You may not want to hear this but marble is bad news. Choosing marble for your bathroom is a risky decision and a financial commitment you may well come to repent at leisure.
Of course, the natural stone surface with its classically beautiful aesthetic is an ever popular luxury material for use in the home. It’s been used by master craftsmen through the centuries to cover palace floors, ceilings and walls. Marble oozes opulence and decadence. There’s an array of gorgeous patterns and colours, often with contrast mineral veining, to choose from. It’s a versatile stone material for flooring, counters and worktops, even fireplaces – so you may well wonder: what’s not to like?
Well, marble is a natural stone material, metamorphic rock to be precise. Its porous nature makes it prone to scratching and staining, and this is where the trouble begins. If you go for matt honed marble, little imperfections aren’t quite so visible, but polished marble takes no prisoners.
Marble is elegant and beautiful, of course, but just like a high maintenance trophy wife, it takes a lot of looking after to do it justice and preserve its beauty. When it comes to home maintenance, who, frankly, has the time these days? Here are 7 compelling reasons why marble is anything but a suitable bathroom material for your home, as advised by Dakota working with the Bathroom Discount Centre Ltd.
- Marble stains quickly
Compared to, say, granite or slate, marble is a relatively soft stone, and this is a problem because the porous surface absorbs liquids and stains easily. If you’re using oil based creams and lotions in a marble bathroom, you’re playing with fire. They can all leave visible rings or stains that are hard to remove from marble surfaces. Also can you imagine the damage if you were to colour your hair at home and the shower floor was tiled in marble? You wouldn’t have a problem if you’d chosen easy-going ceramic or porcelain tiles – just saying! Finally, there’s the mineral iron content in the marble material itself – often visible in the veining. What do you think happen when iron meets water? Yep, marble can actually rust!
- Marble etches easily
Due to its porosity, marble is also easily damaged by acidic substances such as lemon, vinegar, nail polish remover and many household cleaning products that can get into the surface. That’s why, if you’ve got marble in your bathroom, it’s so important to have it sealed twice a year to limit any damage. The sealer penetrates the surface and fills the microscopic pores be
tween the crystals, giving some but not total protection. Maintenance free it is certainly not.
- Marble can scratch and dent
Another problem, again due to the softness of the material, is that marble surfaces scratch very easily. Drag a metal toilet brush holder across the floor and regret it instantly. Drop a heavy item on the floor and it might leave a dent. If you have furniture in your bathroom, floor protector pads are highly advised. Not exactly the practical material you had in mind for your bathroom.
- Marble is slippery underfoot
Marble is slippery when wet. Polished marble on a bathroom floor is an accident waiting to happen, and honed marble is not much safer. While it seems a shame to cover up the beautiful floor you’ve invested heavily in with a practical non-slip bath mat, it’s your best option. You have been warned.
- Special cleaning agents required
If you’re stuck with marble in your bathroom, you’ll be only too aware of the cleaning regime required to preserve the surface in good condition. Choose bathroom cleaners with care – no natural cleaners based on vinegar or lemon allowed here! However, you may find your regular commercial bathroom cleaners are also too harsh for the delicate marble surface. There’s nothing for it, you have to search out specialist cleaning agents designed specially for marble. That’s another bottle to take into the shower.
- Constant cleaning and vigilance
Regular marble cleaning involves a daily wipeover with a clean, dry non-abrasive cleaning cloth or chamois leather to remove dust particles and debris. Left undone, the dirt can become abrasive when coming into contact with water and detergents. Tiny scratches on the marble may not be visible immediately but unless you’re vigilant, your precious marble will lose its lustre over time as it becomes even more porous and susceptible to staining – and so the vicious circle spirals downwards.
- Marble is not a sustainable solution
As a natural, metamorphic rock, there is a finite amount of marble in the world. Seen from the perspective of our timeline, it is not a renewable material. Quarrying and transportation from faraway places of origin such as Greece, Italy, Spain and India will contribute to a big carbon footprint. Natural is not always best; if you want to go green, marble is not the answer.
This is a collaborative post from Dakota Murphey. Image source