3d marble-look porcelain tiles for shower wall???

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by charlesp210, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. charlesp210

    charlesp210 New Member

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    San Antonio, TX
    I'm building a replacement shower bath around a Kohler Bellwether in Almond. Having lived all my life with small white tile with thick grout lines, I hate that. I've always loved the look of marble in upscale showers, but I want porcelain for low maintenance (that's more important than the look). Now it looks like I can select from a wide variety of porcelain tiles that look like any kind of stone, marble, travertine, whatever. I'm not that picky about authenticity I just want something pleasing to the eye. For that matter it could be some sort of pattern or scene. I want two tones lower and upper with a border, or at least two tones, and one acceptable possibility is just two plain tones, light brown and beige on top, for example. But I'm still thinking a stone look, either marble or travertine, also with two tones and a border in between, might be nicer.

    But many of the porcelain marble tiles I've looked at have a 3D effect, with ridges, cracks, or other raised features deliberately put into the tile. That's a perfectly reasonable thing to do for a floor tile where you want greater coefficient of friction. But for a shower wall tile? It would seem to me that something perfectly flat and smooth would be preferred.

    Is a 3D effect tile suitable for a shower wall, or will it tend to accumulate dirt around the raised portion? Can tiles with 3D effect also be obtained perfectly flat? How can I search for and find the perfectly flat marble look porcelain tiles? Some tiles seem to have a "polished" option but when I select that the picture still shows the ridges, cracks, etc. It just looks shinier.

    A clear example of a 3D effect tile is the Crema Marfil by Takla. It also looks like most of the stone look tiles I've seen online have a 3D effect of some kind. I like the look of many Takla tiles I've looped at (except for the 3D aspect) but would be happy to hear other suggestions. It looks like there's a big world of stone look porcelain out there. In plain colors, I might like Takla Milky Way over Desert Sun--but those tiles look slightly and uniformly textured also, is that OK for shower wall?

    I think the pursuit of accuracy through duplication of imperfections has gotten out of hand, and I'd be happy with unnaturally perfect imitations whenever I get something imitation.
     
  2. 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
    There are plenty of Marble Tiles (Porcelain) that have none of the 3D effects.

    Check out Porcelanosa USA. One of my all time favourite tile suppliers.

    http://www.porcelanosa-usa.com
     
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  4. charlesp210

    charlesp210 New Member

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    Thanks! As it happened, the web works in mysterious ways, and I came across Porcelanosa just after posting, and they have lots of incredible stuff. Like 25 pages of stone look wall tiles. Fascinating. Still looking though.

    Porcelanosa makes distinction between "wall" tile and "floor" tile. It looks like the wall tile is basically flat. Other manufacturers don't seem to be making that distinction. Generally speaking floor tile can be used on walls but not vice versa, because the floor tile needs to be stronger and have higher coefficient of friction.

    But what about if I find something I really like which is only available in a 3D type tile with raised features, would that be OK in a shower?


     
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Joined:
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    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
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    North Vancouver, BC
    Some of the 3D tiles I see are quite rough. But not rougher than say a slate tile. You should be fine but I would order one or two and test them to see how much soap they hold back.

    Lots of the Porcelanosa lines are Ceramic Tile. They are too soft for floor use.

    You could pick a darker shade of tile for the floor and a lighter one for the walls maybe. Then the two would look good side by side.

    Did you see the finished pictures I posted of the Yacht I worked on last year. They mix three types of marble slabs to create an amazing looking install.
     
  6. charlesp210

    charlesp210 New Member

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    This is a bathtub shower, and I will not be using any tile on the floor. My idea, as seen in many photos at houzz, is two tone walls. Closest to the tub, and to a total height of 50 inches, there will be a darker shade, light brown or dark beige. That's to contrast with the lighter almond color tub. Note that Kohler's almond is what others call bone. I preferred it to their Bisque, which my friend called "dirty white." Above 50 inches, there might be a 1-3 inch decorative border, then a lighter color, more like the actual tub color, up to a few inches from the ceiling. Then my idea is to extend the lower darker darker tile around the bathroom, or at least the main visible wall, as tile wainscoting. Otherwise, the bathroom wall color is a light gold, and the trim is glossy black, both of which match the master bedroom.

    I've seen two wall tones done with real marble and also porcelain marble. It could work with plain colors also.

    Or if I found a really nice porcelain marble that I like, I could scrap the two tone idea, and then I don't know whether I'd still do the wainscoting.

    I found one porcelain onyx tile I could almost go for at Porcelanosa, in 13x35. I did some calculations (15.5 inch tub height plus 35 inches is 50.5 inches…perfect for the wainscoting) that showed 35 high tile would be perfect. Two of them stacked would give a total height including bathtub of 85.5 inches, a comfortable distance below the ceiling.

    12x12 or 18x18 tile would also work pretty well.

    I don't want any ceramic tile, period. Only porcelain. No point in doing this job with second best materials. However, the flooring needs to be comfortable, and I will likely choose brown wood look vinyl, also to match master bedroom. That's the floor, not the shower--which is a tub.

    Would like to see your pictures.

     
  7. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Joined:
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    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    This shower has real a porcelain. Not sure the maker of this one. It was sourced at Fontile here in Vancouver years ago I think. The designer of this shower was Holger Hoos from Holger Hoos Design. You might reach out to him. He is one of the smartest men I have ever met, and the designer responsible for sparking my love of LED lighting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That is black slate tile on the floor.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2018
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Occupation:
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2017
  9. charlesp210

    charlesp210 New Member

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    Computer Programmer
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2017
  10. charlesp210

    charlesp210 New Member

    Joined:
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    Computer Programmer
    Location:
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    Very nice work! Is ceramic tile OK for a bath/shower wall? It seems to me like you'd want low water and stain absorption which are features of porcelain. Now I see that all the Porcelanosa wall tiles, or at least all I've looked at, are ceramic. Now I also see a pattern, in which the ceramic tiles are called "wall tiles" and the porcelain tiles are called "floor tiles." But what if I want tiles for a shower wall? It seems I can use "floor tiles" on my shower wall just fine, though there's a question in my mind as to whether all wall tiles would be suitable, and I'm thinking those with raised cracks and the similar 3D effects might not be. Or they might be just fine, and I'm worried about nothing. After all, in real showers people use the same floor tile on the floor as on the walls often, it seems. But it does seem that wet adhesion would be a key design parameter for floor tile. And there is still a question in my mind how suitable that is for a bath/shower wall.

    I was hoping to prepare myself with ideas and maybe even solid suggestions before I went to tile specialist. Now I see this is not easy because there are so many possibilities. I will likely be using a tile specialist recommended by my plumber, I see they too have a lot of impressive pictures on their website.

    I've found another one I may like even better than Porcelanosa, and that is rex. Unlike porcelanosa, they don't have many choices, but I find several of them to be quite suitable more than I've seen in all the many pages at porcelanosa. The rex tiles that I like are Crema Marfil Select and I Bianchi di Rex, among others. There's something about the colors they use that makes them just right.

    Now once again, I'd like to use their "floor tiles" in my shower wall because those are the porcelain ones. I would assume they have some texturing, but I haven't seen any special raised features. The Crema Marfil Select does have some hairline cracks its body, but the tile looks flat.
     
  11. riswanasif

    riswanasif New Member

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    Aug 12, 2018
    Location:
    India
    you may like 3d wall tiles. These are an innovative alternative to the traditional flat panel. The combination of 3d wallboard and creative lighting is amazing. With powerful 3D effect, 3D wall tile allows you to live in a luxurious environment and make your home style elegant. With excellent sound absorption performance, our acoustic 3D wall tiles have much more applications than any other 3d tiles. They are often used in schools, office buildings, hotels, universities, restaurant, church acoustics, home and home theater acoustics, office spaces, retails, and so on.
     
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