Bath ? but esthetics, somewhat.

ineffablespaceMarch 18, 2014

I am in the process of renovating/designing renovation for three bathrooms. I am mostly interested in reducing the number of materials and colors.

The nearly completed bathroom has small format tile on the floor and walls, all in the same color, in an allover treatment.

In one of the baths upstairs, I am going to do something similar, but with a slightly darker floor (since the walls will be white).

The most appropriate way to follow the plan would be to tile the shower floor to match the rest of the floor, but I am a bit hesitant about not using a full prefabricated shower base. I can get a custom sized/shaped cultured marble type shower base in a color that matched the walls and not the floor, or a custom Corian shower base that matched the floor.

A solid shower base is easier to install correctly and easier to maintain

A cultured marble shower base is an additional material in the mix that will not be repeated anywhere else.

Tile would be a bit more, I dunno, sophisticated on some level, along with the reduction of # of materials.

A Corian shower base would be a closer match to the floor and could possibly be the countertop material of choice in this bathroom.(But in the color that matched the walls, so still two materials)

The custom shower base in cultured marble comes in at about $1000 delivered. I don't know for the Corian yet but the Corian is also local, whereas the cultured marble gets shipped from KS.


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Annie Deighnaugh

I have corian as a surround and a bench in my shower to match my bath counter, but I'm not sure I'd like it for the floor in the shower due to slip factor. The small tile with grout keeps it safer, IMO. There should be no problem with leaks if that's your concern...the rubber mats and metal bases they use prior to tiling a shower are very good.

And frankly, I've seen too many cracked and stained marble...not to mention how cold it want to use it anywhere that isn't decorative in my house.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:58AM
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Well, it's cultured marble, which is ground up stone and resin of some sort. Both of the bases would be surfaced to reduce slipperiness.

I do prefer tile, but the installation is definitely more technique sensitive.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:14AM
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Also consider swanstone for the base and/or walls.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:40AM
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I haven't really checked on the corian or the swanstone to compare to, but for our new build I'm planning on the cultured marble for the base and the walls. I decided on this based on a friend's recommendation. She loves hers, custom size, options and colors, and mainly for ease of cleaning, no grout!! I believe the floor has a slight texture for non- slip purposes, if that helps any.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:51AM
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Perhaps a cast iron shower base? I assume that would echo the toilet and sink materials.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 12:22PM
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My parents have a shower pan that is made of "mineral cast". I have no idea what the equivalent material would be in the US.
if you google shower tray, you'll find info for the UK.

Here is a link that might be useful: mineral cast

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 12:43PM
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The key thing is that the ideal shower base would be *custom*.

The width of the bathroom is 54" and there are a number of stock shower bases that are 54" long but too wide.

If I go with a wider shower base it interferes with the door width, pushing it under 30" because this effects reasonable vanity depth and the length of the bath can't increase because the bedroom door is there, and the bedroom door can't move because the steps are there.

So 54" x 30" is about all it can be, or if it is custom (Both the cultured marble place and the Corian place have easy custom capabilities) it can be a tiny bit wider or tapered to a wider width. And of course tile can be anything, including a wet room floor.

I considered putting a 54" x 30.5 Kohler cast iron tub in here and making the other bathroom the shower, but that leaves the house without a full length bathtub, which I'd rather not do.

I think tile would meet my needs esthetically, but I do have some concerns about getting it done all correctly. I have read about tile shower floor problems pretty regularly in the bathroom forum.

Also I am not the one primarily responsible for the cleaning, and we've never had a stall shower, just bathtubs. with showers-- and we towel dried the tile and caulk in the corners of that bathroom shower after every use. We live in a house that must be kept very clean or it causes some stress. (which is why it gets cleaned on an almost daily basis).

I don't want the tile shower floor to be a potential maintenance issue. Like an issue where we end up using the shower in the bathtub that's easer to keep clean and avoiding this one.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 2:17PM
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DD1 had a cultured marble shower floor in our last home. It was textured, so not slippery. The curb of the shower (only two sides) was the same material/color but not textured. All so easy to clean - which means a lot these days. The walls were also cultured marble, but not in a swirly hotel kind of way.

Next house, I will not tile in any shower - walls or floor. It's just too hard to keep clean, even doing it often.

What are you currently wanting to do on the counter?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:37PM
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In that bath, if I have the room, a Kohler Traverse vitreous china vanity top. If I didn't have the room I was going to have a similar top made in Corian. It's a matter of having enough depth, which I may or may not, it's going to be close.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 6:22PM
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We put in one of the custom (Onyx) bases that I think you might be describing and are very pleased. It is easy to clean, not slippery and blends very well color-wise with our white subway tile. We got the low profile and like that, too. We just didn't want the maintenance of a tile shower base again.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:07PM
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I did like their low profile base a lot. I am only in the planning stages, but I have been kind of fixed on a certain tile and layout, but perhaps I can change it if the Onyx base makes the most sense.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:24PM
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Ineffable, you can have the cultured marble shower floor made in a custom color that will go better with your other choices, but you have to find a local fabricator for that.

I have had white Corian in two houses (bathrooms counters/sinks in one and kitchen counters in another) and would never have it again. IMO cultured marble is superior to Corian for bathrooms. Even in custom installations it is very reasonable. A local interior designer built a new house and used a light custom gray for the shower floor of her Carrara shower, and it looks great. And has had none of the problems her shower floor (all Carrara, including floor) had in her former home.

I've just ordered new counters with integrated sinks for three of our baths and, literally, with every possible material available to me I am getting custom bonded (synthetic) marble for all three. Next year I may replace the granite in the other bathrooms I dislike so much with cultured marble as well!

If the hallmark of a truly quality material is now long it lasts and how good it looks, cultured marble wins the prize as far as I'm concerned. The new counters I chose are matte finish and have a wonderful mix of flecks that are perfect for their settings. The one going downstairs in the basement bathroom is a solid custom color we came up with that will complement the brick and the barn red that vanity is to be painted.

You can tell I'm a fan....the fabricators showroom near me has a gorgeous green color that looks so much like jadeite glass that I kept touching it. They created a up huge handicapped (roll in) access shower stall and the walls look like a forest--- there were brown color strokes (that looked like brush strokes) in tree trunk patterns .... Difficult to describe, but they can add color precisely and artistically, it is amazing.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:36AM
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I am leaning toward the cultured marble in a low profile format: I ordered samples so I can see how it plays with the floor tile I would like to use.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:57PM
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Like Annie, I went with small mosaic tile in our custom MB shower. This after a fall in the old shower and later, a broken leg (not in the shower), convinced me that I wanted the safest shower ever built. I discussed every possibility with my GC and my very excellent tile guy, and they convinced me that small tiles were the way to go. I researched the install process online, printed it out, read it over and over, went over it with my guys, and watched the whole process of installation. (Have worked with these men before and we have a good relationship, lol)

The floor is beautiful, Daltile in warm neutrals that cohere well with the warm tan and white in the rest of the MBath. But the best thing is how it feels under my feet, very secure and with the very gentle curve towards the drain, comfortable for my terrible back pain.

I don't understand the problem of keeping the shower floor clean. After every shower I check the floor for bits of soap, a stray hair, etc., and just wipe up with a tissue. Every so often I use one of those steamer devices for floors. Have never put a cleaning product on that floor and it still looks brand new. Also, am fanatical about using soap that contains no animal fat - I just get vegan or kosher soaps on amazon. Am convinced that this is very helpful in preventing soap scum!

Good luck with whatever you choose!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:26PM
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The main floor is going to be either 1" or 2" Daltile mosaic, so if I decide not to do a solid base, that's what the shower floor will be, too.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 7:36PM
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