Porcelain vs Marble

May 2024
Anton White

At Ovaeda, we understand the importance of selecting the right materials for outdoor spaces. When considering porcelain vs marble, each offers unique advantages that cater to different needs and preferences.

This article will compare these two popular choices across various factors including cost, installation, durability, maintenance, lifespan, sustainability, usage, and appearance.

We aim to provide you with detailed insights to inform your decision, drawing on our extensive experience in outdoor decking and accessories. Whether you value durability or aesthetic appeal, this guide will help navigate your options effectively.

What this article covers:

What Is Porcelain?

Porcelain, a refined type of ceramic tile, is crafted from high-quality clay that's subjected to extremely high temperatures during firing. This process fortifies the tiles, making them remarkably hard, dense, and less porous compared to standard ceramics.

This intrinsic hardness not only gives porcelain its robustness but also an exceptional resistance to moisture penetration, which is a crucial factor for outdoor applications.

Benefits Of Porcelain

After putting porcelain to the test in numerous real-world conditions, we've identified several key benefits that make it a standout choice for outdoor spaces:

  • Exceptional Durability: Porcelain tiles are built to last. They withstand heavy foot traffic without showing signs of wear. Their resistance to scratching and chipping keeps them looking pristine over time, making them suitable for patios, walkways, and other high-use areas.
  • Low Water Absorption: Due to their dense composition, porcelain tiles absorb much less water when comparing travertine versus porcelain. This characteristic prevents cracking and damage due to freeze-thaw cycles, making porcelain ideal for a range of climates from wet to cold.
  • Aesthetic Consistency: One of the advantages of porcelain over natural materials like marble is its uniformity. Porcelain tiles offer a consistent colour and texture, which ensures that the overall appearance remains coherent across an entire outdoor area. This uniformity also allows for precise pattern and design implementations that are difficult to achieve with natural stone.
  • Variety Of Options: Whether you're looking for a sleek, modern finish or a tile that mimics the natural beauty of wood or stone, porcelain comes in an array of styles, colours, and finishes. This versatility makes it easy to match any decor theme or architectural style.
  • Ease Of Maintenance: Keeping porcelain tiles clean is straightforward. They typically require only routine cleaning with water and mild detergents. Unlike natural stone, they don't need sealing or special maintenance procedures, which saves time and reduces upkeep costs.

What Is Marble?

Marble is a metamorphic rock that forms when limestone is subjected to high pressure and temperature in the earth's crust. This process alters its crystalline structure, resulting in the beautiful veining and variety of colours that marble is renowned for.

Each slab of marble is one of a kind, distinguished by unique veins and swirls that ensure no two tiles are ever the same. This exclusivity makes marble highly sought after for both interior and exterior design, lending a touch of elegance and timeless sophistication to any space it graces.

Benefits Of Marble

Through extensive research and practical testing in various settings, we at Ovaeda have documented several distinct advantages of using marble in outdoor and indoor environments:

  • Aesthetic Elegance: Marble is synonymous with luxury. Its natural veining and glossy surface finish impart a visually stunning appearance that elevates the aesthetic of any area. The unique characteristics of each marble piece add a level of exclusivity and grandeur that can significantly increase the value of a property.
marble vs porcelain
  • Cool Surface: Marble remains cool to the touch even in warm weather, making it an ideal choice for outdoor areas in hot climates. Its natural ability to stay cool provides a comfortable walking surface, perfect for pool surrounds or patio flooring.
  • Variety Of Choices: The diversity of marble in terms of colour, pattern, and finish is vast. From the subtle whites and greys of Carrara marble to the bold and dramatic veins of Calacatta or the warm hues of Emperador, marble offers options to suit every taste and design scheme. This variety allows designers and homeowners to find the perfect marble that aligns with their vision and decor preferences.
  • Durability And Longevity: While marble requires some maintenance to keep its pristine appearance, it is undoubtedly durable. Properly maintained marble can withstand the test of time, often becoming more beautiful as it ages. Its longevity makes it a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.
  • Natural Material: Being a natural stone, marble is more environmentally friendly than many synthetic alternatives. It does not off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and can be recycled, though its extraction and finishing process has a higher environmental impact than materials like porcelain.

Porcelain vs Marble


Porcelain tiles are not only more affordable but also offer a better cost-to-value ratio. From our experience, the initial purchase price and installation costs of porcelain are significantly lower than those of marble.

Marble, particularly the exotic varieties, can be quite expensive due to its natural origins and the complexity of its quarrying process.


Despite porcelain tiles being heavier and potentially requiring more intricate cutting, the overall installation is more predictable and often less expensive than that of marble.

porcelain tiles vs marble tiles

Marble, while beautiful, varies greatly in density and veining, which can complicate installation and increase labour costs. Porcelain's uniformity allows for quicker and more efficient installation, reducing labour costs.


Porcelain outshines marble in durability, especially in outdoor environments. It is engineered to resist breaks, scratches, and moisture, making it ideal for high-traffic areas such as patios and walkways.

Marble, although durable, is more susceptible to chipping and staining, and its porous nature can lead to long-term damage if not meticulously maintained.


The maintenance requirements for porcelain are considerably lower than for marble. Porcelain tiles typically need only regular cleaning with basic cleaning solutions, making it a standout in terms of maintenance even in comparisons between limestone vs porcelain and Indian stone vs porcelain.

In contrast, marble requires frequent sealing to protect against stains and moisture penetration. This can add considerable expense and effort over the lifespan of the product.


Both materials are inherently long-lasting, but porcelain maintains its appearance and functionality longer without the need for periodic treatments.

Marble may show signs of wear such as scratching and etching unless it is regularly sealed and meticulously cared for.


In terms of environmental impact, porcelain is a more sustainable choice. It is made from abundant materials like clay and involves a manufacturing process that, while energy-intensive, is less damaging than the quarrying required for marble.

Marble quarrying is often associated with significant environmental degradation.


Porcelain's versatility allows it to adapt to virtually any indoor or outdoor environment, making it an excellent choice for areas experiencing a wide range of weather conditions.

porcelain patio slabs

Marble, while aesthetically appealing, is typically better suited to indoor and low-traffic areas due to its susceptibility to weathering and acid rain.


While marble does provide a unique and luxurious look, porcelain offers greater versatility in appearance.

It can be manufactured to mimic the look of marble, wood, and even metal, providing a plethora of design options without the high cost and maintenance of natural stone.

Porcelain's aesthetic flexibility makes it a practical yet beautiful choice for any setting so that when you're deciding between natural stone or porcelain paving, you can have the best of both.

Porcelain or Marble: Which Is Right for You?

According to our research and direct comparisons, our porcelain paving emerges as the more practical choice for outdoor areas due to its durability, ease of maintenance, and cost-effectiveness.


When comparing porcelain vs marble, porcelain consistently proves to be the more practical, durable, and cost-effective choice for both indoor and outdoor settings. With its lower cost, easier installation, and minimal maintenance requirements, porcelain offers exceptional value.

For those looking for a reliable, beautiful, and long-lasting solution for their flooring needs, porcelain is undoubtedly the superior choice.

To explore a wide range of high-quality porcelain options that can transform your space, visit Ovaeda today and find the perfect match for your project.

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