Tiles vs Marble: Which One is Better for Your Flooring?

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Whether it is time to renovate your home or building a new home, you will have to think about flooring at some point, mainly on Tiles vs Marble, their differences, advantages, price, and more. Choosing the type of flooring for your property might not be such an easy task since there are many factors you should keep in mind. Whether it may be Tiles or Marble, both are available in a variety of finishes, which is only going to make your decision more difficult to make.

While floors are a very important part of your overall interior design vision, you cannot choose the type of flooring based only on aesthetic reasons. There are other factors that must be taken into consideration, including the durability of the floor, slipperiness, price, as well as difficulty of maintenance. This detailed guide will teach you everything you need to know about tiles vs marble and which one is better!

Tiles vs Marble
Tiles vs Marble

Tiles or Marble Flooring? Is it Really Important to Consider?

Marble has always been the go-to option for several years as most home builders because of its modern finish, aesthetic design, and sometimes a prestige point. However, tile flooring is not far from marble and is gaining popularity because of its quality, style, and overall durability.

It may be Tiles or Marble It is important to choose carefully between these two flooring options because they have different properties that might not be suitable for your home.

While tiles are less expensive compared to marble, they do take a bit extra work when it comes to installation. However, just because marble is a more luxurious option, it doesn’t mean that it’s always a good fit. Either way, it is important to consider all differences between the two to be able to choose tiles or marble.

Tiles VS Marble: The 16 Main Differences, Which one is Better?

If you are trying to determine which is better between tiles vs marble, comparing these main differences will get you closer to your final decision. 

Look/ Aesthetic Value

We will start off with the most obvious feature that everyone looks at when choosing flooring – the look. We cannot claim which of these flooring options look better because the aesthetic quality depends on the taste and preferences of the buyer.

Generally speaking, marble is considered more aesthetic and also more luxurious. However, some people prefer tile and see it as a minimal and more modern alternative. Therefore, it is up to you to decide which of these flooring options wins the aesthetic comparison as per your preferences.

Design, Polishing, and Finishing

Both tiles and marble flooring come in a variety of finishes and designs. Depending on the vendors you are looking at, you will most likely find dozens of different prints and textures.

The good thing about tiles is that they can be designed to look like any other material, including wood and even marble. However, the real marble has a glossier and more polished finish, which gives it that luxurious look everyone loves. You can find it in different shades, including gray, white, black, brown, and various other combinations.

If you are not a big fan of polished and glossy designs, you can find honed and sand marble that has a matte texture.

Prone to Cracks and Chipping

Marble is usually installed in slabs, which are thicker and thus more durable. While the quality of marble will depend on the manufacturer, most slabs of marble are so durable that they can withstand harsh conditions such as earthquakes and fires.

Tiles, on the other hand, are much thinner and thus more prone to cracking and chipping. Even though marble is generally more durable, keep in mind that the overall quality will greatly depend on the manufacturer.

Withstanding Weather Conditions

Both tiles and marble are suitable for indoor and outdoor use, which means both alternatives can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Marbles are less likely to chip or crack, and they are also extremely weather resistant. But some marbles gets a distinctive yellow shade or stains after years of use outdoors in different weather conditions.

Coming to the Tiles, they are less likely to change in color and withstands well in normal weather conditions, but not always sometimes they cause problems like tile bulging or popping in extreme weather conditions.

Composition

The composition is where these two flooring types differ drastically. Most simply put, marble is a metamorphic rock formed naturally with limestone in a complex procedure that includes heat and pressure.

Tiles, on the other hand, consist of minerals such as silica and quartz baked with a mixture of clay at high temperatures. The baking process is what makes the tiles more prone to cracking compared to marble, which is formed naturally over the years.

Porosity

The porosity of flooring often determines how easy it is to clean and maintain the floor. Nonporous flooring does not absorb soil or moisture, whereas porous does.

Both tile and marble are porous by nature, although marble absorbs water at a higher rate. Porous flooring generally improves friction and makes the surface less slippery and thus safer to walk on.

The only downside is that soil and moisture can build up in the pores of the flooring and thus affect its appearance. The difference between marble and tile flooring, in this sense, depends on the finished design and whether the flooring has a protective coating.

Durability

In between the tiles vs marbles, Tiles are less durable as they go through a specific baking process where a mixture of clay is merged with different minerals. This also makes them more prone to cracking and breaking compared to marble, which is naturally more durable.

Scratch and Stain Proof

Marble is much harder than most of the tiles and is less prone to scratching. Tiles, on the other hand, are a bit prone to scratching, although this will depend on the finish and quality of the tile. Any material with a glazed, shiny finish can be scratched easily. However, if you opt for matte tiles or marble flooring, you won’t have to worry about scratches that much or at least they won’t be so easy to notice.

Coming to the stains, tiles are bit stain proof due to their finishing. But coming to marbles, they are not that stain proof and as a natural rock, they are highly reactive and get stained easily in case of spillage of any harsh liquids or acids.

Sound Absorbing Nature

Marble naturally absorbs sound, although not at high rates. It is definitely better than tiles in this sense, although sound absorption is not the most important feature to look at, it is a good characteristic, especially if you need flooring for a multiple storied house. Having marble flooring on the top story will significantly reduce noise levels coming from upstairs.

Ease of Cleaning

Tiles are much easier to clean because they won’t absorb liquids and don’t stain too quickly. Marble, on the other hand, can stain immediately if you spill any hard liquids on it. That is why it is important to clean marble flooring thoroughly as soon as you spill something. Even though tiles should be cleaned regularly as well, they are less demanding in terms of cleaning and maintenance.

Slipperiness

The slipperiness of the floor is really a very important factor to consider especially if you have older adults in your home. Coming to the comparison, most marble flooring options have high end glazed finishes which makes them more slippery than tiles. If we were to compare tiles vs marble only, tiles would win this battle.

However, regardless of whether you choose marble or tile, you can get both alternatives in a matte finish or anti-slip finish, which would be good to choose to be on a safe side.

Maintenance

Marble requires periodic cleaning with mild and gentle cleaning supplies. However, in case you spill anything on it, especially if it is an acidic liquid such as vinegar or a cleaning agent, you will have to clean it up immediately because marble is prone to staining quickly.

Tiles, on the other hand, might require more detailed cleaning because of the gaps in between the tiles that fill up with residue. Both flooring options have to be maintained regularly, although marble is easier to clean, as long as you don’t spill any hard liquids on it.

Price

Marble is far more expensive than tiles, especially if you are looking for unique Italian marble designs. After all, marble is considered the more luxurious option compared to any tile alternative. 

Real-estate Value

Since marble is more expensive and more luxurious than tile, it will add more real estate value to your property. You might not be interested in resale values at this time, although being aware of potential resale prices can help you get a higher return on your investment in the future.

If you ever decide to sell the property, you will be able to up the price a bit because of marble flooring, which is a highly sought-after feature on the market.

Installation

Tiles are much easier to install than marble and they’re also easier to find. Most stores have tiles that are ready to ship in packs of different sizes, so you don’t have to wait long periods of time to have your tiles cut the way you want them.

It takes around one day to lay an average room size flooring with tiles. The good thing about them is that they do not require long setting times so you can walk on them right after installation.

Marble, on the other hand, is a bit more complex to put in place. You first have to order it, cut it to your required dimensions, polish it and then install it, which also takes longer because marble needs more time to set in. Also, at the same time, don’t forget the polishing of marble which takes much more time.

Wastage

Around 10% of wastage is normal when installing flooring, regardless of which option you choose. But in the case of marble, the wastage is bit more compared to tiles as they needs to be cut to a fixed sizes, which is not the case in the tiles which are precut and packed.

Also, keep in mind that rooms with strange and unusual layouts might cause the wastage rate to go up by 10 or even 20%. Since marble is more expensive than tiles, you will want to keep the wastage rates as low as possible. 

Tiles vs Marble: What is the Approximate Cost for Flooring?

Actually, several factors influence the price of a tile like its quality, finishing, brand, etc. If you want to install tile flooring, the average cost per square feet would be around 45 to 60 Indian rupees. However, if you want to install high-quality vitrified tiles with a matte finish or other advanced designs, you will have to pay a higher price of around 60 to 70 rupees per square feet.

Pricing is a bit more complex when it comes to marble because the size of the marble slab, quality, variety, origin and its thickness can impact the overall costs. The average cost of a usual white Indian marble with some green patches of good quality costs goes between 140 to 200 INR per square feet.

Coming to Italian marble or more luxurious options, they usually range from 350-1000 INR per square feet or even higher.

When You Should Prefer Tiles?

If you are going for specific interior design, it will be easier to adjust the floor color, style, and texture with tiles, since they are more versatile. There are hundreds of tile designs out there, including designs that mimic other materials.

If you want the flooring to look like wood but you want the durability and the feel of a tile, you can achieve this design with wooden print tiles. Another reason why you should opt for tiles is that they do not stain so easily. 

If you have small children around the house who might spill things here and there, it will be easier for you to maintain tiles regularly rather than risk having stained marble flooring. Moreover, if you are on a budget and you do not want to cross the top budget limit, we suggest choosing tiles as a cheaper yet still very durable flooring alternative. Besides, tiles are more readily available than marbles that too packed in different sizes. So the whole process of choosing the right style and design, as well as installing the tiles, won’t take that much time.

Bottom line: Choose tiles if you are looking for a more affordable and durable alternative or if you want to finish the flooring process faster.

When to Prefer Marble Flooring?

Marble is an all-natural product so if you are looking for a much luxurious and durable flooring, this would be a great fit. While it is more expensive than tiles, marble is worth it if you look at it from the value point of view. It will add value to your real estate property in case you choose to resell it in the future.

Moreover, marble flooring has a very high polish and it looks more luxurious compared to tiles. As long as you don’t spill any acidic liquids on it, it will also be easier to clean and maintain compared to tile flooring.

We recommend staying away from marble if you are setting up kitchen flooring, especially the kitchen top, since the staining here would be inevitable. Granite would be perfect for your kitchen tops. However, marble would be a great choice for hallways, outdoor areas, or even large and luxurious living rooms. It all depends on your preference and interior design style you are going for.

Besides, marble is a heavy stone which means it can withstand a lot of weight on it, which is a great advantage. It is also very durable and will last for years, although it is not scratch resistant.

Bottom line: Choose marble if you are going for a high end, luxurious design, or you want to increase the resale value of your real estate property. 

What about other Flooring Types?

Don’t forget that there are other types of flooring available on the market, not only tiles or marble. The hardwood flooring, which is becoming popular in every household, especially for bedrooms. There is also laminate flooring, which consists of a compressed fiberboard plank, as well as vinyl flooring and water resistant cork flooring.

If you are looking for more eco-friendly alternatives, bamboo flooring is a good option to keep in mind, although it is much softer than hardwood and thus prone to denting. We must also include the classic carpet flooring with fiber attached to a backing. This type of flooring is difficult to maintain, but it does provide more room for styling and design.

Bottom line: There are plenty of flooring types out there, but marble and tiles are considered some of the most durable and long-lasting options. If you want a more classic design, go for carpet or hardwood flooring.

Best Tile Brands in India

Tiles are usually available for shipping right out of the store, which makes them a convenient option if you are looking for a quick flooring solution. However, the quality of the end result will depend on the brand you choose, since not all brands focus on the same quality levels. Here are some of the best brands for tiles on our market:

  • HR Johnson
  • Hindware
  • Somany
  • Kajaria
  • Nitco
  • Cera
  • Bajaj
  • Orient
  • Asian Granito

Final Words

To sum it up simply, marble is considered a more luxurious, durable, long-lasting material that is less prone to chipping or breaking. However, it is prone to stains and is much slippery. Tiles are a budget-friendly alternative and can fit a variety of interior design styles due to their versatility and variety of prints, stains less, and are easier to install. But they are not that durable as marble and are more prone to chip and breakage.

If you have any questions regarding this topic of tiles vs marbles, feel free to comment below.

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