Tile selection help

socomMay 1, 2014

We've finally arrived at tiling our master bathroom. My husband likes the hotel/spa bath feel and have decided to do a carrara slab shower. The vanity and tub top will also be carrara. The tub face will be a white wood panel. For the bathroom floor, I found a basketweave tile that I love which has white tiles with a grayish purple center stone. I plan on doing a tiled rug ie the basketweave surrounded by carrara for the bathroom floor. The vanity will be white. I'm not sure what to use on the shower floor, backsplash, and the walls surrounding the bathtub which also has a niche. I don't want the bathroom to be overpowered by carrara. Any suggestions?

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Here is a picture of one of the slabs. Out of all the carrara we saw this had the whitest background.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:57AM
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To be honest I'd want to go with a porcelain tile on the shower floor. But this is coming from someone who only wanted a cast iron shower pan for simplicity and durability.

What I have noticed is that there are threads on GW reporting real problems with marble tile shower floors. There may be just as many, or more, with very successful marble shower floors.

Would a nice subtly mottled medium to darkish gray porcelain tile look good with the shower slab walls? Usually the tiles are 2" or so. This is so the grout lines will provide extra traction for safety.

Marble absorbs water and will need to have a quality constructed shower pan to allow water to drain away from the tile on top and underneath (where water will seep into). Porcelain is barely porous and will be very strong and consistent.

I wouldn't try to match a porcelain marble look alike to your slabs, it will be nearly impossible. I did luck out with using a carrara slab for my shower niche, mixed with my Atlas Concorde Marvel, Calacatta Extra, porcelain tile, in a matte finish. It is not a perfect match but I settled. See how the walls have a warmer white tone compared to the cooler white in the carrara shelf? I do believe my tile comes in a mosaic that can be used for shower floors. I was going to use a black marble threshold for the shelf area, but decided not to, because I have heard that black and green tiles can curl with dampness. I don't really know if a thicker piece would have curled but I didn't want to risk it. I had this carrara backsplash that was left over from the miss cut counter of the same material, and the fabricator just gave it to me :)

What size is your shower pan area?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:38PM
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enduring- thank you for the response. I'll go back to the tiling store and see if there is some kind of ceramic tile that will go with the slab shower. I guess I should do a search for issues with marble floors in a shower. Thank you for bringing that up. My concern was mixing too many different types of tiles. The shower pan is about 66" x 77". I've attached a picture to give an idea of the shower and tub.

Any ideas on what to use on the tub walls and niche? Husband thinks do slab there too. I was thinking maybe some kind of mosaic carrara to help break it up. Any suggestions?

This post was edited by socom on Fri, May 2, 14 at 3:15

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 2:58AM
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Picture of shower

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 3:06AM
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Picture of tub

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 3:08AM
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Would it be weird to do a white beveled subway tile for the backsplash and the walls of the tub or maybe a white thassos marble?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 3:22AM
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Your DH will go for more slabs? I say go for it, LOL! But really, more slabs would be very elegant.

Here is a tub that I saw at the Ann Sacks tile store in Seattle this winter, when I was visiting. There was all marble in this vignette. You can see some on the floor.

Would the slab go up to the window bottom surrounding the tub? Where it looks like you have a niche and cement board. That would be lovely. If you do a slab the niche may be too small for slab inside, but you could use marble tile in a large format, or use 2cm, it might work.

I think you could do some searches on Houzz to see if you like the subway. If you are going to use subway it will need to be something really special, if it a ceramic tile or stone. Otherwise, I think the carrara slab deck and surround in your tub area would be spectacular.

I guess I had to get on Houzz :) so here are a few pictures.

A sink with a high marble backsplash that I just love. Might give you an idea of what a surround could look like:

Traditional Bathroom by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Michael Abrams Limited

Here is one with marble tiles. But honestly I like the idea of a high marble backsplash on your tub with paint above and other decorative treatments for the windows and walls.

Traditional Bathroom by San Francisco General Contractors Cardea Building Co.

Here is all marble tile, no slab:

Contemporary Bathroom by North Hollywood General Contractors Globus Builder

I didn't post any white subway tiles with marble because I didn't care for the ones that i pulled up. But there are some that can be stunning. But to me, many of the pictures I saw with ceramic subways really gave a folksy vintage look to the rooms. That may not be what you guys are after.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 6:25AM
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Enduring: thank you so much for the pictures. Yes, my husband is willing to do more slab. :) I just thought it would be too much carrara with the tub front so that's where I thought a wood panel could break it up. The full herringbone backsplash looks great! Maybe I should do that for the tub walls. We did herring bone floor is our guest bathroom. Now I'm kicking myself that I should have reserved the herringbone for our master bathroom instead. Lol. Decisions decisions decisions. You think a 2 x 4 carrara subway for the backsplash and tub walls be too plain?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 11:52AM
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Here is a slab splash that looks like carrara. :

Traditional Kitchen by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators Suzie Parkinson SÜZA DESIGN

Pic of Calacatta tile, i'm sure, and what looks like thin gray tiles (porcelain? or stone?):

Traditional Bathroom by Menlo Park Home Builders Markay Johnson Construction

Another backsplash with Calacatta:

Traditional Kitchen by Alexandria General Contractors Thorsen Construction

This is the art! Looks like carrara with huge veins:

href='http://www.houzz.com/photos/contemporary/bathroom'>Contemporary Bathroom by Vancouver Home Stagers Flüff Designs & Decor

Here is something with slab and tile mix:

Modern Kitchen by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Croma Design Inc

Calacatta tile with all the white is beautiful isn't it:

Traditional Bathroom by Los Altos Architects & Designers Design Discoveries

This looks like carrara:

Traditional Bathroom by Newport Beach Design-Build Firms Graystone Custom Builders, Inc.

Carrara :)

Mediterranean Bathroom by Los Angeles Architects & Designers Studio William Hefner

I've got to STOP! Anyway, what was your question?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 12:15PM
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