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Should You Use Marble for Showers?

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

Should you use marble for showers? It’s a common question during bathroom design and/or remodeling. Marble is a stunning material, durable, and available in a nearly infinite range of colors and patterns. This makes it a versatile, elegant, and popular choice for luxury showers. But will it hold up? And what’s the difference between cultured and natural marble?

Since they’re not quite the same, we believe the best way to make your decision is to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

shower marble pro

What is the difference between cultured and natural marble?

  • Real marble is a natural, luxurious, metamorphic stone extracted from the Earth and therefore a more expensive choice than its counterpart.

  • Cultured marble on the other hand is a man-made material made of roughly 75% natural marble dust, combined with synthetic resins, dyes and coated with a protective gel, making it a more budget friendly, but still a fabulous alternative.

When it comes to the aesthetics, real marble stands out with its uniquely formed patterns and a range of options in custom surface finishes even after application. Cultured marble’s finish is factory printed in different patterns; it can be manufactured polished, textured, or antiqued, but can never be refurbished to a custom finish after.

That said, cultured marble does resemble real marble and looks endlessly elegant in its own way. Those who choose marble for showers typically use smaller and often unpolished tiles for the floor surface, since any polished finishes in showers floor tend to be slippery.

This brings us to our next point, the strengths and weaknesses of marble as a shower choice.

Pros and Cons of Natural and Cultured Marble

Pros of Natural Marble

  1. Classically beautiful

  2. Strong and long-lasting

  3. Increases the value of a home

  4. Natural polished finishes, and endless finish customization

  5. Never out of fashion

  6. Essence of luxury

Cons of Natural Marble

  1. More expensive than cultured stones

  2. Some are porous, so spills must be wiped

  3. Surface and grout require expert maintenance

  4. Requires expert proper installation

  5. Polished tiles (especially larger ones) are slippery when wet

Pros of Cultured Marble showers

  1. Long lasting

  2. Unique aesthetics

  3. Looks like real marble

  4. Budget-friendly

  5. Doesn’t need sealing

  6. More durable

Cons of Cultured Marble showers

  1. Quality depends on manufacturer

  2. Can be scratched easily

  3. The finish can not be refurbished or restored

  4. Goes out of style

  5. Polished tiles (especially larger ones) are slippery when wet

When you use marble for showers, don’t forget maintenance.

In order to get the best out of your investment, proper maintenance is essential. A few minutes after use, and a professional visit every few years is all that’s needed to ensure excellent long-lasting quality.

When you use marble for showers, particularly natural marble, taking proper care of both the stone and the grout will ensure it stays in good condition and avoid water infiltration.

  • Daily Care: Neither material is immune to scratching, chipping or staining, and both are sensitive to certain chemicals and cleaners, which makes pH neutral cleaners essential. (Learn more about cleaning marble, and recommended products, in: How to Clean Marble Showers & Countertops (

  • Professional Protection: Even the best constructed showers will require periodic protection. For instance, one rather-common issue, that we have affectionately named the “Waterlogged Shower™”, occurs when water seeps into micro-fissures in the grout. This inevitably leads to real trouble with mold, mildew, staining and more, if not taken care of immediately.

TERSO MR® recommends professional maintenance every 1-2 years. The main indicators you’d want to keep an eye out for are:

  1. Staining and/or discoloration of the stone

  2. Darkening in areas where tiles meet

  3. Musty or mildew smell

  4. Grout fissures (often too fine to be visible without magnification)

We go more in-depth about the proper maintenance and what to look for in:

TERSO MR®’s shower solution system - Waterlogged Showers™ - has worked out three packages to help you maintain the quality of your beautiful bathroom or shower, which you can learn more about in the link below.

Whichever type you choose, you won’t regret the decision to use marble for your shower. Cultured or natural, will both add value to your home. We hope that this article will help you choose the best for your needs, and understand more about how to maintain it. We encourage you to dive into the other articles on our website for further information. And if you have any questions about the professional care of marble, TersoMR® will be more than happy to answer any of your questions!

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