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deborah_sigg

Cultured Marble vs onyx collection vs solid surface shower pan

10 years ago

1st off, I am a long time lurker in these forums and want to thank everyone who contributes of their time and knowledge. I have learned so much from reading gardenweb. As a first time homeowner I don't know how I'd survive without this site!

We are redoing a master bath, sooner than we had anticipated. We bought a forclosure 2 years ago and the master was a wreck with obvious water damage from the previous home owner who was not a competent DIYer. So we gutted it and pretty much used it as a storage room. Now our hall bath is having a water problem putting the master bath on the front burner on a shoe-string like budget.

We are doing almost all the work. As for the shower, a tile base is NOT an option. Solid pan it is. The shower will be in a 3 wall alcove 42 deep x 70 long. Yes, an oddball size but it is what it is. I tried to convince my husband that we could make a 36 x 60 Kohler cast iron shower pan work and use the remaining 10 inches for a not -deep-enough bench / ledge. But after taping off those dimensions I really dislike the 36" dimension for bathing dogs and kids. So my husband is right (hate to admit it) and 42" deep it is.

Oddball size = custom pan = $$$$.

I priced cultured marble in plain white at a local fabricator. It was around $750 with a 10% upcharge for white. Delivery fee was reasonable and we install it.

I then looked at the onyx collection at Lowes and was first quoted $1400 for a 42 x 70 base. When I returned to Lowes to look at more options (US Marble, Transolid, Swanstone) I was requoted $2,000 for an onyx collection base.

I contacted grifform and their price was around $2300 for a solid surface base. A manufacturer in Ohio was within $10 of grifform but shipping was far cheaper as I'm in Ohio.

For those of you who have experience with these type of materials used as shower pans, is the solid surface / onyx collection that much better to justify 3x the price? Is onyx collection or corian more durable than CM?

For those of you who have had cultured marble pans (I'm thinking of you raehelen), how are they holding up? Any regrets? Would you do it differently?

Any stains? Any cracking / crazing around the drain? I come out of the shower looking like a lobster so I'm afraid my hot showers might damage a CM base. I will measure the water temperature tomorrow morning and see how hot my showers are.

All I'm looking for is a simple white or possibly grey pan. Subway tile for the alcove surround.

Comments (78)

  • PRO
    8 years ago

    Hi to all, first time ever on a forum. I wanted to ask raehelen where di she find her cultured marble for her shower. I live in Vancouver BC as well, and I haven't been sucessfull in finding a supplier. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!

  • 8 years ago

    I ordered my standard size shower pan from US Marble (usmarble.com), through Lowes. Don't know if you can get it to Canada. US Marble also does custom shower pans, but you have to be more careful about cracking them, as they are made of thinner sheet material.

    Supposedly, the resin they make it out of is pretty standard, so all the companies are pretty much the same. The Onyx company is another cultured marble company.


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  • 8 years ago

    I am debating the Lowes US marble cultured granite base vs. Kohler cast iron in a 36x 60 application. I like look and feel of cast iron, but don't like when the textured stuff turns brown. Wife worried about enamel chipping if we drop a razor, and thinks cast iron will be too long to heat up. (Not sure these are valid concerns) Is there a difference between CM and CG? The sales guy showed that all pans are 1" thick so sure seems durable. Also, if using door, any reason not to do low profile curb? Leaning towards CG at this stage...

  • 8 years ago

    I would not do a custom cultured marble --I'd only do the standard size pans (I think 36 x 60" is standard most places). The custom size pans are just sheet material that's bonded and caulked to the side pieces, with a waterproof flexible liner underneath. With the standard size pans, you get a one piece water reservoir, so there's no seams to leak. Having a tiling flange built into the edges of the pan is good too. Some have a tiling flange that is a piece of aluminum siliconed onto the edge. I didn't look at the ones with low profile curb. You should look at diagrams online. They probably need excellent drains in them. I don't know what the difference is between CG and CM, but most companies make both. I think they have different stone dust in them? I did find out that the instructions from US Marble say to set the CM pans in mortar. We would have done cast iron if not for the non-slip cleaning problem. The Kohler cast iron pans also have no front skirt -- you have to build one out of wood and tile. But I do like the fact that they are very stable on 4 legs.



  • 8 years ago

    We are making over our master bathroom. I say we, but it's really a solo project. My husband is super smart but has no logic or ability when it comes to DIY or decorating. I, on the other hand, love it and am pretty able. Has anyone ever purchased the US Marble Ambassador double vanity 73" x 22" in white cultured marble from Lowes? I have been in touch with them at their on-line chat, trying to obtain more detailed dimensions. Our current configuration is 7" of counter top, 17" basin, 25" counter top, 17" basin, 7" counter top. I need to be sure that the drainage holes will marry up to our current plumbing before I buy it. I have been on the US Marble web page too but that particular vanity top isn't listed. Does anyone know if the non custom tops have standard dimensions?

    I have read all (most) of your posts comparing cultured marble with other materials and am happy that it will be durable enough. I am so over the cracked and stained cream creation that we inherited when we bought the house.

  • PRO
    8 years ago

    "I need to be sure that the drainage holes will marry up to our current plumbing before I buy it."


    No, you don't. Buy the top you want; alterations to plumbing are fairly simple and inexpensive if you do it yourself.

  • 8 years ago

    US Marble can do any configuration that you want as custom. The sink sizes are the limitations. They use a standard 22" sink.

  • PRO
    8 years ago

    Hi Deborah. Our Ambassador line is our value series standard line of
    tops and showers without any modifications. The sink centers (drains)
    are 18 1/2" from the side of the top

  • 8 years ago

    US Marble, Inc I have a question. I bought a US Marble shower pan through Lowe's- solid surface/cultured marble, and I love it. We are going to install it ourselves, but can't figure out how to set it in the mortar bed without smearing the mortar all over when lowering the pan onto the mortar. The instructions say how to shim pan to level, nail shims to floor and remove pan, lay mortar to top of shims, and then reset pan. But we just can figure out how to lift the pan into place on the mortar, because there's no place to stand, and the pan weighs 100 pounds. Do you have any suggestions?


  • PRO
    8 years ago

    beckysimpson1. Sorry for the delay, I just checked back and saw your post. I have an instruction sheet that offers installation information, but when in doubt I always suggest calling our Home Office directly, 989.561.2293, and one of our resident installation experts can walk you through or answer questions.


  • 7 years ago

    I wanted to tell you about our situation with cultured marble panels and floor in existing house. The floor base of master bath shower was weird shape, 3 square walls and then octagon, 3 sided front. We disliked our shower pan so much because it's like those cheap melamine white cabinets that are kind of nubby.. and SO hard to clean, so we had Granite Transformations out to look at a completely different job for upstairs bathrooms that had fiberglass inserts, yuck.. but said, hey can you guys put a quartz "white-star" product over our existing CM shower floor.. since we can't afford to do upstairs rip out et.. Yep, they said they could do it.. Well, after installation, I had to purchase water shoes, because the floor was super slippery, just with water alone, and at times had to use a bathmat so I wouldn't slip on it. Even tho GT says when water hits it, it becomes impossible to slip.. WRONG!! So here we are 5 years down the road.. and we have discovered mold and water leaks under our crawlspace directly under the shower pan.. and have had to get quotes from Mold Remediation companies, which all suggest getting to the root of the problem.. and they you are NEVER suppose to put any other type of floor over top another floor, especially in a shower. Our shower base from GT weights an additional 40-50 pounds on top of what is already there. GT folks never went to look under crawlspace to check to see if the floor was structurly sound, check for already existing leaks to warranty their product..nightmare.. SO.. we have been told that the whole entire shower has to be ripped out.. tile floor.. and if the extent of the water damage goes into subfloor and that subfloor goes under my 60 inch vanity, then the vanity has to come out, which means the mirror has to also be pulled off the wall.. and the jacuzzi tub which is caulked up right next to the cabinet, will all have to be redone.. The scary thing about CM panels is that installers never put any water proofing behind them, since it's all dependent on the caulk never cracking and sealing all panels together.... etc.. blows my mind that this is not a rule of home building. I'm looking into tile because of new product on the market used by pro tilers, called "Super Grout", that never ever has to be sealed.. it's supposedly some new sort of grout.. The tile company i'm going thru has much better tiles than HD or Lowe's, better quality and has all the pieces to match...and matches their prices. Has anybody heard of Super Grout and love the conversation.. these are all excellent ideas and things to think about. keep talking..

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It sounds like your problem is more with Granite Transformations doing an overcoating, than with cultured marble itself?

    If the CM stains it's because the gelcoat top layer has been scratched/damaged. We have a custom CM showerbase installed in our master bath since 2003 that is used every day by us, and it is in flawless condition. We never use bleach or abrasive scrub products on it.

    Nor is it slippery. It is a FEDERAL MANDATE that all tub/shower bottom surfaces from the original mfgs have a non-slip coating. This coating is generally an adhesive plastic sheet with a slightly nubby surface. On a white or ivory CM it tends to show up and/or collect grime around the edges. It's why we specified a beige granite-look for our CM. The non-slip surface is virtually invisible.

    This non-slip mandate does NOT apply if the surface has been top-coated. So, for example, our bathtub in the main floor bathroom IS slippery, because it was an icky shade of pastel green and we had it 'reglazed' in almond. Reglazing is just sanding/painting with a high grade poly. Therefore a bathmat is necessary in the tub, but not so in our shower.

    We have had extensive work done on both bathrooms in phases over time, as the funds were available, and it was always our contractors' responsibility that the joists, framing, and greenboard/concreteboard were properly installed.

    Both our tub and our shower have slab CM walls. They are glued to the walls and caulked at the corner seams with silicon. The CM showerbase took 2 very strong men to carry in for install; it's extremely heavy. The shower enclosure and surround walls are also silicon-caulked to it.

    I may be misunderstanding your post, not being a contractor but only a homeowner. Not sure why would it be the responsibility of the CM or GT people to ensure your structural layout is waterproof? Or that your joists are sufficient for the total load-bearing weight?

    If you are doing a tear-out and replacement, you may want to do a separate thread for your question about "Super Grout" which I assume is the newer epoxy grout? In a thread titled about different varieties of showerpans, your quest for relevant experience with a grout product may get overlooked.

    HTH, good luck to you going forward.

  • 7 years ago

    This makes me want to start taking showers in the back yard. Lisa Bevill, a termite company replaced dryrotted subfloor underneath a kitchen cabinet without removing the cabinet. He did it from under the house. They do it all the time. I don't know why your estimator wanted to remove your vanity.

  • PRO
    7 years ago

    "... a termite company replaced dryrotted subfloor underneath a kitchen cabinet without removing the cabinet. He did it from under the house. They do it all the time. I don't know why your estimator wanted to remove your vanity."


    This would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some may need vanity removal, some not.

  • 7 years ago

    But the guy told her they'd have to remove her vanity if the dryrot extended under it. The IF tells me he didn't evaluate it, and it may not need to be reviewed.

  • 7 years ago

    What is a reasonable cost for onyx collection shower base plus walls and two wash basins with cabinets including installation?

  • 7 years ago

    Pringlehav, like anything, that will depend on the size of your shower and the color you chose. Figure out the size you need and give them a call. Or see if there is a form on their website for asking for an estimate. Go ahead and do it even if it is not time to order yet, they do this kind of estimating all the time. Know what kind of shampoo nook(s) you will want, and if you want trim around the outer edge. Check out the website, it probably leads you right through the process.

    Then come back here and let us know!

  • PRO
    7 years ago

    "What is a reasonable cost for onyx collection shower base plus walls and two wash basins with cabinets including installation?"


    I haven't done any research, but if in our initial conversation you weren't comfortable in the 7K range, that'd be the last you'd hear from me.

  • 7 years ago

    I just advised on a whole master bath cultured marble replacement, like for like, including tub, apron, shower walls and pan, and vanity top. The cultured marble for that was 8K. Cabinets, were 2K. Other materials were another 2K. The demo, floor tile removal, carpet removal, mold remediation, dust control, floor tiling and the rest of all of the labor was 15K. Joe's 7-9K just for the shower portion would be about right. It's the most labor intensive part of the job. And the most critical to get right.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I thought I would add information I have received to this thread in
    case anyone else is interested. I am going to have a solid surface
    shower pan with Swanstone walls in the color "Ice." My problem has been
    that the Swanstone shower pan is just too small. I want 36 x 60 for a
    roll-in shower. I don't currently use a wheelchair, but could someday
    need one, and cannot see a 32" deep shower being deep enough to move a
    chair around in.

    Grifform in Oregon makes shower pans out of
    Corian. They have a roll-in style with a trench drain along the back
    wall. I had not chosen a Corian color to go with my Swanstone walls and
    floor tile and wall tile in the room outside the shower, so I had them
    price the shower pan for all the different price ranges for Corian.

    60" x 36" Trench Drain With Overflow Protector

    Square wall #1- No Egress Threshold-A slip resistant floor finish

    Corian Color
    Group A – Glacier White -$1,827

    - B Group- $1,915

    - C Group-$2,055

    - D Group- $2,205

    - Drain: PVC - $18.00

    - Estimated Shipping- $420 (this is to my home in Michigan)

    Grifform ADA Shower Pans

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We were recently quoted about $3000 for an onyx collection shower. This includes a base (3'x5'), 3 walls and a partial wall. It does not include installation, which our GC will do, including building on a bench seat at the back to be covered with more Onyx Collection material (included in quote). It also includes a couple of soap dishes, shampoo niches, and a bar.

    In our research, cultured marble would be less expensive but only in the light, marblish colors. The granite colors were more expensive than Onyx Collection. Oddly, Onyx Collection granite colors are their cheaper line. If I remember right, a two sink sinktop was $600-700, but I'm not sure of that.

    Just FYI, you can get up to 6 samples for free online through the Onyx Collection website. Their turn around time is very fast in getting samples to you. They look far different in person, so I highly suggest getting samples.

  • 7 years ago

    That is a good idea, I should post the cost of the walls, too. I am using the Swanstone wall kit, 36 x 62 with a 96" height so that we may go to the ceiling with the walls. Here Swanstone is a true solid surface, and so is Corian. Both can have the surface renewed on site if anything ever mars it because there is no surface treatment. The product is the same, through and through. I have a price from last year from Lowes saying they can get this kit in my color, Ice, for $1803. I am not sure I trust that, it seems too low, though I will surely try that route first! Next I have a quote from a local kitchen and bath place that says $2884. A thousand dollar difference!

    The kit includes two 36" wide side walls, a 62" back wall, two cove moldings for the corners (though HB, in another thread shows his butted, instead, and that looks very nice!), and two of the triangular, curved front "soap dishes" that go in the corners.

    Three and a half years ago I had the shower priced out at a different place and they priced it at the contractor's price, since I am working with a contractor and he can do the ordering and get the discount. Their price on my Ice colored walls was $1866, plus $65 for the corner moldings, and $173 for a solid colored recessed shampoo niche. Lord, I have been planning this bathroom for a long, long time!

    "Ice" is one of the expensive newer colors that Swanstone offers. There are much less expensive choices. The walls on the 2013 price with a contractor discount for a solid color was $1530. I cannot swear that this is not a Veritek product price, which is not up to the quality of the rest of Swanstone (at least for shower pans, I am told).

  • 7 years ago

    Y'all are lucky you are in the USA. With our Canadian dollar tanking, the $5k for my custom 5'x5' plus 18"x30" bench through OnyxCollection turned into nearly $7k...not including installation. For us, it worked out the same to go local and use Avonite.

    OnyxCollection uses a gelcoat...they insist its different than the one used by Cultured Marble companies, but I'm not so sure.

  • 7 years ago

    Following this as I'm about to start master bath reno. I refuse to have tiled base but I like tiled walls. Currently have acrylic base with tile walls but I'm looking for low profile and darker color. I like the color selections for the Corian bases but I'm worried it will look funny against tile. Thoughts?

  • 7 years ago

    Have you looked at the Duravit shower bases? While Duravit is considered a high end product line, their shower bases aren't any more expensive than the ones discussed in this thread. I believe they are under a $1000 (for the size I need.) I can't find anyone that has experience using this product so I posted yesterday.

  • 7 years ago

    I just looked and the Stonetto seems to really capture the look I had in mind with the P3 a close second (shiny white if I go that way). I've seen their wall hung vanity/console in a showroom but I've never seen the bases.

  • 7 years ago

    Daratwist, I just went online to see the Duravit bases. Their site could be more informative about a lot of things, such as what they are made of, how they are installed and integrate with the walls, and so on. I want to learn more.

    I was just at the business that the Duravit site says is their dealer for my area, a couple of weeks ago, asking about any shower base that can be roll-in in case of future wheelchair use. They were not aware of the Duravit bases. I have just emailed them to ask if they even sell them.

  • 7 years ago

    I have now seen the Duravit installation videos. You treat the substrate and lower walls with a waterproofing paint-on product, then install your wall tile right down to the floor. The shower base is then installed tight up to the wall tile and a single bead of caulk is your method of directing the shower water from the walls, across the change of plane, to the shower pan. You also caulk the joint between the floor and the pan, so the shower pan is surrounded by caulk.

    That does not do it for me. All the other pans I have seen have a lip, and the wall board material comes down over the lip, inside the shower pan. The wall material may or may not be waterproofed, depending on the material used on top of it. Then the wall panel or wall tile is installed on that, coming down lower than the wall board by at least a half inch, so that the wall board cannot come into contact with water and wick it up into the wall. There is no way that water can go anywhere but into the shower pan with this set-up.

    The joint between the wall and pan is caulked, but the caulk is kind of below and behind the tile or wall panel, not sitting out in plain view all around the shower pan.

    I am afraid that with the Duravit pan, I am going to be looking at nasty moldy caulking that has to be redone every year. Granted, I have never owned a new house without some pre-existing rotting framing behind the shower walls, and maybe in new construction the caulk stays clean and does not pull away from the tiles and the porcelain like in my tub, but I am DONE with grout and visible caulk.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I was reading the Duravit Stonetto shower tray made of DuraSolid-Q [or quartz]) installation instructions, and there is no mention of a caulk bead, but a double waterproofing membrane on the floor and walls miniumum 6 inches above the showerbase floor and then mortar it in . http://www.duravit.us/dimg/3849562.pdf

    Are we talking about the same product?

    Wait, I just found the P3 Comforts shower tray made out of DuraSolid-A (for aluminiumtrihydrate) a manufactured solid surface, but not quartz, more like onyx/cultured marble. Anyway, this installation shows you use a caulk bead, regardless of the installation, above, semi recessed or fully recessed. I do see your point about the caulk. These multi-language instructions are more challenging http://www.duravit.com/dimg/2460792.pdf

    And I agree, Duravit could do a better job with its information. The website sucks.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Charles Elliot, thanks for the instructions, they are the same as the videos. What concerns me about the Stonetto is that it butts up to the wall tile. That means that water can easily flow between the tray and the wall, down into the waterproof area under the tray. At least the Durasolid-A trays caulk that seam. I see nothing in the Stonetto instructions that shows anything to block water seepage between the two surfaces.

    The tray needs to have a flange where the wall material is suspended over the edge of the tray, to ensure that water goes onto the tray. Nowhere does Duravit explain where the water that seeps between the wall and tray goes.

  • 7 years ago

    I had my whole shower redone in plain white CM about 4 years ago. It still looks like new. I like the sheen better than the flat look of the solid surface materials. It was purchased from Lowes who buys from a local manufacturer, who supplied detailed installation instructions. I don't know what it cost, but the whole shower was done for $2,400 including labor. It is 48 x 32. Did I say I love having no grout lines?

  • PRO
    7 years ago

    Solid surface can have any finish from flat to high gloss.

  • 7 years ago

    (Back to a regular account now) I don't think I could ever rely on a caulk bead between shower floor and wall tile. No way, no how.

  • 7 years ago

    I know! Charles Elliot, please come back and let us know if the Stonetto pan really does have some way of handling the water as it changes plane from the wall to the shower pan. Where does it go? Since it does not even have the caulk bead, how does it keep water from going under the pan and sitting on the Red Guard forever and breeding interesting life forms?

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Deborah Sigg, So what was your actual experience with the Onyx Collection to make a comparison? Was it just that you priced it and didn't like the price? Hardly a good comparison. One would imagine that you would compare as many aspects as possible. Ease of installation, product performance, maintenance, or maybe even experience with the company?

  • 7 years ago

    Senore Pequenas, I can't tell to whom you are directing your question. Would you clarify, please?

  • 7 years ago

    Nancy, I was told today by the company making my shower that the drain has something like weep holes so that IF any water gets under the base, it will still go down the drain. So you might check with your company. They also told me it will only leak if the caulk develops a crack and those are easy to see because the caulk they use doesn't mildew and the cracks show as a black mark.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hey Barn, I was wondering if they had the weep holes. That means that the place where the pan sits (it would be the pre-slope if it were a tile shower) must be sloped correctly so that any moisture flows to the drain. When Duravit tries to do everything without words, they have to show all of this in the diagrams, then. When they don't, informed consumers who know how a shower should be built don't have the information they need. Our dealer here knows nothing about these products.

    Are you using the Stonetto pan or the Durasolid, Hey Barn? The Stonetto does not even show the seam being caulked, as the Durasolid does.

    I don't think I would trust this kind of system. I can't do the work myself and we can only afford to do it once! I have heard of plumbers mistakenly blocking weep holes with plumbers putty because they did not understand what they were for. It is good that your workers understand this. I trust the type of system where the wall material is clearly over the edge of the shower pan and all the water goes down the drain.

    I am leaning toward the Grifform pan, which can be made to order out of Corian solid surface.

    Just in case you were referring to me, Senore Pequenas, the reason I am not considering the Onyx Collection is that it is not a true Solid Surface, where the material is the same, through and through. A Solid Surface can be sanded or polished to repair any stains or scratches that may occur. It is a permanent solution for a shower pan, as far as I am concerned.

    Onyx Collection material has a top layer of gloss that makes it not the same through-and-through. It is not a true solid surface. That is why I don't want it. I have samples of it here at home.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We are doing a locally manufactured cultured marble base and the company that makes it is also going to install it. This is one of our splurge areas and I don't want to DIYSIU (do-it-yourself-screw-it-up).

    Nancy, is yours going into a concrete slab foundation or wood foundation?

  • 7 years ago

    Wood first floor above an unfinished basement. I am pretty sure there is rot under the existing tub, so some of the existing floor joists may have to be re-done. Because of my connective tissue disorder, I may need a wheelchair at any time, so I want the shower to be a roll-in one. Swan makes one with a trench drain at the front edge, but it is 34" deep at most. That means that the lowest point is where it meets the floor. I can see how this makes sense, in a way, but they do not make it 36" deep!

    I prefer the Grifform one, where the trench drain is against the back wall and the shower pan is tallest where it meets the floor and goes downhill from there. I can get that one made any size, and am thinking I will steal 6" from the neighboring bedroom and do a 36" deep shower. We may have to shave some depth off the floor joists for this shower pan, and will have to reinforce the joists to do that. I have a contractor whom I trust, and an engineer I can consult with, who I used when we had a foundation problem to fix.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I guess I jinxed myself by posting above. Now the company says they can't make ours completely flush with the floor, that there will have to be a curb, just not really high. I am miffed. In fact, I'm miffed-off. When I was shopping for a shower, I took a photo in of a shower that showed a completely flat solid surface floor, told them I wanted it flush with the rest of the floor for wheelchair. They said they had done them and then told me how it had to be 3-1/2 inches deeper than the floor with center drain, so we had the foundation poured to meet that requirement. Now I don't know what we are going to do. Grrr. Sorry for the vent.

  • 7 years ago

    Hey Barn, what does your contract with these guys specify that the shower will be? You told them you wanted a wheelchair accessible shower. One with a curb is not the same thing! I would stick to my guns.

  • 7 years ago

    Nancy, we don't have a contract with them, but do have a written bid. It doesn't say "roll-in" or "curbless" on it anywhere, but it doesn't have materials for a curb or threshold either. They want to add that now. I talked to our plumber and he directed me to another company. I talked to them on the phone and they said they do this all the time and are coming out next week to look it over and give me a bid.

  • 7 years ago

    I'm redoing our tile shower (the floor pan failed) with a solid base. Anyone have experience with Maryland Custom Marble, Inc? They can manufacture a custom solid base with a material called "Denyx" which they say is nearly identical to Corian. While I agree that Grifform's Corian is definitely a excellent product, I got a little sticker shock with the quote they sent to me. Maryland is coming in at 40% lower cost. Comments welcome!

  • 7 years ago

    Jay Johannes, this thread from the Bathroom Forum discusses what a true Solid Surface should be made of:

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/4260627/which-solid-surfaces-are-refinish-able-sandable-polishable?n=4

    You might try asking about the Denyx. Can it be repaired by the homeowner using sandpaper or scrubbies or other readily available things or is it more like a Marbleite finish where there is a polished surface that cannot be renewed?

  • 6 years ago

    We have just moved into a home that we are remodeling from top to bottom. The master bath shower has a cultured marble shower surround with a cultured marble pan. We want to put in granite slab shower. Will the cultured marble pan support the granite slab... the back wall is 80" x 70 tall. Our granite fabricator thinks we need to take it out and build in a pan from scratch in tile. We are ready to commit to this project so any help is appreciated before we incur an additional expense.

  • 6 years ago

    I would take a photo of the pan, then call the nearest cultured marble manufacturer. Go to your local Lowes and ask to see the cultured marble literature, it will have the name (and maybe phone number) on it. Then call that number. Offer to send them the photo, and ask THEM if the one you have resembles the ones they make today. Would they expect theirs to hold up granite slabs? Do they know the strength of yours, if it is not like the ones they make today? You make get grunts, you may get answers. They are the ones who will know best. You just might find an old-timer who has been with the business for years who will know.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Who would design 8K worth of granite on top of a $399 piece of used plastic???

    You need to gut it entirely so that the proper waterproofing can be done for pan and walls. Granite is far from being waterproof, and will need the correct membrane behind it, tied into a new membranes pan. If you want the space to appear monolithic, look for the same stone in a mosaic. Or do a trench drain to one side, and have the stone fabricator kerf a slab slightly for traction, and then diamond brush it to smooth it out enough to be able to actually clean it.

    Buy one of these and read it for the diagrams and how to interface the layers. https://www.tcnatile.com/products-and-services/publications/218-english-publications/188-handbook/948-2017-tcna-handbook-for-ceramic-glass-and-stone-tile-installation.html

    Read this in order to evaluate your contractor, and for the rest of the space. https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/homeowners-guide-to-hiring-qualified-tile-installer

    Read this do you don’t have sticker shock that you’re spending most of the cost of an average 3pc hall bathroom on just the shower in your master. http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2018/

  • 6 years ago

    Did you look at the solid surface colors? I know that they do not shine like polished stone, but they have some pretty decent color patterns these days.

    I have always liked Swanstone's Golden Steppe.

    Mountain Haze is the Swanstone color that most looks like real stone to me.




    Swan 62x96 Solid Surface Shower Wall Panel, Tundra · More Info
    Here is their color, "Tundra", a nice, swirly gray color. Here they have made it into subway "tiles". They also do bigger faux tiles. Here is the Mountain Haze made into tiles:
    No, they are nothing like granite. But just in case you are told you can't put granite slabs on your Marbelite pan, I wanted to show you that it is not hopeless to get solid surface. I guess that Corian is doing newer colors, too. I just know Swanstone because I was planning on using their Tundra or Ice until I found a larger solid surface pan by another company.

  • PRO
    6 years ago

    Lenore, who is installing the granite slab shower? Start there and make your priority be hiring a VERY experienced tile professional - one you have vetted carefully to insure that their qualifications meet your design requirements and product selections. Stone slab installations are not for the B team, and especially in a wet area. Can it be done? Yes, depending upon the structure over which a solid surface stone is installed and the methods used. We install solid surface shower walls regularly, but from an empty cavity which we build to meet all specific design and installation specifications, including the pan. A solid stone slab cannot be supported by the pan (it is not meant to support a slab wall). A slab wall is pinned and tied so it is self supported, not supported by a pan. This is a very complex installation. A LOT to consider. As one example, the thickness of your slab? 2cm. 3cm? (effects the weight load on the space). And I could go on. After you have carefully vetted the qualified tile contractor, have this conversation with them. If you question or want to clarify their recommendations, check back or seek professional advice from other qualified sources. Please consult with a professional onsite. Good luck with your project.