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girl_wonder

white ceramic subway tile w/ marble in master bath: can this work?

girl_wonder
4 years ago

I’d love feedback on my master bath materials. I’m remodeling a 1940 bungalow and want the room to feel like it fits with the period and also be a bit upscale (“vintage elegant?”) . I’d be mixing white ceramic tile with Carrara marble. Can this work? Any thoughts?


Here’s the floorplan:




Materials:
--5’ walnut vanity with Carrara marble counter


--walls of shower and wainscot: 3"x6" white ceramic subway tile topped with a marble accent and then a white ceramic chair rail. The chair rail and accent would continue around the room, including through the walk-in shower. For the accent, I’m thinking 2x2” marble squares. I don’t have the 2x2s. This sample board shows 1x1 squares (and beveled tiles, arg); I'm holding up the tile I'd use. (Tile Shop Tuxedo glossy https://www.tile-shop.com/products/tuxedo/tuxedo.html ). It's the closest visual I’ve got. (I'd held up the 3x6 next to other 2x2 tiles and think the proportions look much better. I'd post a pic but Houzz is too finicky w/ pics lately). I'm thinking of running the subways in the typical running bond pattern below the chair rail and then, in the shower, setting the tiles above the chair rail in herringbone pattern.




--room’s floor: honed marble with a basketweave "rug" outlined with a black liner and Carrara border, something like this (pic #5. Their rug is a square. Mine would be more of a runner)

https://jefffioritointeriordesign.com/glamorous-master-bathroom


--shower floor: ??? More marble? Or Carrara look porcelain tile? Maybe 3" hex. ??? (too many different shapes and sizes? or is this ok?)


--shower curb--I'm assuming that should be honed marble, right?


Beth H. : You mentioned you weren’t a fan of 2x2 marble squares. Hmmm….I love your designs. What do you think would be better?


Thoughts? Thanks for your help!

Comments (31)

  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Here are some inspo pics. First, a couple of "rugs"




    Shanty Bay Lake House · More Info


    Here's one w/ basketweave. For some reason, it's not loading.

    https://www.houzz.com/photos/2360-a-transitional-bathroom-los-angeles-phvw-vp~99909357


    I love this detail but not sure it works in this room (or my house!)


    Lakeview - Southport Corridor - Greenview · More Info



    Marble accent between ceramic tile. (for me, these mini-subways feels too busy)

    Vintage hotel style bathroom renovation · More Info


    Thanks for your thoughts and help!

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  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    cpartist thanks for your feedback and for posting your pics. Your rooms are beautiful!


    It is more a workman bungalow but I would like a nicer bathroom than only ceramic tile. The previous master bath was a dump so I want some luxury (!); also when we remodeled the guest bath ten years ago we used marble floors and counter top, so I'd like the master to feel as nice. At one point I had considered more marble, like your pics, but thought dialing it back to be a mix might be a good compromise. Does that work?


    My thought with the marble accent under the chair rail was to tie the shower into the rest of the room. I'd considered a marble chair-rail too, but that felt like too much. (FWIW, I've seen a room that did the subway/marble mix with a clawfoot tub, and they tied the room together using a marble baseboard. ) For the powder room, we'll go with something similar to your bottom pic: a ceramic console sink and ceramic floor tiles (or the original fir flooring, if it's salvageable. We'll see when we demo)


    Is your marble shower a lot maintenance? (esp. the floor?) Thanks for all your help!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I think if you want that I'd go w/the smaller squares like either of these first two.

    (i'm going to try and post a bunch of pics, but I'll have to do it in increments because houzz is still glitchy. so keep checking this comment)









    I like this actual border accent w/the black row. this would look nice instead of the squares^





    girl_wonder thanked Beth H. :
  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    never mind,,,I'll just skip down to a new comment. ridiculous w/loading of these pics.

    these are all period appropriate







    you could also use these tiny squares instead of the 2x2. love the floor design




    a little more updated, but still classic



    girl_wonder thanked Beth H. :
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Beth H. : thanks for your comments and all the pics! I had seen some of those smaller squares but they felt a little busy for me, and typically are used with two pencil liners. For some reason, I'm not loving that look. I did see these, also from Tile Shop.



    I think the marble mosaic is cool but I'm not thrilled with this look. I also though the 1" squares I'd seen looked great on the sample board but the proportion might not be right for the wall. the 1" squares are no longer available from that source. hmmm....


    Here's a 2x2. I think the proportions feel better for an 8' foot wall, right? (the color is obviously wrong).




    I LOVE that border accent you showed with the black border. Do you remember the source? I also love that floor design with the tiny squares. That border is awesome! (though the tiny squares look like a cleaning nightmare--too many grout lines). Would that border look appropriate in my house at all, either the border under the chair rail or using that as a border of the rug (and skip the basketweave?) Do you remember that source?


    yes, I love all that black and white ceramic and had considered it, but would prefer to upgrade to include marble. The black liner under the chair rail is thin. If it wasn't black, I think it would get lost. I suppose I could do a black marble. I want the bathroom to feel elegant and serene, so I think a selective use of black trim might be better (like in the rug and trimming the rug), rather than black circling the whole room. hmmm.....


    BTW, in another thread you were talking about marble maintenance. Is it an option to put porcelain tile on the floor (faux Carrara), next to a marble floor? Feels like that would not work. Thank you for your help!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    ok, so as for the source for the border, look at Builder Depot. they have some great looking quality marble.

    no, do not ever put real marble next to porcelain marble. they look very diff. (you could use a porcelain on your shower floor inside, if you get the same coloring as the real stuff)

    real marble, even honed, is going to etch. it just does. even w/water spots. unless the light shines on it perfectly though, you won't notice. just accept it as normal marble patina and you'll be fine.

    i still don't like the 2x2 squares at all, anywhere. I wouldn't worry about cleaning issues if it's going on a wall, so the smaller 5/8x5/8" squares may be an option.

    I love the 'rug' with a border. or, do a herringbone pattern as your 'rug', and line w/a marble liner or Schluter.

    you saw my black basketweave in my bathroom, right? did you also notice the black marble base molding? I think if you did the carrara baseboard molding, it would take it up a notch. (btw I ordered my marble straight from China (Alibaba) and those black marble moldings were only $5! (ditto the basketweave tiles) I needed about 20 of them. over here they're $20 plus tax and shipping!


    (and don't even ask about ordering from China, unless you're near a major port and know how to file paperwork for declaration, forget it!)

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  • cpartist
    4 years ago

    Did you look on Heritage Tile site? They also have marble and it's all very period appropriate

    girl_wonder thanked cpartist
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Beth H. : Wow thanks for mentioning Builder Depot. Sounds like you've been happy with the quality? My understanding is that Carrara comes in different grades and the whiter ones (which I prefer, Grade C) tend to be $$$, while the cheaper marble tends to have more grey. (Grade D, Grace CD?) Is that what you've found? I love all their styles. (plus good prices)


    Agreed--seems like a bad idea to put porcelain marble next to real marble. So it sounds like you think if I went with real marble on the shower floor it will be fine, even if etched?


    OK, so the 2x2 is bad. Isn't the 1x1 too small? I find the smaller scale mosaics have more grout lines too. hmmm...


    This seems weird, but I feel like even more than a border I like the tiny *trim*. I love this but I don't think it goes with my house.


    Lakeview - Southport Corridor - Greenview · More Info



    Lakeview - Southport Corridor - Greenview · More Info


    Since I'm having a hard time find a border, do you think I should skip it and do the marble baseboard instead? Would the shower look tied in enough? At one point I'd considered the same basketweave on the shower floor as the rug in the room but am worried about cleaning all that grout.


    cpartist I didn't realize Heritage Tile had marble. I checked it out. Lots of cool field mosiacs. For borders they only offer one design, greek key border in 'statuary white'

    https://subwaymosaics.com/subwaymosaics/products/classic-marble-mosaic-borders/


    Thank you both for all your help!!!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    technically only marble from Carrara Italy can be labeled as 'Carrara' marble.


    the lower quality 'carrara' that you see isn't from Carrara, it's China white marble. you can tell by the smeared looking gray veining. It tends to have a higher mineral content and can yellow or rust down the road.

    I've never bought from Builder Depot, but I do know they say their marble is from Italy. (pic above)

    it appears to be good quality. Tilebar has some too. you get samples over there for $5 for 5.

    as for the border, it all depends on everything else you pick. Here's the smaller squares I was talking about.(these may be 1", but the 3/8 or 5/8 is better) even on the floor, not going to be all the much diff from the 1". I just like the looks better.


    keep it on the back burner for now. or think about using a black marble thin liner and cap it w/the chair molding.

    you could also do the basketweave on the wall.


    something diff


    this is a pretty combo


    girl_wonder thanked Beth H. :
  • Chisos
    4 years ago

    following


  • Nancy in Mich
    4 years ago

    While planning, I got a number of samples from The Builder Depot and the quality on every tile was good. I loved their mosaics, too. I just decided I could not handle marble on the floor, though. I got my Nero Marquina baseboard and 1 x 2 mosaic for the half bath there and the 1" hex (like penny round, but hex) porcelain floor in the full bath from them. It was good quality. Here is the baseboard


    girl_wonder thanked Nancy in Mich
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Wow, thanks Nancy in Mich. Great to get the low-down! Your tile looks great and that wallpaper--I love it! Woof! BTW, how is it cleaning 1" hex in the full bath? I worry about too many grout lines.


    Thanks everyone for your help. I went back to the tile store today (It helps me to be able to see things in person). I think I may copy cpartist and have the whole shower floor be basketweave, so it matches the "rug" on the bathroom floor. I like the black-dot basketweave (and the black echoes those black-and-white old vintage bathrooms). But black on the walls feel more contrast-y than I want. (I want something peaceful and serene, not dramatic). So....I may chose the basketweave (and trim around the rug) in that dark grey Bardiglio marble. Thoughts?


    But I'm still undecided on the marble wall trim. One option, of course, is that border I love (that Beth H. : posted) which is baskeweave. But then it feels like too much basketweave. I looked at their herringbone w/ my subways. It looked cute but felt too different from the basketweave. arg! I feel like Goldielock's Three Little Bears.


    I think that may be why I was leaning towards the 2x2 squares--something simple. (I find all the tiny tile mosaics feel too busy. A couple rows of the tiny squares looks great--as a liner?--but a lot of them begin to look like graph paper to me and then I have flashbacks to Chemistry Lab, which I hated. ha!)


    What if I use a row 3x6 marble tiles for the accent?

    Or just skip the idea of a marble trim on the top of the subway tiles?

    or???


    BTW, not sure if I mentioned, but on the subways, the plan was to run them in brick pattern below the chair rail and herringbone above the chair rail in the shower.


    Thanks for any thoughts. I appreciate the help!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    if you want to use the 1x1's, then use them in the rug border like this (I still don't like the 2x2's, but it's your bathroom!)


    w/the bardiglio basketweave


    or, this one



    here's your basketweave. used on both floors and the trim.







    this is very nice.

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  • Nancy in Mich
    4 years ago

    Trying again. Even after resizing my photos to small, Houzz is not posting the posts with photos in them. Stupid computers!

    I have a shower made of something like Corian, so it is plastic. I was able to find chair rail in a similar colored marble and got a great deal. I was a couple of pieces short, or could have also done a pencil molding, too. Then I bought the marble baseboard at The Tile Shop.


    girl_wonder thanked Nancy in Mich
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Thanks so much for posting all those pics, esp the ones showing the herringbone over the brick lay. Super helpful! I really love that high band of herrigbone on the shower w/ the brass fixtures!

    FWIW, I think I said that wrong about the basketweave, I was thinking Bardiglio Dot, like this

    https://www.thebuilderdepot.com/cvh1x2bskgd.html

    If you look at the liner/trim (top and bottom) it's 2 rows of those tiny tiles. Could this be enough? I realize the scale of these tiny squares is similar to the dots in the basketweave. It could also be the trim around the rug?


    Job photos · More Info


    This room has plenty of marble+subways, but no marble trim on the wainscotting. Hmmm....My rug will be more subdued (I hope) so not sure if I need that trim....


    The Tile Shop Little Rock, AR · More Info


    Here they trimmed the rug with a single row of dots (but it's black. Might not work if the trim is just dark grey)

    Contemporary Bathroom · More Info


    Let's see if Houzz will let me post so many pics. Fingers crossed! Thanks for your help!



    Here's another. They used the same squares for the border and the wall trim. But I still prefer two, like they used in the top photo. Do you think this could work?

    Project Won Kim - Pic 2 · More Info


  • Nancy in Mich
    4 years ago

    Here is a close up.

    and the side wall.


    This one shows well why I do not like my floor choice with the marble baseboards. Too busy. If I could do it over, I would get something much plainer for the floor. I had trouble finding a marble-look tiny tile. I have the room sloped to a floor drain, so needed a small tile that would follow the contours. As for cleaning, the bathroom vacuums up great. I admit to never having mopped it. I spot clean. It is just the two of us and we are pretty neat, and I am disabled and just cannot do much.

    girl_wonder thanked Nancy in Mich
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Nancy in Mich thanks for posting. That's a great look with the chair rail and baseboard made of marble. Unfortunately, it's out of my price range. I love the Tile Shop ;)


    And thanks Nancy in Michfor the second set of pics. Pretty room. I see what you mean about the tiny tiles. That's good advice. Good for you for never mopping!!!! I hate cleaning. Thanks for all your help!

  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Beth H. : I finally found a pic w/ the 2x2 tiles. I see what you mean. I like your ideas better. Thanks!!!


    Bathroom Remodeling Project · More Info


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 years ago

    For vintage look, I would keep your overall design more simple. The border detail is not needed IMO. I would put my dollars on the floor. Personal question. Do you dye your hair in shower? If so, you will have issues with marble. Beth can guide you on this. She is super expert. If you do go with all the detail you are thinking you better get the best tilers you can find and pay them well. Great project!

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  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 years ago

    A few vintage baths

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  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Flo, thanks so much. I just got home from the tile shop. I like the basket weave with the black dot (not the dark grey I was considering) and the guy I’ve been working with at the shop suggested just buying field tile that matches the dot and use that as the liner on the rug (cut into 1/2” strips). His thought on the wall is to either use that same liner, to match the dot, or skip it. I’m leaning towards skipping it and letting the floor be the focal point. Do you still think this a tough tiling job? Is it the basket weave or herringbone subway or ...all of it together?. I imagined that the wainscoting would be easy.



    To answer your question, no I don’t dye my hair at home, but thanks for the heads up.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 years ago

    When doing herringbone inside other tiling, it requires careful pre-dry layout, precise cutting with proper tools and precise spacing. So that takes experience and someone who can do the layout measurements.

  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Thanks for this heads up. I am following another thread where the person is unhappy with how the herringbone meets in the corner—and i’ll have two. I can’t remember all I said above but I’m thinking of running bond below the chair rail, then herringbone above in the shower only, like Beth’s pic with the niche, white tiles and thick tan grout lines.

    I haven’t given my GC (Or thus his tile guy) a list and description of my tile plans for this bath. I wanted to wait until I had a final plan. We’ll see what he says. Thanks for your help.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 years ago

    The layout is crucial to getting corners to work out. All about the math. Sometimes using longer tiles for herringbone works better. Get that mapped out to scale. Get tile person involved early. He or she can help you select proper sized tiles for your herringbone. I like 1:4 ratio. For example, 2” high x 8” long tile.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 years ago

    Here is 1:4 ratio

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 years ago

    Here is 1:2 ratio. Not as dramatic and if you are doing this and paying the premium for the tiler make it great.

  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Interesting. thanks for the pics and advice. I was thinking of the 3x6 since it’s regulation size and I’m trying to go vintage so I thought it would be good to one element that rings true. But maybe something longer? I’m planning to use the Tile Shop Tuxedo in gloss. They make other sizes like 3x9. Would that help?

    just checked. They do 2x8, 3x9, 3x6, 4x8 and 3x12. will these long sizes look out of proportion with the basket weave?

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 years ago

    3x9 would be a 1:3 ratio and better. Herringbone style is pretty modern so you will be mixing vintage and modern. That’s ok. But herringbone is tricky. Just trying to arm you with enough info to be able to guide this properly. Get some 1/4” grid paper. Try doing a scale layout of your concept. It will really help you under the complexities. Beth can weigh in with tips too. She has done a lot of herringbone styles in tile and woods.

    girl_wonder thanked Flo Mangan
  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Good point that I would be mixing vintage and modern already. Hmmm...I’ve got grid paper! Thanks for the suggestions and all your help.

  • girl_wonder
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Flo Mangan I've been thinking about your comments. Should I even bother with the herringbone? My room is 6x11 with a 3x2 window at the end (per diagram at top), sort of similar to these (though the vanity etc will be on the left side)

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    My plan is to put the shower head and that adjustable bar thing on the same wall as the toilet and vanity. Then the controller on the walk-in side. The niche is TBD but probably on one the side walls (the walk-in side?)


    Seems like the rooms I like with a herringbone pattern on top aren't doing the pattern around a window. My window is obscure and will be "frosted" aka that sandblasted look. Thoughts? Thanks for all your help.