Gone are the days when showers were plain and simple and their only function was to provide a place for efficient self-cleaning. Today, showers have been turned into a little oasis that can come with myriad features and be made from a wide variety of materials.
Some people install stone-styled floors, which they claim massages their feet as they shower. Others might stick to ordinary, but beautifully-pattered tile. But some people want to go all out and choose marble as the material for their shower floors. Keep scrolling to find out whether this is a good idea or whether it will end up in a slippery accident.
Polished marble is typically quite slippery while honed marble provides more grip. Yet, the combination of water and soap will still make the floors more slippery, so it’s vital to employ safety precautions like regular cleaning, using small format tiles, applying anti-slip solutions, or using anti-slip mats.
Can Marble Be Used for Shower Floors?
Marble is a magnificent material, the sight of which evokes ideas of elegance, timelessness, power, wealth, and of course, natural beauty.
Whether it’s lining an entrance hall, gracing a centuries-old sweeping staircase, or simply adorning a kitchen counter or focal-point niche, marble is undeniably an aesthetic pleasure.
Yet looks are not everything when it comes to choosing a material for your floors.
Bathroom floors take quite a beating when it comes to detergents and exposure to plain old water (pros and cons to using it as bathroom floor tiles). Shower floors even more so.
While you can (and many people do) use marble to tile your shower floor, there are two features of this material that you need to carefully consider and take steps to account for. These two features are the slipperiness of marble and its porous nature.
Marble Shower Floors Can Be Slippery
As mentioned, marble is a naturally slippery material even without the addition of water. So, when used in showers, you need to be extra careful to avoid a nasty accident. On top of caution, there are also ways to make marble floors less slippery. We’ll go through these in a moment.
First, I want to point out that there are different types of marble and some may be far better suited to use in a shower than others.
Not Every Type of Marble Is the Same
Polished marble tiles are extremely glossy as they are made purely for aesthetic purposes. They provide only very little to no grip, making them extremely slippery.
On the other hand, honed marble might be a more sensible option for use on shower floors as the satin-like finish has a lot more grip. It is, therefore, more stable and easier to walk on. However, wet feet will still increase the likelihood of slipping, so you still need to be cautious.
You can read a comprehensive comparison between the two different types of marble in my article: Polished vs Honed Marble for Bathroom Floor: Which Is Best?
How to Stay Safe in a Slippery Shower
There are a few ways you can ensure your family’s safety in a shower with marble floors.
Small Format Tiles Are Less Slippery
If you desire to spruce up your bathroom by installing marble floors in your shower but are a bit wary of the tiles due to their well-known slipperiness, then perhaps consider opting for small format tiles.
Having a lot of smaller dimensions of the same marble tile will give you the same aesthetic overall, but it will be a lot safer as the small format tiles are less slippery.
This is because the breaks in the tiles provide more grip given and create some traction, which in turn reduces your chance of skidding in the shower.
Your marble shower floor may be extra slippery because of a build-up of soap scum or other dirt on the tiles. A way to combat this is to make sure you clean your floor regularly to avoid any dirt accumulation.
Use a tile cleaner made for marble tiles (they can be sensitive to more acidic cleaners) to remove all the debris while keeping your marble tiles pristine and in good condition. A great option is the MARBLE & TILE FLOOR CLEANER (amazon link). Not only is it really affordable, but it also does not leave any streaks on the tiles, which could ruin the look of the room.
Apply Antislip Solutions
If you’d like to be extra cautious, then I would really recommend applying an antislip treatment to your shower floor. These are transparent solutions that are applied to your tiles like paint. The solution allows for extra grip on tiles, reducing the risk of slipping in the shower.
You can buy the treatment and apply it yourself. Depending on your shower size, you should get the job done in no time.
The great news is that the solution does not change the appearance of your tiles, so you won’t be compromising aesthetics for safety. Apply the solution at least once a year to ensure the utmost protection against slipping.
Use Antislip Mats
Another straightforward solution to a slippery shower floor that really does not require much effort on your part is to purchase an antislip mat for the shower. These mats have numerous suction cups that adhere to the tiles, allowing the mat to grip the floor.
All you need to do is firmly secure it to the floor and stand on it in the shower to avoid any slippery accidents.
The SlipX Solutions Extra Large Square Shower Mat (amazon link) is an affordable choice that comes in a variety of colors, so you are sure to find one that matches the color and style of your bathroom.
I know that covering your beautiful marble tiles is not what you want, but the mats can be taken up after the shower and stored away until next time. This way, you stay safe, but all your guests still get to drool over your magnificent shower.
For more information, you can read through How to Make Marble Floor Less Slippery (6 Tips).
Install Safety Bar
Unfortunately, even with all of the above solutions, accidents can still happen, and you could suddenly find yourself losing your grip on the tiles.
An added safety measure would be to install a safety bar in the shower. Simply install a Safety Bath and Shower Grab Bar (amazon link) in your desired measurement, and rest assured that there will be something to hold on to when you feel like you’re about to fall.
These bars are typically made from stainless steel, so they are made to be extra sturdy and last a long time.
You Have to Maintain Marble Properly
Marble floors might be very beautiful, but they are also a lot of work (beyond trying to stay upright in the shower!). Unlike your average tiles that just require frequent cleaning, you will need to regularly seal your marble tiles because they are actually rather porous (the other issues with using them in the shower).
Over time, marble floor tiles can become quite discolored due to their contact with moisture. Let’s face it, in a shower, there is no shortage of direct and frequent contact with water.
This can easily make your shower, and by extension your bathroom, look dirty and unhygienic, which totally defeats the purpose of having glamorous tiles.
Marble tiles are also prone to etching and scratching.
You can avoid these problems by making sure you clean off any soap or dirt before it accumulates. Perhaps mop the tiles after each shower to really make sure you are preventing any build-ups.
You also need to seal the marble floors when you install them, as this assists in preventing discoloration and staining. However, you will need to repeat this at least once a year for the best effect.