Honed marble in a kids' bathroom?

bblueskyeOctober 1, 2011

I've been reading the forums here for a bit and this is my first posting. We are in the process of completely re-doing the master bath and my kids' bath in our house and I could really use some advice. I love the look of honed marble countertops in bathrooms but I've heard that marble is not a great idea in kids bathrooms due to the upkeep. My boys are 4 and 5 years old, so still young (and messy). I was hoping someone could give me some BTDT (been there done that) advice on whether or not I should go with marble in their bathroom.

To step back a bit, both bathrooms are long and narrow and the boys bathroom has no window, so I want to keep it light. I really don't love the look of highly polished countertops, so my options feel limited. Most of the prefab countertops are polished, so those seem to not be an option. But if I go with a slab, (due to cost reasons) we'd need to use the same material for both bathrooms. I'd really love marble in ours, but that would mean putting it in the boys' room too. The other material I'm considering is Chroma in Brushed tempest, but that is a much darker material.

Some additional details... The vanities are both white (about 74" long by 20" deep) and I was going to do white ceramic subway tiles in the boys bathroom with blue glass tile accents. We'll have a single sink on each vanity (kohler ladena) and polished chrome faucets (kohler marvaux, I think).

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Granite/marble fabricators have lots of remnants to choose from that will be plenty big enough for a vanity top, so don't think that you have to purchase a whole slab to get what you want. Prices tend to be much more reasonable with remnants, too.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 8:43PM
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Sorry I can't answer you yet, but we just put honed Carrara marble in our hallway bath, which is both the guest bath and the kids' bath. We'll see how it goes and report back! For what it's worth, my tile guy told me that the sealant is very effective and that if I reseal every year it should stay in fairly good shape.

I suppose if worse comes to worst, we'll have the kids share our master (crappy) bathroom and keep the guest one nice. At least until we remodel the master! Fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 2:09PM
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Definitely let me know how it goes. I have no issue with sealing it every year (or even more often, if needed). The kids are pretty good, but they're young, so I know there will be the occasional spot of toothpaste, a drip of mouthwash, or a wet cup that is left on the vanity top. But if the sealer does work, I really do want to go with marble - I just love the classic, clean look that you can get with it.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 4:09PM
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The sealer will prevent staining, but not etching. In order to be happy with marble, you need to be ok with it developing a patina of etch marks that will show as watermark-like spots or rings. And if kids are using it, there will be alot of patina.

I was personally not ok with patina, so I chose a white granite for my kids long narrow bath.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 5:38PM
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That is true, it will get etch marks. I bought my vanity from Restoration Hardware and they said you can use marble polish, I understand it works pretty well. Here's a thread on that:

Personally I am OK with some texture, I don't need a perfect polished look but we will see how I feel about in another few weeks!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 6:07PM
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No experience, yet! But, we are putting marble countertops in both of the bathrooms we are currently remodeling. The stone dealer said that polished marble is less likely to stain than honed, assuming that both are sealed. And, the slab comes with one honed surface and one polished surface so we could have had one polished and one honed from the same slab. Maybe that's an option for you, putting the polished side in the children's bath and the honed side in yours.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 6:07PM
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Just wondering if any of you had updates on wear as I am considering putting marble in my kids bathroom as well.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 5:48PM
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We put honed marble flooring in our kids' bathroom. We have not yet moved in, but I don't foresee it being a problem. They have a honed green eyes granite on their vanities and I see that as a non-issue as well.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 9:25PM
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We did marble for EVERY single counter in the entire house including the laundry room. It does etch, ALOT, but I don't really care as I just wipe it down and it looks fine. I too like the light look of the marble so I could not see putting anything else at the time. I may have considered getting some caesarstone (just white) but I wanted to use what Restoration Hardware offered with the vanity in my kids bathroom. Here is a quick pic...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:13PM
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kamkar what kind of marble did you use? So brave of you through the whole house, but really I am starting to feel the same way. There is just nothing like it. It is hard to make the plunge though!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:21PM
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We used vermont imperial danby in the kitchen, butlers pantry, laundry room and guest bathroom (honed). We used honed carrara in the girls bath and master bath. I used bianco venatino tile in the powder room for the floor and bianco venatino for our master bath floor and shower walls, shower floor and ceiling! We are all marbled out. I did have some issues with etching only, and still do in the bathrooms and the kitchen, but I use a good cleanser and am committed to having my kitchen island counter top buffed every now and then (maybe every 2-3 yrs). I love it and the only change I may have made would be the girls bath because they are so young and spill everything. Nothing has stained and I just don't pay any mind to it now. No-one has ever made a comment on it though!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 7:58PM
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I don't mind the marble in the kitchen or laundry but I would think twice about the little kids' bathrooms unless you are super meticulous. Not only can a water cup leave a ring but if placed in the same spot over and over again, it will start to really make a mark. You can of course circumvent this by making sure that you don't leave anything on the counters but only in drawers/cabinets. We had a soap dish that we thought was never wet and lo and behold when I moved it one day it left an imprint. Because of that, I left the soap dish where it was and then forever I could never move it because it got worse and worse. My kids like to have the hand soap on their counters and so I had to purchase trays for that too--which I had to make sure were never wet underneath. It's a bit high maintenance to have marble in a bathroom. Our last house I used white granite instead and then never worried about it! Here is the white granite--totally bulletproof. Never stained etched or had ANY problems.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 9:40PM
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For kids baths granites or engineered stone(silestone,zodiac,etc) might be more suitable.
If you must have marble it is generally true that polished surfaces are less porous it really depends on the stone itself. But it will etch very easily and standout.
A deep honed surface properly sealed with a high quality impregnating sealer will be a better option if you are going to go with marble. Most marbles come from the processing plants with a high hone and can be taken down by a stone refinisher.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 4:46PM
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Firtshouse, what is the name of the white granite in your bath? We just ordered a remnant of "Supreme White Granite" only to find out it is actually marble. Eeek!!!! Help anyone? Do I need to get it honed? Thanks for any help you can offer!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:08PM
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Today they installed carrara on the vanity in my guest bath. I love it. It's far more beautiful up close and horizontal than the big dusty slabs at the stone yard. My bathroom isn't finished yet, so I'm just keeping the door closed and the cats out of the bathtub.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:14PM
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@ linelle - wonder if cats will like the cool surface of marble. In the summer, mine liked the cool hardwood floors and bathroom sink.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:20AM
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mdln, so far the cats have shown no interest in the marble, sink or faucet. I'm more concerned with Zephyr's penchant for opening cabinet doors and eventual claw holes that will appear as he tries to get purchase on the doors.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:37PM
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@ linelle - maybe you need to installl little kitty pulls? Wonder what height off the floor that would be - 3'', 6'', 12''? :-)

Interestingly my kitties were most interesed in opening my sister's cabinet doors - that had child saffety latches which limited the opening to 3''. Knew they were doing it when you heard banging of kitchen/bath cab doors.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:48PM
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@mdln, sounds like your sister's cabinet doors don't have soft-close. Zephyr is the second cat I've had that opens cabinets by standing on his hind legs, grabbing hold of the top of the door, and walking backwards to open. I think he learned this from an old tortie I had when he was a kitten. I'll walk into the kitchen and all the lower cab doors are open.

Currently they're more into opening the bypass door of the linen closet.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 3:45PM
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Oh, all this talk about kitties opening doors makes me sad. One of our cats would routinely open any door that had the lever door (not)knobs. We had to tie those levers closed to all the doors we didn't want Zen and his sister Zoe to go through. Sad because I realized last night that it was exactly 6 months ago yesterday that he died (Zoe died in August). No more cats for us as DH is allergic to cats (hence tying the levers closed).

Back on topic: linelle- I hope you post a reveal. Is your marble honed?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 11:23AM
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leela, I'm sorry about your kitties. I love mine to bits.

Yes, my marble's honed. I'll post a reveal when it's done. It still needs a mirror, towel bar and baseboards. I did use the shower yesterday to see what the curtain was like on a straight rod. Not that big a deal, but I'm not a big person.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 3:25PM
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