Published: Jun 30, 2021 | Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Why Are Marble Bathrooms So Popular

Marble is becoming one of the most popular materials for bathrooms in the luxury home market. Find out the pros and cons of marble to see if it's right for you.

dark marble shower with dramatic veining

Marble has stood the test of time for centuries in buildings like the Taj Mahal, Washington Monument, the Parthenon in Greece, and other well-known, timeless structures. And right now, marble is surging in popularity in luxury custom homes as one of the favorite building materials for master bathrooms. 

Maybe you’re thinking about designing your new dream ensuite. You appreciate how beautiful marble is. But you just want to find out if you should get on board with the marble trend. Is marble worth it?

The only way to determine if marble is right for you is to discover all the advantages and disadvantages of marble and weigh them out for your lifestyle.

Pros and cons of marble in bathrooms

Marble is incredibly popular for bathroom countertops, particularly in the master bathroom. Would you enjoy having marble in your bathroom? We’re here to help you make this big decision.

Every building material has its positives and negatives. Here is a summary of the pros and cons of marble for several popular applications for bathrooms. 

Black marble bathroom with marble walls, marble floor, and marble countertop

Black marble countertops and walls

Marble countertops pros and cons

But some people love marble countertops. Whether they are in the kitchen or the bathroom, you need to know some important things about marble.

Pros of marble countertops

  • Gorgeous
  • Luxurious
  • Durable 
  • Great resale value
  • Water-resistant (can be waterproof if properly sealed)
  • Heat resistant (but not heatproof)

Cons of marble countertops

  • Porous if unsealed
  • Requires regular maintenance (sealer)
  • Softer than other stones - chips and scratches are possible
  • Expensive — marble tile is less expensive than marble slab and different types of marble have different price ranges
  • Acids may cause etching/damage (so marble in the kitchen is more likely to have problems)
  • Can stain if spills remain very long and the surface is not sealed well (from liquids, cleaners, makeup, lotions, etc…)
  • Can become discolored if something very hot is placed directly on the surface

As countertop materials go for kitchens, marble makes for a beautiful kitchen countertop but may be a better choice for bathroom countertops.

Oversized Shower with marble tile In Luxury Master Bathroom With Tile Walls And Tile Mosaic Floor And Two Shower Heads 1

One of our oversized marble tile showers.

Marble shower pros and cons

Marble is taking the country by storm for shower walls. Often, people use a different type of tile for the floor.

Pros of marble in the shower

  • Waterproof if sealed and maintained properly
  • The epitome of luxury and class
  • Great resale value
  • Slabs have very few grout lines
  • Easy to clean with soap, water, and a nylon scrub brush or cloth
  • Durable— lasts for more than a lifetime if well-cared for
  • Marble tile is less expensive (than marble slab) and still provides a wow factor

Cons of marble in the shower

  • Maintenance required (sealing every year or several times per year)
  • Could stain if not sealed well
  • Extra care needed with things like hair dye, acidic cleaners, shampoos, body wash, etc… especially if the shower floor is marble.
  • Can be etched by acids
  • Must immediately clean up any spills if not properly sealed
  • Expensive upfront
  • Polished marble floors can get slippery when wet (use anti-slip products)
  • Only use neutral pH cleaning products
  • Wipe down the shower after every use to prevent staining from shower product residue
  • Expensive — marble tile is less expensive than marble slab and different types of marble have different price ranges

Marble tiles or slabs can be a great material for shower walls. Consider a different type of tile for the shower floor if you are worried about staining.

Contemporary kitchen with marble backsplash, marble floors, and dark cabinets

Modern kitchen with marble backsplash and floors

Marble Floors Pros and Cons

Pros of marble floors

  • Beautiful
  • Luxurious and elegant
  • Very durable — can last over a century
  • Increased home value
  • Many colors and styles available
  • Each slab is unique
  • Classy
  • Shiny (if polished)
  • Easy to mop and clean
  • Can tolerate heavy loads
  • Anti-slip versions are available
  • Many possible designs

Cons of marble floors

  • Expensive — marble tile is less expensive than marble slab and different types of marble have different price ranges
  • Can stain if not sealed well
  • Could be difficult to replace with a tile that matches
  • Could crack, scratch, or chip
  • Can be cold for pets or bare feet in the winter
  • Must only use pH neutral, gentle cleaning products
  • Require regular cleaning and maintenance (sealing)
  • Polished marble can be very slippery when wet, if not treated with an anti-slip sealer, which can lead to injuries

Marble is a great choice for flooring that is good for those with dust allergies. It looks amazing and lasts a long time with some care and maintenance.

Marble bathroom with marble walls and marble floors

Marble Walls Pros and Cons

A marble bathroom is the height of luxury. Many homeowners want a full marble room with the walls, floors, and countertops being marble slabs or marble tile.

Pros of marble walls

  • Natural stone
  • Stunning beauty
  • Perfect for accent walls
  • Long-lasting, rich colors
  • Heat/fire resistance
  • Can last way longer than a lifetime
  • Classic look
  • Bold veining can look very dramatic
  • Shiny, polished finish
  • Allow for great creativity in design with large slabs or tiles
  • Won’t need to be replaced
  • Low maintenance if not exposed to liquids, acids, or high traffic touch

Cons of marble walls

  • Expensive — marble tile is less expensive than marble slab and different types of marble have different price ranges
  • Heavy
  • Tiles patterns can be difficult to match (need all tiles to come from the same original batch)

Marble tile or slab walls are gorgeous, long-lasting, and generally low-maintenance if they don't come into contact with liquids or chemicals. They add a lot of value to your home.

Conclusion

Some people don’t like to deal with the hassle of sealing natural stone. However, for many others, spending a few hours per year to seal marble is well worth the time involved to enjoy the exquisite opulence of this glorious natural stone surface.

If you are concerned about scratches, etching, or stains, consider not using marble for your kitchen countertops but try it for your master bathroom walls or shower walls instead. Or even your master bathroom counter.

If you want to completely avoid wear and tear on your marble, use it as an accent wall in your living space or around your fireplace. 

Ready to build your own luxury home with marble in the Lexington, SC area?

Lee Blythe is a Certified Master Builder who specializes in custom homes in the $650,000+ range in the Midlands of South Carolina. At Blythe Building Company, we are ready to help you build your dream home in SC.

Please contact us today.

We build homes in areas like Pine Ridge, Lexington, Ballentine, Irmo, Forest Acres, downtown Columbia, Lake Carolina, Chapin, Lake Murray, and more.

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Resource

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