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Large Herringbone Marble Tile Floor – How To DIY It For Less

Hey friends! Hope you had a great week! I’m back today with the scoop on the herringbone marble tile floor I recently installed in our coastal bathroom remodel.

When I took on our bathroom for the One Room Challenge, it had 15-20 year old wood-look linoleum on the floor – the same flooring that runs through our kitchen and abuts real hardwoods in the adjacent dining room and family room. The Big Plan is to replace the kitchen floor with hardwood eventually, but for the bathroom I had my heart set on marble ever since I remodeled the fireplace.Fireplace updated with marble tile on the surround and hearth

Tiling over a brick surround

Raised fireplace hearth tiled with marble herringbone mosaic

Tiling over a brick hearth

Marble is such a classic material, and also the colors – white, oyster, gray – are perfect for our house. Ask me again in 10 years, but I really feel like the design of a room could be completely changed up without having to rip out marble tile – it’s neutral and has that timeless, old-school quality.

Are you a marble fan too?

If so, I’m excited to pass on this little tip I learned to work pricey marble into the ollllld budget.

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I did tons of research online and in stores looking for a white marble tile that I absolutely LOVED the color of, and played around with all sorts of patterns. I considered using small or medium hexagons, small subway tile like I used on the surround or the small herringbone mosaics on the hearth, basketweave, or some other pattern – there are so many beautiful marble tiles on the market – but I felt like the small mosaic tiles would be kind of busy with the pattern and texture of the oyster shell mirror.

An 80s era bathroom gets a coastal vibe

With the mirror in mind I decided a larger scale floor pattern was the way to go (with the bonus of less grouting!). When I was poking around in the flooring aisle, I couldn’t get over that these 12″ marble tiles are only $3.99 a square foot, substantially less than most other marble tiles, and I remembered this fantastic idea from Elsie at A Beautiful Mess.

Elsie had her tile installer cut 12×12 tiles into thirds (4×12) and the outcome is SO gorgeous. Genius!


I opted to just cut my tiles in half for a chunkier herringbone pattern (and less labor!)


Once again I rented wet saw and now I’m lamenting the fact that I didn’t buy a wet saw three tile projects ago – the saw rental of 4 hours goes by in the blink of an eye and I ended up keeping the saw for 2 days. Lets just say I could have bought two wet saws for what I have paid in rentals.

Some of the tiles had more grey to them, so I dry-fitted them to mix up the colors a bit and figure out the triangular cuts…..

…before installing them, using 1/16″ spacers so the grout lines would be minimal.

After a quick Instagram poll – white grout or gray grout?? – I went with gray and love it! Thank you to everyone who weighed in on that decision!

DIY installation of marble tile floor via Shine Your Light

What do you think about the large scale herringbone pattern?

A marble tiled floor laid in a herringbone pattern.

Figuring out how to lay these 6″x12″ tiles on the diagonal takes a little extra thought, but once you measure, mark, and install the first row you’re good to go. It would be WAY easier to lay the tiles square with the walls and not have to make all those triangular cuts around the perimeter, but I loved the idea of repeating the fireplace’s herringbone pattern on a larger scale.

If you love the herringbone pattern but don’t want to mess around with all those cuts, consider the mosaic herringbone I used on the hearth – they come on mesh sheets that you can easily lay by the square foot.

Fireplace hearth with marble tile

This is the small herringbone tile I used for the hearth.


Check out the rest coastal bathroom reveal here…..

Coastal bathroom via Shine Your Light

If you have any questions about this tile installation, give me a holler!

Wishing you a fun summer weekend!


Marble tile

Tile adhesive



Gray grout

Grout float

Marble sealer

 Other posts from this bathroom remodel you might be interested in:

How to clean oyster shells and create a beautiful one of a kind mirror with them.


Stunning coastal art limited edition prints.



A trick to a large herringbone marble tiled floor for less.

How To Make An Oyster Shell Mirror
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Friday 16th of April 2021

Love this, looks gorgeous! Thanks so much for the idea!

I'm planning out my guest bath and I think this would look great for us....however, I'm a bit nervous about laying out the herringbone pattern. When laying out the tile, did you start in the very center of the room or at the doorway?


Monday 10th of May 2021

@Lisa, thanks so much for your advice, I really appreciate it!!! I'm in the middle of the install right now and it's looking amazing! You were right....dry fitting the whole tiles worked well and it wasn't as hard to set out the layout as I thought it would be. Just one more question if you don't mind (and I apologize in advance for bombarding you with questions)...I'm using the same tile adhesive that was linked in your blog. I know a lot is dependent on humidity/temperature, etc....I'm just curious as to how long it took for your tile adhesive to dry with the same tile size (6"x12"). I'm on day 2 of waiting for it to dry (with fans blowing on it) and it's still squishy under the tile.


Friday 16th of April 2021

Hi Cate, I recommend dry fitting the tiles first.If you look at my photos, I have full pieces whose corners touch the threshold of the doorway which I planned so that the most visible tiles would line up there nicely.I installed all the full size tiles before making all the small triangular cuts for the perimeter of the room. Also, after cutting the tiles I mixed them all up so a 12x12 tile divided in two would be spread out across the floor and like how that mixed up the color variations.Hope this helps with your project! Good luck!

Jessica Black

Saturday 20th of March 2021

Love the look of the marble! Did you find that it is slippery with wet feet? Wondering if I should try to find a matte finish instead


Tuesday 19th of January 2021

HI! This floor is beautiful! What did you use for the threshold? You are giving me confidence to do this!


Sunday 7th of February 2021

Hi Becky, I used a marble threshold I purchased at a local tile shop. Definitely give it a try! If I can do it, so can you! :)


Monday 4th of January 2021

Thank you so much for this! I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how I can afford marble in my new bathroom. I never would have thought of this. What a great idea!


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

First of all, your floor is beautiful! I am currently remodeling my guest bathroom shower and then moving onto the bathroom floor and want it to look just like yours. Where did you buy the transition piece between the herringbone pattern and your wood floor outside the bathroom? Thanks so much!


Friday 1st of January 2021

Hi Christy, I bought that marble threshold at a local discount tile store and cut it to fit with the wet saw. Thanks for your kind words on the herringbone floor!