Tile Experts...Statuary Marble looks GRAY after thinset

thankful4adviceMarch 26, 2012

First time remodel for us and first time poster here. Any advice would be much appreciated.

We are in the process of installing statuary "white" marble into our new addition bathroom. About 5 days ago, our contractor applied white thinset versabond (sp?) (not premixed but from powder mixed with water on site). After completing several rows it looks like a dark/dreary depressing gray - not the white with gray veins I envisioned. Some tiles look completely gray. Is this just because it still needs to dry out more? It's been 5 days already. I'm wondering if this is just the nature of our marble and that we just got a bad lot.

It doesn't seem normal to me because our tile looks pretty white when it hasn't been wet.

Here are some pictures under different lighting:

Please tell me I just have to be patient and wait for the thinset to dry more. This is our first remodel and I'm very nervous. Thanks for any advice.

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holding an opaque material in mid air, you get a sense of its color and "lightness" but this is deceptive to first timers.

once it is installed is necessarily darker. You cannot shine light through from the other side. Light hitting it gets absorbed more than before, also. So the result is always darker. Since white thinset was used, you already did the right thing to do. You will be happy in a few weeks when you get used to your new shower.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:21PM
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I'd say it looks more carrara than statuary, either that or maybe just a dark lot. But it is very pretty nonetheless. Here is a side by side comparison from our showroom:

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 4:44PM
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Thanks for your replies Davidrol and Twn85!

You guys both alleviated some of my concerns/fears. I guess I can learn to live with the gray and we're planning on putting in a solar tube which should add more light to the bathroom and brighten things up a bit.

I agree Twn85 that our tile now looks more like your carrara photo than statuary. Very weird because the tile straight from the box looks more white (like your statuary tile photo) but you can see gray splotches and veins deep within the stone which I suppose are brought out more by the thinset moisture.

Davidrol, I think I am guilty of making the mistake you mentioned, although I had no idea it would go this dark.

Oh well, lesson learned. Thanks again guys!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 6:57PM
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It can take a while to dry completely. Patience.

But it'll just get wet again...so no worries.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:28AM
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Re drying. It definitely looks more grey when wet. The marble tile in our kitchen took about 2 days to dry. That was on cement board. The marble in our bath took about a week to reach it's final color. That was on cement board plus kerdi. We had smaller tiles than you, so it might take longer in your case.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 9:15AM
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Mongoct, do you mean that it will get dark again if someone takes a shower after the tile has been grouted and sealed?

Thanks, Bill. Good to know what your experience with marble was.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 12:47PM
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No advice but just wanted to say... Its beautiful!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 8:20AM
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yeah, it will get dark again when wet, our quartzite which is well sealed gets darker when wet and lightens up again when it dries, but I don't think your shower looks dark, I think it's beautiful!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Thanks for the kind words Debrak and Lynneblack! You really are making me feel better about this situation. I guess I just need to adjust to what the tile looks like in real life versus what my expectations were. The sample tile sure did fool me!

Here are some more recent photos. The tile around our soon to be placed Kohler Greek Tub seems whiter and less patterned than the rest of the shower tile. I wish it could all be more uniform.

I think the tile has lightened up a teeny tiny bit in the last 3 days, but not that much.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 5:42PM
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Sorry, I meant to post these pictures instead of the other two repeat pics from my last post!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 6:41PM
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You have a lovely bath coming up! I think the variations you are seeing now will fade as everything goes into place. I am really looking forward to seeing the process and the finished room. While I know you posted because you have not been happy with the brightness of the tile, it sure has been a pleasure having you share your project.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 7:47PM
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OMG it's gorgeous! I can't wait to see the finished result. Just curious, what fixtures finish did you select and is there a mosaic going in? If it's not too late, depending on what finish, you may want to rethink now that you see how the tile looks. I hope you're going with polished nickel.... WOW!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 8:03AM
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Thanks Enduring and Phylhl! Sorry it's taken so long to reply Phylhl...we've been going at a snail's pace here. Anyway, we chose Hansgrohe chrome fixtures (not installed yet) which should look okay with the marble. We initially ordered brushed nickel, but it had a yellow tinge that didn't quite go. I think the marble tile has lightened up quite a bit or maybe I've just become accustomed to looking at it. I'll be sure to post our completed bathroom pics when everything is done! In the meantime, here are photos of the pale aqua glass tile border we just put up.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 10:56PM
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