Cost of CM v. Tile

chisueFebruary 15, 2014

Thoughts please?

I like the CM tub surround in one of our two condo bathrooms. Both bathrooms have perfect-looking, thick CM vanity tops that have endured for 20 years.

I need to remodel the shower bathroom. It's shower interior is currently 30 X 30. After ripping out tile and moving the plumbing supply, I can get a 34 X 34 corner shower. It would have two walls of glass and two of...CM or tile. Would the installed cost be similar? Look less 'fussy' with no-grout CM?

I have to replace the tile floor in the shower bathroom too. I think a no-curb shower entry would add to the illusion of space. I want a rectangular shower, not angled

We are ground floor. This is in a vacation rental condo on Maui that we occupy 2 - 3 months a year.

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When I researched cm this past year I found that anything custom in cm, that the individual shop did not have a mold for - was more expensive than tile. When I priced conventional sized showers here in Houston they were more than a Swanstone solid surface base or an acrylic base and tile walls. Prices vary from region to region. So you need to check with your local fabricators. Tile installation prices vary from region to region too.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 11:32PM
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You may not have enough space for a "no curb" shower. I don't really know much about it. Do some investigation. I am thinking that you will need to have the drain 2 or more inches below the entryway. This would be a very steep slope in a 32" shower. With a curb it's not an issue because the curb will contain the water. I recommend looking into the curbless shower needs before you get too far into the planning of your shower.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:26AM
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I have a quote of $600 for two CM walls 34 X 80, installed.

I wanted to avoid a clunky base for the glass walls -- hence the idea for curbless. I had not realized the slope would need to be that great though, enduring. It's only five feet from the vanity to the existing drain. It would be unpleasant to stand in front of the vanity atop a noticeable slope!

How *else* can I avoid clunky curbings around the shower? What I've seen in tile takes up about six inches with tile on both sides and over the top.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 7:19PM
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Have you searched the internet for low or zero threshold shower bases. I know that Delta makes them. Have you asked your cm fabricator if he can custom make one?

If you do tile, you can avoid the chunky look by minimizing your building materials. Check the plumbing codes there. Minimum code for shower curb may be as low as 2 imaybe 3 nches above the highest point in the shower. The slope from the drain should rise 1/4 inch per foot to the curb. Build the shower pan with a moisture barrier on top of a single layer mud pan instead of a pvc layer sandwiched between 2 layers of mud so that your shower pan is not so high. (You need to research Kerdi, Hydrogan on the internet to learn about these construction techniques.)And then don't build an exceedingly wide curb. And select floor and shower floor tile that flows. Go to and peruse the bathroom pictures and search for showers. Might as well do tile walls if you are doing a tile shower pan.

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Tue, Feb 18, 14 at 4:58

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 4:40AM
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Thanks, Anna. I guess curbless isn't an option. so I'll have to have a 2" curb. I'd like a solid surfce shower floor and walls. Looking for something cheaper than having CM fabricated.

Maui has 'red dirt' that gets into everything -- including grout. It's why I chose 'red dirt' color 13" diagonal-laid tile for the whole condo flooring. Why I didn't continue it into the bathroom floors is a mystery! (And now I can't find matching tile.)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:51PM
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I would do a "red dirt" bathroom and shower floor. Your shower floor could be a mosaic. Embrace the color and use "red dirt" grout. Then a neutral solid color on the walls with matching grout. Use rectangular tiles for the walls as a contrast to the floor in the rest of the condo. Use epoxy grout too because it will dry out faster. Start browsing and get inspired!

Contemporary Bathroom by San Francisco Architects & Designers Mark Brand Architecture

Modern Bathroom by San Francisco Architects & Designers Mark Brand Architecture

Contemporary Bathroom by Seattle Architects & Designers Beley Design, pllc

Traditional Bathroom by Oakland Design-Build Firms Custom Kitchens by John Wilkins Inc

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 18:33

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:29PM
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