Chances are that if you can afford to install real marble tiles in your house, you’ll be paying someone else to do the hard work. Therefore, the concept for this article was based on installing standard ceramic/porcelain, digitally printed, marble design tiles. However, actual marble is such an interesting material (I recently discovered) and quite tricky to work with, so we decided to include some information on real marble tiles, just because.
The Difficulties of Real Marble
It’s not often you’ll see real marble tiles installed anywhere as there are many superior products on the market such as Caeserstone and granite. However, despite this, marble still does give off an aura of luxury that’s hard to ignore. If you do decide to use real marble, you might want to take the following points into consideration:
- Marble tiles are expensive
- Because of the colour variation in the same box of tiles, you’ll need to buy much more than you would do ordinarily. Just one box of tiles can vary from light grey to black (not taking into consideration any other colours marble may be available in). Therefore, you would need to purchase enough to either make a pattern with the colours you end up with, or to tile in a gradient (ie, the lighter tiles in the darkest part of the room, moving to the darkest tiles in the lightest part of the room)
- They stain easily. Therefore, speciality tile cement is required, adding to your expenses.
- They stain easily. Don’t cut yourself. (You don’t want blood stains permanently marking your tiles)
- They are fragile and require a specialised stone cutter to cut the tiles to size
- They scratch easily.
- After installation, marble tiles should be sealed to prevent damage and (you guessed it!), staining.
Below is a photo of a piece of marble tile that was recently removed and replaced. The tile piece is from an SSE job site, and has been reduced to nothing more than building rubble (expensive building rubble, but rubble nonetheless). You can see how it has scratched while lying in a pile of rubble.
The Difficulties of Digitally Printed Marble-Look Tiles
In comparison to real marble, digitally printed tiles are much easier to use.
Some cheaper marble design tiles are sold in boxes where every tile has exactly the same print on it. This is not something I find aesthetically pleasing. If you are in agreement with me, we suggest going for a tile that has several matching prints in the set.
The next step, before you start tiling, would be to sort out all the prints. This way, it’ll be easier to choose a tile before cementing it in place. The goal is to avoid placing two tiles with the same print next to each other. That way you can create the illusion of the digitally printed tiles being more like real marble and more random, even though, in reality, it is not.
Other than that, tile as you would any other tile and enjoy watching your project come to life!