Tips from the Trade: Should You Use Marble or Porcelain Backsplash Tile in the Bathroom?

November 01, 2017

Two of the most important spaces in the home are the kitchen and the bathroom. They’re also the most expensive if they need to be renovated. When designing a new powder room or master bath, it’s important to take into consideration your budget, style, and lifestyle needs since these will influence the materials you select. 


Featured: Crema Arched Herringbone Mosaic

Marble is one of the most beautiful and elegant natural stones available and many dream of cladding their bathroom in this luxurious stone. Porcelain tile is a more affordable, durable option that can mimic the look of marble. Here are a few points to consider when choosing between marble and porcelain for your bathroom backsplash tile

The Look 

Featured: Calacatta Pietra Porcelain

Marble is an eye-catching stone that has been used in design for centuries, and it’s sought after for its well-known veining, coloring, and gentle movement. However, there are many faux stone looks available with porcelain tile that provide beauty and character similar to that of marble, and you’ll also get a more consistent pattern than if you were to install a marble backsplash

Cost Comparison 


Featured: Greecian White Opus Mosaic

Real marble can be costly, but if you’re looking for a long-term investment, the natural stone may make sense because it potentially adds value to your home. But if you’re looking for a more cost-effective material, then choose porcelain tile instead. While it doesn’t usually add value, it can when it’s used to upgrade a bathroom. Porcelain may be the preferred choice if you’re going to extend your backsplash, such as a white subway tile, across the wall. 

Care and Maintenance 

Featured: Glacier Dimensions Porcelain

With the high-end look of marble comes its high-maintenance needs, so be prepared to spend more time in the bathroom caring for your stone if you want it to wear well over time. Marble requires sealing on a regular basis. The luxury stone also is very porous, which means watermarks and patina are inevitable. Some homeowners don’t mind these markings on their backsplash since they consider it part of the charm of natural stone. The soft material can also be prone to stains and cracks.

Featured: Eramosa Beige Porcelain

Porcelain tile is a lot less demanding than marble when it comes to care and maintenance. This durable material is resistant to staining, chipping, scratching, and fading. These are important factors to consider if you have messy kids or your bathroom gets a lot of use. You can make your bathroom look like the stylish space you’re after whether you select an interesting mosaic made of marble or large-format porcelain for your contemporary backsplash. 

MSI has a wide variety of backsplash designs to suit your budget and your style. And to view more marble designs, check out these inspiring ideas for designing a marble bathroom.