The Best Alternative To Marble Flooring

Throughout the centuries, marble has long been highly desired for building material and is associated with opulence and high-end real estate. But while this natural stone possesses a distinct and timeless aesthetic, it comes with a hefty price tag. If you're seeking the captivating beauty of marble without the exorbitant cost, your ideal alternative is porcelain tile. One of the remarkable advantages of porcelain tile is its remarkable versatility. Being a human-made material, porcelain tiles can be customized to closely resemble natural textiles, like faux marble. Beyond its visual appeal, porcelain tile is renowned for its durability and longevity, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

In addition to being cost-effective, porcelain tiles offer better traction and are easy to clean. This makes them ideal for areas prone to spills. However, proper care is essential to avoid chipping and cracking, and the installation process can be intricate and messy. Working with this particular type of ceramic should only be done by professionals.

Porcelain is the best alternative

Porcelain tiles offer versatility for both indoor and outdoor spaces, making them a practical option for various environments, including areas with harsh weather conditions and high foot traffic like kitchens and entryways. They're incredibly durable, which can be attributed to their manufacturing process. When compared to ceramic, porcelain's processing involves higher temperatures and more pressure. They're also stain resistant. In contrast to marble, which is prone to scratching and etching, porcelain tiles can withstand mistreatment and abuse.

Porcelain tiles are significantly more cost-effective compared to their expensive counterparts. They can also be designed to closely resemble not only marble but also wood, granite, and other types of stone. Faux-marble porcelain tiles (above) are available in a wide range of colors, vein patterns, and large sizes.

When it comes to safety, having porcelain tile has you covered, which is why it works well in areas that are prone to spills (think kitchens and bathrooms). These tiles generally offer better traction than smooth marble due to their lightly textured surface. Even though their surface is textured, they're still easy to clean and require no special treatments.

The case against porcelain

Although porcelain is highly durable, if it's not properly cared for it can be prone to chipping and cracking. So if you accidentally drop something heavy, the tiles might buckle and crack from the impact. Installing porcelain tiles onto mortar can also be difficult since they require additional pressure to be properly secured in place. It goes without saying that installation isn't just challenging — it's also pretty messy. And while it's still considered a low-maintenance flooring option, you still need to clean it on a regular basis.

Because porcelain tiles are so sturdy, that means they're also incredibly difficult to drill or cut into. You or your contractor will need specialized tools for cutting different angles and shapes. Like similar materials, porcelain is pretty darn heavy, so be sure to keep that in mind. This is especially important if you're thinking of installing porcelain tiles on anything other than a single-level home. Unless the building has been specifically designed to handle the extra weight, there might be limitations on using these products.