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Marble tiles or Ceramic tiles, which to choose and why?

Updated on Feb 3, 2019
Marble tiles or Ceramic tiles, which to choose and why?

Before settling on home décor people usually start by choosing the basics, mainly the design and color of the walls and the floors. And while trying to decide, people often find themselves confused between the multitude of flooring options available today. And one of the most confusing options of all is the choice between marble tiles and ceramic tiles.

Do you currently find yourself wondering whether you should go with the longstanding marble tiles or the relatively newer option of ceramic tiles?

If you are confused between both options this article should help you, we gathered here the pros and cons of marble tiles and ceramic tiles to help you decide which to choose.

First, get to know both

First, get to know both

What is marble?

Marble is a natural stone formed from calcite, dolomite or limestone. It is a dense, porous stone with a high water absorption rate, however, different grades of marbles will absorb water differently. It is 100% natural stone, manufacturers just cut it in the desired shape and polish it to shine.

What is ceramic?

Ceramic tiles on the other hand are made of a mixture of clay and other minerals like silica, this mixture is baked at high temperatures.

It is usually coated with an external glaze. The process in which the tiles are made and the external glaze give ceramic tiles a very low water absorption rate.

Variety

Variety

Marble:

Featuring stunning natural swirls and patterns on the surface, marble tiles can be found in a variety of colors. The most common colors are white, beige, black, green and brown, with many various shades in between. Marble tile manufactures sometimes use different colors and cuts together to create patterns on the floor surface.

Ceramic:

Because they are man-made, ceramic tiles come in a wide variety of designs, colors, prints and textures. Basically any pattern or any color can be found.

Durability

Durability

The lifespan of marble:

A natural stone that have survived in nature for hundreds of years, marble can last in your home for a minimum of 25 years, and even more if taken care of properly.

Another important factor that considerably adds to its lifespan is that marble will almost never go out of style, it has been a design staple for centuries and probably always will be.

The lifespan of ceramic:

Ceramic tiles are specifically made with durability in mind. Nonetheless, even scratch resistant tiles will not last for more than 15 years before they start looking weary.

Moreover, in many cases the color and design of the ceramic tiles will look out of style way before those 15 years.

Cost

Cost

Marble:

The price of marble tiles varies greatly according to the grade of marble and the rarity of color. But as it is a natural material that is generally expensive.

Another added cost is the installation process. It is relatively time consuming and labor intensive. In addition to the significant time required to lay marble tiles, polishing and finishing takes a considerable amount of time as well. Of course this process takes not only time but also money.

In addition to that, marble tiles will require re-polishing after a few years, which will cost more money. However, this process will make marble as good as new.

Ceramic:

The cost of ceramic tiles depends on the design and brand you choose. Nevertheless, whatever brand or design you end up choosing will be comparatively cheaper than marble tiles. It also takes less time and effort to install, which means that it costs less.

Furthermore, ceramic tiles do not require any special treatment once they are installed, you can just sweep them every week or so and forget about them.

So what should I choose?

So what should I choose?

While marble has always been associated with elegance and luxury, and for good reason, ceramic can be a very versatile option.

So when choosing between the two you need to consider many factors like budget and location.

In bathrooms for example it is more sensible to go with ceramic tiles as they are water resistant. While in a reception or a hall it is more elegant to go with marble tiles.

For more design choices see also:

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