Marble, granite, travertine, porcelain? What's best?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Vegas_sparky, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Vegas_sparky

    Vegas_sparky Eat kitty

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    Not waterproofing related, but I'm excited to look for a finish material. I still have a marble wheel, and some wax from years ago. I might even remember how to use that stuff too. I was never really great, but do alright with cuts and finishing.

    The porcelain tile I've laid in the rest of the house will be the bathroom flooring, but anything goes in the shower, as long as its generally the same color family.

    [​IMG]

    I can get stuff pretty flat(remember,I'm an electrician LOL).

    [​IMG]

    Is one type of finish material better suited for showers?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    There's nothing like a natural stone. If you go that way, granite is the most durable. Travertine will require more maintenance, depending on how you want to keep it, as lots more things will either etch or stain it...but, it can look lovely. You'd probably want to avoid highly polished stone for the floor - it's just very slippery unless you choose a small tile with lots of grout joints. Granite, you might want to consider flamed if you choose it for the pan, but that may not be the look you're trying to achieve, but it gives the granite reasonable grip.

    From a maintenance viewpoint, porcelain is the least expensive, easiest to keep looking the same. Some of the travertine look porcelains are quite good, but will never have the variances of the natural thing.

    The quality of your water, the types of soaps you choose along with the shampoos, etc., will all interact with the travertine giving it an even more unique look, but it will change and likely become less like it was when newly installed. Some love that, some hate it.

    So, you have to decide what aspects are most important to you, and what look you're trying to achieve.
  3. eurob

    eurob In the trades

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    Damn Sparky , my plug covers don't look so perfect like your floor does ! :cool:

    You can look at some slate porcelain looking tile ....... is probably the closest to your floor as finished look .

    What type of design are you looking for ? Mosaics , large format ........ in a shower porcelain is the winner .
  4. Vegas_sparky

    Vegas_sparky Eat kitty

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    I agree natural stone is timeless. I found a 2x2 mosaic for the shower floor. For the remainder, I guess we want something that's easy to take care of. I didnt know travertine needed so much care. I can get resonable amounts of granite for next to nothing(all my counters were free, I just measured and installed). I thought the more porous granite might have issues. I'd like to avoid tile that needs tricky finishing. I can grind a bullnose if I have to with stone. My wife hates cleaning the shower. Won't even squeegee the doors we have now.

    I love building stuff, and this has been a challenge so far. I'm really excited to get this far. I've learned a lot since coming here, and appreciate you guys sharing what you know. Everything aside, you guys should be proud of the help you offer to us amateurs. This shower should turn out great. Not the biggest, or best, but it sure flows a lot of water. LOL Hopefully I learned enough so it lasts.

    Found a test ball locally so I can block my drain below the weep holes to test the pan again. I don't care if I never use it again.

    After this is my daughters bathroom. Simple tub and shower, but it'll get Kerdi, and give me a chance to see how I can work with it.
  5. Vegas_sparky

    Vegas_sparky Eat kitty

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    Thanks, Roberto. :) I'm slow, and ineeficient. I've laid a bunch of floors in my day. Never a pro setter by any definition.

    General design is medium/large sized material, brick pattern like floor, but a more monolithic/monocromatic look. Not as busy looking as the floor. I have thought about a mosaic on the rear wall. Just depends on how much cutting I'm willing to do.

    I know I'll find something. Guess I'm posting cause I like hangin out here. LOL
  6. eurob

    eurob In the trades

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    If you want granite for the shower -- IMO it '' looks '' to cold -- look for dense granites or non resin ones . You don't even know anymore with all the fabrications process when the fillers will pop up . Porous granite with a good sealer --> no issues .


    There are porcelain tiles out there which look like marble , limestone , slate , wood and so on . Here is an example

    http://www.porcelanosa-usa.com/home/products/tile/floor.aspx/d=17623/title=Borneo_Moka

    With patience you can cut your own mosaics from it or order it custom cut at a granite shop .

    The sky is the limit as they say LOL
  7. eurob

    eurob In the trades

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    Yeah , for me ....hanging will come the more I post in here. LOL
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    If you're ordering any natural stone rather than picking it out at a supplier off the shelf or out of their storeroom, keep in mind that, as a natural product, at least with some of them, they can look very different than what's in the showroom. Some are pretty consistent, some are not.

    FWIW, some granites are so dense, they basically cannot be stained or damaged by most things. Some can change color (absorb moisture, and other things) when wetted, or stained. I have some Kashmir white in my bathroom, and when setting it, noticed it changed color for about two weeks as the thinset beneath it dried out to the front. In this case, I decided I liked the highlighted colors when wetted, so used an enhancing sealer on it. This makes it almost look wet, but helps to keep out most things that could stain it. I have a different granite tile on my kitchen counter, and nothing seems to affect it.

    The choices are huge, and no one supplier will have samples of everything available...it's a big world.
  9. eurob

    eurob In the trades

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    ^^ What Jim said ^^:)



    Here is a link to the site of the local store which carry interesting tiles , from mosaics up to thin sheet tiles ( 39''x120'' ) .

    http://stone-tile.com/tile/manufactured/Porcelain

    I am doing some work with this type of tiles http://stone-tile.com/tile/manufactured/Porcelain?series=Folded#1649 and if you put some glass -- amber or similar -- mix mosaics on the shower floor , it should be one interesting choice .:)
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  10. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    TWO WORDS - Soak Test

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  11. Vegas_sparky

    Vegas_sparky Eat kitty

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    That was a great article, John! Doesn't sound like marble will be a material that suits our lifestyle at all. As beautiful as it looks, I'd be the one freaking out over the possible stains, etching, etc. I've had enough worries building this thing. I want to relax and enjoy it when its finished.
  12. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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  13. Vegas_sparky

    Vegas_sparky Eat kitty

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    Well I've decided on polished, filled travertine. It'll be about 350 sq to cover all the bathroom surfaces I need it to. Last weekend I textured the walls, painted the lid, trimmed the windows, and shot a line around the room and marked it. This weekend I'll set the vanity, set the shower floor, lay the main floor cbu, floor heat wire, and level. I'll start tiling in two weeks, and should be done by summer.
  14. michaeleagleton

    michaeleagleton New Member

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    I think marble is the best choice.
  15. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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  16. Vegas_sparky

    Vegas_sparky Eat kitty

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    I just picked up a sample and will soak test it this weekend. I had to wait til I got home to see how well it would match what's going on the shower floor. I'll call this a pretty good match. The price for the material is right too. $0. :)

    [​IMG]
  17. dhagin

    dhagin builder:anti-builder

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    That's a great stone choice for a shower. You'll get many years - decades even - of use outa that shower if installed & maintained properly. :)
  18. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Soak testing tiles - photos of the process

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  19. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Soak Testing Slate: 3/4" x 3/4" on 12"x12" mesh back sheets (Made in India)

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  20. dhagin

    dhagin builder:anti-builder

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    Travertine is a very dense stone, and as your choice is polished and filled, maintenance will be pretty easy - if the shower is prepped and installed properly. Not sure if you're familiar with Johnbridge.com, but it's a site dedicated to tile installs. These guys don't play contractor, they are dedicated tile contractors. When it comes time to prep for tile, you may wanna go have a look, or even start a project thread. :)

    http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=1
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