5 Questions To Ask Before Using Marble In Your Bathroom
All photos courtesy of Maple & White Design.
Bathrooms and kitchens are the top two remodeling projects for homeowners—and for good reason. Not only do people love a beautiful bathroom, according to online realty marketing and information company Trulia, “The rooms buyers most closely inspect (and judge) in a house are the kitchen and master bath. These are the interior spaces where the most value can be added during a sale, so they need to look their best.”
While home trends change annually, they’re also a good barometer of what consumers are looking for today. Classics like marble rarely go out of style and often bring a level of luxury few other materials can achieve.
“Marble is often requested in bathrooms, especially master bathrooms and powder rooms,” says Becky Asleson, principal of Maple & White Design, a Midwest-based, full-service design firm specializing in residential new construction and remodels. “Marble is a beautiful stone and is available in a wide variety of colors with different amounts of movement.”
Anna Gibson, AKBD, owner and chief designer of AKG Design Studio, agrees that white marbles such as Carrara, Calacatta Gold and Super White dolomitic marble are particularly popular in bathrooms right now, but she’s also seeing color. Gibson provides curated kitchen and bathroom design services to clients in the DC metro area, from design concept to implementation, so she often sees the gamut. “People are looking for color and Ming green marble is gaining popularity,” says Gibson. “Black surfaces are also gaining popularity as we are still deep into the mid-century modern vibe.”
Here are five things to consider when using marble in a bathroom.
There are a few questions that Asleson likes to ask her clients before they even start a project since the answers will help direct her design and recommendations.
- Do I like the warmth natural materials provide in my home?
- Am I comfortable with variation in the tile or countertop, or do I prefer a consistent look?
- Am I willing to seal the natural stone occasionally?
Asleson encourages clients to think about how long they plan to live in the space and to consider making timeless selections. “Trends come and go, but marble has been used in architecture for hundreds of years,” she notes.
How can marble make my bathroom look unique?
“The patina of marble provides a warm and soft aesthetic that many homeowners desire,” says Asleson. “No two slabs are the same, giving each room a custom, unique look. Marble is also a stone that ages well, making the investment worthwhile. Clients who want a special bathroom can certainly achieve it by incorporating marble into the design.”
She also mentions that due to it being made by Mother Nature, marble is available in a large variety of options and price points. “It ages well and the patina it develops provides a lovely soft and warm look for a bathroom,” she adds.
Will marble be strong enough to handle my family?
Gibson understands why homeowners ask this question, especially if they’re nervous about incorporating marble into their overall design.
“I always tell my clients that marbles are a living stone. It will change and maybe even stain but this is the beauty of the stone. If we look back on most of the historical building in the world, they are built from stone and it’s still there hundreds of years later,” she adds. “If stone survived the elements, it will survive your family.”
For those concerned about keeping their natural stone performing well, Buddy Ontra, owner of Ontra Stone in Bridgeport, Connecticut, reminds homeowners that various hygiene products, such as perfumes, hair products, dental products, and more, may contain acids or bases that could damage the stone. Being mindful of where those items are kept in a bathroom can help keep marble from staining or etching.
Won’t marble get slippery when wet?
When in a wet environment like a bathroom, Gibson says those needs do need to be taken care of. She usually recommends honed stone on the floor, and in showers she uses small tile or mosaic to create natural traction with the grout lines. “The stone will need to be sealed properly, so there is a little added maintenance in a wet space,” she says.
Whenever Asleson senses concerns from clients who shy away from marble because of perceived maintenance difficulties, especially as it relates to the materials getting wet in a bathroom, she simply reminds them of ways they can care for their stone. “As long as a client is educated on how to clean and care for their natural stone, there should be no hesitation in using it in bathrooms,” she notes.
What are some creative ways I can use marble in a bathroom?
The most impactful way Asleson has used marble in a master bathroom is the vanity backsplash from wall to wall, countertop to ceiling. “I recently selected a marble waterjet mosaic, which created a subtle pattern above the vanity and served as a stunning focal point in the space,” she shares.
Gibson loves using marble on all surfaces from counters to walls to seats. She’s even seen tubs made out of the material. Which goes to show, natural stone can not only be a showpiece in and of itself, it’s a versatile material in a bathroom.