kitchen or bathroom remodel.
The great debate between marble tile and marble effect porcelain tile is heated around here.
Okay, not really.
The debate is just between two voices in my brain apparently. Robert has reached the point of, “Babe, pick whatever. I’ll be happy with either one.”
Man, pick a side, dang it!
No, I’m kidding.
Making the decision just puts us that much closer to making magic happen in this bathroom remodel plan.
Turns out choosing between marble and porcelain tile is rather complicated in a bathroom remodel.
But nerdy me jumped down a rabbit hole to do some research on the matter to bust out the good ol’ pros / cons list… Rory Gilmore style. (If you get that reference, I love you.)
I ordered a ton of different marble tiles and marble look porcelain tiles from Alexander James so that I could see and feel all of the options in person.
Semi-Polished Calacatta Porcelain | Matte Calacatta Porcelain | Polished Carrara Porcelain | Polished Calacatta Gold Bettogli | Honed Calacatta Marble | Polished Carrara Marble | Honed Carrara Marble
If you’re ever in the same debate, maybe this breakdown will help.
Marble Tiles vs Marble Effect Tiles: How to Choose Which is Best for You
- Natural veining and variation
- Depth and character
- Less likely to shatter than porcelain if heavy objects are dropped on them
- Is a better insulator than porcelain – stays relatively cool under direct sunlight but retains warmth in winter
- Has light reflecting properties
- Can increase a home’s resale value because of its wide appeal
- Are porous – can easily stain
- Requires regular cleaning to retain its quality
- Are soft – can more easily chip or scratch than porcelain
- Difficult to clean – can etch
- More expensive in comparison to porcelain
- Difficult to match to existing marble tile because of its natural stone variation
- Must be sealed regularly for maintenance
Marble Look Porcelain Tile
- The best material for resisting stains
- Very little maintenance without the need to be sealed
- Cleaning frequency will not affect its quality
- Resists scratching better than marble tiles
- Easier to clean and can withstand abrasive cleansers
- Less expensive than marble
- Easier to match to existing tile than marble
- Manufactured veining design – not as natural looking as marble
- Less variation and character
- More likely to shatter when heavy objects are dropped on it
- Typically feels cold and can feel harsh in winter
- Other than tiles with a synthetic glossy finish, reflects less light than marble
Polished Marble vs. Honed Marble
Polished Marble Tiles
- Bounces light – well suited for small rooms to make them feel larger
- Easier to clean than a honed finish
- More stain resistant than honed marble
- Can scratch more easily than honed tiles
- Tiles can become more slippery than honed when wet
- Smudges and hard water spots are more noticeable on polished tile
Honed Marble Tiles
- More scratch resistant than polished and if scratched, it’s less noticeable
- Has a more “non slip” reputation when in contact with water
- Conceals smudges
- Doesn’t help a room feel quite as large, unlike polished tiles, since it doesn’t reflect as much light
- Requires more scrubbing when cleaning than a polished finish
- More susceptible to stains than polished
Warm Toned Tile vs Cool Toned Tile
Warm Toned Tile:
- Can be used to make large spaces feel smaller and more intimate
- Promotes feelings of comfort and coziness
Cool Toned Tile:
- Can make a small space feel larger
- Promotes calm, soothing feelings of being refreshed
Hashing out this huge list helped me hopefully as much as it helped some of you if you’re up against a bathroom remodel too.
I cannot wait to see this vision come to life.
Which one do you think we decided to use? I’m crossing fingers and toes that we’ll be installing it in the next couple of weeks!