HomeTips & IdeasDecorating Ideas and How To'sHow to Get the ‘Marble Look’ with Less Maintenance & Cost

How to Get the ‘Marble Look’ with Less Maintenance & Cost

Posted on March 8, 2021 by KylieMawdsley

How to Use Marble Without Spending a Fortune (or at least get the LOOK of it)

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’.

Walk in shower with marble hexagon tile floor, marble walls, baseboard and flooring. Kylie M Interiors Decorating, Design, Online Color Consulting

Now, there are a few ways you can get the MARBLE LOOK for a lower price…

  • use a ‘MARBLE-LOOK’ product that mimics the real thing
  • install your REAL marble in a THOUGHTFUL and BUDGET-CONSCIOUS way

So, let’s get these marble ROLLING with some great ideas to get you using marble in your own home.

Bathroom with Wickham Gray paint colour, marble countertop. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online decorating and color consulting blog

IDEA #1 – If you love the look, think vertical

Marble that’s 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.

MARBLE BACKSPLASH

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!

In this next bathroom, we only needed 15 sq feet of marble to make a HUGE impact!

Hexagon marble tile on wall behind vanity, quartz countertop, High Reflective White cabinets. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color consultant

Sherwin Williams High Reflective White

You can do an amazing quartz countertop with a marble backsplash and get a different, but equally as stunning look. Quartz countertop is CONSIDERABLY lower maintenance than marble – I’d choose it ANY day for any project…

White kitchen cabinets, Sherwin Williams High Reflective White painted maple, Rococco quartz countertop, marble subway tile. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color blogger and consultant

Sherwin Williams High Reflective White

SHOWER SURROUND

In this project, we did an affordable porcelain (marble look-a-like) on the walls to save on the budget and keep things lower maintenance. HOWEVER, we did spend some good money on the hexagon marble tile accent (and it was worth it). However, we could’ve done the marble accent in the alcoves ONLY and it still would’ve been beautiful.

Walk in shower, ensuite bathroom. Marble hexagon mosaic tile floor, porcelain walls, Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist. Kylie M Interiors

A shower surround is usually a minimum of 70sq ft – that’s a LOT of tile. In this next bathroom, we chose a subway tile to save some money and a gorgeous warm marble hexagon tile for the niche. Only SEVEN sq ft of tile was needed and it was worth every penny!

Bathroom with bathtub and gray subway tile shower surround with niche or alcove in hexagon marble tile, greige accent tile. Kylie M Interiors design

See the before and afters HERE

VANITY BACKSPLASH

When it comes to marble, it doesn’t take much to make a big impact, especially in a small bathroom.

Marble hexagon pattern backsplash tile, mosaic. Shown with square, modern chrome faucet

Marble backsplash in hexagon shape with vanity cabinets painted Chelsea Gray, double sinks and chrome accents by Kylie M Interiors

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.

CHOOSE QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS THAT LOOKS LIKE MARBLE

CAESARSTONE STATUARIO MAXIMUS is a GORGEOUS substitute for the real thing.

CAESARSTONE STATUARIO NUVO is another great option with a slightly softer look compared to Maximus.

SILESTONE LYRAis 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 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 it’s MUCH more muted looking and also has some warmth to it – still a great contender though!

SILESTONE WHITE ARABESQUE has a slightly softer approach with a mottled background and gray veining.

CHOOSE 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.

Walk in shower in ensuite bathroom. Marble porcelain floor, hexagon mosaic shower accents, Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist with teal accents. Kylie M Interiors

See the full project here

walk in shower in bathroom with pink and brown mosaic tile, marble look shower surround, white quartz and cloud white walls

CHOOSE LAMINATE COUNTERTOPS THAT LOOK 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 a laminate countertop (which has its own pros and cons) the overall look and durability are worth the value.

Formica 180FX Calacatta Marble laminate countertop with hexagon marble accent tile and Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray painted cabinet by Kylie M Interiors

We chose the countertop above BECAUSE it looks JUST LIKE MARBLE! Pretty remarkable and a fraction of the cost.

A few more laminate countertops that mimic the look of marble…

The New Era of Laminate Countertops and Why They Rock

If I were to pick a product based on its COST, 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!)

READ MORE

A Contemporary Marble Bathroom – New Home

4 Tile & Shiplap Ideas for a Small Bathroom

How to Create a Timeless Trend-Proof Home

The 8 Best WHOLE HOME Warm Neutral Paint Colours

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

For your own E-Design Decorating Consultation, check this out…

edesign, virtual paint colour consulting. Kylie M Interiors Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams color expert. marketing (10)

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2019, UPDATED FOR CONTENT AND PHOTOS IN 2021



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Comments

  1. Kylie,
    You have presented a lot of very interesting and useful information. Obviously, you have a wealth of experience that you draw from.
    However, I must tell you that I am deeply offended by your remark:

    “So, this post is about getting the look of Marble, without the mind-numbing reality that 1 year later your Marble will have more permanent stains than Monica Lewinsky’s dress”

    First of all, this reference dates you, which I don’t think is useful or flattering to you.
    Second: this comment is vulgar and shows very poor taste.
    Third: Monica Lewinsky was quite young when all of that happened.

    LEAVE THE POOR WOMAN ALONE!

    Would you want the public to constantly hound you for a mistake from your youth?
    Seriously! Stop it!

    1. You know what Stephanie, you are right. I should be grateful that there wasn’t Facebook around when I was younger – I’m sure I would be haunted for years by my errors. I have changed that sentence and thank you for letting me know.
      ~Kylie

      1. What a gracious reply, Kylie. You’re a great example of how one can receive criticism without becoming defensive, engage in self-reflection, and decide to make a positive change. Well done, you.

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  2. Kylie, For a long time I have been eyeing the Formica Calcutta marble but have not liked the edges without a seam that I had to choose from. I do like this one! Do you remember what edge is on the example you have above? Many thanks!

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