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Tile for the shower walls

Posted by kmcg (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 24, 12 at 13:35

I have two finalists for the shower wall tile layout, but would love to get new ideas that involve some combination of these materials. The shower base is Kohler cast iron, white. Floors are a honed cararra marble look-alike porcelain. My husband has vetoed color, but will go for either of these 2 options. First is pictured here (very roughly), with the lower half of the walls tiled in polished cararra lookalike, topped by a white chair rail, with the top half of the shower being American Olean ice white subway tile. I might end up cutting the marble in half so that I have 6x12 oversized subway tiles for the bottom. I like the idea of starting with larger format tiles on the bottom, and working up to a smaller format.


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The second option

Now here's where I go out on a limb, and it's really hard to make this look as good as I envision it will look when it's actually on the walls.

The bottom will be large format subway tiles in plain white - 4x12 is the probably size. Then a chair rail. Then a band (maybe 12-18") of white arabesque tile. Then the top 1/3 or so in smaller white subway.

Do you like either option? Hate em? Have ideas of other ways to use these materials? The only thing off limits is combining the marble with the arabesque. Hubby can take only so much - one or the other, but not both.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

I like the first one. The second seems like too many shapes and sizes going on.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

I would NOT want to clean all of that grout with the arabesque. Even if you used epoxy grout, that's too many crevices for yuck to hide. Plus, it's too busy visually.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

I like #1 as well. I like mixing shapes and sizes, but the arabesque doesn't work for me in a bathroom.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

I love the arabesque tile and have it on one of the bathroom floors in our new house BUT, for your bathroom walls, I prefer option #1.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

I really appreciate the input! It's so helpful to get new eyes on this.

I wonder if I could install the arabesque in the dog house :)


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

Another vote for #1. What is the polished carrara marble look-alike?


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

Thanks for the vote, writersblock.

The cararra look-alike is something Home Depot has right now on special purchase. I don't even know the name, but it's only 1.99 sf! I visited all the big tile showrooms to find something that coordinated well with my floor tile, which is Iris USA's Marmi. Nothing looked good enough to jump on it, but the HD stuff has surprisingly similar coloring and veining.

This whole problem could have been avoided if Daltile hadn't suddenly stopped making its Navelli Cararra Star - which was beautiful in both matte and gloss. But I missed out on the last of that, so I've been in a big scramble over tile.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

I like #1 also - although I'm not sure about the chair rail. Just seems like a place for water and such to collect. In the photo and on my screen the color doesn't look quite right either.

I hear you about Daltile discontinuing things often. I had to replace my floor tile and fireplace tile... so far. Will see what else I may have to substitute by the time they actually get to the point in my build where they need the tile - 3-4 months from now!


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

In pic #1, that alomst looks like a tile called "Naxos". Technically, it's not a carrara look alike, but rather a calacotta gold look alike. That's what thhis is, and that first pic looks exactly like it:

Photobucket


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

Thanks Bill - I may sound a little confused about carrara/calacatta. My floor tile, shown here with a possible counter option, is called statuario veneto, but it has a noticeable amount of pale brown veining:
snowy quartz

I think HD does call the porcelain in my first post calacatta. So I was pretty surprised when it coordinated so well with the floor tile. (I could go with the floor tile's companion gloss tile but it's pretty expensive and I would not be able to return it like you can with HD tile.)

Anyhow, I was wondering about beeps' concern about the chair rail gathering water/scum. Bill, you seem to like using chair rail. Any problems with it?


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

Thanks for the tile info, kmcg. Haven't seen anything like that at our HD.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

I'm with beeps regarding the color of the chair rail. It looks too white on my monitor.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

About the chair rail: it matches the subways but not the marble tile, which is more of an off-white background. I was hoping it would be okay since the chair rail's job is to be a divider between 2 different looks. Maybe I need to find a pale to medium gray mosaic or liner to fill that role.

I don't know at this point; I feel like there's no combination I'm really going to love, yet I always see such nice showers on gardenweb. I don't want to miss an opportunity to make the shower something other than blah, but I'm kind of out of ideas on how to do this without glitzing it up too much for my husband's tastes.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

Anyhow, I was wondering about beeps' concern about the chair rail gathering water/scum. Bill, you seem to like using chair rail. Any problems with it?

No problem with water/ scum, but I DID try and talk them into stopping the chair rail outside the shower. The reason is that now, when the glass gets installed, they'd have to cut into the chair rail to allow the glass to sit flush. It CAN be done, but that means the added expense of using stationary pieces of glass at either end of the curb, and a swinging door in the middle, rather than being able to use a sliding door.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

Thanks Bill - I will have tile just on the inside of the shower, not continuing around the walls as wainscote. So I was thinking I might have to stop the chair rail a few inches in to allow for shower glass installation. I do have the problem of how to end the chair rail; DalTile has quit making the corner pieces, so they are hard to get ahold of.


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

@kmcg - Is that arabesque tile with no bevels? Who is the vendor?


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

kmcg-- Miter the end of the last piece of chair rail, and cut a "plug" to fill the end, like so:

Photobucket


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Thanks Bill - I so needed that visual!

ae2 - That tile is from Home Depot online, by Merola. They call it lantern tile. There's no bevel, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. If only I could use it!


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RE: Tile for the shower walls

I like Option #1 best also, although the white chair rail looks a little off-shade on my monitor as well. If you're looking for an alternative to the chair rail as a transition between tiles, would you consider a metal-finish pencil molding? You wouldn't have to worry about matching the color to either tile.

My shower has a different look than what you're going for but this may give you an idea...

Photobucket


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