Why Marble Flooring Could Actually Hurt Your Home's Resale Value

Marble is generally seen as one of the most glamorous flooring options out there, so the idea that it might actually hinder your property value sounds pretty far-fetched. Sure enough, though, if you were considering installing marble floors with the intention of pushing up your home's value, you may want to think again. 

While there are many pros and cons of marble flooring, the thing that arguably counts against it the most is the fact that it's high maintenance. Thanks to just how porous the stone is, marble stains — fast. As if that weren't enough of a concern in itself, cleaning these floors comes with a ton of additional hurdles — and a number of common cleaning mistakes could do more harm to marble than good. Too much water or the wrong cleaning agent could cause discoloration, and scrubbing is an absolute no-no too, as it could scratch the stone. 

In light of all the above, it's not shocking that many homebuyers aren't exactly jumping at the prospect of a marble floor. However, it's not just something prospective buyers are wary of. Speaking to Realtor.com in 2022, veteran house flipper and remodeling expert Alex Biyevetskiy explained that it could be a deciding factor in turning down a home. "Its reputation for needing maintenance and for staining puts off a portion of potential buyers," he said. Of course, there are still some willing buyers. However, even then, there is a risk. 

Installing marble to entice buyers is a bad idea

It's worth noting that even with its drawbacks, many do still love marble floors. For that reason, it's not necessary to rip anything out if you already have marble floors and are planning on selling. However, the key thing to keep in mind is that it's not likely to add to your resale value, either. 

According to Realtor.com's estimations, sellers are likely to make back less than half of what they spend on marble floors, which isn't exactly what sellers want to hear. However, a 2023 Zillow report showed that buyers really are investing in homes with flooring other than marble. According to its analysis, buyers on average splurged 2.6% more than the expected sale price on homes that had terrazzo, a type of flooring that has emerged as a new favorite among buyers.

In other words, if you're thinking of installing marble floors purely because you want to attract buyers and fetch a higher price, don't. The odds of you making any money out of it is unlikely, so opt to spend your money on things that will help you fetch a higher price instead. 

There are other alternatives to marble

If you're thinking of selling relatively soon and ideally getting a higher-than-asking price, your best bet would be to heed Zillow's advice and install terrazzo floors. The cost of terrazzo floors will depend on a number of factors, including your installer and the aggregate fragments you choose, so be sure to reach out to an expert in your area for the best advice.

If, on the other hand, you think you may not sell for several years and love the idea of having marble floors in the meantime, arguably the best alternative to marble flooring is porcelain. For this, you're looking at around $49 per 16 square feet as a starting point at Walmart. That's excluding professional installation, but Walmart's website notes that the tiles are easy to install, so depending on how comfortable you are with that, you might not even need to call in the pros. 

Again, for homeowners who do have marble floors and think they may want to sell in the next few years, removing your existing floors isn't necessary. Simply check in on flooring trends closer to the time. Who knows? Marble may have a resurgence sometime soon.