My search for the new foyer tile started with marbles in the white, grey and cream color families, where my comfort zone is. The first one came to my mind was the ever-popular Bianco Carrara in 24x24. To my great surprise, after visiting a few tile stores, I found out there seemed to be a city-wide shortage of Bianco Carrara tiles in that size; and for a couple of stores that still had little inventory left, they either didn't have enough (we needed almost 300 sq ft), or would sell them at a ridiculous price. I guess they all imported from similar sources.
One of the stores suggested a marble called Bianco Statuario which is like a "veinier" cousin of Bianco Carrara, and the stone is gorgeous!
Doesn't it look fabulous in a master retreat. And that's probably why the tile should stay in a bathroom, IMO.
I moved on to investigate Crema Marfil group of marbles. Top-grade Crema Marfil can look very warm and calm at the same time. However, a clean Crema Marfil tile with very little veins and swirls would pretty much eat up my entire foyer budget. When I was in one of the stores, a different type of tile caught my eye -- a porcelain tile that looked almost identical to natural Crema Marfil but very clean! I came home to do some research, and this is what I found: "Porcelain tile is a dense material, which makes it nearly impervious to wear. Porcelain tile is also less porous and less prone to moisture or stain absorption keeping maintenance to a minimum." Sounds about just what I need for a foyer, right?
So this is what I ended up buying: a very light-colored Crema Marfil porcelain tile in 12x24. In my opinion this choice is a threefer: it has the marble look; it is low maintenance and durable; and it costs half of natural Crema Marfil.
The project starts in mid April, and I can't wait to get rid of those ugly grout lines. So, what do you think of my final tile choice?