Tile Floor Installation

Which is the Best: Marble or Tile for Flooring?

Are you completely stumped over the multitude of options for tile floor coverings today?

Should you use marble, stone or tile?

Marble is a natural stone. It’s formed from calcite or dolomite crystals that are subjected to extreme heat and pressure. It is often quarried from the mountains of Italy. Carrara marble is probably the most popular. Michelangelo is said to be a fan of this amazing stone having carved two of his most renowned sculptures out of it. But marble also comes from Spain, China and India as well.

The location of the marble will determine the color, veining and pattern of the stone. Just as Italy is known for its bright white Carrara with gray veining, it can also be found in bluish colors, rich earthy reds, gray, pink, yellows and blacks.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Marble for Your Tiling Project

Marble has a hardness of three on the Moh’s hardness scale which is why it is easy to carve and polish. It has a beautiful translucency to it that adds to its beauty.

Here’s a list of major advantages and disadvantages of using marble for your tiling project:


  1. If you want a luxurious and elegant feel for your bathroom, then marble may be the stone for you. Think about the gorgeous, glamorous bath suites that you’ve seen. Almost always those suites are covered floor to ceiling with highly polished Italian marble. The resulting feel is grandiose and almost castle like.
  2. The colors of marble are endless. This is a natural stone so think earth tones, warm reds, golds and greens.
  3. Warm/Cool. Marble can be used with any heated floor system since it conducts heat well.  Also, it’s a natural stone so it naturally stays cool during warmer months, lowering cooling costs.
  4. Marble is considered a soft stone so it can easily be shaped however you want. Tiles, however, come in limited and uniform shapes and are not as customizable like marble.


  1. Marble is a soft stone and can easily be scratched or stained. It will also have a chemical reaction to anything that is acidic.  Think orange juice or coffee rings.  Most of the time these types of stains are permanent.
  2. Marble has the tendency to absorb water because it’s so porous. This in turn can lead to stains and water marks on the marble if it’s not wiped down immediately.
  3. While marble is a natural stone, so is prone to cracking. Tiles can handle much more weight and even drops than marble floors.
  4. Marble must be sealed at least once a year. This is to help cut down on staining and to avoid water soaking into the marble flooring, which can lead to mold.
  5. Need I say more.  You are going to pay a LOT more per square foot for the marble itself, for installation, and for maintenance than for tile – even a high end tile.
  6. If it’s polished, then it is super slick. If you are using marble in a wet area you can bet it will be a slipping hazard.

Other Options

If you had your heart set on marble and you’re super bummed that you can’t have your dream bathroom then there may be an alternative option for you.

Many porcelain tiles have the look of marble without all of the hassle.  You can even find them with a variety of designs within each box so that you can lay it out to get movement in the floor much like the natural, organic look of marble.  Your best bet for finding this look is going to Daltile in Salem Oregon or heading to the Portland area.

Now that you have some basic information about the advantages and disadvantages of marble or tile bathroom floorings, it’s now time to get in touch with Ron for your tile floor installation in Salem.

Not only will he give you great advice on what tile or stone to use for your bathroom remodel or other tile project, he will also help you keep the project within your budget.

Your dream bathroom will soon be a reality!

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