Considering marble tile in a bathroom? Get the pros and cons of marble tile plus some marble tile combinations perfect for any bathroom design!
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of marble bathrooms. In fact, I’ve used marble tile in almost every single one of my bathroom remodels since this blog began, and I’ve got loads of marble bathroom ideas for you.
Today, specifically, I want to share some marble tile combinations that have been catching my eye lately. These are marble bathroom floor and shower tiles that I think would make beautiful spaces. If you’re considering a bathroom remodel, or if you just like beautiful bathroom ideas, this post is for you.
Marble Bathroom Ideas
Before I share the exact marble tiles I’m loving right now, let’s chat for a minute about using marble tile in bathrooms. After sharing our master bathroom remodel, I received many of these questions:
- Should you use marble in a bathroom?
- Should you use marble on a bathroom floor?
- And should you use marble tile in a shower?
- Is marble tile durable?
And my short answer is… yes!
Is it maintenance free? No. But we have now had marble bathrooms, marble countertops, and marble shower walls for years… and I wouldn’t change a single one. I love the color, the veins, the texture, and the movement of real marble.
Installation of marble tile can be tricky, as natural stone tiles can sometimes be more apt to chip than ceramic or porcelain tiles. But with proper installation, marble tile can be beautiful for years.
Whether you prefer a traditional style or a more modern bathroom, natural stone is a classic, durable material for interiors. In fact, I believe natural stone has great longevity in design, as seen by the fact that my very first bathroom project when I started this blog almost 10 years ago is still one of the most popular posts across Pinterest for bathroom design. It’s no wonder it has always been an interior design favorite.
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How to care for marble tile bathrooms
Just as we have done with our marble kitchen countertops, I recommend the following:
- seal before using (this is my favorite sealer) and approximately once per year thereafter
- clean marble by scrubbing with non-acidic cleaners
- acknowledge that etching will occur (and know thyself 😉 … if etching will drive you crazy, maybe real marble isn’t for you)
Additionally, it helps if you wipe up water quickly, especially around the bathtub and sinks where it can splash and sit, as this can etch the marble. You’ll want to avoid harsh chemicals, too, but otherwise, cleaning a marble bathroom is pretty similar to cleaning any bathroom.
Polished vs Honed Marble in Bathroom Design
Marble is a porous surface, so no matter the finish – polished, or honed – sealing is important.
My preference in general is honed marble, which has a more matte finish than polished marble. As such, it tends to show etching less. It can, however, potentially stain more easily (since the pores of the natural stone are more open), so be sure to seal it. We have never had any trouble with stains in any of our honed marble in our kitchen, my girls’ bathroom, or our master bath.
However, there seem to be many more marble tile options in a polished finish, so I would encourage you not to limit yourself if you love a polished marble pattern.
In fact, though we used 6×12 honed marble subway tile on the walls and honed 4×16 marble on the floors, we saved a ton of money by using polished pencil edges and marble thresholds. For whatever reason, we found polished pencil edges and thresholds for about 1/10 the price of honed ones. Easy decision!
Marble Tile Bathroom Combinations
Now for the fun part! I think there are three easy ways to combine marble tiles in bathroom design.
White + Marble Tile
The first is to combine white tile and marble tile. White marble bathrooms are beautiful, but a mixture of a classic white subway tile or a beautiful white handmade tile with a carrara marble tile floor or shower can provide a more subtle nod (and often be more budget friendly) than a full-marble bathroom.
We combined white walls and hexagon marble floor tile in my daughters’ Jack and Jill bath and love how it created a simple backdrop with a touch of elegance.
Some favorite white + marble tile combos (#2 is the look you see in the bathroom above):
Another wonderful option is to simply mix different sizes and shapes of marble tiles. Rectangular, square, round, hex… there are countless beautiful yet simple marble tile patterns.
We loved how our marble subway tile kitchen backsplash paired with our carrara marble countertops, so we decided to install marble tiles in two different sizes of rectangles on the walls and floors of our master bathroom.
Since neither was grippy enough for the shower floor, we used a third option there – tumbled marble hex. The combination of all these shapes and sizes of carrara marble tile provides a simple, elegant interest.
Some of my favorite mixed marble combos right now (#5 is what we used in our master bath):
Geometric Marble Tiles
What if you want a little more pizzaz in your space? I’m particularly drawn lately to a variety of gorgeous geometric marble tile mosaics.
We used this incredible gray marble mosiac on the floors of a recent project, and the pattern is elegant and eye-catching without being too loud or feeling too trendy. Please forgive the progress shot… I can’t wait to share that full project with you all!
Update: See the finished bathroom here!
These geometric tiles make wonderful floors because the grout lines keep the floors from ever being slick, especially when wet. But they also would make spectacularly dramatic shower walls or as accent wall tiles behind bathroom vanities. So many beautiful options!
Some of my favorite geometric marble tile options:
Marble shower + floor combos
Once more all together, here are the marble tile combinations that I think would be beautiful in any bathroom design.
Be sure to check out my posts on my favorite grout colors for marble and white tile as well as this post with marble bath inspiration, too.
And don’t forget to pin this for later!