Porcelain Tile vs Marble: What Is Better for Outdoor Flooring?

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Choosing the perfect outdoor flooring for your home can be challenging, especially when deciding between marble tile vs porcelain.

This blog post will provide a comparison of the durability, aesthetics, maintenance, installation, cost, and uses of marble tile and porcelain tile to assist you in making a well-informed decision. Stone Center has a variety of marble and porcelain tiles in Ohio, including Cincinnati and surrounding areas.

Attribute Marble Tiles Porcelain Tiles
Color/Style Wide variety of shades and tones; unique veining Wide range of colors, patterns, and textures
Uses Entryways, bathrooms, dining rooms, bars, courtyards, garden paths, outdoor kitchens Patios, walkways, pool surrounds, walls, backsplashes, flooring
Cost $10-40 per square foot Around $10 per square foot
Maintenance Requires sealing, specialized cleaning products; sensitive to acidic substances Low-maintenance; stain and water resistant

Marble vs. Porcelain: Durability Characteristics

porcelain vs marble

When comparing porcelain vs marble flooring, durability is a critical factor. Porcelain and marble are both popular options, but they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Porcelain tiles, for example, are crafted from dense clay and fired at high temperatures. This process creates incredibly strong tiles that are resistant to wear, scratches, and even moisture.

Because of their strength, porcelain tiles are an excellent choice for outdoor spaces that endure heavy foot traffic, harsh weather, and temperature changes. In addition, porcelain tiles are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and sizes, which makes them a versatile option for any outdoor design. Check out our pros and cons guide on porcelain tiles.

In contrast, marble is a stunning natural stone that is celebrated for its elegance and beauty. However, while marble is undoubtedly durable, it is more vulnerable to chipping, staining, and scratching compared to porcelain tiles.

Additionally, marble is more sensitive to acidic substances, which can cause discoloration and damage. To maintain its pristine appearance, marble may require sealing, which is an additional consideration to keep in mind when selecting outdoor flooring.

Overall, the strength difference between porcelain tiles vs marble is an essential factor to consider when selecting outdoor flooring. While porcelain tiles offer strength and versatility, marble shines with its unique beauty and elegance. Ultimately, the best choice depends on the specific needs and preferences of the project at hand.

Marble vs. Porcelain Tile: Aesthetics

marble vs porcelain tile
Aesthetics of porcelain tile

When it comes to comparing porcelain tiles vs marble, aesthetics play a significant role. Porcelain tiles offer a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures, including options that closely resemble natural stone.

For instance, Milestone Earth Moon White is a stunning porcelain product that captures the elegance of marble. Other examples of porcelain tile include a wood look, a concrete look, and a slate look.

In contrast, marble is renowned for its timeless beauty and is hard to replicate. Marble flooring offers a classic and luxurious appearance that can instantly upgrade any outdoor area. Additionally, marble is available in a variety of shades and tones, including gray, white, black, pink, yellow, and more.

Its characteristic veining and patterns make each tile a one-of-a-kind piece, thus adding sophistication and value to your outdoor space. For homeowners considering marble tile vs porcelain tile, aesthetics should be a crucial factor to consider.

Porcelain vs. Marble Floors: Maintenance

Maintenance is undoubtedly an essential aspect of the comparison between marble floors vs porcelain. The durability of the flooring material relies on proper care and upkeep. While porcelain tiles are generally low-maintenance and easy to clean, marble vs porcelain flooring maintenance can be more demanding due to the material's nature.

With porcelain tiles, regular sweeping and mopping can keep them looking flawless. They are naturally stain and water-resistant, making them ideal for high-traffic outdoor areas. Learning how to clean porcelain tile is easy, and the process requires minimal time and effort.

On the other hand, marble tiles require more attention to maintain their luxurious appearance. Although it is inherently stable, it is sensitive to acidic substances, such as lemon juice and vinegar, which can etch the surface of the stone.

Sealing the surface with penetrating sealant protects the marble from staining and etching, but the process should be carried out regularly to keep the stone looking its best.

Furthermore, a specialized cleaning product should be used to clean its surfaces since harsh and acidic cleaners can damage and dull the natural shine of the stone.

Although the maintenance difference between porcelain vs marble floors is apparent, some homeowners consider the unique appearance of marble tiles to be worth the extra work required to keep them maintained.

Marble Tile vs. Porcelain Tile: Installation

marble vs porcelain
Installation of porcelain tile

Installation plays a crucial role when choosing between porcelain vs marble tile for floors. Installing porcelain tiles is comparatively easier as they are less likely to chip during the process and can be cut more accurately. Additionally, their lighter weight makes it less likely for them to need additional structural support.

It is important to hire an experienced professional for marble installation as it is a complex process that involves proper sealing, leveling, and support. This may result in increased installation costs and time. When comparing marble tile vs porcelain for outdoor flooring, installation factors should be taken into account.

If you decide to DIY or go with an inexperienced contractor, you may end up with an uneven surface and cracking tiles.

Despite the complexity of marble tile installation, its alluring characteristics are still worth the extra effort and cost and you don't want to deal with the additional costs that can come with improper installation.

Marble vs. Porcelain Tile: Cost

In terms of cost, porcelain vs marble cost can differ significantly. Porcelain tiles are generally more affordable, with prices varying based on quality and design, usually at around $10 per square foot.

Marble, being a natural stone, tends to be more expensive due to its luxurious nature and limited availability averaging at around $10-40 per square foot. Homeowners should compare marble vs porcelain tile costs when selecting the best outdoor flooring material for their specific needs.

Porcelain vs. Marble Tile: Uses

porcelain vs marble tile
Porcelain tile

Porcelain tiles are best suited for outdoor areas with heavy foot traffic, such as patios, walkways, and pool surrounds, due to their slip-resistant and durable nature.

They are a popular choice for outdoor applications. Porcelain tiles are very versatile and can be used in a variety of settings, from contemporary to traditional designs. Specific uses of porcelain tiles include walls, backsplashes, and flooring.

Marble is often chosen for interior design projects due to its unique beauty and versatility in different colors and finishes. Marble is commonly used in entryways, bathrooms, dining rooms, bars, and other spaces where an elegant look is desired. It can also be used for kitchen countertops and backsplashes.

The benefits of porcelain vs marble tile for floors make it a popular choice among homeowners. Marble vs porcelain pavers has distinct advantages, too. Using marble in outdoor areas such as courtyards, garden paths, and outdoor kitchens can add a luxurious and elegant feel.

It's important to keep in mind that marble may need extra care and maintenance to keep its polished look. Despite the need for more upkeep, the beauty and refinement of marble can make it a worthwhile investment for those aiming for a high-end aesthetic.

The Bottom Line

porcelain vs marble floors
Porcelain tile landscaping

Ultimately, the choice between porcelain vs marble flooring comes down to your personal preferences, budget, and maintenance requirements.

For outdoor areas that see a lot of activity, Porcelain tiles are a great option as they are durable, easy to maintain, and cost-effective. However, if you want to create a high-end and distinctive look for your outdoor space, Marble can add value and sophistication, but it requires more maintenance and investment.

Make sure to explore Stone Center in Ohio and browse our online collection of natural stone and tile to choose the ideal solution for your outdoor flooring requirements. Our selection includes a diverse range of porcelain and marble options that will match your outdoor area perfectly.


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Jon Smiley

Jon, the owner of Stone Center, is a knowledgeable expert in natural stone products, specializing in various types of stone for landscaping and architectural projects. Passionate about promoting the beauty and versatility of natural stone, Jon aims to use these blogs to inspire readers with creative ideas to upgrade their homes.

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