When it comes to luxury bathrooms, marble bathroom flooring ideas are hard to beat. Elegant and timeless, it is no surprise it has always been a popular choice for bathroom designs, whether classic or contemporary.
Apart from the fact that it looks beautiful and instantly adds a note of sophistication, there are practical elements to having marble underfoot. It is naturally water-resistant, easy to clean and works well with underfloor heating.
'Marble is a stalwart of bathroom design,’ says Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs. ‘It suits both modern, minimalist schemes, as well as the more classic, traditional ones and, is also a material that can blend the two styles effortlessly together.’
While classic white marble will never go out of style, one of the advantages of marble is that it comes in extensive colors and patterns so you can always get a unique and distinctive look. Interior designer Enass Mahmoud, founder of London-based Studio Enass agrees: ‘I am a huge fan of marble being used on bathroom flooring particularly an Arabesque marble that tends to have a powerful dark veining throughout the stone,’ she says. ‘Another favorite of mine is the Marquina marble which is a beautiful marble with a black background and white veining. These are the types of marbles that instantly catches my attention.’
Elegant marble bathroom flooring ideas
1. Choose a pale tile with a unique shape for interest
If you want to go for a classic bathroom color but with an added twist, think beyond the standard square or rectangle shape. That will add interest without a big commitment to a color you may tire of. You can choose anything from hexagonal to herringbone. In this bathroom offering from Mandarin Stone, (opens in new tab) the subtle octagon tile with the black diamond pattern is a Victorian-influenced look that will stand the test of time.
‘White Emperador Honed Marble Octagons work perfectly to achieve a timeless bathroom floor,’ says Louisa Morgan, creative director of Mandarin Stone. ‘This classic off-white pale marble works equally well with both modern and traditional styles and can be complemented with the plain individual marble tiles on the walls as shown here.’
2. Add texture underfoot with a basketweave design
Using marble on your bathroom floors doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice texture which is important to help soften the cold, hard surfaces that are often found there. In fact, this is where marble can really come into its own when it comes to bathroom tile ideas and help to create a sensory experience.
‘Basketweave mosaics such as these tiles from our East Hampton marble collection introduce a wonderful sense of texture,’ says Colin Roby-Welford, creative director of Fired Earth (opens in new tab).
‘The beautifully timeless geometric design ensures that even a predominantly white scheme has plenty of visual interest, an effect enhanced by using East Hampton marble tiles in a herringbone layout on the walls. Using tiles of different formats from the same collection across bathroom walls and floors can be a great way of ensuring that a scheme is filled with eye-catching detail but also really comes together.’
3. Lay two contrasting colors in the same pattern
Combining two marble tiles in different colors will make a stunning statement and add visual interest to a bathroom floor. In a larger bathroom, it can help zone the space and in a small bathroom, it can trick the eye into making the space look bigger. Choosing to lay a tile in a different formation from the norm is an easy way to make an impact without additional expense.
‘To create a totally unique and eye-catching bathroom floor, two contrasting marbles have been laid in a herringbone pattern,’ says Louisa Morgan. ‘The scattered pattern cleverly zones the areas, the dark Bluestone Tumbled Marble for the wet room floor whilst the more subtle Calacatta Tumbled Marble creates the main area.’
4. Choose a geometric shape for a bold look
Strong lines and shapes are timeless and bring a creative flair to your floors, often a forgotten part of the bathroom design. It is actually one that should be considered at the start of any bathroom remodel as it can form the foundation for the entire scheme.
'The floor in a bathroom is one of the essential elements which will help set the mood of the space,’ says James Lentaigne, creative director of Drummonds (opens in new tab).
Here, geometric marble tiles, alongside veined marble on the walls, pay homage to the glamour of the Art Nouveau period and reflect the style and heritage of the building. ‘The monochromatic scheme is timeless and elegant and is offset with bold brass finishes throughout. Our Humber bath is painted in a black finish which blends perfectly with the scheme.’
5. Choose marble with variation of color to give it depth
The beautiful, natural color variation in marble is very much part of its appeal and can be great for shower walls in particular. ‘When you're choosing marble tiling it's always a good idea to view a few samples to get a feel for the extent of variation within a particular collection,’ says Colin Roby-Welford, Fired Earth's Creative Director.
For example, Fired Earth's North Haven marble varies in color from pretty shades of peppermint and grey-greens to rich verdigris – perfect for fresh-looking bathrooms that have a pared-back, restful feel without seeming remotely austere.
‘Here, North Haven hexagon mosaics on the floor create a subtle textured effect – they'll feel wonderfully luxurious underfoot too – and the floor is complemented by rectangular North Haven tiles on the walls. As with any tiles that feature significant color variation, dry-lay your floor before fixing it so that you can ensure a balanced and natural-looking distribution of color.’
6. Use marble to add drama to an all-white bathroom
Add some impact to a simple marble bathroom scheme by showcasing a maximalist marble pattern on the floor. And you’d be wrong to think you need a big bathroom to carry off the look. If you keep everything else pared back, a bold patterned floor can work in any size space. Monochrome bathroom tiles are a classic look but that does mean you can’t have some fun and inject some character.
‘There are also some fabulous waterjet cut intricate designs and mosaics that you can use to personalize the floor,’ says Louise Ashdown, head of design at West One Bathrooms (opens in new tab).
7. Use a hardwearing replica to achieve the marble look
If real marble is too much of a stretch for your budget, you can still get the look with a clever replica that combines a sense of luxury with practicality and affordability.
‘Real marble is considered a luxury item as it is both expensive and hard to maintain,’ says Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs. ‘Advancements in tile manufacturing has meant that large format tiles lend themselves to printing techniques that replicate the look of marble and other natural materials but at a fraction of the price. Ceramic and porcelain are also hardwearing compared to those materials and so lend themselves to areas with high humidity and high traffic such as a bathroom.'
'Large format replica marble tiles are a major player within bathroom trends at the moment and for good reason. They provide a sleek finish as the size results in far fewer grout lines – perfect for limiting the build-up of mold.'
8. Match the flooring with the walls for show-stopping style
For a seamless and contemporary look, carry through the marble bathroom floor to the walls and other surfaces. It helps blur the lines in the bathroom so that the space appears bigger and gives a more spa-like appearance.
‘Marble flooring is timeless – in fact, it is a perpetual theme as it never goes out of fashion and just gets better with age,’ says John Naughten, managing director of Bathroom Design Studio London (opens in new tab). 'Not only is this flooring elegant to look at, it is also extremely practical should there be any water spillages. What’s more, by matching bathroom wall tiles, as shown here, you can enlarge the space by combining the effect throughout the room.’
Is marble flooring good for bathrooms?
Marble flooring is good for bathrooms because it is timeless, durable and adds a sense of luxury to the design. However, you do need to consider the fact that it would need frequent upkeep. ‘Natural stone is still very popular and natural marble is glamorous, but you’ll need to consider care and maintenance,’ says Louise Ashdown. ‘Natural stones and marbles tend to be porous so need regular sealing.’
What size tile should I use in a small bathroom?
It is easy to think a small bathroom needs small bathroom floor tiles but that does not actually maximize the space. ‘It is a myth that large format tiles should only be used in large rooms,’ says Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs. ‘In fact, smaller spaces are perfect for them as using oversized tiles can trick the eye into thinking the room is much larger than it is so are perfect for en suites or smaller shower rooms.’
As the Deputy Editor of Livingetc, Busola Evans works across both print and digital and specialises in kitchens, bathrooms and projects. She is an expert at explaining how to improve, extend and convert your home. Prior to her current role, she was Associate Editor on both Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has written for a number of newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Sunday Times Magazine and Grazia, and was an interiors columnist for the London Evening Standard's ES Magazine.
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