Marble Tile for your shower - The characteristics of a successful installation

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

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    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
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    North Vancouver, BC
    Marble Tile for your shower - The characteristics of a successful installation
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2016
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Sep 2, 2004
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    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    Marble is pretty in a shower (when it is installed!), and may not be for long afterward unless you like it in a rustic look (I'd say, forget about polished unless you have a good maid!). Too many variables in water chemistry for me - the stuff (at least most of it) can be etched just by the water, not counting some of the chemicals people use on their bodies (or possibly when cleaning if you aren't very careful of their selection). THen, come in from the beach and have some sand, and things can get ugly (if it was polished) rather quickly. Now, in a rustic kitchen, or maybe a seldom used bath, primarily for show, if you can afford it, I suppose. It can last a very long time, but it will never look better than when it was first installed. A good porcelain should last for decades while looking almost the same. Can't say that for marble. As to moisture retention and setting materials? I'd want to use a good surface membrane rather than a mudbed. On a shower that is used frequently, it may never fully dry out, and once the setting bed is wet, your tile will stay that way for a long time if not forever unless it gets left unused. Yes, thinset can absorb moisture, but you have such a thin layer with a surface membrane with no mudbed beneath it. Careful selection for your grout probably would help since it will absorb moisture much faster than the stone. Throw in a mega carwash body spray with water going every which way and you compound the problem. Personally, I'd stay away from real marble in a shower...maybe a tub deck, and maybe the floor (stone is usually slippery when wet, so that can be problematic), but not in a shower, and it's iffy on a vanity top...lots of nasty chemicals there can etch or stain it tend to be used there. If you do use it, take a picture...it may never look as good again.
     
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Other than chemistry lab (the counters!), I've not dealt with soapstone. They make some really nice wood burning stoves out of the stuff (they are very heavy and are a great radiator!), and sinks. Never dealt with it in a shower...it is fairly soft, but appears to be unaffected by much. Best to play with it a bit before committing anything...
     
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