Marble Shower Walls:Types, Finishes, Design Ideas
Pros and Cons
What is Marble?
Marble is an evergreen and elegant rock that has been in used for centuries. Made from the metamorphic rock under different temperature and pressure over a certain period of time generates various exquisite pieces. The color spectrum ranges from crystal white to grey and black including different shades of pink, yellow, green and beige.
The veins formed due to various impurities giving marble a nice pattern. Highly veined marbles should be used on walls and avoid their usage in high traffic areas. Mined in various countries like Canada, Germany, Spain, US; two of the most famous marble types are quarried in Italy.
Marble, being the iconic material in luxury, helps to create state of the art designs in the area it is installed. Enriched with veins or straight line design, it depicts class and holds excellence. Commonly used for countertops, shower walls, bathroom floors, and backsplashes. Marble can be sustained through ages and stay fresh if maintained carefully.
Types of Marble
Marble has a huge catalog when it comes to its types depending upon the color, location, elements and temperature it has been gone through. Each is used for different purpose with respect to veining intensity and color. The above factors which contribute to types also affect the price of marble from type to type. Commonly used and in demand marble types from different corners of the world are:
Statuary marble is close to Carrara having light gray tones with smooth background. Its veins are distinguishable and clear. White background is translucent creating shiny look which reflects light and lustrous finish make the location spacious and bright where it is used.
Statuary marble can be used as shower walls with glass door and elegant bathing accessories. Embellish the shower area with elegant tub and classy cabinet for a much-sophisticated look.
Mostly used in sculpture making and designing buildings, Carrara marble is white, gray or blue-gray in color. The marble veins are linear in shape varying from small and fine to soft and feathery. The clear white color and subtle veins make it ideal to be used in bathroom. It gives a nice ambiance with an airy clean feel.
Mined in Spain, Emperador marble is distinguished with hues of brown. The veining pattern is irregular having fine grains. Ideal to be used for kitchen flooring, walkways or other high-traffic areas. Accompany the tiles with accessories in gold or brass tones.
Crema Marfil Marble
Extracted from Spain, it has various tones. Commonly used tiles have a slight beige color with soft or deep veins. Mostly used in combination to dark colored tile, crema marfil is used for exterior decorations. Different intensity of veins helps to create unique design patterns for signature décor and architect.
Marble is used in various finish types depending upon the location it is being installed. Mostly used finish types for marble are:
Marbles are polished using oxalic acid or crystallizing compound which gives mirror-like smooth look. The reflective finish enhances the veins and beauty of the stone making it exquisite wherever they are installed. Widely used for indoor and outdoor wall cladding, fireplace surrounds and countertops (kitchen and bathroom). Since it is vulnerable to scratches hence avoid its use on high traffic areas like walkways.
Honed marble tile is made using the same procedure as polished but it is kept rough and dull. This make the tile less lustrous and reflective giving it a matt effect. Depending upon the usage, its grit can be increased or decreased to produce different degree of honing. The matt look is ideal for flooring at heavy traffic areas like kitchen floors and walkways.
Marble brushed tiles are made by creating texture with coarse rotatory type brush. It has more friction and the surface is rough and blistered. Well applicable on tumbled marble. These tiles are used for flooring and outdoor décor purpose.
Tumbled tiles are the ones whose edges are worn out by undergoing it through pressure. It is achieved by vibrating the stone in a sand and grit bath for about 20 minutes. Tumbled stones can be made using two types of machines. One vibrates the stone side to side and other rotates it. Mostly found in sizes less than 12’inch and is widely used for floors and backsplashes.
Honed and Pillowed Edges:
Honed and pillowed edges are alternatively known as cushioned edge. In this, tile’s edges are rounded to create a tattered look. It creates a soft effect and can be used in living rooms and other areas.
Marble in Bathroom
For decades, marble bathrooms are a symbol of elegance and dignity. It depicts how an evergreen stone can be used in every era keeping its worth the same through time. It can be installed all over the bathroom or in certain sections of the bathroom smartly integrating with other tiles creating patterns.
Some unique ways of installing different types of marble in bathrooms are discussed below:
Carrara Marble Sink
Making the marble rectangular sink via Carrara marble slabs gives simple yet exquisite at the same time. Create a marble countertop and backsplash with surrounding walls sheathed with wood. It will give a minimalist design with sophistication.
Vanity Sink similar to the marble floor
Install orthodox marble tile in herringbone pattern keeping the walls snow white and crystal white sink. The mirror will reflect the image giving a more spacious look to the bathroom. Integrate a metal frame below the vanity to give the bathroom an airy look.
Marble in Shower
Marble shower wall panels are another option which can be used for the bathroom shower walls instead of tiles. These are handy and easy to maintain as they don’t require grouting. The signature look of marble remains the same but it saves maintenance and cleaning time.
A shower panel is a minimalist way to create an exotic marble shower wall on a limited budget. Embellish it with shower accessories like soap dishes, recessed niches, and decorative trim enclosing the shower with fibreglass. It will segregate the bathroom in a pristine way. You can use marble panels either on one wall or all three walls of the shower depending upon the expense and requirement.
For marble shower walls there are a number of combinations which can be used with different marble types and bathroom themes. Design shower walls using Emperador Dark marble in mosaic style. Contrast the other areas of the bathroom using stack bond laid Emperador Dark Marble. Install the other bathroom accessories matching the vein colour of the marble.
Nero Marquina marble becomes magnificent if designed and installed in an English bond pattern. Adorn the bathroom with countertop of natural stone, a backsplash of mosaic, snow white marble vessel sink and a white tub which is in drop-in style surrounded by Nero Marquina marble tiles.
Marble Maintenance in Shower
The marble looks elegant in the shower but it needs careful maintenance and handling at the same time. Simply cleaning or mopping titles with water can also keep the shower tiles clean for a long period. Some tips to increase the tile life and maintain its freshness are below
Spray: Spray the marble cleaner over the surface. For concentrated cleaner, dilute it with some water. Rub the marble with a soft cloth or towel soaked in the marble cleaner mixture.
Wipe: Wipe off the entire surface where marble cleaner has been applied with a clean cloth.
Spray with clean water: Now pour clean water down the marble shower wall or floor. Use clean cloth and water for this purpose. Make sure that the cleaner has been wiped off from all sections of the marble shower walls.
Drying: Once the cleaning is done, wipe the surface with a dry cloth or wipe. Make sure there is no water left behind in the shower since it will leave water stains over the marble which will give an untidy look.
While cleaning and maintaining marble shower walls, there are some don’ts which should be cared for.
Avoid usage of any generic household cleaner
Any cleaner which contains ammonia, vinegar or any citrus acid in the cleaner
Do not use any scraper or coarse sponge since it will scratch the polished surface leaving rough stains
Pros and Cons of Marble
Marble gives an exquisite and luxurious feel where ever installed. In bathroom, it gives a royal feeling with soothing effect. Some of the pros and cons of installing marble in bathroom have been discussed below:
Marble is always known for classic and cosmopolitan appearance. Whether it’s in white, black or any other shade, it gives a marvelous ambiance. Marble tiles can be installed in bathroom or shower area to give alluring effect to the location.
The attractive veining and color gradients which this stone owns gives a unique look helps you to get a signature look which one desires. The smoothly polished tiles make the area bright and shiny where it is installed.
The wide color pallet marble is known for, give countless combinations to create a distinctive design from classic to sophisticated. For monochrome style, black marble is ideal; beige is most suitable if cleaning and maintenance is a serious matter.
Durability and Strength:
Marble is a durable tile that can resist different temperature and pressure. It is due to the steps it has undergone during its formation. It is most resistant as bathroom tile. It can stay fresh and smooth for years maintaining the glamour of the area installed.
Marble is formed from limestone under certain temperature and pressure. Due to this, it is a porous stone and absorbs anything which spilled over it including soap, dye, shampoo etc. This makes the tile prone to stains. Its protection can be done by sealing it after installation which should be refreshed yearly. Also, the spilled material should be cleaned immediately in order to avoid stains.
Since marble is a calcium stone hence it’s cleaning require careful effort. Any bleach or acidic product may cause harm to polished surface or leave stains over the tile. Also, the use of coarse cloth as it will create scratches and wipe off the polish.
Proper periodic sealing is necessary for the maintenance of marble tiles. If yearly sealing of marble is not done, the sealant will wear away exposing the tile to water and other impurities causing stains on it.
Marble is known as the most luxurious and most expensive stone. Hence its installation has high charges as compared to travertine or other ceramic tiles. Its cost does not include tile only but also the installation price with the assistance of professional.
Among the countless ways marble can be used in bathrooms, especially in shower walls, few have been discussed. Depending upon the requirement and aesthetic sense, a variety of marble can create different looks from retro to contemporary.
Give the bathroom a modern sophisticated look via horizontally veined marble. Marmara Equator is ideal for this purpose it has dark-coloured parallel veins. Embellish the shower walls with Marmara enhancing them with white tub and bathroom accessories in silver.
Use enriched veined marble to divide the bathroom space elegantly and decently. Accompanied by wooden cabinets with warm tones, the whole place will become soothing and cozy. The veined wall will give natural look to the bathroom.
White marble tiles on bathroom walls have soft veins along with colours creating a bright and open aura that gives an exotic feeling to the shower area. Further, enhance it with glass doors and walls to get a comfy feel while you meditate in water to soothe your soul.
Use Calcatta Marble to design a stylish bathroom. It has a unique quality of enhancing the space and hence is ideal for installation in bathrooms with small spaces. The white colour makes the room bright when reflected by lights. Use cultured style bathtub and vanity with good lighting for an everlasting design
Install Calcutta Gold marble to give a sumptuous look to the bathroom or shower walls. These tiles are expensive enough to be used all around and hence can be blended with other types of marble. Use them as the border for Calcutta Marble with a soaking bathtub and vanity with a lot of lights to reflect and make the area more stunning.
In short, marble shower walls are an option which should not be ignored if you want a luxurious, decent and exotic look to the bathroom. It makes the shower experience as comfy as living in a dream.