As in every interior material you have a choice of natural stone and artificial material like vitrified tiles. If you are confused between marble and vitrified tiles; as both look absolutely gorgeous in their own respect, here are some points you must consider before settling for either.
The word “marble” derives from the Greek (mármaros), which means crystalline rock, shining stone . Marble is a metamorphic rock formed by alteration of limestone or dolomite, often irregularly colored by impurities. Some of the exclusive variety of marbles are – Imperial Green, Zebra Pink, Zebra Black, Crema Marfil, Carara, Calcutta, Onyx, Saverio, Travertine etc. Italy is the world leader in marble production, with 20% share in global marble production followed by China with 16%. India is third with 10% , then Spain in 4th ranking position with 6% production .
Vitrified tile is a tile produced using vitrification . They come in variety like – digital , glazed , full body etc . They are man made & high temperatures are used for baking the tiles. They are made from the mixture of silica and clay . China is a leader in these tiles , then Brazil & India ranks in the top 3 list of countries in terms of tile production in the world . They are available in a variety of colors also its maintenance is guaranteed being man made .
Let’s compare both of them on various parameters.
Nature of Vitrified Tiles :
- They are non-porous in nature , hence absorb little or no water.
- These tiles are stain resistant and highly durable .
- They are available in varying patterns, designs, and utility options
- They belong to the category of artificial products. It is called as artificial or man-made as the tile is made by employing various techniques and processes.
Nature of Natural Marbles :
- Marble is a dense stone with slightly porous properties, meaning it is not completely water resistant
- Marble, being a naturally occurring stone, has been around for a long time and has found usage in architecture and decor since the very old times .
- They react with even dilute acids (read vinegar, mustard, citrus etc) causing it harm
- They require to be dusted frequently and damp mops are often used to keep it clean.
Durability of Vitrified tiles
- These tiles have the capability to sustain even the harshest of conditions.
- Vitrified tiles are both discoloration and scratch resistant and thus will easily hold good for a span of 10-15 years, when used with proper maintenance.
- They have chances of breakage if not handled properly .
- Also, once it is applied on the floor it cannot be removed .
Durability of Natural Marbles
- The natural marble flooring has a tendency of turning yellowish after some years of usage.
- They are very strong it would not break easily.
- When used with adequate care, marble flooring remains intact till around 25 years.
- If used for decades it can be polished & can give new life to it
Cost and Installation time
- As it is man-made, these tiles are more affordable when compared to marble.
- The cost of installation for these is also fair.
- They have convenient installation, as they are pre-polished and ready to be used.
- It can be installed easily in half a day in a normal size room
- The cost of marble, being a naturally occurring material, is more than tiles.
- The installation, as well as maintenance cost of marble, is higher than vitrified tiles. It is not a ready-to-ship condition.
- Its installation is highly time-consuming process as there is a lot of cutting required .
Best Suited Application
- Different type of vitrified tiles and its finishes make it a good choice for all kinds of surfaces including interior and exterior.
- They are water-resistant nature and easy to maintain great for bathrooms & kitchen.
- Full body types of vitrified tiles are highly durable so it can be used at high volume surface like flooring in shopping mall or metro station.
- Natural marble gives luxury feel to any space due to its aesthetics. So it is mostly used in places like a living room or commercial building loby etc.
- The natural marble floors, when polished are really slippery so advisable to use it accordingly.
- They also are affected by the weather and pollutants these wears out the marbles easily and affect its color. Hence, it is safest and best suited for indoor spaces.
Finish of Vitrified tiles :
- With technology like digital printing and glazing over vitrified tiles, it can create a faux-marble effect
- Glazed vitrified tiles comes in slate finish, limte stone finish, wooden finish and high gloss marble finish.
- Grout between vitrified tiles are more visible compared to marbles
Look of natural marbles :
- There are hardly any two opinions – marble looks more luxurious and rich
- They come in variety of colors like green , white , pink , gold , sand , black etc depending on their origina.
The key differences
Key Difference: Vitrified tiles are made by the artificial process . These tiles are known for their high strength and less porous. Marble tiles are made from the natural stone known as ‘Marble’ and thus, tiles are just cut from the marble.
|Vitrified Tiles||Marble Tiles|
|Pricing Range||Less expensive||High rang than Vitrified tiles|
|Appearance||Available in variety of styles , patterns and color||Natural veins, and variety in color|
|Installation||Easy installation , readily available||Installation consumes time|
|Characteristics||High resistance to stains, low water absorption rate||low resistance to stains, high water absorption rate|
|Maintenance||Easy maintenance, hard and difficult to scratch, cleaned by using any tile cleaner and method||Comparatively difficult maintenance, mild detergents are used for cleaning.|
If you have question about natural marble or vitrified tiles, please ask us in comments below.