Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile

 
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:40 PM   #1
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Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


I am tackling my first tile experience on my own, which is my own foyer. My wife wanted white carrara marble and we have been planning on that. However, she came home today from the tile store and said they showed her a porcelain tile that is made to look like white carrara.

I've done some research on the two types but wanted to hear pros and cons from the experts. I will say that we have several kids, our house is at the river, and this tile will be going in the foyer which will be the entrance everyone uses on a daily basis. So, it is a high traffic area which makes me think I should lean away from marble (especially with kids (myself included) who will spill things from time to time). Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


What's the substrate?

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:12 PM   #3
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


To me, marble has a big grief factor.

The floor has to be stiffer for marble so floor joist span is important.

Material cost is about 2 -4 times a good porcelain.

Dirt and grit affect marble more.

Stains

I'd choose a look-a-like porcelain ,pocket the difference and go out with the wife on the money saved.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:17 PM   #4
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


Not worried about the marble getting scratched to rat sh!t?
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:21 PM   #5
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


I would tend to agree, except that it will look like what it is.....fake marble. I've seen white marble in 100yr old tenements that has been let's say "less than cared for", and it still looks magnificent.

IMHO, I see it like leather, copper, wood, and other natural materials. It patina's and changes with age and wear, and just keeps looking great.
You are never going to get the rich, luxuriant look of marble with porcelain. But hey .....everybody's doin it.

Plus, in my experience, only spendy porcelain has even a chance at looking half as good as marble. If it is much cheaper, than it will look "much cheaper".
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


I am very concerned about it getting scratched and/or stained, which is why this question has come up. Yes, the porcelain is cheaper but not by much. Regardless, we have a million bucks in this house so I'm definitely not looking to save a few hundred or even thousand on cheaper tile. If the marble will hold up, I would buy and use it without hesitation. My concerns are whether or not marble is ever a good choice for a foyer that is your every day entrance and for a family who has kids and doesn't treat their house like a museum.

As for the substrate, that is TBA...I just ripped up ceramic tile, thinset, and even took up the subfloor. I am now down to the 150 year old heart pine planks which are laid over the joists. I was in the process of determining the best way to stabilize the floor for marble (was leaning towards subfloor and ditra) when my wife popped this one on me as an option.

I know the porcelain looks like fake marble and that KILLS me but I am wondering if the "fake" marble will look better than the real marble a few years down the road. If you guys think marble will hold up I'll do that for looks but if it is not wise for an everyday entrance, I'll probably opt for porcelain.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:00 PM   #7
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


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Originally Posted by SMLWinds View Post

As for the substrate, ...I just ripped up ceramic tile, thinset, and even took up the subfloor. I am now down to the 150 year old heart pine planks which are laid over the joists.
So the substrate is wood.

Skip the marble. Not worth it.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:06 PM   #8
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


Marble will hold up if the floor is solid. You'll just have to seal every so often, depending on the sealer you use.

And I'd go with a gray grout. The white carrera has gray veins going through it so it would match.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


Crema........powder room off kitchen.....110yr old house....1/2" hardibacker over heartpine w/ 2 1/2"GRK's into joists.....Mapei Ultraflex - white.....grout to match tile......2 dudes in house.....1 is rough,unshaven heathen.........1 is 6 yr old with little respect for marble.......never sealed (contactors homelazy disease) .....7 years later...................gorgeoulicious!

Go marble...the missus will love ya for it.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:04 PM   #10
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


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Originally Posted by BlueRidgeGreen View Post
Crema........powder room off kitchen.....110yr old house....1/2" hardibacker over heartpine w/ 2 1/2"GRK's into joists.....Mapei Ultraflex - white.....grout to match tile......2 dudes in house.....1 is rough,unshaven heathen.........1 is 6 yr old with little respect for marble.......never sealed (contactors homelazy disease) .....7 years later...................gorgeoulicious!

Go marble...the missus will love ya for it.


Wow! you have 3 urinals that look like guitars!
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:25 PM   #11
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


Marble..! marble ! Marble !

Carrera would be real Nice
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:42 PM   #12
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by SMLWinds View Post
Regardless, we have a million bucks in this house so I'm definitely not looking to save a few hundred or even thousand on cheaper tile.



Thanks again!
Hire a pro to lay the marble
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:42 PM   #13
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRidgeGreen View Post
Crema........powder room off kitchen.....110yr old house....1/2" hardibacker over heartpine w/ 2 1/2"GRK's into joists.....Mapei Ultraflex - white.....grout to match tile......2 dudes in house.....1 is rough,unshaven heathen.........1 is 6 yr old with little respect for marble.......never sealed (contactors homelazy disease) .....7 years later...................gorgeoulicious!
The rabbit's foot must be just out of the frame.

I would not do it. But what do I know.....
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:31 PM   #14
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


Since money is no object then do it. You'll have to maintain it. Maybe have a pro marble guy polish and seal it from time to time.

But a hundred year old house? The hundred year old houses have 100 year old building standards. Not always the best floor framing or load design. Usually the floor is roly-poly or sagging. But it could work.

Plywood and Ditra sounds good. Here's another option. Strip out the heartwood pine and sell it. Put in a mud bed or 2x ply with Ditra or ply with CBD.

A marble floor for your first project? Must be a labor of love. Get a leveling system to help you out.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:54 PM   #15
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


Thanks for the responses. Yes, this is aggressive for my first project. I'll be honest...I had a couple professionals quote the price and they are trying to capitalize on the fact that I CAN pay a premium. I refuse to give in to that. I priced the supplies and I could buy a saw for $1000, order 3 full sets of tile and ditra, screw up every one, order a 4th set, and still not lose any money over what they are trying to charge me.

I'm doing my research and will take my time. I have faith in myself, although a few of you have raised second guesses. I figure if I can read a book and watch videos on how to do a new surgery and successfully do it the next day in the OR then I should be able to carefully research this and get a good result. If I'm totally nuts though and this is completely impossible, don't hesitate to let me know!
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:57 PM   #16
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by angus242 View Post
The rabbit's foot must be just out of the frame.

I would not do it. But what do I know.....
Thats why the guitars are in there. They allow the vibration to dissipate through all 24 strings. I forgot to mention the harmonic dampening system......my bad.

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Old 12-20-2012, 12:02 AM   #17
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


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Thats why the guitars are in there. They allow the vibration to dissipate through all 22 strings. I forgot to mention the harmonic dampening system......my bad.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:07 AM   #18
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


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If I'm totally nuts though and this is completely impossible, don't hesitate to let me know!
It's not rocket surgery but you do have to understand how to tile....and I don't mean the mundane, child-like task of putting a tile into some kind of adhesive on the floor.

Your minimum deflection ratio for the framing under the foyer should be L/720. And that's a minimum. There's no magical bag of thinset or enchanted fabric that's going to change the substrate's flex.

If your framing is up to par, and you don't mind the occasional maintenance that any natural stone product will need, have at it.

Learn the procedures of how to install first, that's all
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:16 AM   #19
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


I like that answer, Angus! Here is what I am dealing with structurally (I just went and crawled around and measured)...

After ripping up the old ceramic tile, thinset, and subfloor I am left with heart pine planks over 2x10 joists on 16 inch centers with an 11'2" span between supports. The joists appear very solid.

I also have some leveling issues I haven't measured out perfectly yet, but am open to suggestions on how to deal with them and at what stage.

I have been considering ripping up the planks and starting over vs. keeping the planks. If I keep them, I was planning on subfloor over the planks, thinset, ditra, thinset, tile. Thoughts?
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:24 AM   #20
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Re: Porcelain Vs. Marble Tile


If you could sister in 2x10's on at least every other joist under the foyer, you'd be real close to the minimum. I'd remove the planks and add 3/4" T&G. An additional layer of 1/2" EGP and you are good to tile. If leveling is a problem, a mud bed fixes the issue in 1 step. If you are not confident with floating that much, or the floor height would be too dramatic, go with prime and self leveler. You could then do a thin crack isolation membrane using a liquid like Mapei Mapelastic CI or a sheet membrane like NobleSeal TS. Both are very thin and won't raise the floor height.

I'd definitely remove the planks, add T&G and the 1/2" ply. The rest is up to you but at least at that point your subfloor will be sufficient enough for whatever you install.

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