Marble Flooring Vs Tiles: Know What To Choose

Marble Flooring Vs Tiles

A lot of flooring options are available in today’s time. The most popular and reliable options among all of them are marble and tile flooring. Both are versatile and suitable for residential as well as commercial areas. Though they have notable differences, people often confuse while choosing between these two options. I understand the dilemma as I was in that phase too. 

As most people are not aware of the differences, they struggle to select one. Both tile and marble flooring have their perks. But comparing and choosing one can be troublesome. I had to research well to dig out the differences between marble and tile flooring to decide. But you need not worry. You are in the right place as I am going to spell out everything to help you decide which one is perfect for you between marble and tile flooring. 

Are you ready? Let’s start:

Marble Flooring vs Tiles: A Quick Comparison

To simplify a bit, here is a quick comparison table summarizing the differences between marble flooring and tiles:

Marble FlooringTile
Calcite crystalClay or silicate
Natural and random patternsDesigned and carved in machine
Glossy finishCan be glazed or unglazed
More porousLess porous
Susceptible to stainsStain-proof
Hard and time-consuming to installEasy to install
Not good for cold weatherCompatible to all weather
Not eco-friendlyEco-friendly
Produces a lot of wastageProduces less wastage
Difficult to maintainEasy to maintain
High aesthetic valueLow aesthetic value

Marble Flooring vs Tiles: Which One Is Suitable For You? 

To make the right decision, you must understand everything about marble tiles and flooring. If you learn about them separately, it can make things complex. To learn the most and decide the best, you need to compare the two options. And here, on behalf of you, I will be comparing marble and tile flooring. 

Let me discuss several factors that make marble flooring different from tiles:

  • Composition: 

Marble and tiles are not made of the same material. They have different compositions. Also, marble doesn’t require much machine work. But tiles are made artificially. 

Marble is a natural stone that is made in the earth’s core due to pressure and heat. The main element in marble is limestone. Limestone goes through metamorphic crystallization converting calcium carbonate into calcite crystals. The process occurs naturally on the earth’s core resulting in random patterns and top-notch shine on the marble.

On the other hand, tiles are made up of clay or silicates. They are fired and heated at high temperatures to bond the elements. The process is artificial and made with a machine. 

  • Patterns And Designs:

Both marble and tiles are available in different designs and patterns. Marble has lesser variety than tiles as it is naturally made. 

Marble has different color options but not as many as tiles. The patterns on a marble slab are random as made of geographical procedures. The designs you see are made naturally. Some high-quality marbles are carved to create specific designs. But the unrefined one has random and natural patterns. 

In contrast, you can get a variety of tiles with different colors, hues, and patterns. Tiles show terracotta patterns, glass designs, different retro and modern carving and designs, etc. As they are made artificially, they can be designed and patterned differently. Man-Made tiles have a wider range of patterns and design options than marble though. 

  • Finish:

You would never see a marble floor dull or plain. Marbles are formed by crystallization and always give off a glossy and shiny look. They are reflective with a glossy and dazzling finish. But the case is different with tiles. 

Tiles are not always glossy. It can be both glossy and unglazed. The finishing can be matte or glossy. It may or may not be reflective. The polishing of tile and the material determine the finish. Terracotta and porcelain tiles are unglazed and have a matte finish. On the other hand, vinyl tiles are glossy and shiny. 

This means marble flooring is always glossy unless it is dirty. But tile flooring can be glossy as well as unglazed and matte. 

  • Porosity: 

Marble is a natural stone and thus is porous. The internal bonds are not man-made and can’t be adjusted.  The crystalline structure increases the porosity of the marble flooring. But the porosity is also the reason why marble can be polished to enhance the gloss. 

In contrast, tiles are not as porous as marble. They are heated and bonded strongly to reduce the porosity as much as possible. This quality makes tiles suitable for high moisture areas like bathrooms, kitchen, pool area, etc. On the other hand, marble is not the best for these areas as the pores absorb moisture making the bond weaker. 

Remember this difference when you install flooring in high-moisture areas. 

  • Stain Proof: 

As marble flooring is porous, liquid and solid spills easily leave stains on it. The spills penetrate the surface quickly settling deep inside the marble. The spills should be blotted up immediately to clean them out. You may even need to wash the area to avoid staining. Otherwise, you may notice a yellowish mark on the area. 

On the other hand, tile flooring is much easier to maintain. As it is not very porous, spills don’t leave a mark easily. The spills won’t easily go deep down the floor. You can blot it up and wipe off the area to prevent the area from staining. 

So, it can be said that tile flooring is stain proof while marble flooring is susceptible to spills and stains. 

  • Installation:

Which one is easy to install between Tile or marble? 

Marble slabs are generally large while tiles are cut into small slabs. You can see any marble floor and notice that the slabs are huge. Only a few marble slabs can cover the entire room. But installing those heavy and large slabs is troublesome. It is also time-consuming to install marble flooring. 

But tiles are shaped and cut to make small slabs. As they are lightweight, they are easier to install. It takes very little time to install tiles on the floor. It requires little care to install tile flooring. But care is required to install marble flooring. 

So, in terms of installation, tiles are easier to go with than marble. 

  • Weather Compatibility:

Marble flooring is one of the best options for hot climates. Though it gets heated in outdoor areas, it stays cold indoors. You can get a cold feet touch in summers with marble flooring. But it is not a favorable option for cold climates. It not only feels shivery on the feet but it also absorbs moisture in winter. The damp winter weather can cause moisture to settle on marble, ultimately damaging it. It requires high maintenance in winter. 

In contrast, tile flooring is compatible with all weather conditions. It can adjust with different temperatures and would not collapse in any situation. Be it humid or dry, cold or warm, tile flooring would sustain. However, you should choose a tile flooring that best suits your climate. 

Therefore, the weather compatibility of tile flooring is better than marble flooring. 

  • Eco-friendly:

Marble is extracted from the earth’s crust and it is non-renewable. Besides, extracting marble consumes a lot of energy and the impacts are irreversible. Moreover, it produces a lot of wastage while shaping marble. And once it is damaged, it is of no use. This denotes that marble is not eco-friendly. 

But tiles can be crushed and recycled if they break or damage. The manufacturing procedure doesn’t produce much wastage and is non-toxic. It barely impacts the environment. It is renewable and saves energy. This makes tile flooring eco-friendly. 

If you take environmental factors into account, then tile flooring will be your preference. 

  • Maintenance: 

Marble flooring is sensitive to moisture, stains, dirt, and pollution. Also, the gloss may fade away over years if you don’t maintain it properly. Marble flooring should be gently yet thoroughly cleaned regularly. The stains and dirt should not settle in and deep cleaning is required. Besides cleaning, marble flooring should not be scratched or hit hard. You should polish marble flooring too. 

On the other hand, tile flooring is not that hard to maintain. You do need to keep it clean but regular wiping and vacuuming would suffice. The risk of wearing and tearing is still there but lesser than marble flooring. 

So, maintenance hassles are more with marble flooring. 

  • Aesthetics:

Though it may seem that tile flooring is leading the race in all the parameters, marble flooring is the best in terms of aesthetics. The beauty and grace of marble flooring are incomparable. Be it white marble or black, the basic one or carved, the aesthetic value of marble is outstanding. 

Tiles have variation and versatility. But the rich and classy look can’t be reflected by the tile floor. Even the glossy tiles won’t give the same shine as the glaze of marble flooring. 

In terms of aesthetic value, marble flooring overtakes tile flooring. 

  • Price:

Marble can’t be recycled and you get an unrefined natural stone. This makes marble flooring expensive. As tiles can be recycled, renewed, and are man-made, they are less expensive. Tile flooring is one of the cheapest flooring options available. 

Marble Flooring vs Tiles: Pros And Cons

This part of the article will give you reasons to accept or reject any of the marble flooring or tiles. Knowing the pros and cons will help you make an informed decision. You would also realize how you should deal with the cons to enjoy the benefits. So, let’s see:

Pros Of Marble Flooring:

  • Marble flooring is durable and doesn’t break or wear easily. It is capable of withstanding heavy loads. 
  • The aesthetic value of marble flooring is excellent and top-notch. 
  • The finishing is glossy and marble surfaces are reflective. 
  • Marble is fire and heat-resistant. 
  • It is good for tropical climates. 

Cons Of Marble Flooring:

  • Marble is porous and not good for cold and moist weather conditions. 
  • It is expensive. 
  • Installation of marble flooring is time-consuming and difficult. 
  • Marble flooring requires high maintenance. 
  • It is not eco-friendly and produces so much wastage. 

Pros Of Tile Flooring:

  • The tile is less porous and suitable for all climates. 
  • The design and color options are wide with great versatility. 
  • It is inexpensive. 
  • Installation of tile flooring is easy. 
  • It is eco-friendly, renewable, and produces minimal wastage. 
  • Maintaining tile flooring is easy. 
  • Tile flooring is stain proof and heat resistant. 
  • Tile flooring can be both glazed and unglazed whichever you prefer. 

Cons Of Tile Flooring:

  • Aesthetic value is not top-notch. 
  • The shine and polish fade away fast. 
  • It can break into high impacts. 
  • It may not always withstand heavy loads or pressure. 

Related Questions:

Is Marble Flooring More Durable Than Tile? 

In terms of durability, marble and tile are close competitors. Both are highly durable. But there are certain situations when one acts better than the other. 

Generally, marble is more durable and long-lasting than tile. It can sustain up to 2 to 3 decades if maintained properly. For areas where the moisture is less, marble offers high durability and longevity. As marble is heavy, it can withstand heavy loads and impact. They don’t even break or wear out easily. They scratch and are susceptible to stains but won’t wear out fast. But marble floors would not last long in high moisture areas. 

On the other hand, tiles are durable and long-lasting in all weather conditions. The only problem is that it can’t bear high impacts or weight. They can crack or break due to heavy loads and high impacts. But for regular use, a tile floor is quite a good option. Besides, the tile won’t wear out due to moisture. 

Therefore, both tile and marble are durable. Just that they work better than each other in different conditions. 

Is Tile Better Than Marble Flooring In Bathrooms?

Natural polished marble is excellent for interiors. The glossy marble would look gorgeous on the bedroom, living room, stairs, and even on the kitchen countertop. But it is not the best option for bathrooms. 

Tile flooring is better than marble flooring in bathrooms. The reason is marble is highly porous while tiles are less porous. The low porosity of tile means it won’t absorb moisture and water easily. Also, the soap scum, water, stains, etc. won’t settle on a tile floor quickly. But, as marble is porous, it soaks up moisture, weakening the inner bond and reducing the longevity. Besides, watermarks and soap scum can quickly fade away the shine of a marble floor in the bathroom. 

Hence, tile is more suitable for bathroom flooring than marble as it is less porous and can offer long-lasting service. However, keep the tile floor clean to avoid staining and growth of molds and mildew. 

Which One Is Sensitive To Scratches, Marble Or Tile? 

Scratches can occur for many minor and major reasons. When it comes to scratch susceptibility, marble is the option that is more sensitive to scratches than tile. 

Even if you rub over a stain rather than blotting, it can leave a scratch on a marble floor. But the case is just the opposite with tile flooring. Marbles scratch easily. Even a dirt particle can end up scratching a marble floor if it is pressed against the floor. If sharp objects fall on a marble floor creating high impact, it may not break it but scratch it. 

On the other hand, tile flooring is not scratched easily. Even if you see minor scratches, they can be removed by cleaning thoroughly or polishing. Hence, marble is more sensitive to scratches than tile flooring. 

Does Marble Produce More Toxic Waste Than Tile?

Marble is not at all eco-friendly for so many reasons. Firstly, it is nonrenewable and a lot of irreversible energy is spent for its extraction. The other reason is, marble produces a lot of wastage during extraction, processing, and after it wears out. 

During extraction and polishing marble to make it ready for installation, marble produces toxic silica dust. The dust can cause severe breathing problems, especially to the laborers. Also after installation, you can see dusty floors and rooms. You should clean it before moving because the silica dust is extremely harmful. 

In contrast, tiles are made of volatile organic compounds. Tiles do produce dust and wastes but they are not as toxic as marble wastes. Therefore, marble does produce more toxic wastes than tile. 

Different Types Of Marble And Tile Flooring Average Price Range:

Marble and tiles have different variations. There are many kinds of marble as well as tile. The prices are different for each type. Though I could have mentioned a price range, I want to give a specific idea to help you decide. Knowing the price would tell you which type of marble or tile is compatible with your budget. 

Here is a price list of different types of marble:

Types of MarblePrice Range Per Sq Ft
Carrara$35- $40
Calacatta$165- $180
Breccia$180- $200
Emperador$70- $90
Makrana$12- $15
Statuario$50- $60
Danby$60- $80

Here is a price list of different types of tile:

Types Of TilePrice Range Per Sq Ft
Ceramic$5- $8
Linoleum$3- $7
Terracotta$2- $15
Porcelain$3- $10
Cement $3- $5
Travertine$3- $6

Final Words:

I assume that by now, you have decided which flooring option suits you the best. Both marble and tiles have their perks as well as demerits. You just need to decide according to your preference and condition. 

Understand the compatibility of the options and then decide.

You may also want to read:

Marble Flooring VS Granite Flooring

Marble Flooring Vs Ceramic Tile

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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