Marble has been a bathroom staple for centuries, often associated with luxurious interiors. This stunning natural material is a favourite for classic and modern bathroom designs. If you’re planning a bathroom renovation, discover the benefits of marble and how to incorporate it into your space.
What is marble, and why is it so popular?
Marble is a type of rock used in bathrooms for centuries. Since it’s a natural material, no two surfaces are ever the same, which is why it is often used in bathrooms to add a unique and luxurious feel. Each stone has different patterns and colours, including shades of white, black, grey, red, pink and green.
Marble is found worldwide, but the stone sourced from Italy and Greece is often used in bathrooms, as the surface is usually more durable in wet conditions. This is one of the reasons why it’s so popular in bathrooms. However, marble must be sealed to become waterproof as it is a naturally porous material.
The history of marble
Marble has been used in construction and art for centuries. It was popularised by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who preferred it over other materials due to its softness. Marble is easy to sculpt and ideal when creating sculptures, columns and other building elements. It’s also considered one of the most beautiful stones as it sparkles under the light.
The benefits of a marble bathroom
Since marble is softer than other rocks, it can easily be milled, machined and cut thin enough for tiling. It is also great for keeping your bathroom cool on hot days. From an aesthetic perspective, marble is one of the most timeless and luxurious materials you can choose, meaning you won’t need to redecorate the space as trends change.
The softness of marble is one of its main advantages but also one of the main disadvantages, as it absorbs liquids quickly. For example, a marble bathroom floor will likely stain if you spill a bottle of hair dye. Marble can also chip easily and erode under acid-based cleaners. It might not be the best option if you have a busy bathroom that is more susceptible to daily wear and tear.
Marble bathroom ideas
Marble is versatile enough to fit in with almost any bathroom design, from monochrome and minimalist décor to more ornamental looks. Here are some ways to create a luxury marble bathroom, no matter your budget, style or bathroom size.
Marble tiling is the most popular way to incorporate the material into your home, as marble slabs are much heavier to transport and more expensive. Tile your entire bathroom for ultimate luxury, or use marble tiles to create a focal point in the area around your shower, bath or sink.
Veined white marble tiles give a palatial feel. They can be paired with other natural materials like copper and antique brass to complement more traditional bathroom styles. For larger bathrooms, applying darker marble tiles on the walls can create contrast whilst offering a contemporary take on classic white marble.
A marble basin will create a timeless focal point if you don’t want to splash out on redesigning the whole room. Alternatively, you could add a marble countertop or splashback to your existing bathroom units for a touch of luxury.
Modern marble bathrooms
For a minimalist feel, use black or white marble tiling with less veining to create a cohesive, monochrome design throughout your space. Choose the same style and colour for the walls and flooring. Then introduce glass, chrome and steel accents with taps, mirrors, door handles, radiators and shower enclosures for a modern look.
For a bolder take on this classic material, lay your marble floor and wall tiles in geometric patterns, playing with proportion, size and shape. Alternatively, you could choose marble with dramatic veining to transform your countertops, splashbacks or basins into a striking design feature.
If you’re introducing marble to a traditional bathroom, keep your light fixtures elegant and warm with antique bulbs and candles. Overhead spotlighting is ideal in modern marble bathrooms but be aware of creating reflections or dark areas. Marble is shiny, and misplaced lighting can cast shadows, reducing its luxurious, luminescent effect. Bathrooms with plenty of natural light are perfect for showing off marble accents, as they will sparkle under direct sunlight.
Need more design inspiration for your bathroom renovation? Discover the best modern bathroom ideas in our guide.