Marble for vanity top and shower bench?

leeseebrFebruary 15, 2012

We are in the middle of our masterbath remodel. I have chosen a marble slab to be used for the shower threshold, shower bench and the vanity counter top. The fabricator sent me a release to sign sighting the problems that can occur when using marble, staining, etching, etc. Now we are re-thnking our choice. My husband is concerned that the counter will look horible in a matter of weeks. I don't love granite and am not sure what else to choose. The marble is a cappucino color. The other tiles used in the space are crema marfil on the floor and bursa beige on the walls. Any advice would be appreciated.

Also, is there a standard depth of a shower bench? we were thinking 14 or 16 inches.

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Have you looked at Caesarstone lately? They have a number of new products with a variety of color choices. I had it installed in my kitchen 8+ years ago and it holds up very well.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:45AM
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I second the idea of quartz. We have a marble-esque quartz on our vanity (Zodiaq Crema Botticino), but the contractor talked me into getting a marble shower surround and bench. I am hating the marble shower seat, as it has etched like crazy from the various soaps, shampoos, etc. While the quartz on the vanity has been bulletproof.

I don't like granite either (too busy), and quartz comes in some very simple, lovely colors. Caesarstone and Zodiaq are two that we have used in various places in our hosue.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 9:17AM
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Can you get a sample of the marble you're concerned about and see how it holds up to some tests (products you use, etc)? I believe crema marfil and bursa beige are also marbles. So you'll have the same risks with the tile you've already selected. As I understand, all calcite-based stones (marble, limestone, etc) are prone to etching by acids. Sealers can help minimize (and to some extent eliminate?) staining. Choosing marble for your bathroom means you will either have to accept etching or be cautious with what products come in contact with your stone (cleaning products, cosmetic products, etc). I've had a carrera marble counter in my guest bathroom for nearly two years and there isn't a single etch or stain on it. It was sealed and I am extremely cautious about what products are allowed around it. I use a marble-safe cleaner for the counter and am extremely careful when I clean the sink or mirror. I only put out pH neutral hand soap. Your fabricator is simply trying to protect himself by making you sign a waiver stating that you are aware of these qualities of the stone you've selected.

You could continue with marble or choose a different product like quartz, quartzite, granite, metal, laminate, tile, glass composite, etc. Have you looked at the variety of granite in stone yards? I am always a little surprised when people say "I don't like granite" considering the variety of color, pattern, and finish. I had some preconceived notions about what granite looked like before I actually went to a stone yard. There are many granites I strongly dislike, but there are just as many that I absolutely drool over.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:00AM
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Thank you for your responses.

Yes, the other tiles I selected are marble and are in the process of being laid. I have decided to just go ahead with the marble and use a lot of care around it. I hope I don't regret this decision. We will seal it once installed and I will do so regularly. My tile store recommeded a sealer that is supposed to last at least 15 years so I'll keep an eye on it. I realize the fabricator is just trying to protect himself.
Is there a ph neutral soap you recommend?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 2:15PM
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I have a dark marble on my bath vanity and just water spilling on it has left water marks. it is hard to be careful when washing your face and a face cleaner left a large etching on mine. I would not do dark polished marble. Honed might be better in a darker marble though but I can't say for sure. I know a friend who has dark marble on hher kitchen tops and she said it already had water marks.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 2:19AM
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Prickly pear,
Ph neutral soaps? My marble( honed ) went on yesterday, so I'm now researching how to care for it, and never gave a thought to hand soaps. NeVer examined a soap label.... Is ph listed? I love pretty soaps with a fresh soapy almond scent. I too would love to know a Ph neutral soap you like, bar or liquid?
My big concern is cleaning the mirror over the vanity and finding the right thing for cleaners to use.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 5:36PM
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We have caeserstone "organic white" on the vanity top and shower bench in our main bathroom. We considered marble, but knew that both those areas would get such heavy use and exposure to various products that they'd be etched and stained in no time. We went with honed marble hex on the floors and it goes beautifully with the caeserstone. So I'd second the quartz idea. There's a new colour "Torquay" that's awfully close to marble. There are a few threads on the kitchen forum devoted to Torquay with pics.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 2:29AM
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we had a alot of marble in our previous house... we were in the house for only nearly 3 years, but i can tell you that our shower had alot of etching problems in it. i never sealed the marble tho and i don't know if the installers did (it was a spec house and it was almost 14 yrs ago!) the etching was mostly on the bench (where i guess we let water sit)and toward the very bottom of the walls. i was careful about what cleaner i used, but we used whatever soaps and shampoos that we always did and didn't squeegee...

in our current bathroom that we recently redid, i used granite (a dark, non-busy one) for the bench, cast iron for the shower pan, and marble on the walls. we squeegee after each shower. i have sealed the marble a couple of times and it looks great(after 1 1/2 yrs). where we bought our tile, they sold a 'cleaner/sealer' combo- so that each time you clean the marble gets a boost of sealer... i said i was going to buy some, but haven't yet... don't know brand or how it's been reviewed.
we have some etching issues around the toilet where we have the same marble as in our shower... :(

i would not get marble on our vanity because my husb and myself aren't careful and i'm sure i would spill or set down something that wasn't good for it-sealant or not!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 10:10AM
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martinca - I posted this back when I installed the marble and got some great suggestions. I can't remember the brand of hand soap I'm using now, but I bought it at Whole Foods. The label said pH neutral.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Thanks, pp. wow! There just isn' as much info out there as one would thinkl. Google has not been my best buddy for this search. And right now, with marble vanity in, I have no idea what to give the cleaners for mirrors over vanity. I searched over in kitchens and cleaning forum....just a bunch of us wondering, mostly. :>/, it seems.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 9:01PM
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We have had tumbled Marble for over six years now and not a problem at all. It is on the floor, in the shower and the vanity. Went with polished marble for the vanity in the quest bath and no problems there either.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 9:31AM
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