Marble in Bathroom Pros and Cons

Marble has been used in homes for centuries but has recently increased in popularity, especially in bathroom design. From marble tile to solid marble countertops and even marble patterned bathroom accessories, this classic stone is appearing in bathroom designs across the Pacific Northwest. But how do you decide if marble is right for your bathroom? We reviewed the basics of marble, as well as the pros and cons of using this stone in your Seattle bathroom remodel.

Marble Basics

Marble is a metamorphic rock that has been a popular material for buildings and sculptures for thousands of years. Marble is comprised of mostly calcite and forms when limestone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure. For many, marble used to be a sign of power and wealth, but today it is accessible to homeowners throughout the Pacific Northwest. Marble is mined in quarries, which are located around the world, from Italy to the United States and India. The location that a slab of marble is obtained from will have an impact on the colors and veining patterns of the stone. For example, Cararra marble is quarried from the town of Cararra, Italy and is known for its even white tone and faint blue-grey veining.

Marble in Bathroom Pros and Cons

Advantages of Marble

If you are considering using marble in your bathroom, it is important to consider the pros and cons of this stone. There are many advantages to using marble in your space, including its beauty and classic look.


There is no doubt that marble is a beautiful addition to almost any bathroom design. Since each marble slab has its own unique veining pattern, you’re sure to add variety and interest to your bathroom.

Shower walls and a bathroom floor with white marble tiles

In a recent Oregon City bathroom remodel, the team added white marble tile to the walls of the shower and the bathroom floor to give the space a bright and airy look that is equal parts modern and classic.


Since marble has been used in buildings for thousands of years, this stone lends a classic and elegant look to any bathroom design. The consistent use of marble in homes means that your bathroom will remain trend-proof for years to come.
Bathroom where floor carpet was replaced with white marble and a marble vanity

In this Happy Valley bathroom remodel, the outdated carpet was replaced with beautiful, Carrara marble floors. A marble bathroom vanity with unique fixtures adds another level of elegance to this remodel.

Bathroom Cost Calculator Tool

Remodeling your bathroom? Try our cost calculator tool

Disadvantages of Marble

While there’s no doubt that marble gives off a beautiful and classic look, there are some disadvantages to using this stone.


Homeowners do not often realize that many types of marble have very limited availability. As a result, marble, especially large marble slabs, can be quite expensive. Many quarries are located in remote areas, which means that the large slabs of marble have to be transported great distances, which adds to the overall cost. For a slightly cheaper option, try opting for marble tile.

Compare bathroom remodel costs by material type with our bathroom remodel cost estimator tool.

Porous Surface

While marble is generally a strong stone, many types of marble are actually quite porous. This permeable quality means that marble can be extremely susceptible to staining. Hair dye, makeup remover, and even some soaps may stain your marble bathroom floors or counters. Marble may also react and stain when exposed to acidic products, so it is important to always use marble-safe cleaners.

Requires Periodic Sealing

As a result of marble’s porous quality, maintaining this stone requires periodic sealing. Resealing will need to be done every few years, which adds an additional cost to the maintenance of this stone. Even with a quality sealer applied, it is still important to avoid harsh cleaners, as they can scratch and stain.

Marble Alternatives

If you like the look of marble, but aren’t ready to commit to this stone, there are some marble lookalike alternatives you can choose from. For a marble-like look, we recommend checking out:

  • Porcelain Tile – Most tile manufacturers offer a marble alternative. Porcelain tile in particular is great for floors and walls. Vallelunga carries an amazing line of Carrara and Calacatta looking tiles.
  • Quartz – Ideal for bathroom counters. Pental offers some great marble lookalikes.

Whether you decide to use marble, a marble lookalike, or another stone entirely, there’s no doubt that with some thoughtful planning, your bathroom will be beautiful. For more marble bathroom inspiration, visit our remodel gallery to browse our recent bathroom remodels.

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