How to Get The Marble Look for Less
I love marble. Its timeless and classic style makes it a top choice for many bathroom and kitchen renovations. HOWEVER, it’s freakin’ expensive and a big ole pain in the rear end when it comes to maintenance. I was going to go on a big ole Ginger rant, but I’ll let Edie tell you a few things here on her uber-fab blog post ‘Living With Marble – A Cautionary Tale’.
So, this post is about getting the look of marble, without the hassles or worries of the real thing.
- It’s timeless
- It’s absolutely stunning – nuff said
- Scratches/etches easily – etching is particularly a problem with acidic food products
- Stains if not sealed properly and maintained
- Can chip on the edges
So regardless of the pros and cons, there are ways to get the beauty of marble without all of the bother…
Idea #1 – If you love the look, think vertical
Marble that is on a vertical surface will be much easier to keep perfect than a horizontal surface as it won’t be as exposed to products that stain and etch.
While there is a bit more square footage on a backsplash, the visual bang for buck is HUGE, and it’s cheaper and lower maintenance than marble countertops!
You can do an amazing quartz countertop with a marble backsplash and get a different, but equally as stunning look.
In this project, we did an affordable porcelain (marble look-a-like) on the walls and spent FAR less on the marble details! Okay, I know the floor cost a lot, but it’s the DETAILS that I’m showing you!
A marble shower surround is usually a minimum of 70sq ft. That’s a lot of sq footage to use marble on without ever stepping foot on it. It’s also easy to coordinate more durable products with it on your floor/countertops.
See the before and afters here
In the above shower, we only need 6 sq ft to get the job done!
When it comes to marble, it doesn’t take much to make a big impact.
See the full project here
With the marble-look countertop (learn about it below) and Chelsea Gray cabinets, it’s a striking focal point.
Idea #2 – Imitation is the BEST form of flattery
There are so many fantastic products out there that look like marble. These are usually a) considerably less expensive and b) much more durable.
Quartz that looks like marble
Silestone Lyra is an interesting option. I’m not going to lie to you and say that it looks ‘just like Marble’ because I find it not as veiny as the real thing. However, it will be MUCH more durable. and still look pretty darn awesome.
Cambria Quartz Torquay is another good one for the ‘marble-esque’ look with a whack-load more durability. Again, I don’t think it’s bang-on in the looks department as it tends to be a bit softer looking with an almost taupe base to it – still a great contender though!
Porcelain tile that looks like marble
In both of these bathrooms below, we chose an affordable porcelain that mimicked the look of marble for a fraction of the price.
See the full project here
Laminate Countertop that looks like Marble
My fave idea of all!
Formica has a fabulous marble impersonator called Calacatta Marble. It’s a fraction of the cost and while it is laminate countertop (which has its own pros and cons) the overall look and durability are worth the value.
We chose the countertop in the above photo BECAUSE it looks JUST LIKE MARBLE! Pretty remarkable and a fraction of the cost.
Yes, it’s true. If I were to pick a product based on its durability and ability to withstand my bad habit of spilling everything I pour and the fact that I prefer cutting without a cutting board, I would choose laminate. I’m not saying it’s a superior product in the “design hoytie-toytie’ sense, I’m just saying I would trust it a HELL of a lot more than marble for everyday wear and tear. Plus if I DID torch it, the replacement cost would be astronomically lower than replacing a hunk of marble (and ALL of that being said, quartz is my fave countertop product).
So this post was not about trashing marble – it IS a fabulous product. It’s about doing your research to see what else is out there that can give you a similar look with a few additional perks (like freakin’ durability people!)
For your own E-Design Decorating Consultation, check this out…
www.kylieminteriors.ca Online Decorating and Design. E-design Consulting, Home Staging and Blog. Based in Nanaimo BC, serving Vancouver Island and the whole darned World!