For years, it felt like every luxurious bathroom was made of marble. Many interior designers, as well as myself, love the look of marble. But I’ve found that the material doesn’t work well in bathrooms or other rooms that maintain moisture. Why is marble used so often these spaces? Marble mined from Italy and surrounding regions tends to be harder than other types of marble. This Italian marble can stand up to moisture well, but it is also very expensive. This isn’t usually a good option for my clients, and it most likely won’t be for you either. In addition to the cost, there are also several other reasons that you should opt for a different material in your bathroom.
MARBLE STAINS EASILY
Even the hardest marble is still a soft stone, which means it is also very absorbent. Unless your marble is well treated, if you use any kind of chemicals that could stain it, they will. If you dye your hair and rinse it in the sink or shower, it could ruin the look of your marble tiles. You don’t want your beautiful white bathroom turning orange, as it’s not entirely easy to reverse the damage.
EVEN SLIGHTLY CAUSTIC CHEMICALS CAN ETCH IT
Another problem with marble’s softness is how easily it can be etched, and I’m not referring to carving on it with a knife or rubbing it with sandpaper. Some shower gels, cleansers, and lotions have enough acid in them to etch marble, creating noticeable markings and making the marble even more prone to stains.
MARBLE CAN RUST YOUR BATHROOM FIXTURES
It sounds crazy, but marble can promote corrosion and rust. Why? Because of its high mineral content. It is hard to know when your slab will contain a large amount of iron. When that iron is exposed to oxygen and water, the result is rust. You could create a stunning new bathroom, but if your marble has a high iron content, you’ll end up seeing a lot of rust deposits on metal fixtures before long.
QUALITY MARBLE COSTS
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, purchasing the best marble is going to be expensive. Often it’s difficult to tell the difference between resistant, hard marble and softer, more porous marble with the naked eye. Unfortunately, you could wind up spending a lot of money unnecessarily, only to have the same problems you’d have with the lower cost marble.
If you are unsure whether or not marble is a good idea for your bathroom, I recommend a porcelain tile substitute. There are a variety of options when you take this route, and porcelain is a lot less porous than marble. Plus, you won’t run the risk of marble rusting your fixtures.
These reasons are important to keep in mind as you shop around for materials for your next bathroom renovation. Remember that marble isn’t necessarily the best choice. Porcelain and quartz are more affordable and durable options, and they won’t lose the look and feel of the marble that you were hoping for in your newly renovated bathroom.