HomeHome Updates: Tips & IdeasDecorating Ideas and How To'sAffordable Ways to Design With Marble (Look-alikes, Placement, & IDEAS)

Affordable Ways to Design With Marble (Look-alikes, Placement, & IDEAS)

Posted on March 8, 2023 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

There are a few ways to 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



Marble on a VERTICAL SURFACE will be much easier to keep unblemished than on a horizontal surface as it won’t be as exposed to products that stain and etch.


While there’s 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 square 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

KITCHEN remodel, marble subway tile backsplash, MSI quartz, Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace painted cabinets. Kylie M Interiors Online paint color expert with Truley Home



In this project, we did an affordable porcelain (marble look-a-like) on the walls to save on the budget and keep things low 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 70 square feet – that’s a LOT of tile. In this next bathroom, we chose a subway tile to save money and a gorgeous warm marble hexagon tile for the niche. Only SEVEN square feet 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


It doesn’t take much to make a big impact when it comes to marble, 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

This bathroom’s vanity area is a striking focal point with the marble-look countertop (learn about it below) and Chelsea Gray cabinets.



There are so many fantastic products out there that look like marble. These are usually a) considerably less expensive and b) much more durable.

Sherwin Williams Eider White painted kitchen cabinets, off white gray, Cambria Brittanica and a light gray quartz.

The Best Off-White & Light Depth Colors for Kitchen Cabinets


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 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 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 has some warmth – still a great contender, though!

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

Bathroom with white quartz countertops, dark blue vanity, beige, blue and white hexagon tile and Benjamin Moore Winds Breath paint colour on walls. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, diy update ideas.



In all three bathrooms below, we chose an affordable porcelain tile that LOOKS like marble, but is easier to maintain and considerably more affordable – style doesn’t need to cost a fortune!

bathroom with Sherwin Williams Network Gray shiplap, vanity, gray and white tile marble look floor, black fixtures, Benjamin White Dove walls. Kylie M. (1)

3 Ideas to Add Personality to a Small Bathroom

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


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! It’s pretty remarkable and a fraction of the cost.


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 that being said, quartz is my favorite countertop product).

This post isn’t about trashing marble – it’s 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!)


A Contemporary Marble Bathroom – New Home

4 Tile & Shiplap Ideas for a Small Bathroom

A Marble-Inspired Ensuite 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)



  1. 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!

  2. 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.

    1. Post

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Posts

Meet Kylie

Thank you for visiting!  I'm so glad you're here!  Come on in to learn a little more about me!