Carrara Slabs vs Tile

jacqueline5September 27, 2013


I'm almost officially certifiable trying to make decisions for a master bath renovation (leak required a total gut). I'd love some opinions from fellow bathroom obsessed people.

The bathroom has a 7' double sink vanity, 6' nook for claw foot tub, a toilet area, and an approx 4x6' shower area. Initially, I (of course) fell in love with Calacatta - haha! That's not happening. I have a Kohler biscuit clawfoot tub sinsk, and toilet we are reusing. Finding an affordable marble that looked okay with the biscuit has been a nightmare. Finally, I discovered that Mother of Pearl tile looks gorgeous with the fixtures and can tie everything together. So I've narrowed my choices down to a white carrara marble with a mother of pearl accent strip - playing off the warm & cool tones. As long as I stick to a fairly white toned Carrara, I think it'll work.

I started looking for remnant slabs for the counter and discovered that putting slab carrara marble on the wainscot and shower will be just a bit more expensive than 12x24' carrara tile because our tile guy charges an extra $2 sf for offsetting the tile (I want it brickworks style instead of straight course) and he doesn't bullnose so we also have to buy all the trim pieces in marble. With the size of the shower, wainscot and vanity, that's A LOT of trim.

Here are my questions: Laying the tile straight course is still the most cost effective but, would a straight course of 12x24 tiles everywhere except the vanity look too contemporary with my claw foot tub (house is French Colonial ie traditional)? How much slab marble is too much? Can slab look 'fake'? I had a friend say to do tile and stay away from slab on the walls because it will look like a cultured marble shower. I don't know why it's bothering me, but it is. Given that there is only about $700 difference in cost between slab and offest tile, what would you do?

Would someone like to come and just do this for me? ;)


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How thick are the slabs. It seems like it could be a lot of weight if it was 3cm thick, like the traditional counter thickness. Are these slabs just for the wainscot and the entire shower area? I don't think that slabs will look like cultured marble. Just for fun I will include a picture of a room at the hospital I work at. It is now a meeting room but originally it was a surgical room and built around 1916. Still the original marble.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:39PM
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And here is the bathroom down the hall with a tall wainscot :) I think this is granite. (crazy GW, can't tell when the pic is in a vertical formate.)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Thank you enduring! The photos help. I'm going to spend the evening with a cup of tea and Houzz searching for inspiration.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 11:17PM
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