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  • Curated By Callisto

Which is Better for Flooring; Marble, Granite, or Porcelain Tiles?

Marble, Granite and Porcelain tile are typically used in high-traffic areas of the home and wet environments, where a more resistant and durable material is required. These products are somewhat complex to install and require proper subfloor preparation, as well as the use of adequate setting materials. For a quality installation, we advise on seeking the help of a professional tile setter.

When choosing a hard surface floorcovering, there are a few factors to consider. Porcelain tile is engineered and man-made, whereas Marble and Granite are natural stones. Each have their own pros and cons which will be highlighted below. We recommend asking yourself these questions when selecting your material.

Where Do You Intend To Install The Product?

Is it a high traffic area of the home like the entryway or mudroom? Or a low-traffic, low-risk area such as a guest bathroom or ensuite? Granite and Porcelain are very hard materials, offering scratch and shock resistance, while being nonporous which helps protect against water absorption and staining. These materials are also acid-resistant to protect against etching and any changes to the surface. Marble on the other hand is a softer stone, sensitive to acids, porous, and not as resistant to scratches. In a high traffic area, wear and tear on this material is to be expected and may be accelerated more than normal. Frequent cleaning, sealing and maintenance is needed with marble.

What Is Typical For The Neighbourhood?

Compare the finishes other homes have in the area. If you wish to keep up with market value and be comparable to other homes on the block, it is important to offer similar finishes in the same or slightly better quality. Putting too much money on an overly sophisticated material can be unnecessary, while using a lesser quality tile can also do harm to the re-sale value of your home. Marble, Granite and Porcelain tile can be found in any home, however typically the natural stone tiles are in higher-end neighbourhoods and construction.

What Colour And Style Do You Want?

Granite and Marble are natural stone products, meaning they are mined from the Earth. The colour, finish and quality of the stone depends on what mineral components are found within. Although you can find tiles in many colours ranging from light to dark, Granites are typically very spotty and crystalline looking, whereas Marbles are softer, silkier and can have striking vein patterns. Each tile will be different, and variation from piece to piece is to be expected. Porcelain tiles are manufactured, and with technology today, almost any pattern or texture can be recreated to mimic materials from natural stone to concrete, hardwood, or abstract patterns.

Natural stone tiles also tend to be smaller in size, 12x12” and 12x24” are common sizes, and sometimes 24x24”. Larger sizes like 24x48” are possible depending on the stone type and thickness, but usually require extra reinforcements. Porcelain tiles come in a range of sizes, 12x24” and 24x24” are typical, with larger sizes of 24x48” and even 48x48” appearing more and more on the market today.

What Is Your Budget?

Generally speaking, Porcelain tiles are less costly than Granite or Marble tiles. They are also easier to install and do not require sealing, saving time with regards to labour. The size of the tile also impacts material cost and labour cost, with larger tiles such as 24x48” or slabs requiring specialized tools and manipulation. Layout and pattern also become a budget factor, with simple grid and brick layouts being standard, and complex herringbone, basket-weave or random lays requiring extra material waste and installation time.

In conclusion, there is no clear winner when it comes to material selection. It all depends on the project and your personal taste. For a typical budget-conscious renovation or new build, a mid-range porcelain tile will satisfy all your needs, offer durability and a nice selection of colours while being straightforward for installation. If you are in a high-end neighbourhood and want a sophisticated material for your home, granite and marble tiles are the norm for elegance. These tiles have been used for centuries to express luxury and beauty, where the quality of a naturally formed material is simply stunning.

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