While there is something to be said for cast iron clawfoot tubs, these days most options are made from resin, acrylic, porcelain, and even marble. There's nothing quite as luxurious as a marble bath — the smooth, natural material is sophisticated without even trying, and adds an instant note of luxury.
"In my opinion, there's nothing more luxurious than stone and marble in your bath and your home," says interior designer Cara Woodhouse. "It truly is nature's art. I have always been so fascinated by how mother nature can create such beauty."
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And while marble's good looks are undeniable, this high-end stone tends to be on the pricer side, making it quite the investment. Another factor to consider is the maintenance — a marble tub is going to require a little extra TLC to keep it looking its best. However, it can hold warm water temperatures better than non-marble bathtubs, which means that your bubble baths will get a serious upgrade, too.
To save a bit of money, you can always opt for the slightly more affordable marble tub surround instead of a solid marble bathtub, which Woodhouse says can be just as beautiful. There's also a man-made material called cultured marble, which is stone that is crushed and crafted into a durable marble-like appearance for a similar appeal.
Intrigued? Scroll on for some serious eye candy that will inspire you to splurge on the spa-worthy bathroom feature.
13 Marble Tub Ideas
1. Add brass feet.
The Rock & Roll marble tub that Cara Woodhouse designed in collaboration with ABC Stone is quite the showstopper in this pretty in pink setup. Here, an oval bathtub flaunting blush onyx marble is balanced on solid-brass legs that elevate the design even more. "It really adds an extra level of sophistication to any bathroom," she says.
2. Make it kid friendly.
A little whimsy can make bathtime a more enjoyable experience for the little ones, as proven by this sweet design from Collins Interiors. The combination of light blue backsplash tile, complementary bamboo wallpaper, and a white Calacatta marble tub surround make this cozy alcove feel like a private lagoon. Complete the look with brass fixtures and a rubber duckie.
3. Make room for a round soaking bathtub.
The large, circular stone bathtub spotted in this stunning sanctuary by Cher House is deep enough for hours of soaking, hot tub-style. The accompanying marble backsplash and floor tile make for a cohesive, relaxing design. For added glamour, we like the glitzy chandelier overhead.
4. Showcase a sculptural design.
The team over at Birdseye Architecture took the freestanding marble bathtub idea a step further by opting for this sculptural work of art. The bathtub's non-symmetrical curves beautifully balance the sharp lines of the space, while the oversize windows provide picturesque views. Relaxation has never looked so good.
5. Welcome a rosy hue.
If you really want your soaking tub to make an impression, follow the lead of Decus Interiors and surround it with stunning pink onyx. The matching backsplash and rosy concrete floor continue the look, while the light gray walls add subtle contrast. Now, all we need are a few candles, maybe a glass of wine, and a good book.
6. Design a custom bathtub.
Since natural stone tubs are made out of slabs, you have an opportunity to create a custom design. That's exactly what designer Katie LeClercq did in this Seattle build — the solid stone soaker flaunts an elegant oval silhouette with a minimal lip around the edge for subtle detail. Pair with a few thoughtful pieces of home decor and voilà ... you have a tranquil refuge to wash the day away.
7. Add a graphic effect with checkerboard tile.
If there is one thing that interior designer Kelly Wearstler knows how to do, it's make a bold statement — and this black and white bathroom is proof. The ebony marble tub surround holds its own when paired with checkered tile on both the walls and floor, resulting in a wonderfully graphic and eye-catching refuge.
8. Pair with natural elements.
The lack of sheen on this honed marble bathtub from designer Luis Puerta gives it more of a natural feel, especially when paired with a variety of other earthy textures. From the plaster wall finish to the wooden shutters to the clay flooring, every surface adds to the rustic aesthetic of this cozy space. A vintage armchair and a simple gallery wall complete the idyllic scene.
9. Amp up the drama with a black marble bathtub surround.
If your bathroom color palette is neutral, give it a dramatic boost by opting for a black tub surround à la this striking setup from Workroom Architects. The bold contrast of the tub draws the eye and ties in the black fixtures used throughout, while the warm travertine used on the walls and flooring help temper the stark hue. Potted plants are an inviting touch and add a pop of color.
10. Go all in with a marble bathroom.
When it comes to using marble in the bathroom, why stop at the tub? This dreamy design by Tiffany Harris flaunts the luxurious natural stone on the walls, the floor, and the tub surround. The herringbone floor tile layout adds variety and visual interest and keeps the all-white space from looking flat.
11. Welcome traditional flair.
We love the look of this. While it may be tempting to incorporate marble throughout your entire bathroom, mixing up the textures and materials used makes your tub stand out. In this bathroom by Anna Spiro, the freestanding tub nods to ancient Rome. Classic details like the board and batten wall paneling, telephone tub filler with hand shower, and red vintage-style floor tile make the space feel even more regal. Caesar himself would want to soak here.
12. Embrace a marble tub deck.
If you don't want your bathtub to be made entirely of marble, you can get a similar effect by building a marble-clad deck around your existing tub. In this sophisticated bathroom setup by Enviable Designs, white Carrara marble continues from the flooring up to the walls, resulting in a cohesive and uninterrupted scene. Additionally, the spacious deck means you will have plenty of room to keep your bathtime necessities at your fingertips. Plus, you'll still be able to enjoy the existing tub's Jacuzzi function.
13. Add subtle contrast.
There's something so regal about this light and airy refuge from Collins Interiors, thanks in part to the stunning Carrara marble bathtub with black veining. The Greek key pattern floor tile and marble countertop complement the focal point. The cream-colored vanity cabinet and lustrous brass fixtures warm up the space without taking anything away from the star of the show.
Where to Shop for a Marble Tub
Before purchasing a natural stone bathtub, you want to consider the material type and how much it's going to run you. On the less expensive end, a cultured marble bathtub will cost around $1,500 to $2,500 whereas traditional marble is almost double that, running around $3,000 to $5,000. If properly cared for, though, a marble tub will last indefinitely. Marble bathtub surrounds are much more affordable, costing around $900 on average, plus the cost of labor.
Because of the material, marble bathtubs are quite hefty, weighing up to 3,000 pounds. That can make installation a bit tricky, so you'll need to hire a professional.
Select retailers will also offer pre-designed and custom options to best fit your bathroom layout. Just keep in mind that the latter option will be more expensive. Stone companies can also create a custom bathtub for you. Ready to get started? Here are some retailers to consider: