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What is Faux Marble?

If you love marble but you have a budget in mind, then faux marble might be a good option for you. Here are the good and bad things about faux marble including its types, materials, history, and other alternatives to consider.

Bathroom vanity with faux marble backsplash mounted with a brass framed mirror.
  • Also known as cultured marble, faux marble is an artificial material.
  • Faux marbling is the preparation and finishing of the surface to imitate the appearance of polished marble.
  • Thousands of new homebuyers now prefer to have artificial marble in their homes as it is cost-effective and perfect for flooring, walls, countertops, and even furniture.

The process of customizing or refurnishing your home can either be a blissful experience or a dreadful one. Are you considering using faux marble in your home? Stay tuned to hear everything about this wonderful material to ensure you make the right choice!

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What is Faux Marble?

White faux marble

Faux marbling is a special case of faux painting used to create the distinctive and varied patterns of different kinds of marble. It is the most imitated stone by far, and it is quite easy to distinguish. With faux marble, the buyer has the option to choose almost any pattern and color to achieve the look they desire.

Before discussing faux marble, it is crucial to highlight the differences between engineered and faux marble. While both can be considered “fake,” they have contrasts in significant ways. Engineered marble is a quart that mimics its natural form, with a mixture of crushed rocks, resins, and dyes.

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However, it is the ratio of the mixture that distinguishes engineered marble from faux marble. Engineered marble uses a large proportion of recycled natural stone that is crushed, heated, and then bonded with a very small amount of polymer, almost a minute.

Faux marble uses a very large amount of resin. Although both of these types of faux marble can be seen as the same, it is worth noting the differences!

Dimensions

When it comes to the dimensions of faux marble, it could be difficult to determine. Faux marble can be constructed into any desired shape. Because of the unique manufacturing processes alongside the creation of faux marble, the product can be poured into virtually any shape.

This means you can take the exact measurements of your space to create the perfect mold that will fit your needs.

You can also order your faux marble products. If you decide that faux marble is the best material for your construction, remodeling, or DIY project, then the manufacturers will ask you for the measurements to be cut.  

This means you will receive larger amounts to a customized product for a fraction of the cost of what it would be when you are using other materials.

Is Faux Marble Popular Today?

Since 2020, many interior designers and homeowners have relied on faux marble to add texture, quality, and visually appealing properties to their homes and projects. This is because of many reasons, including that faux marble offers many benefits at an affordable rate.

What Materials are Used to Create Faux Marble?

Faux black and white marble with gold veins.

Faux marble can be described as portraying the elusiveness of technology, and rightfully so! Seeing as faux marble is a human-made product, it differs from natural marble in terms of geological activities and extraction.

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Faux marble is built from several things, such as small marble debris, quarts, stone powder, sand, colophony, plastic, cement, and acrylic glue, all mixed together in a predetermined ratio.

The concoction is then stirred until an even and smooth texture is achieved. After the texture is even, color can be added. It is then quickly poured into a large stand mixer with different settings.

A solid color will be mixed for longer periods, and a more veined effect can be achieved by not mixing the color in completely.  After the desired effect has been achieved, the concoction is poured into a mold and kept under high pressure to solidify and form hard “marble” rocks.

A clear coat of gel is then applied when the mixture has thoroughly set. Since faux marble was first manufactured, its manufacturing methods haven’t changed much, aside from the addition of matte or glossy gel coats.

Faux marble can offer you one thing that natural marble cannot: faux marble is a non-porous surface because of its gel coating. It is important to note that the stone dust that manufacturers add to faux marble mixes isn’t always purely marble and is sometimes a mix of several combinations such as onyx, granite, and limestone.

Quartz is rarely thrown into the mix, which is one of the contributing factors that make faux marble less resistant to heat and stress than other types of engineered stone.

Types of Faux Marble

Faux marble in various shades and pattern.

There are lots of types of faux marble on the market, but there are generally three main types of faux marble that are used and can assure you of the best possible quality and buyer satisfaction:

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Faux stone

Faux stone resembles the natural stone but lacks its depth and shine. It can be described as a polymer produced of marble pieces, along with the resin. Faux stone doesn’t scratch or chip as easily as the real stone and can be designed to look like marble.

Painted laminate

This is a method where laminate tiles are painted in such a way that the surface completely mimics the exterior of marble. Laminate is both cost-effective and easy to install.

Faux Marbleizing

Faux marbleizing means using a technique to cover the surface with paint that resembles marble. It is a cheap and effective way to spice up an old and dull concrete wall! The colors and patterns are limited to the buyer’s imagination, having the choice of a matte or glossy finish.

It is great to know about all the different types of faux marbling, especially when you do different kinds of projects. Combining the different techniques stated above is also possible to achieve the result you are looking for.

Alternatives to Faux Marbling

Vinyl floor tile

Hand installing vinyl wood tile on concrete floor.

If you are looking for an alternative to faux marble flooring, vinyl floor tiles might just be the thing for you! Peel-and-stick vinyl floor tiles are not just resilient, but they can also be installed over your existing flooring. You can install them yourself if you are handy!

Contact paper

If you like the marbled look and want to do a whole wall, you can customize your wall using marble patterns wallpaper. This affordable material has peelable backing and can stick to various surfaces, from the top of your coffee tables to the inside of drawers and closets.

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It would be good to keep in mind that it is a material made of paper, meaning that you will have to keep it far from water and high moisture areas.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles that are produced to mimic the marble look are an elegant option. Though the ceramic will be similar in appearance, ceramic is much more fragile and more prone to cracks and chips. If you avoid high traffic areas, ceramic tiles will be a great alternative to faux marble.

Porcelain Tiles

Bathroom sink vanity with porcelain tile backsplash.

Porcelain is another material that can be seen as classic, and it provides buyers with the polished look of marble without breaking the bank. Porcelain tiles are more durable than ceramic, making them a good option for kitchen backsplashes, bathroom walls, and even flooring.

Laminam

If you haven’t heard of Laminam tiles yet, you are definitely missing some good stuff! This innovative material is the world’s first porcelain tile that is bigger and thinner than regular porcelain tiles. This means that you can not only cover existing floors and walls, but you can also install it on various delicate surfaces, such as outdoor areas and fireplaces.

The Good Things about Faux Marbling

Lower prices

When considering faux marble, the price is your greatest advantage. When you compare the cost of a piece of faux marble, your price will always be significantly lower than the quarried product. The cost of faux marble can be up to 40% less than natural quarried stone.

You will always receive a solid and smooth feeling surface when using faux marble.

Faux marble will provide you will a solid-looking surface, where some other products, such as tile, can give you functional problems, such as scratching or cracking.

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The faux marble “look” makes your home look luxurious.

Simply replacing your old countertops with a faux marble countertop will provide you with clean and simple lines that only come from the molding process when faux marble is manufactured.

Faux marble is extremely easy to clean and keep clean.

If you are a neat freak, you will surely love the fact that faux marble is so easy to clean. Most common household cleaners are compatible with the surface of faux marble without staining or harming it. This means you don’t ever have to be afraid that you will be harming your countertops when disinfecting them.

Faux marble is extremely durable.

Faux marble products can last decades and stand up to wear and tear inside of the home—the edges and corners rarely chip, which is common in most quarried products on the market.

You will ultimately get the best out of your faux marble product if you don’t drop heavy objects on the surface and refrain from placing boiling pots or pans on the surface.

Faux marble is almost entirely made up of different processed quarried products.

About 75% of faux marble is made of ground-up marble dust. Faux marble even carries the same amount of weight as the natural product at a much more affordable price.

The Bad Things About Faux Marble

It can be a challenge to remove or repair any scratches that may occur on the surface.

Because faux marble is a synthetic product, the molding process can limit you when it comes to repairs. It could be almost impossible to remove deep scratches or chips from the surface since it blends stone particles and resins.

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Quality may vary between manufacturers, which can be an issue.

The quality control of the finished product can differ between manufacturers. This is why it is useful for designers and homeowners to find a trustworthy source instead of buying the cheapest product from any factory. It is always better to go for quality and not quantity.

The finish on faux marble is much weaker than it is on other products.

The fact that faux marble finishes come in either glossy or matte can be considered a benefit. Although this layer of protection and sealant is tough and will protect your surface against damage and chips, it will be weaker because of the nature of the manufacturing process.

This means that homeowners who experience a high level of use will see their product degrade faster with time. There is an easy fix to this problem, and by simply re-sealing your faux stone, you will maximize their lifespan!

Remember only to use non-scratch tools.

It doesn’t matter whether you are caring or cleaning your faux marble. You will have to use the correct tools. As mentioned, faux marble is no fan of heat and will damage in extreme temperatures.

Use cleaning tools that contain no abrasives. You also need to avoid the use of high chemical cleaning products in order to prevent any damage.

Faux marble products can sometimes have an inconsistent color palette.

Where natural stone or marble tends to be fairly consistent with its colors, faux marble may vary. Faux marble will imitate real marble or stone, but the different types and amounts of crushed stone added to the product can change the outcome of the finished product. 

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Several manufacturers do not provide a warranty.

It is crucial for you as the buyer to know that not every faux marble product is conducted using the same processes and methods. This means that some items can be of a much higher quality than others. It is important to make sure about warranties and quality before purchasing anything.

Some chemicals can permanently stain faux marble products.

Faux marble is not generally installed in the bathroom because some heavy cleaning chemicals can stain the surfaces. Some manufacturers can cast a sink or toilet to meet specific dimensions, but it will need to be done correctly, or the lifespan of your faux marble products will be cut short.

The gel coating or sealant will crack over time

When you have used your faux marble countertop or floor for a long period, the sealant, also known as the topcoat, will eventually wear down and crack, meaning that it can no longer protect the faux marble. You will not always be able to see it with the naked eye, which is an issue, as your faux marble will be susceptible to damage without the topcoat.

Where Can Faux Marble Be Used in the Home?

A closer look at the kitchen island with white marble countertop.

Faux marble is a modern and clean option for areas such as kitchen tops. It not only looks luxurious, but it creates a clean and visually appealing atmosphere in any home. Faux marble can not only work for kitchen countertops, but it does well in all areas of the kitchen. Faux marble is also a good idea for kitchen islands and kitchen backsplashes.

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Faux marble is also very popular in bathroom floors, tubs, and shower surroundings because of its moisture-resistant qualities. Faux marbling also does well when using them for entryway floors, and fireplace surrounds. So, if you are going for a fabulous floor or fireplace backing that resembles natural stone, faux marble will be your best friend!

Last but not least, you will be able to spice up any wall in your house using faux marble. This creates a creative and unique space, and you can even do a little DIY painting job! When it comes to marble, you can use your imagination and use it for nearly anything in your home.

The History of Faux Marble

Faux marble was initially developed in the late 1960s through liquid polymer resin and marble dust. It was first introduced by Dupont in 1964 and was then referred to as Corian. For centuries now, marble has been a symbol of tradition and luxury, and faux marble does just the same.

What Can You Expect to Pay for Faux Marble?

Showroom with faux marble slabs in various pattern.

You can expect to pay around $80 – $100 per square foot of faux marble. The price may vary according to the size, the colors, and the patterns, as well as the quality. Customized faux marble will also cost more, as it will take longer to produce.

Where to Buy Faux Marble

Faux marble is readily available in several hardware shops and stone manufacturers. Many natural stone manufacturers also produce faux stones to accommodate all customers and provide maximum product satisfaction. Never buy faux marble without making sure of quality and warranties.

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References:

Econ Granite: Why Faux Marble is a Material Best Avoided

HomeSteady: How to Care for Marble Veneer

Hommés Studio: FAUX MARBLE GAINING POPULARITY IN 2020

Marva Marble: Why It’s OK To Use Marble In the Kitchen

Colonial Marble & Granite: Faux Marble Trade-Offs to Consider When Choosing Countertops

HomeLane: All You Need to Know about Artificial Marble and Natural Marble

Bob Vila: 4 Things to Know About the Faux Marble Paint Effect That’s Gone Viral

Countertop Specialty: Cultured Marble vs Marble: What’s The Difference?

Best Pick Reports: Pros and Cons of 8 Countertop Materials [Infographic]

Green Garage: 18 Pros and Cons of Using Cultured Marble

AskingLot.com: What is the difference between faux marble and real marble?

Style at Home: 5 BUDGET-FRIENDLY MARBLE ALTERNATIVES