renovation tips

How Much Do Marble and Granite Increase the Cost of a Bathroom Remodel?

January 16, 2024

When it comes to remodeling a bathroom, homeowners often consider marble and granite as top choices for their durability, aesthetics, and the luxury feel they provide. However, these materials can significantly affect the overall cost of the bathroom remodel. Understanding these costs helps in making an informed decision about whether these materials fit within your budget and design preferences.

 

Ultimately, these amazing natural materials do increase the value of your home, and it’s likely that you will recoup the investment should you choose to sell. However, the best reason to choose natural marble, granite, or other premium materials is to increase your quality of life.

The Cost of Marble in Bathroom Remodels

Marble stands out for its unique veining and luxurious appearance. Its cost varies depending on the type, quality, and origin. On average, marble tiles can cost anywhere from $15 to $70 per square foot, with high-end options exceeding this range. For instance, Carrara marble, one of the more affordable and popular types, averages around $40 per square foot.

 

In addition to the cost of the tiles, installation costs for marble can range from $10 to $20 per square foot. This cost includes labor and materials such as adhesives and grout. Therefore, for a standard-sized bathroom of about 40 square feet, just the marble tiling can cost between $1,000 and $3,600.

 

Special treatments to the marble, such as sealing, also add to the cost. Marble requires sealing to prevent staining and water damage, which typically costs about $0.50 to $2.00 per square foot.

Granite Costs in Bathroom Remodeling

Granite, known for its rugged beauty and robustness, is another popular choice. Granite costs slightly less than marble, ranging from $10 to $40 per square foot for tiles. Exotic granite types can be more expensive. The installation costs for granite tiles are similar to marble, averaging $10 to $20 per square foot.

 

Granite countertops are a popular feature in bathroom remodels. On average, granite countertops cost between $40 and $60 per square foot, which includes installation. For a standard bathroom vanity, this can translate to a cost of $500 to $1,200 for the countertop alone.

Comparing to Alternative Materials

To put these costs into perspective, it’s important to compare them with alternative materials. Ceramic and porcelain tiles or sintered stone slabs, for example, can cost as little as $1 to $15 per square foot, with installation costs averaging around $5 to $10 per square foot. These materials offer a wide

range of designs and are more budget-friendly, but they don't have the same luxurious appeal as marble or granite.

Impact on Total Bathroom Remodel Costs

When considering a full bathroom remodel, the National Kitchen & Bath Association reported in 2023 that the average bathroom remodel costs approximately $20,000, with high-end remodels reaching $50,000 or more. Integrating marble or granite can significantly impact this budget.

If you choose marble or granite for flooring and countertops, it could constitute a substantial portion of the total cost. For example, using marble for both the floor and a standard vanity countertop in a mid-sized bathroom can add approximately $5,000 to $8,000 to the remodel cost. This estimate includes both materials and installation but can vary based on the specific type and quality of marble or granite chosen.

Maintenance and Long-Term Costs

Maintenance is another cost factor. Marble, in particular, requires more maintenance than granite. It's more porous and susceptible to staining, and it requires regular sealing. The ongoing maintenance costs for marble, including periodic sealing and the potential for repairs, should be considered in the long-term budget.

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Granite, while more robust, also needs sealing, though less frequently than marble. The durability of granite can lead to lower long-term maintenance costs compared to marble.

Resale Value Consideration

While marble and granite are more expensive, they can enhance the property's value. A 2022 report by the National Association of Realtors indicated that homes with high-end finishes like marble and granite in bathrooms and kitchens tended to have a higher resale value. This increase in value can sometimes offset the initial higher costs of using these materials in a remodel. The best time to invest in genuine granite or marble is if you are working with a custom home builder. You won’t need to tear down an existing bathroom to add the new materials - you are simply starting from scratch.

The Verdict: Is Granite or Marble Worth It?

In conclusion, incorporating marble or granite into a bathroom remodel can significantly increase the project's cost. The choice between these materials and more budget-friendly options like ceramic or porcelain tiles should depend on your budget, design preference, and willingness to maintain them.

Marble offers a unique and luxurious look but comes with higher costs and maintenance requirements. Granite provides durability and beauty, often at a slightly lower cost than marble, with less maintenance. While they both increase the remodel cost, they also potentially add to the home's resale value. Better yet, you won’t need to work with a house painter, floor refinisher, or other contractor after the material has been installed – they last for decades without additional sealing or staining.

When planning a bathroom remodel with marble or granite, it's crucial to account for all associated costs, including materials, installation, and long-term maintenance. A clear understanding of these expenses will help ensure that your bathroom remodel meets both your aesthetic goals and your budget. Remember, the best material choice balances beauty, durability, and cost to suit your individual needs and preferences. 



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