Marble floors - polished or honed?

dvarnellMay 17, 2012

I love the look of polished marble floors, but my contractor keeps warning me that they are slippery and strongly suggesting honed. I don't want to be kicking myself if they are too slippery, but I really love the look of polished. Thoughts/advice? (I'm doing 16" x 16" tiles because while I would LOVE to do a hex, I can't deal with the keeping so much grout clean even though I know would have the added effect of making less slippery, but can't do it).

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Not sure if this is helpful, but we did polished mosaic in the bath and 12x12 honed in our kitchen. The mosaic is fine both wet and dry. The honed 12x12 is still quite slippery when wet. It is probably no slipperier than 12x12 ceramic, but I don't think I'd want either in my bathroom. Maybe that is because my eyes don't quite focus without a cup of coffee in my hands, so I need an idiot proof surface to start my day.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 3:12PM
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We have polished marble mosaic in three different bathrooms. It isn't hard to keep the grout clean, nor is it ever slippery. (It has gray grout with sealer added from the get-go, plus sealer over the finished floor.) In our last master bath, we had beige 13x13 tiles and the grout always looked terrible. Maybe it was because the grout lines are wider and more noticeable with bigger tile. (?) I don't know, but just wanted to relay my personal experience with this.

I agree that polished marble in a large format would be waaay too slippery for a bath.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 4:05PM
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I have polished 12 x 12 marble in both my new baths. As long as you are a little careful and put a mat in front of the shower or tub, so that you don't walk around with soaking wet feet, it is totally fine.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 8:58PM
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We have polished white marble floors as well. 18x18.

A couple of mats, no wet feet will keep you from slipping. The human bare feet a pretty good at gripping floors.

Also I feel marble's beauty is revealed only when polished; especially the more dramatic ones.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Also, my old bathroom floor was 8 x 8 matte ceramic and they were just as slippery when wet. So it's the water, not the material.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 7:09AM
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I love polished, so that's what we put in... yes, people warned me about the slip factor. But I like the look of polished so much, that it wasn't even something I needed to think about.

We put a polished marble 2' hex in one bath. And a marble look alike 18x18 in the one we're doing now. Technically, it's only porcelain... but let me tell you what- it is SHINY. And I LOVE it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Polished Tile

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:45AM
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I have honed calacatta gold throughout in 9" x 18". I don't find it slippery at all, but I'm not throwing water all over the floor, and I dry off in my shower before stepping out onto the mat. I really think the fears of slipping are much ado about nothing so long as you're talking about the floor of the bathroom. I'd be more worried about the shower floor. There, I used 2" x 2". They're not slippery at all because of the texture you get with the added grout lines.

I wouldn't shy away from marble for that reason.

Here is a link that might be useful: You can see my honed here

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:55AM
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How about using BOTH? This is honed carrara with a polished carrara border, separated by a 1" stripe of blue pearl granite:

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:43PM
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I heard the same thing before I bought mine. I used 12" polished marble and it's totally fine. I don't think we have ever even come close to slipping. We have a mat in front of the shower and another in front of the sink (for comfort).

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Good morning

I have what Bill has suggested. A mix of honed and polished, generally the polished as a feature or accent. I have not had any more problems with slippage than I have had with porcelain. Any definitely not as slippery as semi gloss hardwood!

If you prefer the beauty of polished then that is what you should wake up to every morning,

If you start with polished and prefer honed, then it can be honed on site.

Enjoy making this decision and the beautiful room awaiting you.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:06AM
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Thanks, all. You have confirmed for me that I should get what I love and just use mats, which I'd do anyway. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:34AM
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I put honed 1" marble hex in a busy kids bath and so happy I went with what I wanted. I sealed it very well and have no issues with keeping grout clean(I went with a medium gray grout).
I agree with Shanghaimom that the grout on my 12 x 12 tiles in another bath are so much harder to keep looking clean. I think with the mosaics everything just blends in more.

Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 6:24AM
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I'm new to this forum. First thank you so much for all the help. You guys are really awesome.

My question is what looks better with the porcelain white subway tiles 3x6? Polished or honed? I've looked at pictures on and sometimes marble looks great with the subway and sometimes it doesn't.

Just wondering if polished or honed matters to match these two tiles?


Here is a link that might be useful: Houzz White Subway Tiles

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 12:34AM
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In both of my bathrooms I have porcelain white subways and honed marble and I think it looks great!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 8:40PM
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And to contrast, I'm doing polished with my subway tiles. Floor is being installed now and I love it! Shower goes in next week and I will def post photos (if I can figure out how!)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:22PM
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