Think about marble and you probably think about gleaming kitchen countertops or elegant bathrooms covered floor-to-ceiling in slabs of veiny stone. Maybe you’ve walked on marble tiles in the lobby of a luxury hotel. Or you might have visited the Parthenon in Athens and wondered how a stone so smooth withstood centuries of war, weather, and life. Over the course of a few thousand years, marble has transformed from ancient building material into a signifier of fine taste in homes around the world.
If you’re thinking of incorporating it into luxury interiors, the bathroom is probably the most obvious starting point. So, whether you have a penchant for tradition or you’re someone who likes to experiment with boldness and edge, we’re talking you through striking marble bathrooms to suit any luxury interior.
The role of marble in luxury interiors
It’s not difficult to work out why marble is so well-loved in luxury interiors. Not only is it a natural and durable stone, but it’s one of the only materials that’s at once timeless, refined, and entirely adaptable.
Whether you opt for a chevron tiled kitchen splashback, a bathroom bedecked in pastel pink panels, crisp white countertops, or full floor-to-ceiling extravagance, marble is one of the most stylistically malleable materials there is. It also seems to exist only in the most chic colour palettes: think pure whites and subtle greys, dramatically veined patterns in dark and sultry hues, and every natural tone in between.
Image credit: Decus Interiors
Different types of marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock which, without getting too technical, means it has been transformed over time due to intense heat and pressure. Its most well-known forms are found in Italy and Greece and there are five main types – three of which are geologically identical white marbles, all extracted from Tuscany.
To an untrained eye, Calacatta, Carrara and Arabescato can look incredibly similar. Their differences lie in the tone, strength, and size of the veins running through them. Calacatta is a design lover’s dream and Michelangelo’s marble of choice. There are six types and they’re all exceptionally rare, but the most common is Calacatta Borghini – a uniquely beautiful pattern of white, grey and gold flowing through strong veins
Then there’s Carrara, the marble you most often see on kitchen countertops and splashbacks with a sharp white base and subtle grey veins. Arabescato, meanwhile, features darker grey veins on a smaller scale than those of Calacatta. On the opposite side of the shade spectrum there’s Nero Marquina – a rich black stone marble with distinctive white veins of varying sizes and thickness – and Emperador marble, which comes in light or dark brown, and with feathery irregular veining.
Uses of marble in bathrooms
If you’ve ever stepped foot inside the bathroom of a luxury hotel, you will likely have graced a marble floor. Their ability to elevate and add grandeur to a space is almost impossible to imitate. Marble can easily be cut into a huge range of shapes to suit different luxury interior design schemes, from delicate mosaics and classic black-and-white diamond slabs.
The walls of a bathroom, though, are where marble really comes into its own. Taking the material from floor to walls is one of the simplest ways to create a calming, spa-inspired look. Marble’s natural translucent properties also allow a small amount of light to penetrate, which illuminates and opens up the room when the sun hits. If you’re unsure about going full floor-to-wall, worry not: the shower is a great place to introduce a striking marble wall that doesn’t overpower the space.
Image credit: Humbert et Poyet
That said, those looking to add high drama to a marble bathroom should consider book matching – setting two symmetrical slabs side-by-side on the same surface. The finished effect is hypnotic and blurs the line between form and fine art, with the veins perfectly mirroring each other like the pages of an open book. It’s a highly technical and sought-after style, and one that we provide at Find Surfaces.
Image credit: Bryan O'Sullivan Studio
Marble bathroom inspiration for luxury interiors
It’s all well and good knowing the types of marble bathroom and their role in luxury interiors, but how can you use it in your own home or projects? Luxury bathrooms can be kept classic with a subtle statement wall and matching vanity surface in a white marble like Calacatta Borghini, or with thicker-veined marble like Arabescato, complemented by sleek silver fittings.
Image Credit: Helen Green Design
Lovers of all things bold and daring can make the biggest (and chicest) possible impact by carrying calcatta viola from floor to ceiling to freestanding bath and beyond. The bathroom is an equally brilliant space to introduce dark, moody hues – and a statement marble sink is one of the best ways to do so.
Image credit: Banda Property
There are also plenty of ways to amplify the look and feel of a marble bathroom with carefully chosen accessories. Polished gold or brass fittings, for example, bring to life white marble, while stark black cornicing can layer and frame the space. It’s also easy to forget the fifth wall, but the ceiling is an effortless place to introduce on-trend tones like pastel pink and green, designed to offset the whiteness of floor-to-wall marble.
At Find Surfaces, we have a vast marble collection that includes all of the types of marble mentioned above, plus a lot more. It’s important to first consider what you’d like to achieve in your space, and that’s something we can also help you to do.