Marble is as close to a timeless material in home design as we’ll ever get. A marble backsplash is a way to bring this timeless quality into your home, elevating the look of any room.
This type of backsplash works in historic homes, and complements ultra-modern kitchen design style too.
While it may need a bit more TLC(tender loving care) than other stones, the natural beauty and elegance make it worth it to interior designers and homeowners alike.
The Marble Backsplash: Types and Styles
A backsplash functions to protect the wall from splashes of water or food that can damage the sheetrock behind the counter. Marble is a hard surface that works very well in this context. There are different types of marble backsplashes including marble tile, part-slab, and full-slab. All of these types of backsplashes go with modern and traditional design.
Also, when you are getting your marble backsplash installed you can either ask for honed marble or polished marble. Polished marble has a shiny glass-like appearance and honed marble has been sanded so that it does not have a shine.
Marble is a metamorphic rock that has been transformed under intense pressure. This stone begins as limestone that with pressure becomes crystalized. Further, mineral impurities in the soil around the limestone react with it to form the beautiful and varied colors of marble.
There are many colors of marble ranging from light colors like pink to dark colors like black and each has its own unique style. Here are some of the most common marbles used in modern home design.
- Calacatta – This is a white marble with deep veining that can be gray, beige, or gold. This is more expensive because it is more rare. It comes from a region in Italy called Carrara which is why it is confused with Carrara marble.
- Carrara – This is a similar marble to Calacatta as it is white with gray veins, but the veins in Carrara are softer and the marble itself can be more gray than white. It also comes from Carrara, Italy.
- White Thassos – Thassos marble comes from Greece and has a pure white look. This marble is luminescent and shimmers in different angles.
- Negro Marquina – This is a deep black marble with well defined white veining that is quarried in Spain. This is one of the most popular black choices.
- Pietra Gray – This is a dark gray marble with white veining. It has a deep slate like appearance that is beautiful and unique. It is quarried in Iran.
- Emperador – Emperador is a brown marble ranging from dark to lighter. It has white golden veins running throughout. Dark Emperador comes from Spain and Light Emperador comes from Lebanon.
Care of marble
Marble is a gorgeous solid surface but it does require maintenance for the best wear over time. This is most important for a marble countertop but it applies to backsplashes too. First, make sure that you begin with a sealant of good quality. This is not difficult to apply. Make sure the marble is dry and clean and then wipe the sealant off and leave to dry. You should reapply the sealant at least one a year.
Next, try to keep the surface wiped down of things that would stain or etch it like tomato sauce, acidic juice like lemon or lime, or red wine. Don’t clean the backsplash with abrasive materials at first. Rather, use a non-abrasive cleaner to try to remove the stain.
Last, if the stains or etching do not clean, you will need to employ more aggressive means like an abrasive cleaner like Soft Scrub or even a fine grit sandpaper to remove the stain. However, you will need to reseal the area as the abrasive cleaner removes it.
Marble backsplashes: Pros and Cons
Marble is a paradox in that it is a hard material but it is also delicate. Many people love this material in kitchens and bathrooms but others feel it is too much trouble to maintain.
- The beautiful and luxurious style of marble elevates the visual interest in any room.
- Marble offers a timeless quality and modern appeal.
- It is heat resistant and stays cool to the touch.
- If you maintain it well, it will last forever.
- It is prone to scratching and etching.
- It is porous, so it stains if you aren’t careful.
- Regular sealing is necessary.
- This backsplash material is more expensive than other options like quartz, wood, or tile.
Marble Backsplashes Ideas
Marble backsplashes are classic yet also modern in style. They are the perfect addition to your kitchen, bathroom, or any room in your house where you need to protect the walls. Here are some amazing backsplash ideas for you to consider.
Rustic marble backsplash
You don’t see this rustic style marble very much, and that is why we love this design. The marble backsplash is a slab that connects to the countertop in a seamless way. This marble has a natural stone look. The details like the utensil bar and the marble sink give the kitchen an appearance that is practical but elegant.
Marble herringbone backsplash
This is a stunning example of a tile backsplash with an intricate herringbone design using the perfect mix of blue and white marble. The contrasting colors in the marble create a unique look as the herringbone pattern tiles use pieces of Carrara and Eastern Blue marble. The tile complements the blue cabinets and works well with the gold accents.
Black Marble Backsplash
This interior designer combines the black marble, Negro Marquina, with the white cabinets. The black is striking because of the stark contrast with the cabinets and chic and modern look.
Marble Subway Tile Backsplash
This kitchen backsplash is a perfect example of marble subway tiles. These individual tiles have a classic shape that looks stunning in Carrara marble. We love the texture that the gray marbling creates. The designer has used marble tiles all the way up to the ceiling to give the kitchen a more industrial vibe.
Marble Slab Backsplash
This white marble backsplash and countertops are made from Carrara marble. The look is elegant because the backsplash and the countertops look like a solid piece. The kitchen cabinets are tailored and clean with dark wood facings that contrast with the upper cabinets and white backsplash and countertops.
Tumbled Marble Backsplash
This kitchen features a great material called Ming marble. This pairs wonderfully with the gray cabinets and white wall color because it adds a hint of green into the mix. The backsplash has light neutral grout lines in order to minimize their look in the kitchen space. A tumbled marble backsplash has a matte finish rather than a shiny finish.
Calacatta Marble Backsplash
Calacatta marble is one of the most popular marble backsplash ideas with homeowners right now. It has a stunning white look with distinct gray or beige veins and even flecks of gold. You can see the many different ways this marble can look in the following kitchen examples. In the first, the veining is more pronounced. In the second example, there is more white background visible.
Carrara Marble Backsplash
This Carrara marble uses tiles that are similar to a fish scale as the shapes are like rounded fans. We love the way the natural wood contrasts with the backsplash in the kitchen. The grout lines are more distinct as they used a gray to fill the lines.
Emperador Marble Backsplash
Emperador is a popular brown marble option for countertops and backsplashes. The backsplash over most of the countertops is a small slab, but the area behind the stove covers the whole wall to protect the walls from spatter.
Marble Honey Comb Tile Backsplash
The tiles on this backsplash are hexagonal shapes that are variegated in sheen creating a textured appearance. The white shelves match the rest of the look of the kitchen which makes them blend rather than stand out. Also, we love the pop of greenery on the shelf to create contrast in the kitchen.
Pietra Gray backsplash
Not every backsplash belongs in the kitchen. This Pietra Gray backsplash wall is simple and elegant. The same backsplash is carried into the shower creating a seamless and clean look. Even though the marble is smooth, it has a textured appearance because of the white veining.
Marble Mosaic Backsplash
This marble tile mosaic is intricate and elegant. While this pattern may look difficult to use, it comes on a 12 x 12 inch grid, so it is easier to install than you might think. Further, this intricate pattern works well with many different home décor types.
This backsplash uses Thassos white marble tiles mixed with iridescent shells arranged in a chevron pattern. The designers have used these two material types to create interest in the finish.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
What is the best adhesive for a marble backsplash?
Begin with some kind of tile adhesive or something just for marble like Loctite PL530 Mirror, Marble and Granite Adhesive.
Is a marble backsplash a good idea?
A marble backsplash is the perfect way to enjoy marble in your kitchen or bathroom without having to put in all the work and maintenance for marble countertops. This is a home improvement choice that can even be accomplished by talented DIYers.
Is marble backsplash out of style?
While marble may be having a moment of popularity, it will fade. However, marble is a classic choice in any space that works with so many styles. In that sense, it will always be a classic look.
Is marble backsplash hard to keep clean?
A marble backsplash in a kitchen will get dirty. However, a backsplash is not difficult to keep clean. Just wash it down with warm soapy water if it is greasy or dirty.
What backsplash goes with marble countertops?
Many interior designers love the look of a simple marble backsplash and suggest pairing it with neutral countertops like white, gray, or black. So look for another marble option for the countertop or pair it with a soapstone, granite, or a butcher block countertop. You can always add a bit of glam with gold fixtures and bright cabinets.
How can I remove marble backsplash?
Yes, you can remove a tile or slab backsplash, but sometimes this is not easy to do because of the adhesive attached to the sheetrock. First, get a flat blade like a stainless steel taping knife. Use this to pry under a corner and begin removing the tiles. If you are trying to remove a slab backsplash, you will need to gain more leverage with a pry bar. Get under the slab and begin working it off in a slow manner.
Can you paint marble tile backsplash?
Yes, you can. First, find a sealer that works for hard surfaces like glass or tile. After you apply this, use a high-quality tile paint. Some suggest that before you begin this project, you sand the marble with a high grit sandpaper to abrade the surface for better paint adhesion.
How should I seal marble tile backsplash?
In order to seal your bathroom or kitchen backsplash, find a product like Tuff Duck Granite, Grout and Marble Sealer or Tenax Granite Sealer, Marble Sealer. Just wipe to apply and let dry before use. Sealer needs to be applied at least once a year.
Should backsplash be lighter or darker than countertop?
Many times, a backsplash is lighter than a countertop. However, they also can be the same color tone. It is more unusual for the backsplash to be darker than a countertop.
Marble is an amazing natural material that gives any room a look of luxury. While marble might seem problematic because it requires upkeep, a backsplash is the perfect place to add the benefits of marble without the negatives as a backsplash requires less maintenance than a countertop. This material may wane in popularity, but in the end, it is a choice that will always look classic and elegant.