Discover the pros and cons of marble, travertine, porcelain and more.
Marble is a soft stone with an even softer look. The two most popular finishes are polished (classic gloss) and honed (matte finish). The swirls of gray and cream are enough to make homeowners swoon, and its popularity isn’t going away.
Pros: The biggest advantage of marble is, naturally, its beauty. It’s luxurious, elegant, timeless and romantic all at once. Marble is also surprisingly versatile. It can be made in many different shapes, from subway tile and herringbone to basket weave and standard four-by-fours. This variety is much appreciated.
Cons: So it scratches. And stains. It may not seem like a big deal, but a shower space gets covered with soap and suds, which can leave a filmy substance on marble’s surface over time. A good sealer is a must. Honed marble has better scratch resistance than polished marble. In general, its slip resistance isn’t the best compared to tumbled travertine or porcelain tile. Marble can also hike up your shower’s price tag.
It’s hard not to find a style of travertine you love, whether it’s chiseled, honed, polished or tumbled. This natural stone has the best of earth’s creams, browns, grays and golds packaged into designer tiles that grace homes across the world.
Pros: Home buyers love travertine, and not just because of its veins and swirls. They also appreciate the slip resistance it offers, particularly that of tumbled travertine, as well as how long it lasts.
Cons: Travertine is porous, so you could find yourself in hot water if you forget to seal it. It is recommended that you seal it every one to two years unless your sealer lasts longer. Other than that, your main concern is staining. Anything other than a mild detergent can affect the stone’s surface. Be careful how you clean it and be careful of the soaps and shampoos you use.