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Marble – Get ‘The Look’ Without the ‘The High Price’

Posted on May 8, 2019 by KylieMawdsley


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.

marble for countertop, backsplash, shower and more. Products that look like marble that are more durable and affordable for kitchen or bathroom decorating ideas

Marble Pros

  • It’s timeless
  • It’s absolutely stunning – nuff said

Marble Cons

  • 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.

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!

Kitchen cabinets painted Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray, driftwood marble backsplash with stainless steel. Design by Kylie M Interiors E-Design, Vancouver Island Decorating Services

Herringbone marble backsplash in kitchen. Ideas to get the look of marble. Quartz countertop, white cabinets, design Karly Parker. Kylie M INteriors Edesign

You can do an amazing quartz countertop with a marble backsplash and get a different, but equally as stunning look.

Shower Surround

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!

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

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.

Bathroom remodel, Moen Glyde fixtures, Bianco Drift quartz countertop Caesarstone, subway tile wall, Gray painted vanity by Kylie M Interiors

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

In the above shower, we only need 6 sq ft to get the job done!

Vanity Backsplash

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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!)

Chat soon,

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

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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!



  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.


    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.

      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.

        1. Post
  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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