Marble vs. Porcelain: Which One is the Best?

Marble vs Porcelain: Which One is Better? What are the pros and cons of marble and porcelain? In this article, we’ll deep dive in to see the advantages and disadvantages of both tiles.

Marble and porcelain are two of the most popular materials used in home design. Marble is a natural stone that can be found almost anywhere worldwide, while porcelain tiles are made from clay fired at high temperatures. They both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to know what these differences are before deciding which one you want for your bathroom or kitchen flooring.

In this blog post, we will go over some of the critical factors you should consider when choosing between marble and porcelain for your next home improvement project: cost, durability, maintenance, installation, and aesthetics!

Marble vs Porcelain: Cost Comparison

Porcelain tiles are usually inexpensive than marble. But of course, we have to compare apples to apples here. Some may argue that a specific porcelain tile is more expensive than a marble tile or vice versa. When we look at the cost in general, we can claim that porcelain is cheaper. But, there is an important distinction here. Because marble is a natural stone, it does not need to be manufactured like porcelain.

That means that the cost difference comes down mainly to the installation process. Installing porcelain tiles requires more attention to detail than installing marble tiles, and it is also a bit more expensive due to the necessary grouting materials. 

Marble is a luxurious tiling material. Marble is a beautiful stone that has been used for centuries. It offers an elegant, timeless look and feel. Marble will never go out of style as it looks just as good in the modern world as it did hundreds of years ago.

Maybe making a comparison between two tiles sold on our website can shed more light on this discussion.

The first one is a famous Italian marble: Italian Carrara Honed Marble Tile. The price per sqft is $9.95 – after a 38% discount.

38%OFF

Carrara Blanco Natural Porcelain Tile

Size: 12x24x25/64
$5.20
$3.25
per sq. ft.
as low as $2.60
38%OFF

Italian Carrara Honed Marble Tile

Size: 2 3/4x5 1/2x3/8
$15.92
$9.95
per sq. ft.
as low as $7.96

On the other hand, there is Carrara Blanco Natural Porcelain Tile. As the name indicates, this porcelain tile has a similar look to the original Carrara tile. Of course, this is not a natural stone tile. It has a $3.25 per sqft price tag on it -after a 38% discount. You can compare other tiles too.

Which One is More Durable?

Durability is an essential factor in choosing a tile. Marble and porcelain are both very durable materials.

The Mohs scale is a system of measurement for relative minerals. it was invented in 1812 by German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs. The following are the ten common minerals in the Mohs scale:

  • Diamond 10
  • Granite 6-7
  • Travertine 4-5
  • Limestone 3-4
  • Marble 3-4
  • Soapstone 2.5-4
  • Soapstone 1

As you can see from the table, diamond is the hardest material on earth, with a scale of 10 out of 10.

Marble Quarry

While we can not compare marble directly against porcelain according to the Mohl scale because the porcelain is not a natural stone, we can assume that they almost have the same hardness and durability. 

That means both of these tiles are very good for heavy foot traffic areas. They are not easy to wear. According to Porcelain Enamel Institute, porcelain’s hardness is somewhere between 4 and 5. That makes it almost similar to marble in terms of durability against scratches and other wearing factors.

Marble vs Porcelain: Maintenance

Before buying marble or porcelain, you have to consider the maintenance of both materials. Marble tiles require regular sealing to keep them clean and shiny for a long time, which can be an expensive maintenance cost over the years. Porcelain doesn’t need such routine care, but it does stain on top of stains easier than marble because its surface has low absorption properties, according to experts.

The texture of tiles is an essential factor considering maintenance. If the porcelain has textures on it, it may be chipped. It is also more challenging to clean textured tiles. Once chipped, you can not quickly repair the porcelain, but you have to replace the whole tile. Luckily, unlike marble or other natural tiles, the porcelain tile pattern is not unique to that particular tile. If you already bought extra tiles, it would be much easier to replace them.

Installation of Marble and Porcelain

Porcelain tiles are difficult to install because they need a special grout. They are heavier than ceramic tiles. They may also require additional support under them for their weight. As we mentioned before, the grout used for the porcelain tiles is specially made and sealed with a sealant that needs to be reapplied more often than grout used on natural tiles.

marble vs. porcleain

Marble can simply be glued onto almost any subflooring without needing special underlayment or prep work. This stunning natural stone may also need an additional layer of backing material, but it will be much easier than installing porcelain tiles. Marble is also less likely to chip or break compared to porcelain tile. They both come with their cons and pros. Of course, these difficulties are vital if you are a DIY person. We recommend hiring an expert installer to avoid such challenges and surprises.

Marble vs Porcelain: Aesthetics 

Marble is a timeless beauty. There is no doubt about it. But this doesn’t mean that porcelain can not satisfy your aesthetics. Famous marbles like Carrara, Calacatta, or Emperador will not only make your spaces more attractive and charming; they’ll also add value to your property.

A house or office fully decorated with marble floors and walls is something to look for. But as well all know, beauty and aesthetics rely on primarily personal preferences. 

Marble, like other natural stones, comes with a unique texture and pattern. The veins on a marble tile are the distinct feature of this particular stone. Even two marble tiles will not have the same look and feel. But isn’t it something that makes this stone unique and quite extraordinary?

On the other hand, there are hundreds of different colors, textures, and patterns if you choose porcelain tiles. That means you’ll have more choices, and you’ll also be sure that all of your tiles will look the same if you choose porcelain tiles.

How About A Third Option? Porcelain-backed Marble?

Some of the striking features of porcelain tiles are their glazy appearance, sturdy nature, and dirt resistance. They require less maintenance. They are also stain-resistant, thus maintaining their beauty for a long time. But can you get the timeless beauty of marble with the durability and sturdiness of porcelain?

Yes, there is a third option at Stone Tile Depot. There is a new technology which combines the best features of both tiles. Synthesis Porcelain Backed Marble Tiles have the best of both worlds. 

The surface of these tiles is 100% percent natural marble with a 5 cm thickness. There is a special epoxy that glues the marble with the porcelain, which has 6 cm thickness. These unique tiles are slip-resistant, and rest assured that their color will never fade under any conditions. 

Conclusion:

Comparison TableMarblePorcelain
Price$$$$$
DurabilityVery DurableDurable
MaintenanceEasyEasy
InstallationEasierRequires Special Grout
AestheticsTimeless BeautyUnlimited Options

Marble vs Porcelain? Did you the find right answers to your questions? Marble is a natural stone that was used almost since the beginning of human history. You can see it in ancient ruins of Greece, Anatolia, or India. Many ancient temples and palaces were built with marble. Porcelain is basically a ceramic material that was invented in China almost two thousands year ago. Several European palaces were decorated with porcelain tiles on their walls.

Are you looking for something special, unique, and beautiful that will add value to your home? We have all well-known marbles in our stock. If you are into something budget-friendly with a marble aesthetic, you can go with porcelain tiles.

For the best of both worlds, we have an alternative option too. Check our Synthesis Porcelain Backed Marble Collection. In any case, we are on your side. 

Please do not hesitate to keep in touch with us.