Carrara Marble (Tile Shop) vs. Grecian Marble (Home Depot)

newhomeowner2011aOctober 1, 2011

We are going to be covering 2 walls in our shower (2 others are glass) with subway tile all the way to the ceiling.

We have been shopping around and saw that the Tile Shop has (not honed) Lansdale Carrara Subway tile (7.5 x 15 cm) for $11.99/sqft.

We then went to Home Depot to find they have what looks to us (and our untrained eyes) to be very similar but they call it Grecian White in 3x6 subway tiles for $5.49/sqft.

We are doing the floors and shower pan in Carrara Subway basketweave tile (with the black squares to match our black granite countertop) - we picked the pattern that has the contoured sides vs. the one with straight sides - basically ours aren't rectangles like the traditional basketweave pattern. Anyway, for the floors, we selected the grey/white veining in the marble - no tan/browns in it so ideally we would like to keep that coloring on the shower surround too.

Please share your thoughts on using the Tile Shop vs. HD subway tile - obviously price is a huge difference - anything else we should note? My husband plans on doing the install himself unless I deliver my baby early - is one easier than the other to install?

Thanks so much!

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I have used the Lansdale from The Tile Shop (TTS) in a smaller sized, 2x4". It came backed in a mosaic but I cut up the pieces to make my own pattern instead of the running bond that was laid out on the mesh backing. The Lansdale has tan in it. TTS store BR display of the 3x6 tiles of Lansdale was whiter and bluer than the boxed stock available, in either the 3x6 or the 2x4 mosaic. The sales person said that the new stock has more tan in the mix than the tile used when they made the BR display. There is another selection at TTS and it is really a more veiny white/gray, maybe called Devonshire or something with an "H". HD definitely is cheaper, according to your search.

If you're considering single tiles I can't imagine one source being more different to install than the other. Unless there is irregularities in thickness in your batches. I liked working with TTS because they had lots of information and helped me with any question I had. This is the first time I tiled and I had a lot of questions. Here are a couple of pictures of my kitchen backsplash that I recently finished.

For grout I used TTS sandded grout in these proportions: 3/4 "Natural" and 1/4 "Standard White" My tile spacing was 1/8".

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 12:39PM
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I'm sorry, I meant "Devonshire Carrara Pol" (5x20 cm) for $10.99/sqft (I was looking at the wrong picture) - you are right, the one I previously mentioned has tan in it. We wanted the grey veining only so we were happy when we walked down the next aisle and found our pick was also a dollar less per sqft :-)

I love the pattern you used - and wow; for your first time to tile you are brave! This will be our first time but we've decided on laying them flat (I'm sure there is a technical term I'm not aware of for that...)

Maybe we should check out this with a mesh backing - that is easier than doing individual tiles, correct? I'm sure you pay for the convenience though, am I right?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 3:30PM
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The mesh backing is for smaller tiles called mosaics and seem to always be laid out in one sq ft sections. 3x6 tiles are singles. It can be fun laying out singles. If you lay the 3x6's straight, in the typical "subway" pattern, that is called a "running bond" Take a look online for the variety of patterns that can be made. If you or your DH are handy you might enjoy trying something fun or challenging. But getting the tile up in a shower is a challenge in itself.

The deal with the mesh that I was noticing in my modestly priced tile was that the spacing was variable between tiles on the sheet. I knew that was going to be a problem, visually for me. I was happy to have spaced them accurately myself.

Currently in the kitchen forum there is a post on a problem tile installation with a glass mosaic set. The tile setter didn't use spacers between the sheets and it looks pretty bad.

Are you using the wall liners on the floor and walls for your tiles. One brand is called Kardi and is orange. It is a liner that protects the walls from water. There are people that swear by it. Keep an eye open for all the info you can with this shower install. My kitchen backsplash install was different than a floor or shower. other considerations come into play. Strength needs and water protection.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 7:40PM
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I found the Tile Shop to be a little more expensive then some of the independently owned shops. JMHO

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 9:01PM
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One issue with box store tile is that it can be poor quality and contain iron deposits that will rust when exposed to water. This won't show until it's installed, and all of a sudden, you have orange stains on your nice white marble. And you cannot get them out. Anything that will remove rust will badly etch marble.

Be very sure that you read up on all of the how to's on how to create a leak proof shower and the issues with using marble. Even if it's installed correctly with the white thinset, it's still pretty high maintenance. You might explore using a ceramic look alike instead if you want something lower maintenance.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 4:28PM
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I've been considering the grecian marble from HD. I love the look but scared to death of the maintenance that comes with marble. I've not been able to find much in the way of reviews on the tile. And I've not been able to find any ceramic look alikes.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 10:58AM
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We used quite a bit of the grecian marble (incorrectly spelled greecian on the Home Depot website if you are searching for it). We used 12x12s that we cut into 6x12 bricks, 3x6 that we used in one bath as a herringbone pattern and one bath installed in a subway pattern, 6x6, chair rail and the 1x1 hex on the floor. In one shower we installed the Homedepot river rock/pebble mesh mosaic on the floor. We installed the tile in Feb/March so its been up for almost a year and it looks great. There is, however, a great variation in color. It is not a pure white. Some tiles are almost all gray and some have quite a bit of brown in them. Our installer was fantastic at pulling the out and arranging them so that the colors are scattered. We like the color disparity and movement but that's personal preference. Just don't expect a pure white. We did find several boxes that contained noticably thinner tiles (mostly with the 3x6 tiles). We simply packed these back up (save the little boxes it comes in)and returned them to Home Depot. This is a stocked item at our HD so it was easy to get if we needed more and easy to return. The hex mosaic tile was an online only item and we had a HUGE problem getting it delivered. It was through a freight company and they kept promising it and it wouldn't arrive. This could be just an issue in our area (Cincinnati) but it held us up for about a week. (It arrived two weeks later than promised). If I can figure out how I will post pictures as I think the bathrooms turned out great! No extra maintenance. Just sealed it. We were cautioned by the installer about rust which is impossible to remove from marble (often things like shaving cream cans are still metal and can rust). I'm sure newhomeowner is finished with the project but thought I'd throw in my 2 cents for anyone considering the grecian marble.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 12:24PM
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