Can You Tile Over Marble? Factors To Consider, Pros & Cons


If you are considering tiling over marble, then it is important to know the pros and cons of doing so. This article will take a detailed look at what benefits can be gained from tiling over marble as well as some of the disadvantages.

So, can you tile over marble? You can tile over marble if the marble surface is structurally good, still firmly held in place, and scarification is done. This will allow you to give your old marble surface a new look while boosting your space resistance against stains and heat.

To learn more information about tiling over marble, some important factors to consider, the pros, and cons of tiling over your marble, keep reading this article.

Factors To Consider Before Tiling Over Marble

1. How The Marble Is Held In Place

One of the very first things that determine if you can tile over your marble surface is how well the marble adheres. If your marble whether floor or countertop is loose or not firmly fixed in place then it will be such a bad idea to lay a tile on it.

This is because when you lay tiles on a marble surface that is not held in place firmly, the weight of then cause it to break away or become detached with time. You will then end up with a surface that is uneven and ruined.

Another factor to consider before you tile over your marble is its condition. You need to check the overall condition of the marble surface you would want to tile over and then see if you can carry out the tiling process without causing any further damage.

If your marble surface is in good shape and will not be damaged with time then it should work just fine as a tile surface (though for flooring, I will strongly recommend that you consult an expert).

You also need to check whether or not there are cracks on the marble because this condition may render it unsuitable for tiles.

Cracks typically occur when water seeps into the pores of the marble and causes them to expand which leads to cracking.

In some instances though, cracks don’t necessarily mean that you cannot lay tiles on top but only under certain conditions – so always make sure first before deciding anything!

2. Type Of Tile

The second thing to consider is what kind of tile material are you looking at getting to tile over your marble. Not the same type of materials go for every type of tile.

For instance, some people use ceramic or porcelain materials which can often affect how much adhesion you will get on your marble surface.

You need to consider what kind of material you’re looking at getting for your tiles before deciding anything else.

For instance, it does not make much sense tiling over marble with a type of tile that has no joints in between them (like a mosaic) since, without these seams, the tiles are more likely to crack off later from heavy pressure applied onto them like people walking across it all day long.

3. Scarifying The Marble

Before you consider tiling over the surface of your marble another thing you need to consider is scarifying the marble. This is important as scarifying the marble will remove any finish, polish, or seal from the surface of the marble.

If this is not done, the polish, or marble seal can get in the way of the adhesive that will be used to adhere the tile to the marble surface. Also, scarifying the marble will also remove any sticky residue or build-up on the surface of the leather.

scarifying will remove other stains from the marble stone such as watermarks, food spills, and even light scratching’s which will drastically improve how it looks in time.

If you are looking to tile over your marble, it’s a good idea to resurface the surface first with something that will not affect adhesive or sealant such as a water-based paint or varnish.

“An important thing you need to take note of when scarifying is to take a lot of precaution when it comes to dust control.”

For smaller areas like countertops, seats, or vanity, you would want to scarify by using something like a cup grinder. Also, ensure that you are thoroughly cleaning and drying the stone after you have scarifyied the marble.

For larger surfaces like the flooring in your home, there is bigger equipment that is used for scarifying marble like a bead blaster.

4. The Tile Size And Thickness

Finally, another thing to consider before tiling over a marble surface is the thickness of the marble you’re going to be using.

This is important because tiling over marble that has a thin layer will not only be difficult, but it might also lead to damage if the tiler does not use good techniques and measures.

It is important for your flooring to have a thickness of at least three centimeters. This means that any type of tile you are going to lay down on top must have these measurements unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer or designer.

In addition, even though tiles may come in many different shapes and sizes, make sure they’re all smooth-sanded before installation as this helps with leveling issues later on.

The Pros Of Tiling Over Marble

1. Gives Your Space A New Look

One of the most notable advantages of tiling over marble is that it can be a great way to give your existing surface new life.

If you are unhappy with the color or design of your current floor, countertop, seats, etc, then this alternative could help bring you joy and excitement for your space once again.

Tiling over marble will also allow you to work within any style (traditional, contemporary, etc) so that there are no limitations when choosing materials for an overlay installation.

This is a great way since you will not have to worry about any previous or current patterns, colors, etc.

Additionally, it is easy to design a pattern that suits your specific needs and the look you are trying to achieve.

As long as there is enough room for installation this option can be an excellent way to create something new without breaking the bank on something entirely custom-made or more expensive material options such as granite.

Tiling over your marble is also a great way to add different patterns and textures throughout the room. This includes everything from funky polka dots, cool chevron patterns, and simple subway tiles.

2. Ease Of Installation

Another advantage to tiling over your marble is the ease of installation. It is just as simple to install tiles over marble as it would be on any other surface, and you do not need any special tools or professional-grade skills.

Additionally, this process is much less messy than say painting over the marble floor, countertop, or vanity.

This means that if your tiling project does end up being a mess then at least your expensive marble countertops or floor are still safe from damage!

Tile installations also last longer than most painted surfaces because once they have been sealed properly with an appropriate sealant everything should stay in place for years without any damages.

3. Offers A Better Layer Of Durability

Another advantage of tiling over marble is the durability of the tile. Since marble is a soft stone, it can be easily damaged by spills and everyday wear and tear.

This means that if your tiling job goes well you will not have to worry about any future damages to the floor because tiles are much more durable than other materials, especially when they are sealed properly beforehand.

4. You New Surface Will Have Increased Heat Resistance

One of the biggest advantages to tiling over your marble is how much heat resistance the tile will offer when compared to your marble surface.

Tiles are usually made from a hard material like ceramic or porcelain, and this means that they will be much more resistant to heat compared to marble.

This is especially important if you live in an area where the weather can get very hot since it gives you peace of mind knowing that your flooring won’t crack due to temperature changes.

So even though tiles are not typically as aesthetically pleasing on their own, there are many advantages when tiling over a surface made of soft stone like marble.

The Cons Of Tiling Over Marble

1. Higher Flooring Level

When you tile over marble you will end up with a higher flooring level. This can usually be seen when it comes to tiling over marble floors. The problem with this is that you will have at least a 1/2inches difference which can affect transitions to other rooms.

This can create potential tripping hazards for the lovely people around your home. Another thing that will get affected when you tile over your marble are doors as you might have to cut all your doors or in some cases replace the entire frame of the door (for entry doors).

This can be a real pain in the butt and even though it is typically an inexpensive fix, you always have to be mindful about what doorways your marble goes through.

In addition, you may also find that there are not as many options when you tile over a floor with the original surface still in place so finding tiles or getting them cut can become problematic from time to time.

If any of these issues sound like they might cause problems for your home then tiling isn’t for you but if everything sounds peachy then keep reading!

2. Structural Weight Loading

This can be a problem if you want to put the tile over a marble floor or surface that is upstairs with rooms beneath. If there happen to be rooms down beneath where you’re thinking of tiling over then you need to check so that you do not over-load.

Marble is very heavy and tiling over it can cause the whole surface to become even weightier very quickly. This can lead to a very serious structural sagging problem.

3. Process Of Installation Could Be Complex

Tiling over marble is not the best solution for everyone. The installation process can be difficult because marble is so delicate. A typical installation process might include;

Cleaning The Entire Marble Surface With Special Solutions – Wash the marble with soap. Wear gloves and a mask because it is a soap that will remove soot, grease, and etch your skin. In most cases, the cleaning will have to be done using a solution of 1 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP) per gallon of water.

You will have to put on some masks and gloves to be able to do this one as this is a caustic detergent that will not only dirt, grease, and etch the marble, but it can also give you skin burns.

Roughen The Marble – This can be pretty difficult. You will need to use a 60 – 80 grit pad sander which can be bought at Amazon. Roughening the marble surface before tiling enhances the adhesion of the tile to the marble and can also reduce the chances of tiles cracking or breaking.

You Must Use The Right Adhesives – Tiling over marble will also call for the use of special adhesives. You will have to get an adhesive that will work for smooth surfaces like vinyl or terrazzo.

Generally, the adhesive I find to do a great job when it comes to tiling over smooth surfaces like marble is an epoxy-based thin-set as they are a lot better than one that is cement-based.

If you would want to use something cement-based for tiling over your marble then you could go for resin-polymer-based cement adhesive which you can also use to lay your tiles over the marble without any problems.

4. Your Need To Get A Professional

This means that you will not be able to do this as a fun weekend DIY with your family. You will have to get a professional to get this done for you as tiling over a marble surface may require a few extra tools and expertise to be able to pull it off flawlessly. At the end of the day, this will usually end up costing you a bit more.

5. Increased Difficulty In Maintaining or Repairing Tiles

The first con that comes to mind is the increased difficulty in maintaining or repairing tiles. Since you’re essentially covering up the marble surface with more tile, it can be much harder to spot minor scratches and cracks because your eyes are focused on looking for any spotting of paint rather than actually looking at the floor.

In some cases, if there happens to be a crack then it might not even show until months later when water damage has occurred beneath.

This means that over time you may end up spending long hours trying to figure out where each leak is coming from which would have been far easier had you just left the original marble intact.

This can also make small section repairs difficult when damages do occur but only after years of wear.

6. No Room For Errors

Moreover, there is very little room for error when installing tile over previous surfaces because mistakes made early on make it hard to correct later down the line without replacing all previously laid materials which can get expensive quickly.

In some cases, if there happens to be a crack then it might not even show until months later when water damage has occurred beneath. This means that over time you may end up spending long hours trying to figure out where each leak is coming from which would have been far easier if the original marble was still in place.


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of and the newest house owner in town. I’m a huge fan of most things natural. Over here on this site, I'm happy to share all the exciting hacks, tricks, and tips I have learned and continue to learn each day about taking care of natural stones.

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