calcatta marble alternatives

kctsOctober 10, 2012

Hello. I am in the process of remodeling my bathroom due to water leaking. Because I did not expect this happening, I cannot afford to use expensive, real marble tiles that I like. Could you recommend good quality, but not expensive alternative? I like the look of calcatta gold marble. I checked the past forum discussion, but I found only expensive alternative. Thank you for your advice!

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Lowes has store-brand calacatta porcelain tile done with the new inkjet process that is very plausible looking and very inexpensive. (At least what I've seen has been plausible--they now have printed sample boards instead of real tile, so I've only seen the front tiles in the boxes.)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:10PM
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Mine is Marmi Statuario Veneto, but it has a bit of brown in the veining so it looks a bit like Calacatta. I really like it, and it's made in the US and has some kind of "green" designation. Bought mine at for about 4.40 sf.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:07PM
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One of the big surprises for me in doing a bathroom is that real marble doesn't have to be particularly expensive.

Where are you located? We bought our marble (ming green)from C-Line on Long Island. They're really reasonable - like $6/sq. ft. - but they don't ship. There are probably other places like that too.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:46PM
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I had the same dilemma--love Calacatta Gold (slabs!) but no way I was going to spring for it.

I found a Calacatta remnant to use for my vanity top and used Carerra mosaic (inexpensive) for the flooring and white subways for the rest.

The Carrera "lookalike" ceramic or porcelain tiles at Lowes and Home Depot don't look anything like Calacatta Gold. They don't look a whole lot like Carrera, either, actually! You could use them on their own without mixing with the marble, though.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:02PM
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>The Carrera "lookalike" ceramic or porcelain tiles at Lowes and Home Depot don't look anything like Calacatta Gold.

How recently have you looked? I'm not talking about the ones they had, and lowes totally redid their tile lines last month. These are printed from a photo of calacatta. They may not be as heavily veined as you would like, but they do look like honed calacatta, not like the ones that HD has or that lowes had before.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:51PM
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I don't think that the fake calacatta tiles at Lowes look anything like the real thing, and they have a strange texture, too. The closest I have ever seen was a porcelain tile Rex Bianco, but it was expensive. I was able to shop around earlier this year and find a leftover lot of calacatta gold honed for $13 a square foot, which while not cheap is a great deal. I am currently redoing my kitchen (not a full re-do) and shopped around again to find 4"x4" calacatta gold, and I was able to find enough to finish my backsplash, and again got a decent deal $15 per square foot. It just takes patience and a willingness to spend more money than for ceramic (like I said, the porcelain was expensive). Plus, it's marble, which is classic and goes a long way for resale value if well maintained.

If you can find a place that purchases from Stone Partnership in New Jersey, you can get good deals on lots that they are closing out. That's where I got my 4"x4".

Here are the 9"x18" ones I used in the bathroom:

Here are the 4"x4" I am using now (excuse the pictures, my contractor finishes on Friday):

Here is a link that might be useful: Stone Partnership Link

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:41PM
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[Kevin - that's gorgeous! And I wish I'd known about Stone Partnership sooner; it might have saved me a lot of schlepping to Long Island.]

There's a principle of design that goes all the way back to John Ruskin, 150+ years ago - "truth to materials". Stone should look like stone, wood like wood, porcelain like porcelain; each have their beauties. But when one material tries to imitate another - when porcelain tile tries to look like stone - the results often aren't so great.

I wouldn't use imitation stone tiles - I'd use either real stone (maybe something less pricey than calcatta, e.g. travertine or carrera) or real ceramic. Or maybe do mostly ceramic, with an accent border of the stone you love. That calcatta could look great paired with a beige or pale grey ceramic.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:15PM
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I have looked as recently as this past week, Writersblock. Lowe's "Calacatta White" has a very strange, distinctly UN-marble-like look and feel. Kind of a powdered orangepeel finish. I cannot imagine that anyone who loves Calacatta Gold would find it to be an acceptable alternative.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 9:12PM
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Funny you should just ask about gold clacatta alternatives. We're in the decision making throes , and came across a beautiful porcelain gold calacatta in Pensacola, Fl...but he will drop ship ( we live near NOLA). It was highly polished. The man we spoke to is Scott at Floor City, 5675 Duval Street Pensacola, FL 32503
(850) 494-9111

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 11:26PM
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Thank you so much everyone! I will look into each option. KevinMP, your bathroom is gorgeous!!! I wish I could use the real marbles.....

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 6:35AM
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I love your double vanity, it seems very compact. Could you please tell me where you purchased it and also how long it is. Thanks...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:54AM
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It's not really compact. It's 59.5", I believe. It's made by Silkroad Exclusive and can be purchased online, including on ebay. I removed the top, sinks, and hardware and replaced them.

But it has a ton of storage. That's the whole reason I bought it.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:02PM
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Wondering if anyone has experience with Calcutta Gold Porcelain. I understand from my tile guy that marble scratches easily and is not the best choice for a main bathroom.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 7:48PM
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tenkids: Just letting you now that is exactly the same tile I went with- but I got it at HomeDepot for FAAAARR less than tiles stores. i know this post is old but I'm hoping someone will read it and find it useful.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 12:23PM
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