Creating a contemporary bathroom comes down to the basics – your fixtures, your walls and your flooring. Picking the right flooring will help to springboard you into making decisions on the type and style of toilet, shower, or bath you’d like, as well as help guide what decoration would best suit your space.
One of the most luxurious-looking flooring you could opt for is marble flooring. This flooring has timeless appeal, having been used in extravagant homes for centuries, and its appeal is always guaranteed to be in fashion.
We’ve got marble-effect flooring that will suit every budget, so whether you’re out looking for the real deal or you want to recreate the look of marble at half the price, we’ve got you covered in this guide.
Marble is made from a natural stone cut into large slabs, which can then be turned into tiles for your flooring. The size of the tiles is variable, but often it’s common to see marble cut into large square tiles to best showcase the pattern of the veining in the marble. Marble tiles can be found in lots of ancient homes and castles around the UK, as it was seen as a luxurious item to have in your home for a long time.
Marble has several advantages, the foremost being its amazing looks in modern bathrooms. It can also accommodate underfloor heating which makes it helpful for keeping an eye on your heating bills, and it can be easily polished to a high shine to impress your guests.
On the flip side, marble tiles can also be slippery because of this natural polish, so you may need to invest in some non-slip rugs to keep you on your feet! It can also be prone to scratches and stains, so it will need to be taken care of very closely. Genuine marble tiles are known to be porous, so when water sits on the surface of marble it can cause it to discolour, another issue you can prevent with regular maintenance and cleaning.
Another way you can get the marble effect on a budget is to use sheet vinyl instead of solid marble tiles. Sheet vinyl can have many patterns and styles, including a marble-like effect, and can even come embossed to feel like real tiles too.
Sheet vinyl is made up of different layers of materials, including a soft underlayer that acts like its own underlay, then a patterned layer with the printed image of whatever material you opt for. This is then topped with a protective top layer to help give sheet vinyl its incredible properties like stain and water resistance.
By opting for tile-effect vinyl flooring, you can have the beauty and modernity of marble flooring at half the cost and with even more strength for everything you throw at your bathroom floor over the years. You can keep your vinyl in pristine condition for years by following our handy vinyl care guide.
Despite having vinyl in the name, luxury vinyl tiles (or LVT as it's commonly referred to) are quite different from sheet vinyl, although they can both still give you that coveted marble effect! LVT comes in tiles or planks that click together, similar to laminate flooring, while sheet vinyl is laid out in large rolls. There’s plenty more information you can find in our guide on 'what is LVT'. Therefore, sheet vinyl has no separation between distinct tiles, it simply is a pattern laid on top of a sheet of composite materials.
Luxury vinyl tile can more closely replicate the look of solid marble tiles because it’s laid in individual tiles or planks and is made with similar materials to sheet vinyl. This makes it water- and stain-resistant, as well as incredibly durable and versatile, and it works just as well with underfloor heating as genuine marble tiles.
There are a few alternative ways you can incorporate marble into your bathroom as well as with your flooring, such as marble walls, marble fixtures, and marble décor. Here are some suggestions of ways you can use these marble accents to compliment your marble flooring.
Opting for marble-patterned walls is another way you can get that luxurious look into your bathroom, but there are a few budget-friendly ways you can do it if real marble tiles are not affordable. You can try contact paper, a sticky wallpaper that can be easily peeled off when and if you need to remove it. Or, you can try tiling only sections of your bathroom, such as around the shower or bath, as this area is most likely to get damp.
Using subway marble tiles is a really popular choice, and the alternating pattern of black and white marble tiles is also very much back in fashion. Contrast this with plain white fixtures and small pops of black in your hand towels, as well as natural wood tones which contrast beautifully.
Incorporating marble into your fixtures and furnishings is also a great way to accent the marble pattern of your flooring. Opt for a marble sink top that you keep completely clear to let the pattern take centre stage or create a stark contrast with a white porcelain sink by using marble pattern taps or accessories.
Marble pattern décor is a very contemporary decoration choice and can be included in the finer details. For example, using marble soap dishes and toothbrush holders, or including marble plant pots, which will contrast beautifully with a tall green fern in a contemporary bathroom. Marble shelves can also provide a minimal and modern addition to your bathroom. Alternatively, you can decant your favourite shampoo and conditioner into marble-effect containers or use a marble tray to hold your favourite toiletries. Marble picture frames or marble towel holders add another subtle touch.
It's up to you just how much marble effect you want in your modern bathroom, but this timeless classic isn’t going out of style any time soon, so you can be pretty certain that you’re making a good décor choice for the future as well as for the present.
You can find plenty of marble bathroom inspiration in our Flooring Ideas hub, which is packed full of trends – a great place to start if you’re still finding your feet with your design concept,or alternatively, discover the best flooring for bathrooms. If you want to speak to one of our knowledgeable floorologists about creating a marble utopia, why not pop down to your local Tapi store or book a free home appointment to speak with us?