Choosing the shower tile, I need help!

Hey guys! I’m in need of some advice / opinions, you see I’m struggling with some design choices for our shower in the master bath renovation and I just can’t seem to get unstuck!

We have removed most of the walls in the closet / bathroom area and now have this wide open space. It’s amazing how big a space looks and feels when it has no walls up. Alas, we need those walls though… We have laid out the walls placement on the floor, as you can see in the photo below.

master bath shower tile

The wall you see with the plumbing in it will be removed once the plumber comes to move the pipes, we DON”T mess around with copper pipes here. The space outlined around it will be the shower, the inside dimensions of the shower will be 6ft deep by 7ft long, giving us plenty of room for 2 to shower. The shower heads will be on both sides of the 6ft wall.

Here is our very rudimentary plan for the glass. All of the glass will extend to the ceiling with a glass transom over the door to allow for ventilation. We texted this to the “glass guy” and he said it was doable which made my day!

master bath shower tile

It was very important to me that the side glass and front glass (as noted in blue) would be frameless as this will be the first thing you see when you walk into the bathroom.

master bath shower tile

Pictured below is roughly the tile layout we are considering, herringbone top, subway bottom. We are not installing a shower seat though, but this gives you an idea of the direction we are going.

Here are the tiles I’m thinking about. The subway, herringbone and large tile to the left are ceramic “Carrara Gris Gloss”, the hexagon is “Hampton Carrara Polished”, the black tile is “Noir Honed” travertine.

master bath shower tile

The plan for the floor is to border it in the black travertine and use the marble hex (in a honed finish) as the main floor area, using a dark gray grout for it all. I love this plan, have no issues with it at all.

The wall will be the longer ceramic tiles set in a herringbone pattern for the top half of the wall and the bottom half of the wall will be the ceramic set in a subway pattern (either the small tile or the large tile to the left we haven’t decided that either).

My issue is with the ceramic “marble” tile. It is very pretty, but I don’t care for the glossiness of it and they don’t have this particular type in a honed finish. They do have a “Calcutta marble” in honed, but it has little gold streaks running through it that I’m not sure I like. Also, there is the fact that this is a product produced to look like another product, basically a faux marble if you will. Even though this tile looks awesome to me I’m wondering if it will turn off potential buyers later on? Like will it look like we got chintzy with the tile, I really want this shower to be a stunner!

So should I just opt for a white ceramic tile in similar sizes, but use some real marble around the shower heads as an accent? I feel like having all white subway tile on all of the walls in a 6×7 shower would just be too much white for me… argh, decisions… decisions…

Let’s not forget to mention that there is the cost to consider… the ceramic tiles are roughly 1/2 of the cost of any of the marble tiles, which when you consider the shower is 6×7 makes a big difference in the overall cost of the tile.

So what do you think? Faux marble or no? All white ceramic set in the same pattern? If you were buying a new home and saw this awesome shower could you or would you even be able to tell if it was not real marble on the walls? Would you even care? Please let me know what you think, because I just seem to be stuck and I need to make a decision soon!

Thanks so much for listening to me ramble!

K

About Susan @ Uniquely Yours or Mine

Hey there! You want to know more about me? Well here's a little bit... I'm the lucky wife of a Super Awesome Husband (SAH) and a mother of 3 wonderful girls. We moved to Louisville, KY in 2013 from Richmond, VA where I was refinishing, repairing and painting furniture as a serious "hobby". Since moving I have been spending most of my time designing and updating our new-to-us home, but I do enjoy getting out and exploring my new town as much as possible!

Posted on February 5, 2015, in Interior Design and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Wow! Love that inspiration photo! I’m not familiar enough with the tile to comment on that, but the ones you chose are beautiful! I do have another tip because we have a 6-foot walk in shower. Be sure one of your shower heads (either the 2nd or add a 3rd) is a hand-held that you can lift off. It makes cleaning the shower so much easier. Good luck!

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    • Thanks so much! I absolutely plan on having a bar with a handheld on one of the heads, but I was thinking more for bathing the dogs than cleaning the space ☺️ I’m glad you mentioned it for cleaning as I hadn’t thought of that at all… which probably says a lot about my cleaning skills or lack thereof!

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  2. We chose to redo our bathroom partly because the tile was dated. It was faux ceramic marble and was very obvious fake when u see it in large quantities. We decided to use a light gray rectangular ceramic similar to what u chose for your floor border so we could cut costs and splurge on real marble in shower.We went with Hampton Carrera 8×19.5 subway tile all over and smaller hex on the shower floor. I wanted to have more detail like you with pattern and edges but we went with only subway pattern and it actually turned out great do to the fact of all the variations in color of Hampton Carrara tile.
    I don’t think you should use Calcutta marble because it is so veiny and you’ll have a lot of dark lines that throws off the look that I think you are going for. It is a very strong particular style which might limit potential buyers. You are creating such a big shower with frameless glass I think u would need more detail besides only ceramic subway tile. Use ceramic as the bottom portion and then switch to marble above it or around the shower heads as u said or even a big rectangle of marble framing both shower heads. I researched this stuff like crazy as well and just decided to splurge a little and cut costs elsewhere.

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    • Thanks for all of your suggestions! I’m glad to hear you saying you took out the faux marble, I think that even through this ceramic looks very realistic I should either stick with the real thing, if I can afford it, or go with white ceramic tile. Thanks again for helping me out!

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  3. Hi! We are building a house right now and I am having the same exact issue. We have picked out real Carrara hex for the floor of the shower, but have a ceramic faux carrara for the walls, I am worried they will clash. I have also gone back and forth with wanting solid white oversized ceramic subway for the walls. Our floors are a darker honed gray that blends really well with the hex. What did you wined up going with and what did you like the most?

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    • Hey Nicole!
      We ended up going with white subway tiles on the walls. We did a herringbone pattern on the top third, then running bond pattern on the bottom. We stuck with the 3″ hex but now that it’s all in I’m a little freaked out because another reader mentioned that her carrera stays discolored looking because the water doesn’t evaporate very fast. Marble is porous and the water will seep through it, even if sealed… We are a few weeks from getting the glass installed so we haven’t tested this out yet, but just wanted to give you a heads up, I have some more recent posts that will have pictures of the shower after we installed the tile. Good luck with your build and choices!

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