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Tile vs slab on a tub surround?

Posted by akcorcoran (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 13:29

Everyone has beautiful tub surrounds in marble and granite when I look around but ours is SO deep it's a huge amount of stone - it's basically 78" deep by 78" wide - so that's essentially 2/3 of a slab?! And, I pay for the wasted stone where we cut the tub out (42 x 72") right?

Does anyone tile the tub surround and is that a viable option? I was thinking if I did that, I could do pretty shelving around the tub in the granite or marble going on the vanity?

Thanks for your thoughts -


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tile vs slab on a tub surround?

That's a big surround! You could do granite or marble tiles, or have the stone cut in 4 pieces, so that you'd have 4 seams where they meet. If you knew your fabricator could do really tight, neat seams I'd think about having the surround cut in 4 pieces. (Though yours is so big, not sure if you could avoid having to buy a slab anyways...)

Alternatively, compared to the price of granite, you could choose absolutely gorgeous mosaic tiles, shaved pebbles, exotic stone tiles, etc. One advantage of a smooth surface is for wine glasses, but other than that, there is no limit to options for beautiful tub surrounds!


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RE: Tile vs slab on a tub surround?

I like the way you think, raehelen! I could invest in a beautiful coaster for my wine! Or, like I said, I was thinking I could use the expensive stone for a long shelf along the back. The surround is so deep that the tub is actually not exactly centered or you wouldn't be able to get in without crawling along the top a little.

It is a BIG surround. It worked out that way b/c it's between the shower and the potty room, both of which are 6' and then there is framing and doors for those two. I didn't want to have it jut back. And, while some would have done a standing tub, it would be a nightmare to clean back there... So, big surround it is!

Hmmmm....


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RE: Tile vs slab on a tub surround?

we used slab for our tub, but used the same for vanity, bench seat, etc.... our tub surround is in 2 pieces, with small seams on the ends where the granite is only ~5-6"wide (the ends of the tub...) it was the granite cutters job to piece it out however they could on the granite! (but, the granite place sold by the granite used, not by the slab for the granite we used...)


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RE: Tile vs slab on a tub surround?

I try to plan other features in the bath, or elsewhere in the house, to use the off cuts. Can you use the 42" by 72" piece for anything else?

Counter top, window sill, backsplash, niche shelving, medicine cabinet shelving, table top (coffee-, table-, end-, etc), night stand top, line the inside walls of a niche or medicine cabinet, for the open shelf on an open bottom table or vanity, etc. Even for an outdoor garden, poolside, or potting table. One couple even has a very nice stone countertop in their garage for offloading groceries.

And as has been mentioned, if veining and movement through the stone is not an issue, you can section it and have a few seams in exchange for less waste.


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RE: Tile vs slab on a tub surround?

Ours is constructed like busybee's. We were able to get our tub deck, vanity counter & 4" backsplashes for both out of the same slab.

As far as the size, I would definitely take another look at having the tub area recessed between the 2 walls. Doing so will make cleaning much easier on the far side of the tub deck, your tub will be able to be centered in the deck without creating a wide expanse of tub decking to navigate over every time you get in or out of the tub, it will cut down on the cost of the deck no matter which option you go with, and it can add character to the area and bring attention to the tub which sounds like it will the centerpiece between the toilet closet and shower. Our tub is very wide and our deck is 48" wide--so I have first hand experience with the cleaning-reach issues and the navigation in & out with a wider tub deck. I often wonder if DH & I will even take a bath when we're old & gray and have problems getting around because of the tub deck width. Something to think about...

Hope this helps!


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